Christ alive, I don’t even know where to begin. I literally took down notes because so much happens in You season 2, and now I have a headache. Actually, I’d attribute the pounding head to the last two episodes of the ten-episode season because it is unhinged. I literally choked on my goddamn Mi Goreng and had to rewind the ep a bit because I got all teary and missed [REDACTED]. I’m just talking gibberish now so I’ll get to it. Also spoilers, spoilers, spoilers. Minor spoilers, but spoilers nonetheless.
Minor spoiler: A bit of Joe’s finger gets chopped off by a debt collector in episode 2. On a scale of one to 10 of how fucked things get in season 2, the finger is a -10. There’s your squeamish warning.
Believe it or not, the finger really is a minor spoiler.
At the end of season 1, Candace (Ambyr Childers) walks into Joe Goldberg‘s (Penn Badgley) bookstore in Brooklyn, New York. She’s Joe’s ex-girlfriend, the one we all thought was dead – the one Joe thought was dead – but nope, she’s alive… and vengeful. So Joe escapes to Los Angeles, and immediately hates it there because everyone speaks in chakras and celery juice. He changes his name to Will Bettelheim and gets a job at a restaurant / bakery / bookstore named Anavrin (Nirvana spelt backwards).
Will spots Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti) 13 minutes into episode 1, while at Anavrin. Cue his fucked up monologue. Within 20 minutes of the episode he’s jerking off in the storeroom to thoughts of Love… but he stops himself, because he’s a “new” person now. He’s changed. But minutes later he’s stalking her online, only to find that Love keeps everything on private. Consider Will’s obsessive behaviour triggered.
So what can I say about Love without spoiling too much? Well, she’s not afraid to go after what she wants, she’s got a loud personality, and she’s actually interesting. She manages the kitchen at Anavrin, because of course she does. Oh, and Love has curtains.
Now this is not our first rodeo, my friends. This is season 2, so there are things we understand now. Like whenever Will puts on his cap, it means shit is about to go down. We also know it’s a bad idea to get attached to characters because they’ll probably die. What else? Parallels. In season 1, Joe is protective of a kid named Paco (Luca Padovan). In season 2, he’s protective of a teen named Ellie (Jenny Ortega). She lives in the same complex as Will. Her sister, Delilah (Carmela Zumbado), is the building manager. But why is Joe / Will, who has no problem murdering people, going out of his way to look after kids? You find out this season, thanks to a number of disturbing flashbacks to Joe’s childhood.
Let’s talk about season 2 overall. In three words: Violent, disturbing, depressing. But even though it has similarities to season 1, it’s actually really different. Because Candace wants to “fucking destroy” Joe, and she’ll play his twisted games to do it. So what do you, as a viewer, do? Do you bat for the serial killer or the survivor? It’s fucked to even type that, but this is You. Personally, I lived for Candace’s story between snippets of Will trying to win over Love. It’s the reminder I needed that Joe is 50 shades of fucked up, no matter how romantic his love story with Love gets. Candace is the reality check that was missing in season 1, and it’s part of the reason why season 2 is so bloody good. If I’m completely honest here, I liked it more than season 1. Another highlight? Victoria Pedretti – she kills it as Love. And I don’t find Badgley even a little bit attractive anymore so I guess he’s doing a bloody good job.
On a related note, season 2 is gruesome as fuck. I’ll need to cleanse my soul with Grace and Frankie or Baby Yoda. I lost my appetite twice, no joke. And the second time I was in the middle of a big bowl of PASTA.
You season 2 is available on Netflix. Do not eat anything while watching it, trust me.
On another related note: As you go along, Joe’s monologues sound more and more like Patrick Bateman‘s in American Psycho. Also, David Fincher (Mindhunter) is a character name in the series – that can’t be a coincidence.
Last one, I swear.
Late entry for list of best TV quotes of the year: YOU, season 2, ep 2, "Are you John Mayer?" @YouNetflix— Kimberly Potts (@tvscreener) December 26, 2019