I Need to Find out Who “You” Really Are

Review of the Hit Netflix Show's Season Two

I+Need+to+Find+out+Who+%22You%22+Really+Are

Erin Green

Ever since “You” season one’s jaw-dropping ending was released on Netflix winter of 2018, the nation has been impatiently waiting to see what new trouble the infamous Joe Goldberg will find himself in. Exactly a year later, the highly-anticipated second installment launched on the streaming website and fulfilled every hope and promise viewers were left with after the first season. The new episodes definitely lived up to the hype and made for an exciting watch that will be burned in my brain for a very long time. If you have yet to see season two (there’s something wrong with you if you haven’t), then you might want to refrain from reading the rest of this story as it will be filled with spoilers.

One aspect of season two the writers completely nailed was the new characters. Apart from Joe and the relatively small role of Candice, every person is introduced for the very first time. If you’ve ever lived on the west coast, you probably resonated with the show’s scarily accurate depictions of L.A. society. Everyone is looking to establish themselves as some sort of a creator and to be more superior than those before them. From Forty to Delilah to Henderson to Ellie, the theme of people attempting to make their name known remains consistent in each character. Delilah, my personal favorite supporting role, is a sincere breath of fresh air in a show otherwise full of evil, violence, and deception. All she wanted to do was protect her little sister and deliver justice once and for all to herself and every woman who fell victim to Henderson’s charm. Unfortunately, her dedication to always do the right thing was a catalyst for Joe and Love’s romance dedicated to murdering people, and she met her demise before she could accomplish either of those things. But this only restores my faith in Delilah, because has there ever been an inherently good character that didn’t have a ridiculously horrible ending on this show?

When the writers of “You” want to make a message clear, they reiterate in different ways as many times as possible, which is yet another reason this show hits home for me. In season one, viewers fall for Joe’s oddly charming charisma and sorrowful past. They are blinded from the true monster Joe actually is just like his victims. The new addition of Henderson, or “Hendy”, a well-liked comedian and mentor follows this same plotline. Although the audience is told relatively early on that Henderson sexually assaulted Delilah when she was a teenager, the audience is made to question the validity of this claim when the show continuously shows him in a good light. Henderson portrays himself as a nice guy and always has the right things to say to appear faultless. Seeing him help Joe score a free hospital visit despite the two being complete strangers, cancel the remainder of his party to save Forty from any further embarrassment, and describe himself as a privileged man who owes society favors causes viewers to question just how bad Henderson could really be. But just as quickly as I began to sympathize with him, all compassionate feelings were torn away when he attempts to drug and assault Ellie. Henderson is another prime example that although a person with severe issues may have likable qualities and not be entirely evil, one’s charismatic attributes are not enough to redeem or overlook any destructive behaviors.

And finally, the most compelling part of the new episodes that makes season two even better than season one is the complicated, whirlwind relationship of Joe Goldberg and Love Quinn. At the start of the show, Joe takes some form of accountability for his actions and comes to terms with his dangerous ways for the first time. He recognizes how obsessive and violent he can be and tries to be different for Love. The first season is full of psychotic Joe moments of him hurting others for the sake of “protecting” his relationships, but in the newer episodes we mostly just see him attempting to clean up the messes he made in New York instead of creating new ones (except for that time he killed Henderson in his basement). It’s refreshing to see Joe in a somewhat healthy relationship, and for a while, it even seems like it might last. Love the person perfectly encapsulates what Joe desires out of love the feeling; purity, security, and unconditional kindness. But just as Joe will never be able to love in a way that is not sick and twisted, Love Quinn is deranged and ill in her own right. Ironic, I know. Love, in both senses of the word, will never be normal in the world of “You” and will never have a happy ending. Joe met his match in Love, as the two are both murderous deceivers disguised as do-gooders of society. But Joe never desired an equal, he desired the false image of a woman he had created from the selective memories of his mother. Because of this, no girl will ever be enough to tame the monster that is Joe Goldberg.

After binging all 10 episodes in one night, I can confidently say I recommend the second season of “You”. It had all the suspense and mystery of season one, but crazier twists, better-developed characters, and bizarre moments that will stay with viewers long after the show is finished. A season three is already in the works, so for the next 11 months I’ll be preparing to go on this wild rollercoaster all over again.

 

To read my review of season one, go to this link: https://theroarhhs.com/3065/entertainment/you/