By: Kennedi Woods
The much-anticipated third season of the Netflix original, ‘You,’ dropped on October 15th. For those who haven’t watched yet, either because you haven’t gotten around to it or debating if it’s worth it, here’s a spoiler-less recap of how the season went.
Unlike the past seasons, Joe has a companion in his murderous and obsessive tendencies. Love, Joe’s wife and baby mother, is just as much of a sociopath as he is. While the two should be a perfect match, they resent each other deeply. Joe wants to be a better man, which he feels he can’t be because of Love, and Love for wanting Joe to love her, their child, and their new suburban life, when he clearly doesn’t. Through their relationship, this season explores the themes of honesty, unfulfillment, family, trauma, and gaslighting – many of which play out to fateful ends for other characters.
The best parts of this season were the internal conflict, the supporting characters, and their subplots. The entire season is hinged on the questions of ‘how are they going to get away with this?’ and ‘should I even want them to?’ Those questions alone are enough to make you finish the season. Whether or not Joe and Love should be punished for their crimes will have you questioning your morality. A large part of that decision will be influenced by the new characters and their stories. Joe’s new obsession, Marianne, is a no nonsense librarian, illustrator, mother, and recovering addict. The show desperately needed her practicality to ground it. Although she’s attracted to Joe, she doesn’t fall victim to his charms.
Sherri and Cary slowly and begrudgingly became arguably the best couple from this season. Sherri is a helicopter parent and mommy influencer who is also the ringleader of their town. Her husband Cary is a gym junkie and Sherri’s cameraman. At the beginning of the season, Sherri is portrayed as the high school mean girl that graduated into motherhood, and Cary as her dumb, but very attractive, trophy husband. As the season progressed, their characters dropped the cliches and became much more vibrant. By the last three episodes, their storyline is the most entertaining and thrilling apart from Joe and Love’s. The downside of having multiple characters with their own subplots was that there were points throughout the season when the show began to feel like a string of events with no clear attachments to the main plot. However, by the finale, the loose ends are tied up.
The worst parts about this season were its reckless killings and the monotony of Joe and Love’s relationship. Most of the murders (or near murders) were Love’s doing. Her style and motives for murder are much less refined and calculated than Joe’s. The murders’ frequency almost makes them annoying. In past seasons, murder was climactic and shocking, in this season the murders do not inspire those same emotions. This season’s killings were brute, avoidable, and therefore mostly senseless – very on-brand for Love’s impulsive and messy character. Their relationship is strained because she blames Joe for her actions and makes him clean up the mess. For a dark romance, the romance is lacking. Love is in love with the roles Joe fills – suburban husband, stay-at-home dad, body-hider – rather than Joe himself. Joe hates Love and gaslights her throughout the entire season. Unfortunately, their marriage woes can be tiring to watch but are a large focus for this season.
Overall, this season gets a 6/10, 10 being Squid Game binge-able. It’s worth a watch. There are jaw-dropping moments in between the mundane struggles of a doomed couple and their yuppie neighbors. However, to fall into the trap of watching the show straight through because of the intriguing last few minutes of the episodes would be doing yourself a disservice.