Well. Here we are at the beginning of the second series of You from Netflix. I am TalksTooMuch or TTM for short and I am a new recapper here at WERRRK for this horribly addicting series. I watched the first ten episodes in a blur (just like Netflix taught me!), I can’t wait to see what awful stuff they’ve cooked up for the second season. Rolling You (S2:E01 “A Fresh Start”) after the break!
Okay, hands up, who watched the first season? All of you? Awesome, so we don’t need to go into too much detail to get this party started. Series one introduced us to Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgely from Gossip Girl!! Is it wrong that I loved that show? It totally is.), a seemingly average erm, Joe with a penchant for falling in love quickly and trying to create a relationship out of thin air based on a prospective partner’s social media postings.
He met and fell in love with Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail) and expended a metric fucktonne of energy insinuating himself into her life and removing obstacles, sometimes in the form of people, from their happiness as a couple.
Even with all his manipulation, they had a fairly normal basic relationship which ended when she found out he had murdered her old boyfriend and done some other shite that she thought made him look like a psychopath and he meant as signs of true commitment. He locked her in a box (that’s…a long story) where she wrote a version of truth blaming the psychiatrist she’d been sleeping with (John Stamos is unbelievably hot still for a guy known universally as Uncle Jesse) as a peace offering. He killed her during an escape attempt and that version became the official story of What Happened To Beck.
He also had another missing girlfriend from the past pop up at the end, hai Candace Stone (Ambyr Childers. Like on your birth certificate it’s Ambyr?)! Fancy you showing up when all of us, including Joe, thought you were the first of his paramour victims!
So we’re all set! Let’s roll into season two and find out what Joe’s been doing with himself.
We open in Los Angeles, did I mention that Joe is old fashioned and anti-Los Angeles and TV and anything fake like social media or the like? What a great place to hide! Not like there are a thousand phones and cameras clicking at any moment!
He’s passing himself as Will Bettleheim (sp?) and looking for an apartment. As expected, his faked credit history is awesome but lack of online presence is worrisome.
Is he some kind of a freak or something? Landlady Delilah Alves (Carmela Zumbado) offers Will a ground floor apartment, but perhaps since he was able to watch every single one of Beck’s moves as she pranced around her ground floor apartment (NO BLINDS EVER), he opts for the second.
Or maybe it’s because he has a giant telescope to assemble, as he narrates the rules he’s trying to live by. No focus on one person, no looking them up, no getting “swept up” which is a fun way to describe a murderous and manipulative romantic rampage.
What’s he looking for? A Fresh Start?
He wakes the next day and relives his last meeting with Candace. She came across the book Beck wrote and recognised it as Joe’s MO immediately. Joe wants to know what she’s planning to do about it.
Hahaha jk, nope, she’s going to the police. Nah, still kidding, that would be too easy for him!
(I don’t really think either of those things could be classified as easy on him)
He’s back in the present, internally monologuing about staying unpredictable when a precocious teenage girl interrupts. Oh yeah, nothing predictable in him looking out for a young neighbour (he totally did that in season one, rescuing an abused kiddo from his mom’s abusive boyfriend).
Ellie (Jenny Ortega) is not only looking for information, she’s got some to share. She gives Joe the lowdown on all the tenants, including Delilah, who seems to look out for her.
Joe applies for a job at what passes for a grocery store in Los Angeles; Anavrin (Nirvana spelled backwards, I shit you not) is super fancy and he’s underqualified to handle produce in this “coveted” position. He drags out the book Crime and Punishment at the end of his failed interview and somehow his description of the book prompts Calvin (Adwin Brown from the new Heathers series – I’d sooner the chainsaw) to ask if he’d ever considered working in a bookstore?
Did I mention Joe worked in / kind of owned a bookstore back in New York? That’s how he met Beck! That’s not a very…unpredictable choice, though.
He gets the job! A new apron tomorrow, woooo! On the way out, he spots…You.
His admonishments have no effect and he is on the prowl already, stalking his prey skillfully around the produce mounds until she turns around and…starts to flirt with him. Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti) even works there! He tries to deflect with the truth but she’s still.interested.
Like, Love Quinn is on her fictional birth certificate?
We get another little flashback to his conversation with Candace, he ran off before she even got to tell him how she was going to torture him.
In the disappointing book section of Anavrin (he’s totally a book snob and wants nothing to do with your need to cleanse your chakras), he meets Forty Quinn (James Scully – also from Heathers – is this a gang infiltration?) with a palm tree shirt and outsized attitude.
Like on his fictional birth certificate it says Forty Quinn?
