Film & TV

Hello, You: Netflix Hits the Mark With its Third Season of ‘You’

Courtesy of John P. Fleenor | NetflixSerial stalker Joe is back, attempting to reform from his murderous ways.

Everybody’s favorite serial stalker is back and better than ever. The Netflix original series “You” is now streaming its third season, released Oct. 15 just in time for spooky season viewing pleasures. The intriguing season is filled with shocking revelations and unique plot lines providing fresh contrast from the last two seasons, making it hard not to binge in one sitting. 

Season three starts fresh with the unlikely protagonist, Joe Goldberg, his partner in crime, Love Quinn, and their new baby boy, Henry. They settle in a suburban town — what Joe refers to as a “white picket purgatory.” At times, their dynamic resembled the likes of Bonnie and Clyde: a modern crime family. 

Even with the added perspective of other characters, which created a fresh dynamic for season three, the show still focuses heavily on Joe. There’s such an emphasis on what’s going on in Joe’s head, it becomes increasingly difficult not to empathize with him. Viewers may feel a deeper compassion towards him. It’s fascinating how this season managed to make a serial stalker and killer so likable to the point where the viewers can understand his point of view. 

As the show makes a transition from the hectic life in L.A. to life in a small suburban town, many aspects of this season are altered from what viewers have grown to know and love from the last two seasons. But not to fret, the general tone of the season has stayed just about the same. 

With a fresh start comes fresh faces. It’s evident this series took the time to take each and every character, big or small, and make them three-dimensional. Intricate complexity made even the side characters stand out.

With everything going on in the town, the show highlighted not only Joe’s personal perspective, but also that of the next door neighbors, the townspeople and even Joe’s latest female fixation. When Joe fixates on his female victims, he provides a good amount of information on them but with this woman, it feels as if she is telling us her story. The dynamic between this woman and Joe felt oddly natural — unlike seasons one and two.

Though with new faces comes new trouble. Because Joe and Love moved into a so-called safe suburban neighborhood, cameras are everywhere in town. These cameras create a problem for the lifestyle that Joe and Love live because once the neighbor and spouse of their first victim gets his hands on the footage, the viewers will be holding their breath waiting for the truth to be unveiled. 

Throughout, we see quite the role reversal between Joe and Love. As Joe is finally grasping onto reality it seems as if Love is hanging off it like a branch about to break. Shockingly, Joe and Love’s actions are starck contrasts from what viewers have seen from them in prior seasons. The unpredictability caused by these changes create a more engaging season as audiences are left to wonder about potential twists and turns. These two characters, however, share a similarity so deep they themselves cannot come to grasp it. 

Several plot lines also come full circle from the first season, including the infamous glass box in the basement – a true staple to the “You” franchise. In addition, Joe works with books again, and finds his newest fixation in the local library like in season one. 

Among the redemption arcs, “You” begs the question, how much redemption can a person have before returning to their old ways? 

Although the season can be mundane at times, there were several shocking aspects. In the first five episodes, there was a compelling stillness to the show which was both appealing and unsettling given the subject matter. It seemed as if, even with all the adultery and murder, the action didn’t really pick up until the last few episodes. 

Courtesy of John P. Fleenor | Netflix Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) and Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti) enter suburban life in the twisty third season of “You.”

However, the suspenseful build-up to the final scenes was impeccable. Joe and Love made several strong connections with the people in their new town, but by the end, there was an unanticipated betrayal that the viewers will not see coming. 

The list of things that happened in just 10 short episodes is mind blowing. For instance, formally predictable characters find new unexpected romantic entanglements. 

Another remarkable and distinct aspect of this season is that Love and Joe attend couples’ counselling. So much is uncovered in that room that propels the season forward. Viewers witness flashbacks from Joe’s childhood, and learn the motivations behind Joe and Love’s actions. The counseling sessions shed a new light on information which enhances crucial plotlines of this season.

There was such intensity and cleverness which came through this season. Nothing about this season was predictable. The season featured complex ups and downs and a captivating spider-web of plot lines. Netflix can be a swing and a miss at times, but when it comes to “You,” they didn’t miss. In fact, Netflix announced its renewal for a fourth season even before the third was aired. A third season could have run the risk of being tired and overdone, however, it managed to remain completely unique and utterly imaginative.

The third season of “You,” rated TV-MA, is now streaming on Netflix.

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