Warning: This post contains spoilers for episode 1 of Euphoria.
- Eric Dane plays Cal Jacobs on HBO’s Euphoria.
- During the series premiere, Cal commits statutory rape with 17-year-old Jules.
- Fans were shocked at the former McSteamy’s change in character.
HBO’s Euphoria had a lot of hype heading into last night’s premiere, and fans were excited to see all those penises we were promised, as well as newcomer Hunter Schafer. An unexpected moment happened during the premiere though, as Schafer’s character Jules ended up sleeping with Cal Jacobs, a much older married man.
Cal found Jules on a skeevy online service that would in our world be equivalent to something like ashley madison. After a text interaction in which Cal promises he’s not a violent murderer, Jules and Cal meet, and she tells him that she’s 22 (she’s actually 17).
Thus begins a scene that eventually puts Dane—the actor previously known as McSteamy on Grey’s Anatomy—in full-frontal nudity, revealing the [prosthetic] erection that riled up controversy in the pre-show coverage. This eventually amounts to a brutal and very-hard-to-watch statutory rape scene. At the end of the episode, Cal is revealed to be the father of one of Jules and Rue (Zendaya)’s classmates.
And while some fans were excited to see that McSteamy has got even steamier with age, the main consensus was that it was very, very creepy to see Dane’s character commit statutory rape:
Speaking about the disturbing scene, Dane told Entertainment Weekly that 1. what viewers are seeing is a prosthetic and not his actually penis; and 2. he chose this role because he wanted to grow as an actor.
“I just got tired of playing characters that appear to be the right fit. Sam Levinson [Euphoria‘s creator] is such a strong writer. He’s got such a unique and articulate vision. I felt like if I were going to play a role like this, then I was in really good hands,” he explained. “I read the pilot and it was wonderfully written and it was fresh and it was unique and it was unapologetic, and at this point in my career I need to do something different. Who wants to see me play the same guy over and over again?”
While fans may certainly commend Dane for flexing his acting chops, some will never able to look at McSteamy the same way again. RIP.