Netflix gave the world the greatest Christmas gift of all when it dropped the highly anticipated second season of psychological thriller series You on its platform. All over the world, fans tuned in to see the second seriously twisted installment in the life of resident stalker Joe Goldberg, starring Gossip Girl alum Penn Badgley.
The story plays out in sunny Los Angeles, where Joe escapes to outrun the vendetta of his ex-girlfriend Candace (Ambyr Childers). There, determined to be a new man — call him Will Bettelheim now — after he falls in love with Love Quinn (The Haunting of Hill House's Victoria Pedretti) at first sight, Joe runs into problems at each turn. His path to true love is deterred by everything from meddling family members to a skeevy comedian to actual gangsters, all of which threaten to cause Joe to regress into the very person he hates the most: himself.
Joe is a man of many words — at least, he is in his head. Since first appearing on our screens in 2018, our anti-hero/supervillain (it changes based on how you look at him) has become notorious for his nonstop internal dialogue. He rambles on and on about literally everything, from It makes sense that Joe can’t share his innermost thoughts with anyone but his audience; anyone who heard his spiels would immediately write him off as completely unstable, and rightfully so. You've seen his track record.
What’s happening when Joe is doing his soliloquies, however, is far stranger than the monologues themselves. On Thursday, Netflix shared a new video with You fans featuring scenes from the second season, except Joe's voiceovers had been completely edited out. The results were chilling, to say the least.
We already knew Joe wasn't shit (again, an actual serial killer), but without his internal dialogue, his creep factor increased by a thousand. Though admittedly irrational and chaotic, Joe's voiceovers are his only defence; in his self-rationalising, we're able to understand our protagonist's intentions and even empathise with him a little bit. Without his thoughts, Joe is just...scary.
The video is also an interesting reminder that Badgley does most of his acting in You through the voiceovers. When he's filming with his castmates, who have many spoken lines, Badgley as Joe is just there, staring at them with his piercing gaze. It's when he's narrating Joe's feelings and reactions that Badgely does most of the heavy lifting on this show.
Season 2 of You closed with Joe having realised that he had finally met his match in Love, who is even more unhinged than he is. The next season of their twisted love story is still in the works — Caroline Kepnes, the author of the novels that You is based on, hasn't yet written the third book — but it might be time to switch things going forward
Let Love be the narrator for season 3. We bet she's got even darker thoughts running through her mind.