Fans of Penn Badgley found themselves looking at the 32-year-old actor a little differently after binge-watching all ten episodes of the Netflix series YOU. In the psychological thriller, which dropped on the streaming service last December after originally airing on Lifetime earlier in 2018, Badgley played Joe Goldberg, an anti-social bookstore manager with a dark side. And when I say that Joe has a "dark side," I'm seriously underselling it; the protagonist (who is simultaneously the story's big bad) spends the entire 10-episode story arc stalking grad student Beck (Elizabeth Lail) and murders any and everyone that attempts to come between them. In the final episode of the first season, Joe actually ends up turning on Beck herself, taking her out when he realizes that she finally sees him for what he is: A violent sociopath. Obviously.
Fortunately for us, Netflix has seen our tweets and heard our pleas, and season two of YOU is currently in the works! That means that there's sure to be more conflicted inner dialogue about Joe's adoration ("Yes, he's psychotic, but look how much he loves her!") as well as pained screaming at your television/computer screen ("WHY DOES NO ONE ON THIS SHOW CLOSE THE BLINDS IN THEIR APARTMENTS?!") to come, and honestly? I'm equal parts excited and terrified to my core. After last year's rollercoaster ride of a season, where else can the Netflix thriller's twisted storyline take us? How much further can Joe go for love?!
Only time will tell. Until then, here's everything we know about season two of YOU so far.
The story will take place in Los Angeles, California.
Season one of YOU was as much a tour of New York City as it was a grizzly story of obsession and murder; though much of the story played out in Manhattan, Joe's compulsive stalking led him to almost every borough of the Big Apple in pursuit of Beck. Apologies in advance to fellow New Yorkers who took some personal joy in seeing the city's familiar locale ($100 to any Brooklyn resident who didn't involuntary shudder when Beck and Joe almost boarded the G train in the first episode), but YOU is headed straight for the city of angels.
What exactly will Joe be doing in Los Angeles? It's tough to say. He's no longer under investigation for the murders of Beck's close friends, and now that Beck herself is gone, Joe has his eyes set on someone else. What we do know for sure is that sunny L.A. will be lightyears more difficult for our leading man to navigate than the dark corners and alleyways of New York City ever were. "One problem that Joe might face coming to Los Angeles is that you can't walk down the goddamn street without someone posing against a selfie wall for their Instagram," showrunner Sera Gamble told TV Guide. "If you want to lay low, if you want to stay out of trouble, if you're trying not to be known—Los Angeles is the wrong place to live."
Joe's latest obsession is nothing like Beck.
We got a brief introduction to Joe's next target in the last season, a seemingly normal young woman named Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti), and from the looks of it, she and the late Beckster are like day and night. What they do have in common is that certain je n'ais ce quoi that leads Joe to become inexplicably enthralled with them; Joe's immediate interest in Love is what convinces our main character to make the big move all the way to California in the first place.
As Love, Pedretti (who made her acting debut in the 2018 spooky Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House) will be a necessary breath of fresh air for Joe. "Like her name, she’s very warm and there is a carefree aspect to her spirit that really comes from the fact that she has constructed a life for herself that’s about being in the moment and doing what she loves every day," Gamble explained to EW earlier this year. "In that way, she’s very very different than the woman that you got to know in season one, Beck, who was ambitious and driven as a writer and also as a young person in a social circle that had a certain kind of status. Beck had been quite aware of her social media presence, and Love is extremely disinterested in all of that.”
Still reeling from the self-inflicted trauma of his ill-fated relationship with Beck, Joe probably isn't going to immediately try to pursue a romantic connection with Love in the second season. If anything, the pair might spark up a friendship first—something that Joe definitely needs in light of...recent events. "Joe is not out there looking for love," said Gamble. "He’s truly heartbroken by what has happened, and so what [Love] offers is a different kind of friendship and a different kind of relationship.”
Joe will be confronted by a whole new group of potential threats, as well as an old flame.
Still mourning the loss of Peach Salinger? Totally understandable; while she was pretty terrible in her own right, Peach didn't deserve to go out like that. But knowing what we know about Joe and what happens to the people around him, it's essential that I warn you now not to get attached to any of the new characters we'll meet in the upcoming season of YOU.
Get ready—Gamble also promises that the new people that Joe is going to meet in Los Angeles will be "1,000 times worse" than the hipsters and snobbish elites he crossed paths with while
stalking courting Beck in the concrete jungle. Among those new faces is Gabe, the concerned best friend of Love. Gabe will be played by Charlie Barnett (Chicago Fire, Russian Doll), and the 31-year-old is already fairly certain that his character will meet his tragic end. "It's so funny because online people are like, 'Oh, you're going to die. You're going to die. You're friends with the girl? You're definitely going to die,'" Barnett laughed in a recent interview with TV Guide. Welp...as long as he knows!
Other important characters to keep an eye out for in the second season include Love's brother forty (James Schully), Ellie (Jenn Ortega), Will (Robin Lord Taylor), and Henderson (Chris D'Elia). Hot therapist Dr. Nicky (John Stamos) might also be making an appearance, which would definitely make things complicated for Joe. Also expected to pop up this season is Candace (Ambyr Childers). We definitely thought that she was dead (talk about a perfectly executed plot twist!), but she's alive and well, and she has a legitimate bone to pick with Joe now that they've met again. We know that Candace dumped Joe in order to pursue a music career, but is it possible that she'll follow him to Los Angeles and expose for the creep that he is?
Joe hasn't exactly turned over a new leaf.
One might think that after all of the events that transpired in the first season of the show, Joe would finally turn away from his life of crime and pursue more peaceful living in L.A., but no—one would would be dead (I'm so sorry) wrong. According to Gamble, Joe is still very much the "good guy" with a very warped moral compass. "I can't say he's fully reformed," she told Digital Spy. "It isn't like he's getting shelter dogs adopted in season two. He's doing some pretty crazy sh-t."
Gamble also implied that Joe would be taking his crazy up a notch, which means that fans of YOU can expect even more blood and gore this season. "At least one scene comes to mind that's gorier and scarier than anything we had in season one," the writer promised. "It's also beautifully shot, and the director who shot the second episode lavished a lot of love. Joe is forced to do something he really doesn't want to do."
Terrified but also thrilled at the prospect of Joe possibly resuming his criminal activities? Same. Unfortunately, there's no set premiere date for the show's return just yet, but fans are speculating that season two of You will hit Netflix in late December, just like it did the first time around. Till then, make sure to keep your doors locked and your blinds closed.
For more celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter.