Can we take a moment to appreciate the masterclass performance by Victoria Pedretti?
You hate to see her chapter end, as the closing hours highlighted the undoing of Love Quinn-Goldberg.
Pedretti has matched Badgley toe for toe (pardon the pun) since she first appeared, and no other sparring partner of his has compared on this series, and the casts of this series have been great over the years.
Knowing that, she’ll be a hell of a tough act to follow. She’s been just that brilliant. And now that we know there’ll be a YOU Season 4, who knows what we can anticipate next?
If YOU doesn’t do anything else, it manages to surprise viewers with every season.
Somehow, Love’s death was one of the hardest of the series. Maybe it’s because she’s the one person who matched Joe and served as a mirror reflecting some of the worst parts of himself.
She was dark, too. A series of traumas and an inability to evolve from the tragedies and dredges of her childhood weighed her down, and she never got past them.
Love and Joe both are supremely dark examples of damaged individuals whose past dictated their present and future. And no amount of therapy freed either of them from the hold their past has on them.
Love makes you want to run, not walk to therapy if you don’t already attend. Her fatal flaw both in killing people and in dying was that she loved too hard and much.
She gave herself away to people who couldn’t love her back unconditionally, and she never managed to find that in her life. It’s such a tragic conclusion to draw from her tale.
Love’s story feels like a cautionary tale that people should heed, namely women who too easily and often are afflicted with less extreme versions of these demons. She’s such a hauntingly real representation of womanhood. I don’t know if it made it better or worse that Joe turned her into a folk hero, feminist icon, and legend.
People are morbidly fascinated by her. She became a public spectacle in a way that she loathed, and she’ll never rest in peace.
Friends and neighbors, I’d like to thank you for welcoming my family with open arms, but you didn’t. I moved to the suburbs because I bought into the dream, community, prosperity, and most of all safety. But I never felt safe here, judged from day one for my past, my body, how I raised my child. If I wasn’t perfect, I would lose it all, a game so rigged that it would only exist in a world that hates women, especially mothers. But what choice did I have? But I played, and I realize that your fence, your doorbell cam, you’re telling yourself that you’re keeping your family safe but it’s a lie you’re too afraid to do what you need to do to really protect your own. I am not a coward, I do what has to be done to protect my family. I killed the adulterer next door. I killed the anti-vaxxer who sickened my child, hunted down the reporter who threatened us.I trapped the couple who tried to sabotage us, forced them to really see each other. I forced my husband to play along. But in the end, he was a coward too. And when I realized he had come to hate me, I killed him. Better than a messy divorce. Everybody keeps their dignity. When the shock wears off and you feel safe jogging in your expensive athleisurewear again, remember, you can get off the hamster-wheel at any time.
But she died as she lived with no one loving her, and people abandoning her, and that’s the worst possible death.
Worse yet, she even went out painfully. Joe using the wolfsbane she grew and intended for him was sad. It was such an excruciating death.
And the man she loved, who never could love her back and believed he was somehow better than her and not the most ruinous person in her life yet looked her in the eye while he put her down like a dog.
Love was, in many ways, a monster of Joe’s own creation, and he still refuses to acknowledge that.
I barely recognize myself anymore. I was so excited to be a mother and your wife and as soon as I became that, you punished me for it. I mean you gaslit me so fucking hard I started to question every single thing about myself. But that little voice in the back o my head that I’ve been suppressing this whole fucking time, it was right. I’m not the problem. My husband is the problem
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in where things ended and the journey there while forgetting the origins of Joe and Love. Marienne’s advice to her was such a worthwhile scene not only for this season but the series as a whole.
It was a direct call to viewers about trusting instincts, and a reminder of what’s at stake when we forget about that voice while reveling in or downplaying male darkness. Marienne did think something was off about Joe, but he wore her down, and she stopped following her gut.
She recognized how she’s drawn to toxicity, and that’s how she got sucked into Joe and his kindness and concern. We noticed along the way that she would call him out for things frequently, and in that sense, it’s a relief that, so far, she’s the one who got away.
Love is someone who benefited from hearing that the voice in the back of her head, her conscience, is her real love. It’s the one thing that loved her unconditionally and wanted better for her. And she didn’t listen to it again until it was too late.
Theo: I will never touch her again.
Joe: You think this is because you kissed my wife?
Theo: It was once.
Joe: Oh you fucked my wife.
