You Season 3: Living Their Best Lies


Rotten Tomatoes & The Guardian

“You” draws a stunning comparison to the famous painting ‘American Gothic’ talking about repression of rural life in America

 Hello, You. After nearly 2 years of anticipation, the third season of YOU is finally here and grasping everyone’s attention, obtaining a high-up spot on Netflix’s Top 10 for multiple weeks now. With Penn Badgely and Cardi B going back and forth on Twitter, it has everyone wanting to tune into the show along with the huge cliffhanger that was left by season two’s “I’M PREGNANT” ending. Finally, we’ve found someone to match Joe’s energy and better yet, to top it. 

  Joe and Love moved to the town of Madre Linda where everyone’s wearing overpriced athleisure to get away from last season’s whopping 5 murders split by the homicidal pair and to get a fresh start for their son Henry “Forty” Goldberg. 

  But, unfortunately, suburban fatherhood doesn’t seem to sit well in the likes of Joe. In a lot of ways, I find that Joe is very similar to The Catcher In The Rye’s one and only Holden Caulfield. Living in a life of normalcy is unbearable for these characters and their adamant protection of children as seen with Paco in season 1 and Ellie in season 2 is an important part of their being. 

  This core belief translates to Joe’s firm belief that Love needs to be “stopped” in order to ensure Henry’s safety and him having a normal childhood. These plans get seriously derailed after the gruesome murder of their neighbor Natalie after Love gets jealous of her seemingly romantic relationship with Joe following her finding of Joe’s creepy box of goodies as shown in previous seasons where we see Natalie’s coffee sleeve and her underwear Joe grabbed in the first episode. Side note: ew. 

  When Joe comes to the building where she killed Natalie after signing a 3-year lease for it, we see an internal grumbling, done extremely well by Badgley, who displays his simultaneous furiousness and humor while ranting about how Love is ruining his life in a series of voiceovers.

  This leads them down a rabbit-hole trying to cover up Natalie’s murder while the whole town plays into the full-coverage investigation flooding the news, all trying to get their 15 minutes. This made it pretty easy for Joe and Love to pretend they care because guess what? Everyone else was pretending too. 

  The murder of Natalie has Joe seriously questioning everything. He is fully set on the fact that Love is not good for him anymore and that she’s especially not good for Henry which is pretty ironic since when he kills, he considers it a noble deed. But what really happened is that he’s lost what had him set on her in the first place: her perceived innocence.

  You’d think that as a serial killer himself, he’d be intrigued by her murderous nature but no, he valued and fetishes her innocence. He feels threatened by Love because unlike Beck, she can take care of herself and she can match his murderous mind unlike any of his other obsessions before. 

  His thought process also plays into the stereotypical gender roles that if he kills someone it can be out of anger but if she does it’s because women are irrational. 

  Their true feelings come out when Joe shouts that he has to be 100 percent committed to Love for the rest of his life if he wants to keep her from killing people while she responds with a silencing anecdote that if she’s not everything that he needs her to be, he’ll just simply kill her. When I say that in this scene my palm flew straight to my mouth in shock, I mean it. 

  While all of this murderous chaos is going on, Love struggles to fit in with the Madre Linda community and finds herself in a salacious relationship with the most appropriate choice ever: her victim’s teenage stepson. Yeah, you heard that right.

  This coupled with Joe’s new obsession with Marienne which, spoiler alert, is not gonna end too well has Joe and Love in different hemispheres when it comes to a semi-normal relationship but that’s okay because their love language is violence anyway. 

  After the death of Gil ending in Joe and Love framing him for Natalies murder, we see a 6 month time-jump where everything seems to be going well: Love has assimilated into the Madre Linda life, the bakery is a success, and neither Joe or love has killed anyone since. What could possibly go wrong? 

  Well for starters, Joe almost killed Cary on their alpha male camping trip but that was just the tip of the iceberg for what’s to come the rest of the season. When Joe overhears a fight with Marienne’s ex-husband, he comes to her rescue which soon spirals into Joe killing him, naturally. 

  Flashbacks of Joe’s childhood after Joe’s first kill of his dad started mid season with Nurse Fiona where we get to see where his obsession got started. 

  In an extremely emotional state after his mom sends him away, Joe is super vulnerable to his new mother figure and seeing her in a circle of abuse like his biological mom. We see him do everything in his power to save her and protect her from evil which gives us a reflection of why Joe is the way he is at his core. 

  Cutting back to the current storyline, swingers Sherry and Cary led Love and Joe into an interesting direction: polyamory. With Joe reluctantly agreeing to be involved with the Conrad’s, Joe and Sherry get into the swing of things (get it?) until Love pulls him downstairs to accuse him of thinking about somebody else. She loudly reminds him that she killed Natalie “for him” and well, let’s just say that admission could be heard throughout the whole house. 

  Suspicious that their conversation had been overheard, they grab their weapons and they creep up the stairs. At first, everyone tries to play cool, attempting to figure out who knows what but Sherry gives it away that she’s lying and all hell breaks loose. 

  The whole thing becomes a manhunt really with Cary’s alpha huntsman skills being proven while he’s shooting arrows at Joe, but with Joe’s motivation to keep Henry out of the foster system, ultimately the Conrad’s are subdued and it’s off to the bakers dungeon they go. 

  Things take a heartbreaking turn when after discovering a video of Joe opening her trunk and getting into Natalie’s car the day Natalie Disappeared, Theo goes to the bakery in order to reach love. His attention gets attracted to the sound of a gunshot where I’m sure all of the viewers were screaming, “OH MY GOD PLEASE DON’T GO DOWN THERE THEO YOU’RE KILLING ME NO STOP AHHH”. Was that dramatic enough?

  Anyway, he breaks down the door where he finds Sherry and Cary in an intense position with Sherry holding a gun to Cary in the murder box. They then beg Theo for help insisting that Joe and Love were responsible for Natalie’s murder. After a painstakingly long time of Sherry and Cary freaking out, Theo finally agrees to search for a key upstairs but that’s where Love catches him. 

  Theo doesn’t even try to lie because he can’t. He begs her to run away with him like he suggested earlier, saying Joe was the real monster. Love asks him to leave town and never come back, which he agrees to, but when he turns around to walk out Love hits him in the head and throws him down the basement stairs, leaving him for dead. 

  So, as of late, they have three people in their creepy basement, but don’t worry we still haven’t gotten to the most mind blowing part. 

  Joe has been somewhat naive lately, since he hasn’t really taken into account that Love isn’t stupid. She knows him more than he probably knows himself, and she knows when he’s hiding something. Love found Joe’s bloody shirt and put two and two together when she heard about Marienne’s ex Ryan’s death, which happened to be conveniently killed after the court ruled in Ryan’s favor for custody of Juliet. 

  Joe and Love sit down for the most uncomfortable roast chicken dinners in the history of roast chicken dinners. She asks Joe about Marienne and Joe’s silence was all that she needed to confirm the truth. 

  While Loves leaves to check on the baby, Joe grabs the carving knife and immediately regrets it since Love had dosed the knife with her own homegrown paralytic made from Aconite that she had been growing in their garden.

  But like the psychopath Joe is, and much to our own surprise, (who are we kidding we knew the ending would be intense) he anticipated that Love may poison him so after finding Cary’s giant case of meds, he popped one as he and Love sat down for the final feast like they did in the hunger games.

  Unfortunately for Joe, but hilariously funny for us, these adrenaline pills were slow acting so we got to watch poor Joe on the floor for like 20 minutes. He also has to watch Love almost kill Marienne after she invited her over with a text from Joe’s phone. Luckily for Marienne, Juliet walks in to use the bathroom and with time to think Love decides to let them leave and after some advice from Marienne, Love decides she’s done with Joe and goes to grab her giant knife, of course. 

  Then, naturally, we get an amazing and iconic villain monologue, but like all villain speeches it gives Joe enough time to get the upper hand with the adrenaline pills fully kicking in. Just as Love goes to slit his throat, Joe stabs her with a syringe full of her own poison. 

  This is where just about everyone proceeds to scream in disbelief and where I almost ripped out my hair. She writhes in agony, trying to get out her last few words, “We’re perfect for each other, but bad for Henry. He’ll know what you are”. 

  Wow. Just wow. If you wanted to know how to write the perfect ending to a psychological thriller, this is it. 

  As viewers attempt to pick up their jaws from the floor, “exile” by Taylor Swift and Bon Iver plays fittingly saying “I’ve seen this film before, and I didn’t like the ending”. Someone please give whoever had the idea to put this in a raise. 

  As Joe puts together all the things needed to pin her for all the murders, including two of his toes weirdly enough. He sends out a suicide note read in Love’s voice and the torches the place, using their wedding album as kindling in the kitchen sink, wow so symbolic: don’t get yourself caught up in a psychopathic marriage. 

  He leaves Henry with a note on the doorstep of his Librarian friend, Daunte’s house after deciding that even though he didn’t want him in foster care, Henry is better off growing up with someone who is going to keep him innocent and happy. Like Love said, “He’ll know what you are”. After everything, it’s sad to see that Joe won’t be there to see him grow up, but if he’s anything like Ellie, Joe will be watching.

  In an epic voice over epilogue brilliantly acted by Penn Badgely, Joe makes sure we know that Love becomes like a feminist folk hero following her death because of course Madre Linda would eat this story up and what’s better than that is that he closes it out with a chilling line stating that Love became even more famous than his former obsession, Guinevere Beck. 

  I am 100% going to be tuning into season 4 as I recommend you all do. Even though I’m super bummed that the magnificent Victoria Pedretti won’t be there to spice up the show like always, I can’t wait to see where this takes the new, dark facets of love for Joe Goldberg after the staging of his own death and giving Henry to Daunte. Will he next terrorize the city of love as we saw at the end of the finale? Stay tuned.