Season two of the romance-stalker drama YOU finally released on Netflix the day after Christmas and this time, Joe Goldberg is in Los Angeles under a new name: William Bettelheim. He yearns for a fresh start in the City of Angels, completely on the other side of the country, away from New York. His past is constantly on his mind while he finds someone new to better himself, or does he?
WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for season two of YOU!
Now in LA, Joe has established a new, stolen identity, and meets Delilah, his new landlord and reporter, and her little sister, Ellie, aspiring filmmaker and influencer. Ellie is interning with Henderson, a celebrity who turns out to be bad news and is soon killed by Joe in a soundproof basement. Delilah starts to get suspicious of Joe and while raiding his apartment, she finds keys to a storage unit. At that storage unit is the infamous “murder cage” from season one. Before she can leave, Joe catches Delilah and locks her in. He comes back one day just before her freedom and finds she’s been killed. At his new job at Anavrin, he meets Love and Forty Quinn, twins whose parents own the place. At first, Joe tries to not get close to Love for fear of hurting her, both physically and emotionally. However, they realize they both need each other and start seeing one another. Soon, it’s revealed Forty is seeing someone named Amy Adam aka Candace Stone aka Joe’s ex whom he almost killed. Candace tells Love everything.
Candace follows Joe to the storage unit and locks him in the cage. Love soon comes and demands Candace release Joe. When she doesn’t, Love follows Candace and kills her. Love goes back to Joe and reveals she’s the one who killed Delilah. They meet Forty at Anavrin and tell Forty Love is pregnant with Joe’s baby. Forty tries to get Love to leave Joe but she shouldn’t. Before Forty can shoot Joe, a police officer shoots Forty. Joe and Love move into a new house where Joe evidently meets the new “You,” the next door neighbor.
One scene that deserves a mention would be Ellie’s breakdown in episode nine. Worried about her sister, Ellie is afraid something happened to her. Joe tries to console her but Ellie won’t listen. Jenna Ortega is a former Disney Channel star, having been the lead in the series Stuck in the Middle 2016-2018 and she also portrayed Young Jane in The CW’s Jane the Virgin throughout the show’s 5-season run. This is one of Ortega’s more serious roles and she played it perfectly, both physically and emotionally.
This season of YOU saw new characters, new settings, and new kills, but not without a few plot twists. Although haunted by Beck in the first few episodes, Joe struggles to start a completely new life and change his ways, telling himself he is not that anymore — “that” being a killer. He knows what he’s capable of, he knows what he did to Candace and Beck and her friends, and he doesn’t want to be that anymore. Season two sees a new, more loving side of Joe, while still keeping that creepy-like feeling to him but hiding it with other people.
Delilah and Ellie seemed like they were going to just be side characters but turned out to be critical to the main story. Here you have two sisters, taking care of each other, being overprotective and hating each other. One is a young, smart, aspiring filmmaker and influencer who gets caught up in a tragedy while the other is a young, smart, reporter, trying to find the truth to the celebrity world. One accidentally stumbles into something she shouldn’t have and ends up getting killed by someone completely unexpected while the other has to start over and leave her life. Joe changed both of their lives.
Love is a breath of fresh air from Beck. She is a bit more stable, has more personality than Beck, in the fact that we know more of her backstory, her relationships with her friends, her brother, her parents. Throughout the season, you don’t suspect anything is wrong with her, mentally, or that she could be capable of anything bad. When she reveals what she’s done and why she did it, she did it for love. It wasn’t right, but she’s almost perfect for Joe.
Forty and Joe’s friendship starts off a bit rocky. Forty is a recovering addict and aspiring screenwriter who cares about his sister. He doesn’t know Joe so when he starts to hit it off with Love, he’s a bit reluctant. However, throughout the season, they start to get closer — Joe becomes Forty’s best friend. Forty goes to New York to see Dr. Nicky and find out what really happened after hearing about what Candace was saying. When he comes back, he desperately tries to get her sister to see the truth, not knowing what she had also done. Forty’s life ends tragically because he was simply trying to protect his sister after she’s been protecting him his whole life.
It’s been over a year since the first season of YOU premiered and this is the first season to be produced by Netflix, giving the actors and the streaming service more wiggle room to do what they want and how they want to adapt the book into the series. Season two perfectly set up season three. Who is the neighbor? Why is Joe so fixated on her? What will happen to Love and their baby? Penn Badgley has proven he is no longer “Lonely Boy” Dan Humphrey on the Upper East Side. He is now Joe Goldberg or William Bettelheim, a guy who will do anything for love, first in New York and now in Los Angeles — where next?
What is it about Joe Goldberg that make people fall in love with him? What is it about someone who is so enamored with someone they feel the need to do drastic measures in order to have that someone be the only thing they need in their lives? YOU shows how dangerous it is to love someone and how easy it is to fall for someone you don’t know much about. It’s a warning for love but it’s also a metaphor of love, in a way. You can love someone so much that you completely turn into a different person. Your past may be in the past but it can haunt you if you don’t let go of it. Someone could change you, for better or for worse.
YOU divides viewers between the act of love and the act of crazy. Some people fall for Joe’s stalker and romantic ways while others find it insane. The show takes a drama that is about romance and relationships and puts a twist on it. The first season saw Joe kill people who got in the way of his and Beck’s relationship, ultimately killing Beck. Season two saw Joe try to get away from his past and his old ways so he can start new, up until his ex-girlfriend comes back. Season three has yet to be announced but Badgley has already seemingly confirmed that season three is in the works. In the meantime, if you haven’t already, read You and Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes, the two books that were loosely adapted into the Netflix series.