“YOU” Recap and What to Expect in Season 4


Hannah Barham

“YOU” on Netflix was released in 2018 and everyone went crazy over it. The show originally premiered on Lifetime before Netflix bought the rights to it. YOU stars Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg, a bookstore manager who is undeniably charming. He meets a student named Guinevere Beck, who is a writer who does not know how to get curtains, and it leads to him obsessing over her. Stalking her social media, standing outside her house and looking through her window, and we know what he is thinking by providing us with his totally out-of-pocket narrations. He addresses her as Beck in his mind, and he talks to her and plans out their future. He promises to cook and clean for her, etc. Throughout the season, we see Joe go to extreme lengths to get what he wants: Beck. Even if it means killing off her friends-with-benefits Benji, her high maintenance equally as an obsessive friend, Peach, even isolating Beck from everyone else so she’d have to completely rely on Joe. 

However, the end of Season 1 takes a dark turn when Beck discovers Joe’s creepy stalker ways, and to retaliate, Joe keeps her hostage in a glass cage in the basement of his bookstore. When she tries to escape, he kills her and frames her therapist for the murder. It’s a very dark way to end the first season, but we’d never expect the ending. Joe had an ex-girlfriend named Candace, who he, similar to Beck, attacked and left for dead. Candace came back to confront Joe, and to avoid any kind of confrontation, he flees to LA and changes his identity to Will Bettelheim, this begins Season 2.

“Will” starts to restart his life, and he wants to do things differently. He wants to stop obsessing so he can let go of his past, and embrace his future. He gets a job at a local grocery store called Anavrin, and he makes friends with the owner of the apartment complex Delilah, and her troubled younger sister, Ellie. Will starts to see things are looking up for him, but then he spots a woman shopping in Anavrin, and as much as he wants to get rid of his thoughts, he can’t. And he starts his toxic cycle again. He starts to analyze the new woman, and he starts his fantasies. He approaches her, and she introduces herself as Love Quinn, whose parents own Anavrin. Love is a twin sister to Forty Quinn, who is an addict and has dreams of becoming a Hollywood writer. Joe tries to do things normally with Love this time, but as things keep piling up, he has to go back to his old ways in order to keep Love with him. He kills, of course, and he manipulates his way into Love’s heart. The most shocking twist of Season 2 comes around when Joe finds Delilah dead, and he is dead set on finding who killed her. Candace shows up as he’s inspecting the body, and she locks him in the same glass cage as in Season 1, only it’s in a storage unit this season. Candace calls Love, who comes in as well. Candace explains to Love that Joe was the one who killed Beck, who killed Delilah, and enabled Forty’s addiction. Love runs away to throw up, before turning around to face Candace and slashing her in the throat. Love goes back to Joe, and she reveals that she was the one who killed Delilah. Love turns out to be JUST as crazy as Joe is, which is extremely shocking. Joe attempts to kill Love, but Love reveals that she’s pregnant with Joe’s baby, to which he hesitates. After this, Joe and Love attend a wedding of their friends, and Forty texts Love and Joe to meet him in Anavrin. Forty starts screaming at Joe, talking about how Joe is a stalker and a killer. Love tries to calm Forty down, to no avail. Forty pulls out a gun to shoot Joe, before a cop comes in and kills Forty. Love and Joe move to a house in Madre Linda, a suburban neighborhood. While Joe is making a promise to be the best husband and father he can be, he sets his sights on his new neighbor.. Beginning the cycle again.

