‘You’ season two reopens conversation about toxic relationships, social media

Bridget Janis, Contributor

The lovable killer Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley), now known as Will Bettelheim, is back with season two of the must-watch Netflix show “You.” 

With the season being released Dec. 26, 2019, it was a perfect opportunity for everyone to binge-watch over holiday break, and it was worth the binge-watching. 

Season two is loosely based on author Caroline Kepnes’ sequel novel “Hidden Bodies,” set in Los Angeles, and this season was not a disappointment. Joe ends up changing his name and fleeing to Los Angeles to get away from his ex-girlfriend Candace Stone (Ambyr Childers), who makes another appearance this season with the goal to make sure Joe gets what he deserves.

Joe tries to start off with a clean slate this season with a new name, new city, new job and of course, a new girl, but we all know that the glass box has to make a reappearance at some point. 

The love interest that catches Joe’s eyes is named Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti) — how ironic. Love is a rich aspiring chef in Los Angeles whom he met at his new job as a bookstore clerk at Anavrin, run by Forty Quinn (James Scully), Love’s twin brother, who is known for being kind of crazy but is one of the few actually sane people in the show

Joe attempts to better himself this season, focusing on hurting people less, which doesn’t really work out in his favor as he begins to fall back into his old obsessive and violent patterns.

Season two is full of many more plot twists compared to season one — the last three episodes really kept the audience on their toes and had me gasping at every event. The addition of Ellie Alves (Jenna Ortega), Joe’s 15-year-old neighbor and her older sister Delilah (Carmela Zumbado) created a valuable side story for the season.

Ellie isn’t the main focus in Joe’s life, but he looks out for her while she encounters famous comedian (and pedophile) Henderson (Chris D’Elia). Joe finds himself feeling a need to make sure Ellie is always accounted for and safe, which can be seen as a foreshadowing for the end of the season. This was a clever way to bring out Joe’s responsible side with someone with whom he has not fallen in love.

Just like other shows on Netflix, such as “Dexter” and “Bates Motel,” the audience grows to love the main character and his toxic personality even more, and the viewers begin to hope he doesn’t get caught, creating a dynamic where we actually start rooting for the serial killers. 

The show still upholds its focus on social media and how much it can tell you about one’s life, just like in season one. Joe uses it as a tactic to get information about some of Love’s friends. Joe also ends up giving social media a try himself this season, which is something viewers would have never expected from him.

By also adding backstories from both Joe’s childhood and his relationship with Candace, it brought more of an understanding to the plot line of what caused Joe to obsess over being in love and have little to no emotion while killing or hurting people who he thinks deserve to die.

This season was even better than the first — the plot twists were all very unexpected — and the ending has a cliffhanger that leaves fans and left myself begging for a season three. 

“You” is definitely a show everyone should watch and enjoy. It provides so much insight into real life situations with toxic relationships and the danger they can actually bring, and while it is intriguing to watch, it can also be informational and eye-opening to many viewers.

Rating: 5/5 stars