February 24, 2024

What did and didn’t work in season one, season two’s trailer and speculations


This article gives away some key plot details from You’s season one.

It’s a show filled with crime, abusive tendencies and romance — a type of romance that only exists if blind love and a sociopath intertwine. Viewers seem to enjoy it as it has gathered roughly 40 million viewers over the past year. 

The Netflix original, You, stars Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg, a sociopathic, pathological liar and warped-minded man who falls in love with Guinevere Beck, played by Elizabeth Lail. Guinevere is an aspiring writer and graduate student with a love for literature and writing who is trying to find her way in New York City and make a career for herself. 

Romance aspects

The show touches on a theme of toxic relationships. I see it clearly as I’m no stranger to what that is. I’ve seen them played out in my life growing up, and needless to say, the show does a great job showing viewers what it looks like to be involved in one.  

Goldberg won’t let anything in between him and Beck. It’s a type of incredibly toxic “love” that strangely enough keeps you engaged. 

From the first episode, when he meets Beck, he’s outright obsessed with her. He shows creepy, stalker and perverted tendencies as he watches her from across the road, follows her around and breaks into her apartment. 

The whole time Beck is blind with love, not knowing that much of Goldberg really is a facade. It shows that not everyone knows they are in a toxic relationship, some are too oblivious to their reality. 

Although we know what’s going on in Goldberg’s mind during the first season, we don’t clearly see what is going through Beck’s mind. Maybe that’s because she really is oblivious to her situation. It would be interesting to see within the mind of whatever main character replaces her in season two as her character was killed off in the first season.

Crime aspects

Throughout the show, Goldberg uses his pathological lies and methodically thought-out schemes to get his way with each crime. 

While being also focused on love and drama, You lacks key elements such as DNA, fingerprints and cellphone activity, that a show like NCIS never does.

 When Goldberg follows Beck and her friend, Peach Sallinger (played by Shay Mitchell) out of town, he gets in a car accident on the way as he swerves to avoid a deer. He hits a tree and we don’t see any damage to the vehicle — unrealistic to say the least.

He uses a needle in Sallinger’s bathroom to stitch himself back up — probably leaving the needle behind, (although we never see what happens to it.) He puts his fingerprints all over the house, including on Sallinger’s pistol, when he kills her and stages her death as a suicide. Her family hires a private investigator (PI) to see if her death was really a suicide. Goldberg forgets a jar of urine in a room at the house which is noted as evidence by the PI. 

He even keeps the phones of his victims, which in any thorough crime show would have someone busted instantly. We will have to wait and see if any of this comes back to bite him in the butt come next season. 

Abuse aspects

Goldberg is shown in many flashbacks being abused in various ways by the previous bookstore owner, Mr. Mooney, who is played by Mark Blum. He continues this chain of abuse in smaller ways (verbal abuse) with the neighbour kid, Paco, who is played by Luca Padovan. But, You shows Goldberg genuinely cares for Paco, attempting to help him break the chains of abuse, since Paco’s mom dates an abusive man.

You also shows abuse in bigger ways; through Goldberg’s murders and kidnappings as he locks his victims in a glass cage in the basement of the bookstore like Mooney did to him.

I think this element of You showed viewers that if the chain of abuse isn’t broken, then bad things may happen to someone psychologically. I came to realize growing up that you don’t have to let the bad things that happen to you affect who you become.

Overall, I think the show did a great job encapsulating what it’s like to be abused, what it looks like to be an abuser, and what it’s like to sit on the sidelines hoping it will end (Paco’s perspective). Although we didn’t see a lot of Goldberg’s past abuse (which would be interesting to see) in season one, writers promise to dive deeper into it come season two, which was released on Dec. 26.

Season two speculations 

  The show is based on the book “You,” written by Caroline Kepnes. According to insider.com, it is followed almost the same in the show (besides new characters and small plot changes.) The sequel for the book is called “Hidden Bodies,” where Goldberg moves to L.A. and he falls in love again. I anticipate his past will catch up with him, given the PI, Dr. Nicky, may be found innocent of Goldberg’s murders. This and much more is to come just after Christmas. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the show as it always keeps you guessing as to what is going to happen next. It’s not like any other typical romance show. I personally am looking forward to watching each and every show this season.

I give it 4 / 5 stars.

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