Ohhh, the Quinns own the store and that’s why Forty feels comfortable being a dick. Love (these NAMES) tries to set Joe at ease, but he’s trying not to be an obsessive and murderous stalker for the moment so he runs away as she’s trying to figure out his “movie”.
It’s too late, he’s already masturbating in the back thinking about her climbing into his lap in the 6 minutes he has left of break. He stops himself before finishing, he doesn’t do this any more! He doesn’t “fantasize to some impossible version of a woman I barely know.”
Awwww, that’s growth!
Joe muses on his personal growth but he’s having trouble leaving the past behind him. Especially since Candace has vowed to find and destroy him, that’s her plan. She deserves that!
They’re just…so well suited!
I told you the filming and camera usage would be a problem in LA! Already Ellie has been filming Joe, so he confronts her then ends up breaking her phone before she runs off. Totally normal, nothing to see here.
He’s off to the DMV to get a driver’s license where he runs into Love, who’s helping an Arabic woman be treated like.a.person. Love kisses Joe on the cheek and how is that even possible?
He doesn’t understand it either, so he allows himself the joy of an online search. Love has locked down every once of her social media accounts, in LA. Hm.
He replaces Ellie’s phone and she explains her school film project to him. Something cinema verite but she doesn’t believe in books and a bargain is struck vis a vis reading/watching weird vines or something.
I am also an old.
She comments on an Instagram feed being fake and Joe is instantly interested. How can she tell? She offers to be his internet sensei, which involves taking pictures of stuff he likes but not hastagging or of his face. She gives him some heartfelt advice.
Ahhh see, he has to create an account so he doesn’t look weird, so he can send Love a friend request. Got it.
He falls asleep under a tree outside in Los Angeles in the summer (hahahaha as a ginger I have to say AS IF), wishing he could stop running and dreaming of his mother abandoning him as a child.
He wakes up sunburned through.his.shirt with an accepted friend request; Love is married? Married or not, Love is at his apartment door because it appears she is also a stalker. Huh. These guys should be double married!
She treats his sunburn with apple cider vinegar, then blows.on.it while he reminds himself to keep it light. Breezy even.
She’s just as passionate about books as he is and she’s read authors he hasn’t! Like Joan Didion! How can he not have read Joan Didion? Is Joe one of those bookshop arseholes who only likes pretentious male authors?
They’re off on Joe’s California Conversion Tour!
Which ends sharing headphones at the edge of the hills eating food out of a cardboard container. Oh, sorry, we’re not done, we’re off to the Anavrin for Love to prepare an exquisite roasted chicken.
That is his perfect bite.
Why is she so close? Metaphorically, but also physically, she’s practically climbing into his lap and I don’t know if you’ve seen Joe with a sunburn but he looks like MegaMan after a trip to Mars.
Why is she so up in his grill?
She spills about her marriage; her husband is dead, oh. He got sick and died and it left her sort of othered. People their age don’t get married, typically, let alone widowed. My mom was widowed at 26, it certainly wasn’t common then either.
It’s given her a second sense now, though, the ability to recognise when someone has really loved and lost someone.
If only there was a psychopathy range on that particular radar.
She gives him the gift of Joan Didion and off he rolls. He arrives home at 2 am to find Ellie waiting for him, someone named Jasper came by looking for Joe to give something back.
We’re off to the storage unit, where Joe has an enourmous unit (heh) full of…not much. Oh! Except for the huge locked glass box from the basement of the bookstore in New York and it’s full of: Will Bettelheim. The actual Mr. Bettelheim. But there’s more!!
Everything, from Joe applying to work at that particular store, to Crime and Punishment, to the DMV, to that apartment, it’s all been set up by him so he can cross paths with Love. He wasn’t exactly an unreliable narrator, he just left out the details of how and why. This is what he was looking at through that high-powered telescope!
Damnit, I forgot Joe was a psychopath even though I typed it right up there! He’s so dang likeable, that’s the worst part! I hate that I always root for him, almost against my will. This pre-planning also explains why she was so oddly affectionate, he’s super good at setting up situations so that people trust him.
We’re oot, I hope you enjoyed my first foray into You (that sounds gross, sorry) from Netflix for the fabulous WERRRK.com, see you next time! I recap all kinds of other shows on my home site, www.gingesbecray.com. You might want to check it out if you’re into British dramas or baking shows where everyone is nice to each other. Cheers!
TalksTooMuch talks too much about pop culture and television, you should gather a snack before reading. Maybe a bottle of water, too. Check out her site for even more recaps!