Season 3 of You offers a new location, an almost completely new set of characters, and what seems to be a domesticated Joe. However, can these changes keep the show feeling fresh still? It pleases me to say that with the show’s constant reinventions of setting and characters, that the show manages to stay fresh and equally intriguing. However, let’s take a look into the season and see what exactly works about the season and some things that might have needed a second look at.
Joe Goldberg continues to be the star of the show, with Penn Badgley still giving fantastic monologues. They continue to be equally intriguing and disturbing as the season progresses. Badgley may benefit from the change of scenery and co-stars, but Badgley still does his part to make a character, who has seemingly very little growth, still feel fresh every season. You can feel the change in his character’s motivations this season, whereas in previous seasons he was single-mindedly obsessed with a woman. Whereas with this season, Joe must contend with the fact that he is a married man with a kid. Unfortunately, the show does seem to drop the Joe is trying to care for Love storyline a bit too quickly, so that part feels rushed. However, there are enough breadcrumbs that this didn’t cause too many problems within the narrative. Also, I am not a fan of Joe giving up his child, as given what we have seen of him in the flashbacks this season, this feels like the exact opposite of what Joe would want to do. Overall, if these are my biggest complaint about Joe’s character this season, I think that the show deserves props for this improvement in the overall character. Badgley’s acting and the writing for Joe, in particular, continues to be the foundation of the show, and luckily for us, this foundation built is incredibly strong and everyone else this season helps build an interesting story on top of it.
Victoria Pedretti gives another incredible performance as Love Quinn. It feels that the show has really discovered what an absolute star she can be and with that, she is given a much meatier character for the audience to chew on, as opposed to last season. Love is a psychopath, there is no denying that, however, I can’t help but be sad about her fate in this season if for no other reason than not getting Pedretti to return as a main character next season. Pedretti and Badgley have great chemistry as a troubled couple, and it was equally strange, disturbing, and sweet to get a “reunion” between Love and Forty. It also would’ve been nice to see Love’s mother’s reaction to Love’s death, but I am hopeful that we will get to see that next season. Even though both Joe and Love are not good people, I loved having a season-long antagonist in Love. Love was the perfect foil for Joe this season and going forward it would be nice to get more effective foils for Joe to contend with.
The show has taken us to New York, then Los Angeles, and now the suburbs of Madre Linda, which along with distinct locales has given an excellent variety of characters that the show has needed to balance out the sameness of having Joe be the central character.
There are some Madre Linda residents who stand out more than others, like Sherry and Cary for instance. They start off the show as some of the more unlikeable characters, Sherry especially, however, the performances of both Shalita Grant and Travis Van Winkle, make dealing with these characters worthwhile. While Sherry may be a very unlikable character, Grant’s performance of a character who is a total mean girl, but has some pain hidden beneath, worth dealing with Sherry when she is onscreen. A complaint I have, however, is that I wish that this hidden personality of Sherry was explored a bit more throughout the season. I understand that the season was mostly meant to deal with the relationship between Joe and Love, however, it would’ve been nice to have been given these details earlier, especially so that when the fate of Sherry and Cary is in the balance, there is more weight to it.
Tati Gabrielle is another major standout within the season. I first discovered her with The 100 and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and she continues to be an actress to look out for in future roles. She has great range as an actress and continues to show that off with her role as Marienne. It was interesting to see a different version of Joe’s stalking, this time with Love watching him, and on a side note, it was nice to see that Joe doesn’t always go for the white woman. Her side story with her ex and her daughter also provided a powerful and effective look at the justice system when it comes to parental rights. Given how her character ends the season, I am very excited to see what Marienne has been up to in-between seasons and to see what the character is given in season four.
It looks like we will be traveling to Paris for next season, which luckily for us, will surely make season four another unique season. I am excited to see who the new characters next season will be, what Paris has to offer, and which characters besides Joe will return from the first three seasons.
Season 3 of You delivers the show’s best season yet and while there are still flaws within the show, they are mostly minor, and the show deserves credit for improving upon the mistakes learned. You is a perfect show for Netflix’s binge model, as the show continues to deliver addicting content that the viewer cannot get enough of. I am excitedly waiting for next season, as this season has proved that I can trust in the whole team working on You and that until they release a season that breaks that trust, I should be happily rewarded with seasons that constantly reinvent what the show is doing.
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Joel Tapia is a contributing writer at All Ages of Geek. You can follow him on Twitter @tapioca621