On the last episode of You, Joe (Penn Badgley) thoroughly humiliated himself in bed. Can stalking Beck (Elizabeth Lail) to a fair make up for it? Weirdly, yes.
You has focused so much on what a liar Joe is that we’ve never considered Beck may have a few dark secrets of her own. We're talking more than just a few Tinder-found notches on her bedpost.
In episode 4, "The Captain" You has fun toying with us over Beck’s secret before its clever “gotcha” moment.
After Joe proves he’s an "eight-second man," Beck (whose own voice over we hear several times in the episode, a nice little twist) goes to the bathroom to answer a text from “the Captain.” He wants her to spend the weekend with him. He even sends her money for a new outfit and, apparently, paid for that new bed she and Joe just christened.
So, we assume Beck is a sugar baby… and honestly, it’s totally fitting. Beck has a desperate desire to keep up with people like Peach (Shay Mitchell), and you can’t do that without some extra cash. New York is an expensive city, and Beck has expensive tastes. (She didn’t even consider thrifting for a new bed!)
Except, when we finally get to the seaside motel to meet the Captain (Michael Park), we realize we had the situation completely wrong. The Captain (who is wearing a bizarre purple suit when he comes to greet Beck at the Seaside Motel) is actually Beck’s father. That should be impossible, since Beck tells everyone in her life that her dad died of an overdose.
Beck’s outfit, the one that the Captain paid for? It was actually a dress for a Dickens’ festival. (The fact that it’s a corset top definitely fooled me into thinking it was lingerie, which now is gross to even think about.) The Captain wants Beck to spend time with him and his “new family,” which includes his Christian blogger wife Nancy (Emily Bergl). Beck despises them all but tries very hard to play along, since daddy is her personal ATM. When Beck’s stepsister (Mercedes Griffeth) informs Beck that the Captain will be cutting Beck off, thanks to Nancy’s newfound pregnancy, Beck finds herself at the bar, downing her fair share of Dickens-themed cocktails.
In case you didn’t already assume, Joe is also at this festival. Beck runs into him, and Joe, at first, acts surprised. He’s just there to find some rare books. It’s actually a good, believable lie, but Joe quickly backtracks, and tells Beck that he came in order to make things right with her. Beck doesn’t find this particularly stalkerish (it most definitely is?) but she’s got some explaining to do, anyway. She invites him to dinner with the Captain and his new family, but not before telling him the truth about her not-actually-dead dad.
That story that Beck tells, about her father’s overdose? It is real, but obviously, the Captain never died. Instead, he relapsed and left the family, only to reconnect with Beck while she was at Brown. He loosened the purse strings, which made it harder for Beck to say no to the occasional lunch or visit. Beck has a hard time being as cordial to her stepmother over dinner, who calls out the grad student for using her dad for his cash. She storms out, and Joe asks her if maybe she is being too harsh on her dad. Beck lashes out and tells Joe that he doesn’t actually know her — he should stop pretending to.
The thing is, for every way that Joe is wrong, he might actually be right about this. Beck goes home and writes a heartbreaking poem about her father and that red ladle he used to make pancakes. It’s actually good, probably because, for once, Beck is being honest in her poetry. Blythe (Hari Nef), the deliciously smug grad student in her MFA, texts her to say she’s read it twice — and is “there for it.”
Having her talents as a writer validated is an aphrodisiac for Beck, who shows up at Joe’s apartment to hook up for real. Too bad Joe has all of his Beck paraphernalia everywhere. In a particularly hilarious scene, Joe attempts to navigate his make out session so that he can hide all of Beck’s stuff. Because, really, what reason is he going to give for her panties, tank top, and old cell phone ending up in his room?
The sex is good, the romance sweet. Joe even gets the seal of approval in Beck’s group chat.
Of course, not everyone is thrilled with this blossoming relationship.
Peach is not on #TeamJoe, likely because she’s secretly in love with Beck herself. She’s also convinced that Joe took her first-edition copy of Ozma of Oz, which he totally did. But Joe, smarter than pretty much everyone on this show, one-ups Peach while she’s out of her apartment due to a bed bug infestation. He puts the book put back on the shelf, for Peach to find.
If Peach does suspect Joe of any more bad behavior? Don’t worry, Joe tells Beck in the final moments of the episode: He won’t let anything, or anyone, get in the way of their relationship.
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