In episode 3, one of the biggest revelations to come out of Euphoria was Cal’s backstory with his best friend Derek, which he showcased in a heartbreaking sex montage. Throughout high school, it’s clear that Cal is in love with Derek but for various reasons, he pushes those feelings aside. Once they graduate, they both get girlfriends but one night, they decide to spend the evening together and explore their feelings in a gay bar. It’s a beautiful moment but unfortunately for Cal, Marsha calls to inform him she’s pregnant.
When he was younger, Cal decided to leave Seattle and head to New York City where he would pursue his dream of becoming an opera star. He managed to make it to his goal but in his pursuit, he lost sight of what was most important. As a result, he became estranged from his family and ended up in a bad place with his career.
Eventually, he moved back to Seattle and started to get his life together but he couldn’t forget the pain he felt. As a result, he began drinking heavily and subsequently ended up in a bad place with his work and relationships.
Despite his best efforts, he was unable to control his demons and ended up losing everything that mattered. He was fired from his job and resigned from his singing career and ended up living in a small apartment with his mother. He also secretly had sex with young trans women and queer men in motels.