When it comes to crime, there are three most common motives- money, revenge and love. Serial killers are another story; for now, let’s just focus on these three things. The first season of ‘You’ uses love as the primary motivator for its protagonist to do whatever he did. The second season takes it a step further and adds revenge in the mix. The hunter is also being hunted this time. It is a game of cat-and-mouse for Joe Goldberg while he tries to balance his new life with the girl, whom he thought he had murdered, on his tail and the girl that he thinks can be “the one” right in front of him. SPOILERS AHEAD.
You Season 2 Episode 1 Recap
The first season of ‘You’ ended with Beck’s death and Joe once again opening up himself to another chance at love. However, before he can catch a break, Candace appears out of nowhere. Turns out, she is alive and was lured out of hiding after she heard about what happened to Beck. Now, she wants to make Joe pay for what he did to her as well as Beck.
Afraid that she might turn him in to the police, Joe runs for his life. He leaves New York City and has to find refuge in Los Angeles, the one place he hates the most in the world. He doesn’t plan to stay there for long, but it is a good place to start if he wants to shed his old self. He adopts a new identity, gets a place to live and finds a job. And then, he meets Love. Just like Beck, it is an instant connection for him. He tries to not give in to the temptation of reading her and getting to know her, but eventually, he gives in. The more time he spends with her, the more he believes that it is different this time.
You Season 2 Episode 1 Review
Putting Joe back on another trial for love, ‘You’ kicks off the second season with the familiarity of the first season, but with uncertainty looming over the protagonist. His meeting with Love Quinn seems as destined as it was with Guinevere Beck. There is a book store, and a girl who is perfect enough for Joe to risk falling in love with, even after a recent heartbreak. His story is pretty much the same, and considering the psychopath that he is, he will always have such a story to justify his actions.
The only different thing this time around is that someone is chasing after him. A constant threat that he has to look out for, and it is absolutely necessary for the show to focus more on that if they don’t want the second season to be just another iteration of what they did in the first one. This is the third time, at least, that Joe has fallen in love, and as the audience, we spent an entire season looking at the story from his perspective. We know exactly how he thinks, which puts ‘You’ at the risk of being predictable, and hence, unexciting.
Though it is still too early to call it out for being repetitive, I don’t feel compelled to continue further. The episode begins with Joe running from his past and, time and again, promising himself, as well as the audience, that he won’t be repeating the mistakes he made with Beck. But we know him too well to not doubt his intentions as he insists on that second-floor apartment and puts that telescope in place for sneaking around before setting up anything else in his new home. So yes, despite his resolve to be as unpredictable as possible, he really isn’t being so. But I am ready to give this season a chance and cross my fingers about Joe making some new mistakes.
Apart from this concern, ‘You’ has held on to the trademarks that set apart its first season. Joe’s monologue is still snobbishly sarcastic, delivered in a dry manner (which makes it all the more relatable) by Penn Badgley. It begins as a romance to dream about, meeting the man or woman of your dreams while browsing books in a café or a bookstore, and then takes the turn towards the psycho stalker who secretly worships Ted Bundy. To the fans of ‘You’, the second season begins as a nostalgia trip. It reminds you of what you fell in love with and why Love is a dangerous gamble for Joe.
I just hope that the show doesn’t get stuck in the same cycle that it has already shown to us. Whatever the case may be, even if this season doesn’t pan out better, at least you will have a list of books to catch up on by the end of it.
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