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Television Review: New season of ‘You’ is the best one yet

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Taylor Moore
LV Life Editor

The third season of Netflix’s psychological thriller drama “You” was released on Oct. 15 and was full of even more twists, drama, suspense and steamy moments. 

Last season, the audience was introduced to Love Quinn, played by Victoria Pedretti, the love interest and new obsession of the series’ protagonist, Joe Goldberg, played by Penn Badgley. However, we later found out that Joe may have met his match since Love is willing to do anything to protect him. 

Rather than feel flattered that she loved him this much, Joe refers to her as a monster, but stays because she is pregnant and because he found a new obsession, their neighbor, Natalie Engler, played by Michaela McManus. 

The third season opens with the birth of Henry, Love and Joe’s child. Henry is the only reason the couple stays together for the majority of the season while the couple goes through plenty of ups and downs, including new affairs and murders. 

The concept that Joe, a murdering and hypocritical sociopath, and Love, who is impulsive, jealous and grieving, are parents makes this season a must-watch. Rather than focus on Joe developing a new obsession, which the audience gets to watch play out twice this season, we also watch the parents battle internally about what is best for their son. The irony is that they are what is worst for their son since they cannot seem to let go of their old violent habits. Yet, a new parent’s fear and drive to do anything to protect their child makes the characters relatable to the audience.

It is Pedritti who steals the show this season. She never fails to give a phenomenal performance as the crazy love-struck wife willing to do anything to make her husband happy. In episode two, Pedritti delivers a heartbreaking monologue about her marriage, saying she is afraid that if she is not good enough, even for one second, Joe will kill her. The saddest part about her speech is that it’s true. Joe has not changed since the first time we met him in season one, no matter how much he would argue otherwise. He still has a deranged view on love and has not changed his violent ways. 

The audience also learns more about Joe’s backstory in this season and why he feels the need to fix others’ lives. The answer is simple: mommy issues, as Joe would put it. He was abandoned by his mother at a young age because he thought he was doing the right thing and protecting her by killing her abusive boyfriend. So, now we know where the trend started, finally answering the audience’s question on why Joe cannot just settle down and pick a woman: He has a hero complex but too big of an ego to admit it, since he ultimately views himself as the hero. The disability to hold themselves accountable is something that is all too familiar for viewers, as it is part of human nature. 

In this season, we see Joe and Love working together as a team to cover up the violence they cause through the quiet town of Madre Linda. Despite being murderers, the audience can’t help but root for them to stay together because Joe finally found his perfect match. They both match each other in wit and their intensity in devotion. For the first half of the season, the audience has a glimmer of hope that maybe Joe and Love can finally be happy together and put the violence behind them. 

That does not last long, especially when Natalie’s husband and the nosy neighbors are always asking questions. Also, Joe develops a new crush on his boss at the library, Marienne, played by Tati Gabrielle. 

While Joe is off chasing after another woman, Love is grieving over the loss of her twin brother from last season and trying to understand why her husband lost interest in her once again. Luckily, Natalie’s step-son, Theo, played by Dylan Arnold, is around to pick up the pieces. Their affair is brief but seems more authentic since it developed from a friendship compared to Joe stalking Marienne. Despite that affair, Love still wants to be a devoted wife and will do anything to rekindle the spark in her marriage. 

It is a theme that has been seen dozens of times: a woman scorned. “You” takes this theme to a whole new level because, while Love is flawed, she does not deserve this amount of said scorn. Joe constantly blames their marital problems on Love, even going as far as blaming her for the crimes he committed. Love, in turn, does the same. 

It draws back to issues in relationships where partners blame each other for the problems that occur, except this time we see two psychopathic individuals play cat and mouse with each other. 

While Love is a conniving, impulsive and homicidal woman, Pedritti plays her with such charisma that the audience cannot help but fall in love with her. It is heartbreaking to watch Love believe that she is the problem in the relationship when in reality, Joe cannot stay loyal to one woman for long, even if that woman is perfect for him because she loves him with the ferocity that he has always wanted. 

The third season strayed from the typical formula of the last two seasons and it paid off, all the while maintaining the dark romantic tone that bought the show its number one spot upon its release. It is still the same story about a stalker, but its additional cast members and twists are the perfect combination to set it apart as the best season yet. 

The final episode will have the audience on the edge of their seats the whole time, and the end is completely unexpected. The new installment of “You” can be streamed on Netflix. 

Taylor Moore can be reached at taylor.moore@laverne.edu.

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