With the 2018 premiere of Netflix's original series You, actor Penn Badgley went from Lonely Boy to Creepy Boy. In the romantic thriller, Badgley plays Joe Goldberg, a New Yorker with a serious romantic side. So serious, in fact, that he'll do anything for love. And I mean anything.
Season two of You opens with Joe fleeing New York after a surprise run-in with his ex Candace (Ambyr Childers) threatens to upend everything he's done in the past few months. His journey takes him to the last city on earth he ever wanted to find himself: Los Angeles.
In the city of angels, Joe finds a new vigour for life in a chef named Love Quinn (The Haunting of Hill House's Victoria Pedretti). Sparks fly between the two, and after a few false starts, they throw themselves into a passionate relationship. At first sight, Love is everything that our protagonist has ever dreamed of — she's caring, spiritual, and just like Joe, has dealt with her fair share of trauma — but the deeper in love he falls, the more complicated Joe's relationship becomes.
There's the pesky issue of her overbearing twin brother Forty (James Scully) not to mention the fact that Candace has followed him to L.A. On top of that, Joe has killed yet another person (this time on accident) and is only narrowly avoiding the police investigation. All the while, Joe is doing his best to be the man that Love deserves, not knowing that the love of his life is battling her own demons.
The final episode of You reveals Love's shocking true nature: cold, calculating, and willing to go any distance to protect those that she holds dear. We discover that Love was behind the death of her family's au pair (she killed the woman as a teen after discovering that she had been preying on Forty) and that she had also killed both Delilah (Carmela Zumbado) and Candace. Like Joe, Love isn't afraid of doing the unthinkable when it comes to love — they are truly soulmates. Yet, Joe is ironically horrified to discover just how much he has in common with her.
Look, Joe is far from an upstanding citizen. The number of crimes he's committed could very well land him in prison for life (RIP Peach Salinger). However, in the second season, he's changed...at least, he's trying to. After everything that happened in New York with Beck (Elizabeth Lail), Joe is determined to be a man worthy of love, a complex that developed as a child of a neglectful mother.
Unfortunately, as Joe is turning over a new leaf, Love is leaning into her most toxic side, and she's dragging him along with her.
At the end of the season, both Joe and Love's running list of crimes are neatly covered up by Forty's untimely death, and they're able to escape with clean hands. Joe is forced to live in the cage of his own making; Love is pregnant with his child, and his desire to be a better parent than he ever had beats out his genuine fear. In a terrifying but truly satisfying plot twist, the predator has become the prey.
One would think that after all he'd been through, Joe would have learned his lesson, but no. Even in the
prison home he shares with Love, our leading man can't help but fall in love at first sight with another woman, his next-door neighbour. We don't know what she looks like — we'll likely meet the unlucky lady in the pending third season — but she should watch her back. She's got two serial killers on her hands.
You season 2 is available on Netflix now