What Happens In 'You' Season 2?

Spoilers ahead, obviously.

(Image credit: Beth Dubber/Netflix)

Spoilers ahead for You season 2. Also, trigger warning: violence, and lots of it. The second season of Netflix's hit You really ups the ante in terms of drama and twists. Season 1 was, with a couple detours, really just a simple story of a boy (Joe) falling in love with a girl (Beck), and then proceeding to stalk her and end her life. Season 2, in which Victoria Pedretti leads a top-notch new cast, doesn't repeat that cycle, but it does contain a lot of similarities and parallels. So what, exactly, happens to Joe et al this season?

The female characters fight back.

One of the most depressing aspects of season one was just how devastating it was to see a woman stalked, then convinced that she was in love with said stalker, then promptly murdered. The show (rightfully) received some flack for glamorizing Joe, a serial murderer who is charismatic and (okay, I'll say it) kind of sexy. Season one felt like we were living Beck's experience—we liked Joe almost against our will, and then became horrified by what he was capable of.

The second season gift us with a few women who call Joe out on his BS. The first is avenging angel Candace, who was Joe's first (botched) murder attempt. She comes back insisting she's going to make sure that Joe gets what's coming to him.

The second is Love Quinn, who is Joe's target in season two—but who actually goes after Joe, rather than the other way around. She makes him feel like the object of her affection when he's worried that he'll, you know, murder her like he did Beck. (Speaking of, Beck shows up in ghost form to remind Joe what he's done.) And Joe's two neighbors, Delilah and Ellie, are empowered and aggressive, one a survivor of sexual abuse and one in danger of having the same thing happen to her.

One of the problems here is that, thanks to Joe's efforts to stop his own bad behavior and reform (he's pretty unsuccessful), we once again end up rooting for an actual murderer.

Joe doesn't do all of the killing.

In a huge twist and one I don't totally enjoy, Love ends up being a serial murderer herself. She kills Candace and Delilah for getting in the way (or so she believes) of her relationship with Joe. So much for being empowering—the female love interest is a straight-up killer, and two more women end up dead. (I do enjoy, though, that the show takes the manic pixie dream girl trope and explodes it into a million pieces.)

Don't worry, Joe still does his fair share of murderin'. First, there's a "Russian mafia-chasing" guy named Jasper who comes after the real Will Bettleheim, the man Joe has imprisoned in his glass cage to steal his identity. Joe ends up letting Will go—the first survivor of Joe's cage! Will shows up later in the show Skyping with Joe, because Delilah has been murdered and Joe, whose drink was spiked with LSD, isn't sure if he did it. Joe also totally kills the pervert (Chris D'Elia) who abused Delilah and who came this close to abusing Ellie. Oh, and in a flashback it's revealed Joe killed his own dad. Casual!

The trailer implies that Joe might go to jail for his actions...but as it turns out, that's just because he and Delilah got caught having sex in a public place (lol) and the Quinn family bails him out before the police figure out who they've really got. 

In the end, Joe's stuck.

Love's brother Forty figures out who Joe is and what he's done, and it enrages him so much he decides to kill the killer himself. Even Love's big reveal that she's pregnant isn't enough to stop Forty, who rants that he knows Love has been crazy his whole life and that she'd be a terrible mother. Just before he pulls the trigger to get rid of Joe forever, a cop who's been tailing them shoots Forty, killing him.

So every obstacle gets removed from Joe's way yet again this season. But if it's any consolation, he ends up in a relationship with a person who's as crazy as he is (Love says they're soul mates, which is just so twisted). He stays with her to try and be a good dad and build the family unit he never had, but he's also stuck—Love's family is super-rich and Love is obsessed with him, so it's a gilded cage. Of course, at the very end, he starts becoming obsessed with his next-door neighbor, so...Joe's gonna Joe, you know!

Season three is almost certainly happening.

This much will be obvious to anyone who's seen the finale of season two, which carefully sets up a third season in suburbia, but we now know even more about what it might look like. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight that I have no doubt Badgley sorely regrets, he accidentally, basically confirmed that there'll be a second season. He also accidentally confirmed that not only will Love be in it, she's likely to see character development. Behold this slip-up:

"[Love] doesn’t appear to be the same kind of person. She doesn’t appear to be the same kind of predator. She doesn’t appear to be the same kind of… you know, dare I say, in the third season—oh, God!"

Attempting wildly to backtrack, Badgley adds: "I literally know nothing about the third season." He's then asked if this is a tacit confirmation of season three, to which he replies: "Technically I can’t… I mean, like, unofficially?"

If that wasn't enough evidence for you, producers of the show have applied for and received a tax credit for season three—which doesn't guarantee the season, but sure is a good sign—and Netflix, which doesn't release viewing figures, confirmed via Instagram that You is one of its biggest releases of the year. So, yeah.

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(Image credit: Beth Dubber/Netflix)
Katherine J. Igoe
Contributing Editor

Katherine’s a contributing syndications editor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle. In her role, she writes stories that are syndicated by MSN and other outlets. She’s been a full-time freelancer for over a decade and has had roles with Cosmopolitan (where she covered lifestyle, culture, and fashion SEO content) and Bustle (where she was their movies and culture writer). She has bylines in New York TimesParentsInStyle, Refinery29, and elsewhere. Her work has also been syndicated by ELLEHarper’s BazaarSeventeenGood Housekeeping, and Women’s Health, among others. In addition to her stories reaching millions of readers, content she's written and edited has qualified for a Bell Ringer Award and received a Communicator Award. 

Katherine has a BA in English and art history from the University of Notre Dame and an MA in art business from the Sotheby's Institute of Art (with a focus on marketing/communications). She covers a wide breadth of topics: she's written about how to find the very best petite jeanshow sustainable travel has found its footing on Instagram, and what it's like to be a professional advice-giver in the modern world. Her personal essays have run the gamut from learning to dress as a queer woman to navigating food allergies as a mom. She also has deep knowledge of SEO/EATT, affiliate revenue, commerce, and social media; she regularly edits the work of other writers. She speaks at writing-related events and podcasts about freelancing and journalism, mentors students and other new writers, and consults on coursework. Currently, Katherine lives in Boston with her husband and two kids, and you can follow her on Instagram. If you're wondering about her last name, it’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.