Disclaimer: The following post contains spoilers from Season 3 of You.
In 2018, Joe Goldberg first came into our lives, killing through New York City, in the name of love. In 2019, he moved to LA, went on another killing spree, and actually found Love – only to enter into a loveless marriage (sorry the puns just keep on coming).
In season 3, Joe swaps murder for marriage, and the show keeps you guessing, on what’s the greater burden to carry!
Season 3 of YOU tries to make sense of Joe and Love’s traumatic pasts, through marriage counseling and therapy, in order to understand what shaped their present. The valiant attempt almost convinces you to forget their proclivity for murder – a feat the show has been achieving since Season 1.
Of course, much like the previous seasons, here too, the show interlaces dark humor with deadly discoveries to leave you decidedly unsettled. At the same time, it takes on the issues that plague our society (social media addiction, alcoholism, and anti-vaxers, to name a few), and pits them against two pyschopaths’ struggle to “be good parents” and keep alive the spark in their marriage.
However, in Season 3, Goldberg loses his spot as the deadliest lover to Love Quinn, whose impulsive murders leave you shocked and whose deadly stares are scarier than the idea of Joe finding you ‘interesting’.
While Penn Badgley never disappoints, this season belongs to Victoria Pedretti who is fabulous as Love Quinn (though both do their fair share to lift a script that isn’t as tight as the earlier seasons).
As she traverses through post-partum hormonal changes, a vapid suburban culture of “momfluencers”, jealousy over her husband’s wandering affections, and an overbearing mother, she becomes an extreme version of the exploited housewife – trying to keep it all together but failing as per society’s unrealistic standards.
In fact, it’s a testament to her acting, that even when you’re frustrated (and shocked, of course) by her actions, you end up relating to her frustrations!
To be fair, there was a point in the series where I thought the story could end and Joe and Love could have a happily-ever-after. But that was the unsettling affection for the lead characters speaking.
Because keeping in line with the show’s theme, Joe is more than a man with a traumatic past. He is a psychopath. And even when he is trying to be the perfect husband and father (and he tries real hard), he is just another ‘crush’ away from committing murders in the name of love, yet again.
That’s exactly what the show reminds us – that as much as we may think Joe’s turned domestic and reigned in his wild side, he is actually incapable of change. This is what makes the idea of Season 4 (that has already been green-lit) all the more interesting – because what could be an acceptable end for a protagonist, who is not an anti-hero, but simply a villain with a penchant for literary innuendos?
All images are screenshots from Netflix, unless specified otherwise.