The Life of a Suburban Serial Killer

by The Cowl Editor on October 28, 2021

Arts & Entertainment

The Life of a Suburban Serial Killer

You Season Three Offers Entertainment and Horror

Claudia Fennell ’24

When the first season of the popular television show You began streaming on Netflix in 2018, over 40 million people watched its ten episodes in suspense. The plot followed protagonist Joe Goldberg, a bookstore manager in New York City, falling in love with one of his customers, Guinevere Beck, and beginning to stalk her. Viewers watched in discomfort as he stood outside her window at night, broke into her apartment, and committed horrible crimes against those closest to her that he perceived as standing in his way. 

Yet, somehow, the audience was still rooting for him in an odd way. While he was a serial-killing stalker, he was kind to Beck when she needed it and was a father-like figure to the young boy that lived in the apartment next door to him. Chaos ensued as the season progressed, and while all the odds were against Joe, he somehow managed to evade arrest for his crimes and move to Los Angeles, a city he believes to be the antithesis of who he is, in hopes that no one will be able to find him. 

A year later, in December 2019, season two began streaming on Netflix. It was watched by 54 million households and somehow involved even more twists and turns than the previous season. Joe presumes a false identity, introducing himself as Will Bettelheim to everyone he meets, and gets a job at an upscale book and grocery hybrid store called Anavrin. Joe begins to fall into his old patterns again and falls for one of his coworkers at his new job, a chef named Love Quinn. He even goes as far as to set up a telescope in his apartment so that he can watch Love in her home all day. The two eventually begin dating and Love starts to fall for him. Like in season one, he feels an overwhelming need to protect some of the people around him. He also begins stalking his teenage neighbor, who is involved with a suspicious older man, and ends up saving her from him. Despite all the negative things that Joe does, he somehow finds ways to redeem himself to the audience. 

As the season progresses, viewers start to learn that Love and Joe have more in common than previously thought. Love has a dark side, just like Joe, and she ends up silencing a woman who was going to spill Joe’s secrets. When Joe realizes what she has done, he turns on Love and tries to harm her, but she exclaims that she is pregnant and Joe realizes that he cannot hurt her. The two move into a wealthy suburban area, get married, and all seems well until, in the final moments of the season, it is revealed that Joe is watching women in the neighborhood before he and Love even finish unpacking their moving truck. 

Season three of You was released on Oct. 15 and has once again gripped viewers around the world. It opens with Joe and Love as new parents successfully assimilating themselves into suburban society as normal people. Love opens her own bakery and Joe gets a job at the local library. As usual, however, Joe continues to stalk other women. He also grows increasingly angry with Love when she makes the same dangerous choices when people wrong her as he does. While not all of the characters, new and old, make it out alive of season three, the producers and writers will definitely be able to create another thrilling season to captivate their audience. Netflix has confirmed that there will be another season coming soon, although its release date is still pending. Viewers can anticipate yet another installment filled with even more drama in a new location far removed from Los Angeles, CA and New York, NY alike. For those who have not seen You yet, it is a must-watch, especially during the spooky season.