Season 3 begins, and Love gives birth to..their son. (The doctors told Love and Joe that it’d be a girl.) Joe is shocked, because he is worried that his son will turn out like him. They named him Henry. Henry Forty Quinn-Goldberg. They bring Henry home, and Joe gets a taste of what new fatherhood is like. Sleepless nights, constantly checking on Henry. He did not expect this happily ever after. While Love is busy with Henry, Joe starts to focus on his new obsession: the neighbor, Natalie Engler. Natalie is a realtor, married to a tech CEO named Matthew, and a 19 year old stepson named Theo. Joe visits Natalie for a drink, and they both have a long deep discussion about the spark being gone in their marriage, and Natalie kisses Joe, presumably from the wine. Joe falls in at first, but pushes away. He leaves Natalie, and he focuses the energy he got from Natalie onto his wife, Love, and he decides to be better for her and his son. Love and Joe attend a neighborhood party, where Love meets Natalie. Natalie tells Love there’s a bakery for lease, and while showing her the bakery, Love finds a box full of belongings that are Natalie’s.. That Joe had been keeping. Love in a fit of rage kills Natalie. Love calls Joe and explains what happened. Joe and Love begin to argue, and Love leaves Joe to take care of Henry, leaving him to take care of the body. Joe begins to figure out a plan to cover up the murder, stealing Natalie’s phone and texting messages to her friends and family, he steals her car and drives it upstate, and he takes her body and buries it in the woods. Joe starts to work at his local library, as the town starts to search for Natalie, including her husband, Matthew and her stepson, Theo. Theo meets Love, and he instantly hits on her. Love dismisses him by telling him that she is married with a new baby. While running her new bakery, Love receives terrible news from her mother, Dottie. Henry has measles. Love and Joe rush to the hospital to check on Henry, and Joe of course is intensely worried. Love is comforted by Theo. Once Henry is out of the hospital, Joe takes charge in taking care of him as Love is busy with Henry. A neighbor, Gil, comes to the bakery and explains that he hasn’t vaccinated his children, and shares his extremely negative views on vaccinations. Love, again in a fit of rage, slams a rolling pin into Gil’s face and knocks him out. She then puts him in a glass cage. In the basement of the bakery. Love and Joe argue over what to do, and argue over Love’s impulsive actions that lead them further and further into trouble. While keeping him in hiding, Gil eventually commits suicide. Joe frames this as Gil being the one who murdered Natalie and the two having an affair. The community, desperate to close the Natalie case, accepts this. All of their problems are over. ..Sort of. Theo approaches Love and tells her he’s in love with her. Love rejects Theo and tells him that he is being a stupid teenager. Meanwhile, Joe starts to obsess over his boss, Marienne, who works at the library with him. Marianne is a single mother of a girl named Juliet, and her ex-husband, Ryan, is the newscaster for Madre Linda and has spent his time making her life miserable. He gained full custody of their daughter, and you know how? The concept of white privilege. Joe decides that he wants to help Marienne, and he accompanies her to a custody hearing, and even goes as far as to kill Ryan and frame it as a mugging. After this, Marienne reveals her feelings for Joe, and they kiss in the library. Marienne makes a plan to leave with Juliet, and she asks Joe to come with him. Joe agrees, and that night at dinner, Joe tells Love he wants a divorce. Love then puts together the pieces that he’s having an affair with Marienne. In retaliation, Love poisoned Joe with aconite, paralyzing him all over. She leaves him on the floor and calls Marienne over, possibly to kill her. Marienne shows up and Love starts to tell Marienne that Joe was obsessed with Marienne, and if Marienne wasn’t careful, he’d kill her. Before Love can kill Marienne, Marienne’s daughter comes in, stopping Love’s plan. Love feels guilty, and when Marienne leaves, Love goes to kill Joe. However, he thought of everything. He stabs her with the aconite, paralyzing her. Joe recovers and listens to Love talk about how they were soulmates, and how they were perfect for each other, but not perfect for Henry. Love shuts her eyes and Joe decides to do what’s right. He takes Henry to a coworker and leaves him on the doorstep. Joe believes that Henry needed to be raised by someone who wasn’t as messed up as he was. Joe goes back to the house, and he drags Love’s body to the center, placing a needle in her hand, and writing a suicide note on her behalf. But he goes the extra mile and fakes his own death. And he makes sure people know he’s “dead” by chopping off two of his toes. Joe then turns the stove all the way up and starts a fire in his house. He leaves, never to be seen in Madre Linda ever again. 

We hear Joe’s narration, and he explains that Love Quinn’s death became way more famous than Guinivere Beck. The story about Love Quinn and Joe Goldberg’s murder-suicide reached everywhere in Madre Linda, and the community is working on rebuilding the community and getting past the string of deaths. We then catch a glimpse of Joe, who is now going by the alias “Nick”. And somehow.. He’s in Paris, France. 

Joe makes a promise to find Marienne. One way or another. 


So what can we expect to see in Season 4? Well, there have been many fan theories and questions circling the internet about what will happen to Joe in Season 4. Many people think that this season will be the season where Joe suffers the consequences of his actions. Murder, manipulation, severe gaslighting, etc. Others think that Joe will start to obsess over a new woman while he’s in France, or maybe by some stretch of a miracle he will find Marienne and try to start things over with her. 

But by far the biggest theory and possibility is that Love actually survived the fire and that she will come back in Season 4 to get revenge, which will also expose Joe for his crimes. Many people think this because Joe took the aconite, and he didn’t die. We can’t be for sure that Love is dead, for she may have awoken during the fire and bolted before it was too late. It’s heavily possible that Love may find Joe, somehow, and get her revenge for one, cheating on her, two, giving away their baby, and three, nearly killing her. Honestly, in my opinion, I think Love is dead. She was in extremely close proximity to the fire, and I don’t believe that she would have gotten up in time to escape the fire. Plus, we saw a lot of Love in Seasons 2 and 3, so maybe the show decided to give Joe another unhealthy obsession to further continue his spree of manipulation and killing to get what he wants the most: the one he loves. 

Another theory is that this may the final season of the show, where Joe may get caught and arrested. There are many people alive who know what Joe has done, and they have the full capability to tell the public, or even police, about what he’s done. But then again, everyone believes that he’s dead, right? And he’s gone to a completely different continent, away from everyone. Maybe he’ll run into someone from the past? Will there be another glass cage? Will we see Marienne again, or will we see a new woman in Joe’s life?