‘You’ Season Two Lives up to its Captivating, Yet Sadistic Reputation

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Published January 29, 2020
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Penn Badgley and Victoria Pedretti as Joe Goldberg and Love Quinn in "You" Season 2. Photo courtesy of Netflix

Warning: The following review contains spoilers.

Joe Goldberg, or dare I say Will Bettelheim, returns to Netflix with a new persona and an equally thrilling storyline which had me yet again, rooting for the deranged serial killer.

On Dec. 26, Netflix dropped the second season of its hit show “You,” giving viewers ten episodes of insanity-filled plot twists and cliffhangers.

The last time audiences saw Joe Goldberg, played by Penn Badgley, he had just carried out several murders including that of his girlfriend, Guinevere Beck. In the first season, Joe spent a majority of the time stalking Guinevere, and killed off anyone who attempted to get in his way.

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Joe (Penn Badgley) stands outside of his LA apartment.
Photo courtesy of Netflix

After successfully planting the evidence in Guinevere’s therapist’s yard and shifting all blame away from himself, Joe thought he was able to move on until his previous girlfriend Candace, who he thought he murdered years ago, returns to his book shop in New York City. This prompts Joe to start a new life in Los Angeles under the name Will Bettelheim, where Candace hopefully won’t find him.

Now here’s where it starts to get interesting.

Viewers find Joe talking himself out of starting the cycle over again when he crosses paths with Love Quinn, played by “The Haunting of Hill House” actress Victoria Pedretti. Viewers discover at the end of the first episode that ever since Joe laid eyes on Love, he had been stalking her, convinced they were meant to be.

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Joe Goldberg and Forty Quinn, played by Penn Badgley and James Scully, respectively.
Photo courtesy of Netflix

Of course Joe is a smart guy and is able to flawlessly execute his plan of living happily ever after with Love, only until Candace returns, dating Love’s brother, Forty.

I personally thought this season was so much more exciting than the first, as it gave a lot more insight into Joe’s childhood and what made him into the obsessive, clingy killer he is now.

As it turns out, Joe’s mother’s neglectful parenting was what brought about his mad obsession with trying to make women in his life stay. His mother always prioritized her romantic affairs over her own son, which played an important role in what makes Joe so possessive now.

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The second season of "You" explores Joe's childhood that transformed him into a killer.
Photo courtesy of Netflix

Although it was interesting to dissect Joe’s mind and see why he is the way he is, the biggest plot twist of all came when his current girlfriend, Love, ends up being just as psychotic and twisted as he is. Love murders anyone who gets in between her and Joe, as well as anyone who dares to harm her brother.

Ironically enough, Joe views Love’s behavior as crazy, when in reality all he had to do was look into a mirror and discover that he is just the same.

I found myself wondering where the storyline was going to go with Love since she genuinely cared about Joe. Having known how most of his girlfriends usually wind up, I was even more curious to find out where things would go wrong. It never once crossed my mind that she might be just as murderous and cold as him.

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Joe (Penn Badgley) and Love (Victoria Pedretti) meet for the first time at Anavrin.
Photo courtesy of Netflix

I also liked how Joe was shown battling good and evil in his head. Last season, he showed practically no remorse when it came to killing people. He was able to just pick up and move on like nothing happened. In this season, Joe seems to carry more of a guilty conscience.

Throughout the duration of watching the long anticipated second season of “You,” I was unable to look away from the screen. In fact, I finished the entire season in one day.

If you are someone who enjoys watching shows from the point of view of a sociopathic creeper, then this is definitely for you.

For returning fans of “You,” the plot most definitely will not disappoint. It is entirely different from the first season, with new storylines and plot twists that viewers would never see coming.

With that being said, I’ll leave readers with two pieces of advice when delving into this dark drama: don’t grow too attached to any characters as nothing is ever as it seems.

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