Joe Goldberg’s “YOU” takes on a new identity, finds Love

Lakendra Williams Volunteer Writer [email protected]

Disclaimer: This review contains spoilers.


Season two of the Netflix original series “YOU” was released Dec. 26. Within the few months that it has been on the platform, there is already an expectation of a season three coming in 2021. 

In the newer season, Penn Badgley, also known as Dan Humphrey in “Gossip Girl,” stars as the main character, only this time instead of his name being Joe Goldberg, he is Will Bettelheim.

After trapping the real Will Bettelheim in the glass, cell-like room of the Mooney’s storage unit, similar to what he did a lot of in season one with those he saw as a threat, he leaves his old identity behind in New York. 

Joe —previously Will— with a new name and identity, finds himself in Los Angeles. It is revealed that he is there hiding from his supposed dead ex-girlfriend, Candace Stone. He moves not only to escape from her, but also from the ghost of his second victim, whom we meet in season one, Guinevere Beck.

Now, Will has found a new beau, pushing Beck and Stone in the dark pits of his mind. He falls for Love Quinn, a rich, city widow. Like in season one, he stalks her and soon begins dating her. It is evident that Will does want to hurt her like he did Beck; however, she too has a certain darkness about her. Love falls for Will, not knowing that Will was not who he seemed. Unlike his previous lovers, he has to put up with Love’s twin brother, Forty, who makes it anything but easy for Will to pursue her. 

In the first season, Will – Joe at the time –  made it his job to protect his neighbor’s son Paco from his mother’s boyfriend. Will puts himself in a familiar predicament when he tries to protect his landlord sister. He wants to make sure she is safe, but ends up ruining her life. 

It is evident that Will’s life is becoming a handful, and what is worse is Candace finds him and tries to ruin his new life by dating Love’s brother. Candace, fiery with rage, wants revenge; she tries to make Love and Forty see that Will is not who they believe he is.

I was not going to watch the series initially. I was going to wait at least until it was not trending anymore, but as I was scrolling through social media and seeing the “YOU” memes, I decided one night to watch the first episode. 

Eventually one episode turned into me binge watching an entire season. Then I realized that there were some things that I missed, and I ended up watching it again. Yes, I do think that the show is good enough to watch a second time — maybe even a third or fourth time.  

At first I thought Joe was crazy for all the killings and crimes that he committed, but now I am thinking back; he honestly just wanted someone to love him because his dad abused him, and his mother let him be abused. I am not condoning his behavior because I do not think that that should justify what he did, but a part of me felt for him. I understood his need for love. Still, trying to snake your way into someone’s life and murder their loved ones because it could make their life better, that is insanity on another level.

The first time I watched it, I thought Joe was a sociopath, but I had no context why other than the brief flashbacks “YOU” showed; however, the second season gave me more background. I think that is what makes it an awesome show to watch, the fact that the show leaves room for plot twist and ideas to be questioned.  

“YOU” is a popular series because it shows the perspective of a person who has experienced so much trauma throughout his life and yet still tries to love, even if that love is unhealthy and dangerous. Furthermore, I believe that it is popular because it is told from the point of view of a male character, who narrates exactly what he thinks, so that we are in his mindset. Joe is this humorous dark soul, mysterious, sexy, brooding hopeless romantic with a heart that could kill and quite frankly, many girls are attracted to the bad boy type.

With all of this in mind, I rate the second season of “YOU” 5 out of 5 stars.