Hey, You

Content Warning: Contains vague spoilers from seasons one and two as well as spoilers from season three.

The hit Netflix original You has come back to shed lovesick death and destruction on the world with season three of the series. You is a show centered around “Joe” and his obsession with finding the one. He is so obsessed with finding his soulmate that his urges to “help” them often lead to the deaths of individuals. Is your boyfriend trash? Joe will put him in the same glass box he was put in as a teenager when he disobeyed! Your friend is controlling and is probably in love with you? Joe will start running to follow her daily routine and then throw a rock at her head in Central Park! However, in season one, Joe isn’t the man he is in later series, not after he met Love.

While Love might be a psychopathic, impulsive serial killer with severe unresolved issues, so is Joe, even in his “Good Samaritan” arc during seasons two and three. Thanks to the bloody tragedy that ended season two and showed Joe that his then-girlfriend was a monster, they had to re-invent themselves, and what better place to do this than in Madre Linda? The couple married and moved into an expensive suburban neighborhood to live out their years. Modeled off of the Silicon Valley, the suburb is filled with the entitled top 1% of the USA who strap sugar-level trackers on their kids, do Keto, and bribe their teen’s way into Dartmouth. A perfect place to raise their newborn son Forty–I mean Henry (an inside joke viewers of the show will understand).

Off the bat, Joe committed himself to a life of self-improvement, Love decided to open up a bakery, and they both slowly eased into the horrors and blessings of parenthood. Everything is going well until Joe gains a wandering eye for the next-door neighbor Natalie. Unknown to Joe, Love finds out. Natalie Engler is a real estate broker who’s married to Matthew Engler, an accomplished CEO of a tech company. Eventually, when she meets Love and finds out she’s an accomplished baker, she gladly shows her a cute property in the center of Madre Linda. This allows Love to continue what she left behind in Los Angles. Love killed two birds with one stone. She got a bakery, and she threw an ax into Natalie’s neck when she turned her back. If you couldn’t tell, things only get worse from here.

When asked if Joe’s actions are excusable because of his rough upbringing, junior Cayla Pitts said, “I’d say yes because he had to kill his step-dad and get through that which I guess can be traumatizing for a kid and then it messed him up in the head. He never got help so it just continued on as he grew up.” This is what a lot of Joe stans go on to claim. When it comes to Love, however, even though she had neglectful parents, her upbringing wasn’t as traumatic as Joe’s. This is one of the many reasons why You fans say that Joe’s impulsive killing results from childhood trauma while Love is just a psychopath.  

Senior Martine Joseph piggybacks off of this when asked who grew the most as a character by saying, “He grew by knowing when to control his impulses.” She goes on to say that even though he has some obvious problems with his moral character, he’s been improving. Since the beginning of season two, Joe has been a man of self-improvement, addressing and working through his trauma to become an upstanding citizen. Does he do this simultaneously while hiding the bodies of those he “had to kill”? Yes, but some say he’s improving in his unique way.

This article does not bring justice to the brilliance of You. The writers did a phenomenal job. I highly recommend the show, especially for those who are into a mix of psychological elements and multidimensional characters with humor mixed in here and there. Just know that if you get the hots for Love Quinn-Goldberg, you’ll have an army of simps ready to burn you from the stake. At the end of the day, we can fix her.