Joe Vo: What a mess my wife has made.
Theo: I loved her. Why would she do this?
Joe: This is not your fault, she fooled me too.
Theo: Are you going to kill me?
Things were fairly simple for Love, all she wanted was Joe’s undying love, devotion, and respect, and no matter what she did, he couldn’t give that to her.
And she marveled at how she slipped down a dark path doing everything for Joe, in her mind, and to preserve their family, and it wasn’t enough to satisfy him.
Joe will never find love and happiness with a woman. He’s incapable of it. Because of who and what he is, people will justifiably always leave him.
Once again, she deluded herself into believing that they’d be together and happy, a united front killing off their problems and working together.
We spent most of the season witnessing the unhinging of Love. By the time she was discussing ways they’d kill Sherry and Cary, it was like she had snapped for good.
Love’s been coming to grips all season with the fact that she didn’t know who she was anymore. She thought she had everything she wanted and should’ve been happy, but it wasn’t enough.
She’s been floundering all season, trapped in this hellscape with Joe and trying to make something work that wasn’t. She went from the object of his affection and obsession to this person who he hated what he saw her.
Love accepted Joe’s ugliness and darkness, but he expressed such disdain for hers.
Love: You and your beautiful daughter, you need to run. Disappear. Ryan is just the beginning of what he’ll do.
Marienne: Then why, aren’t you running too?
Love: It’s not that simple for me.
Marienne: No, Okay listen to me, maybe it’s not my place. Maybe you think you owe it to your kid, or maybe you’re clinging to when things worked, but please, if there is ever even for a fleeting moment a tiny moment a tiny voice in your head, and that tiny voice is saying “I deserve better,” listen to her. That’s your partner. That’s you real true love, and if you betray her long enough, you wil lose her. Trust me. I’m still tryingn to get mine back.
Truthfully it stopped mattering. The bodies were piling up, and it was too messy. Their life in Madre Linda spun out of control, and no amount of plotting would salvage it with too much happening at once.
If Love’s murder-suicide plan for the Conrads went into effect, it would still cast suspicion on him. But then she knocked Theo out too, picking up that he, too, was about to abandon or turn on her and didn’t buy her excuses.
Cary, Sherry, and Theo couldn’t disappear or die around the same time.
Cary and Sherry made the cage an entertaining experience. Kudos to Sherry for her attempts to pull on her friendship with Love to stay alive.
They didn’t spazz out as much as one would expect, and Sherry seemed genuine about her affection for Love despite the circumstances. She was willing to help Love blame everything on Joe if it meant she and Cary escaped.
And the series did interesting things straddling the line between acknowledging Love as a victim but also a monster. However, Love either didn’t appreciate the harsh truths that reminded her of Joe not loving her, or she didn’t take Sherry seriously.
Ironically, the Conrads are the pair who all of Madre Linda thought had it together, but they were a hot mess under that type of pressure.
Their marriage was rough when they went into that cage, but shockingly, after shooting each other and fighting it out, they left the cage stronger than they were when they woke up in it.
No one will ever love you like I do, Joe. Something to think about while you’re lying there.
Sherry was such an underrated character. She came across as so shallow and self-absorbed in the early days, but she read people well.
She knew enough about Joe and Love to figure out that they didn’t trust each other, and they would’ve left a key inside. I wish we saw more of when they escaped and what they said to everyone when they did.
As annoying as they were, I’m happy they survived and turned that terrible experience into a freaking empire.
It’s also a huge relief that Theo survived. Good grief; the people this season were built differently. More of them lived than one would imagine, and there were way too many times when they should’ve been goners.
You took Natalie from me didn’t you? Didn’t you? Your crazy fucking wife, you knew and you sat in my house, and you said nothing. I should kill you. I should kill you right fucking now.
Theo was such a naive but sweet kid, and it physically hurt when Love knocked him over the head. Thankfully, Joe didn’t go through with killing Theo and took him to the hospital instead.
The experience was the breakthrough that Matthew needed to connect with his son and appreciate him. It was eating him up when he couldn’t reach Theo anymore, and after the feds shut down his spying, he had to direct his attention to what mattered.
It was surprising that he confronted a paralyzed Joe and left him on the floor with nothing else. But at least he got to acknowledge that he knew what happened to Natalie and Joe deserved what he got.
So many people got something akin to a happy ending on this series for the sole purpose that they survived to see another day, and that’s such a change of pace.
