Shows Often Get Worse With Each Season, but “You” Only Gets Better


Fia Cooper

The word “you” is repeated over 3,800 times throughout the first two seasons of the show.

Lucy MacNeela, Staff Reporter

“You” contains explicit language and some graphic content. This article includes mild spoilers.  

Season 3 of the hit Netflix show ‘You’ is the best of the series. 

Similar to the shift from the first to the second season, the most recent season of ‘You’ is a big change of pace. Viewers of the series are able to see a whole new side of the characters, with a new setting, family dynamic, and an even more intense passion for killing.

Love and Joe are a married couple living in Madre Linda, described in the show as a “soulless wealthy suburb outside of San Francisco,” where they recently had their son, Henry. Their life seems pretty normal, but they have a few skeletons in their closet, literally. 

The season opens with a normal-looking family, but obviously, there is nothing normal about Love Quinn-Goldberg and Joe Quinn-Goldberg’s relationship. The show quickly pivots back to its roots of murder, jealousy, and lies. 

Henry — Love and Joe’s son — elevates the tension between the couple. Many times throughout the course of the season, Joe fantasizes about leaving Love with a new woman that he met at the library, Marienne, with Henry; a common theme throughout the show is doing anything to protect his son. 

Being a father to Henry has proven to be an obstacle for Joe. He can no longer move away and change his name because he genuinely cares about his child. 

Another addition to the show is Marienne. Her and Joe’s relationship, although seemingly conforming to Joe’s old relationship patterns, has served as a necessary addition to the show. Through Joe’s infidelity, we are introduced to a different side of Love that strays away from her typical happy-go-lucky personality. Marienne is a likeable character who adds more to the show than meets the eye. We see her become vulnerable about the custody of her daughter and her battle with substance abuse. 

In previous seasons, Joe killed those who got in the way of his current love obsession, but in season three he only kills those who hurt Marienne, such as her ex-husband. This relationship feels different from the others, more real, especially because of how much they are willing to sacrifice for one another. 

Although their relationship is very shaky in the confines of their million-dollar home, Love and Joe present as a pretty normal family; no one knows about the hostage box in their basement. 

Like the other seasons, the show remains fast-paced, with a new conflict in every episode. 

In contrast with past seasons, this season seems more open. We see more of Joe’s thought process before he acts. It’s not a one man show anymore. The whole dynamic has changed. Before, it was Joe versus all. He was always hiding things from his partners and keeping secrets. Now, Joe has someone to talk and strategize with; someone that knows his patterns and does not allow him to forget his past. 

Love, passion, jealousy, and death. All ways to describe the intensity of this series. 

From an outside perspective, Joe and Love seem like psycho killers with no remorse, but many viewers battle feelings of sympathy for the charming Joe Goldberg. 

This season showed a lot of flashbacks to Joe’s harsh childhood, and this well-rounded example of character development is necessary. By seeing the trauma that Joe went through at such a young age, how it affects the way he lives, and the decisions he makes now, you can feel sorry for him in a way; every life he takes is at the source, a trauma response.

You are able to see how hard it is for him to be vulnerable with Love and potential friends because of the hardships that he has gone through. His loneliness, although on the surface seems voluntary, isn’t. 

Penn Badgley does an amazing job at becoming the stalker, Joe Goldberg. His awkwardness is felt by every viewer. His portrayal of the character as smart, witty, charming, awkward, lonely, and desperate cannot be critiqued. 

The classiness and exclusiveness of their new neighborhood proves an interesting place to attempt to cover up murders. 

The third season was the perfect time to give Joe more of a storyline. In the first few seasons, he was still very mysterious. The audience didn’t know why he made the decisions that he did, or what his life was like beyond his love for books and affinity for stalking. The writers have since been able to open him up. 

Love’s character development has also been a big shift. Last season, she appeared to be an innocent, kind stranger. But this season, she became a jealous killer. She uses romance in an effort to save her marriage, but is unsuccessful; she isn’t cutting it for Joe anymore. 

The season’s intense ending is unpredictable. Many of the cast members have revealed in a YouTube video with Netflix that they didn’t know how the show was going to end until it did since they wanted to be surprised. 

The season ended with a battle between Love and Joe, and a battle to the death. The rigorous ending brings about shocking gasps and feelings of unsettlement and anxiety. The climax of the series comes to a steep arc. It brings an element of surprise, leaving the viewer curious and eager for the next season. 

‘You’ season three provides the perfect break from reality. The season is only ten episodes, but each one leaves you rushing to the next episode. It is a definite must-watch for “You.”