You season 2: what that shocking cliffhanger means for the next season

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The season finale of the second season of Netflix’s You ended with a major twist. What does it mean for the future of the series? And where will the show go in season three?      

Spoiler alert: this story contains discussion of the second season of You, including the cliffhanger ending. If you haven’t watched the series yet and don’t want to be spoiled, now is the time to click away.

Joe Goldberg just can’t help himself, can he?

At the end of season two of You, Joe (Penn Badgley) alias Will Betelheim finds himself not-so-happily ensconced in suburbia, living with his pregnant partner Love (Victoria Pedretti). Joe seems to have accepted this fate as a punishment of sorts for his sins, a means of atonement for all of the bad he has done before. Because punishment it really is: Love is no saint. She is a murderer just like Joe; it was she who killed Candace and Delilah in an act of passion and rage. This pair are really made for each other, weren’t they? 

Joe is sticking around with Love because of the adoration he already feels for his unborn daughter. He wants to be there for her, to be the father that he never had for himself. And if that means shacking up with someone he put on a pedestal only for her to come crashing down… so be it. If this is a cage, then it is most certainly a gilded, sun-drenched one.

You season 2: Victoria Pedretti and Penn Badgley star in the new season.

“It’s hard to stay sad when there’s new life growing,” Joe says in voice over in the final moments of the episode. “Here I am. No one can absolve me. I gotta do the time. Not every Siberia is cold.”

But Joe can’t help himself. He really can’t. Even as he goes about unpacking groceries into his sprawling open plan kitchen in picket fence Los Angeles, he sees something that catches his eye. Leaving his book (Dostoyevsky’s Crime And Punishment, naturally), he makes his way over to the fence. Through it, he spies a woman on a sun lounger, reading a book. Nothing is visible of her other than her stack of reading material.

“This is where I had to be, exactly where I had to be to meet you. There you were, with your books and your sunshine. So close, but worlds away. I will figure out a way to meet you. See you soon… neighbour.”

And thus ends the second season of You. Roll credits, please! 

You season 2: Penn Badgley plays the obsessive stalker Joe.

In a new interview with People, Pedretti hinted that the cliffhanger ending could be hinting at a showdown between Love and Joe’s new obsession in season three. We don’t know anything about her, other than the fact that she has great taste in hats – in the little Joe can see of her through the hole in the fence, she wears a two-tone fedora – and loves to read. She sounds like Joe’s perfect woman. And, after watching her through season two, I think we can all imagine how Love might respond to a bit of competition.

“I don’t think she’d take too kindly to it,” Pedretti said. “I mean, I think that she would know. As any of us would if we knew that the person we gave all our attention to, if their attention was suddenly drifting to someone else. But then, maybe she would handle it super well. She surprises me.” 

Speaking to Vulture, Pedretti added that the character of Love changed throughout the filming of season two. When she was first cast, she didn’t know that Love would end up being the person who killed Forty’s au pair and, later, Candace and Delilah. “Even in the end, things changed,” she said.

You season 2: Joe meets Love's family.

For Pedretti, Love’s murderous impulses come from the same places that Joe’s do.

“I think her core qualities are still present when she’s murdering people, in the same way Joe’s core qualities are still there when he’s murdering people,” she explained. “He has this dialogue in his brain that he’s being led to these things out of a great need to protect others. There’s no actual evidence of that. In the case of Love, there really is. She is protecting Joe. If [Joe’s ex-girlfriend] Candace and [his neighbor] Delilah had gotten out, Joe would have gotten got. She shows up for him in that moment. Obviously, it’s a crazy thing to happen. In her great efforts to protect the ones she loves, she’s willing to do anything, even if that means ending somebody else’s life.”

Pedretti – and us, the audience – may not have known what Love was capable of at the start of season two, but we definitely do now. All we can say is this: that neighbour next door better watch her back. Don’t be borrowing a cup of sugar from the Bettelheim/Quinn household. It might be laced with arsenic. 

You season two streams on Netflix now. 

Images: Netflix

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Hannah-Rose Yee

Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer based in London. You can find her on the internet talking about movies, television and Chris Pine.

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