Ryan didn’t live to see another day, but he would always be a casualty, right?
Ryan made things fun, though, since he was another person who always saw through Joe. Joe couldn’t even sneak up and kill him the way he intended because of Ryan being on his game.
Ryan’s death was a win for Marienne, at least.
And she even extended a chance to start over with Joe after their sexytime in her apartment. Marienne always seemed like she was in love with the idea of Joe and his kindness than anything else.
She fell into her attraction to him fast, but it never felt deep, and she was able to walk away with ease.
It’s creepy that he’s in Paris now after faking his death, and he believes he’ll track her down somehow and have this life with her he imagined.
Marienne won’t have those feelings for him. I hope he never finds her.
She has her daughter now, and that’s all she needs. Even before she talked to Love and learned what Joe is, she recognized that Joe was another toxic choice she was making.
I have some absolute fucking weirdos in the basement, but in their own weirdo way, the Conrads bring out the best in each other. Now Love and me, we bring out something in each other, and that’s why I need to get out. In Love’s mind, we’re f finally on the same page and face adversity as a united front.
Wherever Marienne is right now, hopefully, she remains free.
It’s not like Joe won’t find another victim to direct his attention.
Joe loves the idea of love, and he puts women on pedestals that they can only fall from, and then he punishes them for reminding him of his mother.
In the entire flashback sequence, you kept waiting for him to make another move and do something to Fiona’s boyfriend or one of his bullies.
Joe’s Mom: I know you try so hard to be good.
Young Joe: Then why’d you leave me there and why are you taking care of him?
Joe’s Mom: I just made too many mistakes even though I loved you, still love you. I was hurting you too, sometimes you need to start over, Joey, completely over.
Fiona disappearing gave the impression that he would exact revenge or dig into what happened to her. Instead, he tracked down his mother.
How awful is it that his mother threw him in a boys’ home and started over with a new boy and family? How does a child even begin to process that kind of abandonment?
No wonder Joe is so screwed up. But was that child his half-brother? And does that mean he has family out there somewhere? Will we ever meet them if he does?
Joe cutting off his toes and faking his death was some twisted shit. But isn’t it weird that he took the time to do all of this after he left Henry?
Love: Do you love her? I just want the truth. Oh. Did you ever actually love me?
Joe: The moment I saw you. You know this, I would do anything for you.
Love: I know that you cheated on me, and you lied. You made me feel like you really saw me like you were perfectly happy. You made me feel like I need to protect you. You got so upset killing objectively horrible people, so I thought he’s sensitive, I can do this for him.
Joe: I don’t remember you asking.
Love: And then I come to find out that you are happy to murder just for a different woman yet here I am doing it for you, a teenager, someone innocent.
Joe: Yeah, he was just a kid, someone you were having an affair with. We can do this if you are willing to admit you haven’t been perfectly happy either. We have both made mistakes. I have made some big ones, and I’m sorry Love. I never wanted to hurt you. I tried, and I know you have been trying too, but it didn’t work. and now we can be honest about that and deal with this like two adults.
Wouldn’t Dante and his husband read the note and figure out something was wrong and go looking for Joe and Love? It didn’t seem like Joe should’ve had that much time, or are we supposed to believe he did it afterward?
Nevertheless, one thing Joe can do is write a badass final letter. Yes, he blamed Love for everything, and he made himself out to be some victim when we know damn well that wasn’t the case.
But he did make Love sound fierce and badass. You can understand how Love has become even more famous than Beck.
And blowing up the home was a fitting end to the farce that was their suburban life.
But the best thing Joe has ever done this season is leave baby Henry with Dante and his husband. He knows that if Henry ever stands a chance in this world, he can’t be with him.
Dante and his husband had been fighting for a child for ages, and it’s the one part of this finale that genuinely warmed the heart.
More than in previous seasons, this felt like a book closing rather than a chapter. It makes you wonder where Joe’s story goes next? And by God, when will all of his actions catch up to him?
Will this man ever pay for his sins?
Oh, fuck, I’m going to need more tarps.
It’s the closest he came to it when Love wanted to take him out, and sadly, it feels like she was the only person who would’ve ever successfully managed to do it.
Damn, that was a great season of YOU. Until next time.
Over to you, YOU Fanatics. Will you miss Love? Where does the series go from here?! Sound off below.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.