You: Season 3 — Another day, another murder
The opposite of relationship goals.
Everyone's favorite creeper Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) is back for the third and latest season in the stalking-murdering Netflix hit, You. Picking up right where Season 2 left off, Joe has forgone his life of crime and settled down with his former subject and now wife, Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti), who, at the end of Season 2, proved that she herself also had quite the dark side. This reveal made them a match made in heaven — or in this case, the California suburbs. However, by the middle of Episode 1, we realize that it's not all unicorns and candy corn in this suburban paradise. One bad decision leads to dozens, and the domino effect not only impacts the lives of Joe and Love, but also the lives of their closest friends, neighbors, and coworkers. And if that weren't enough, there's also Henry: Joe and Love's newborn son, who stands to suffer the most if his parents don't get their criminal hobbies under control.
If you enjoyed the anxiety-ridden narrative of the first two seasons, you'll find Season 3 to be a welcomed continuation. As a whole, Season 3 feels like an epilogue to the relationship we were introduced to last season. Their marriage is toxic, to say the least, with the only stable element being Henry. Their charm is still just as lethal, although the supporting characters this time around aren't quite so gullible — many notice the cracks in Joe's and Love's lies, and this creates some truly nail-biting sequences. Newcomers Marienne (Tati Gabrielle), Sherry (Shalita Grant), and Theo (Dylan Arnold) all work great opposite the two stars, even if the caricature nature of their lives can feel a tad heavy handed at times. The true star, however, is Victoria Pedretti. Her exaggerated facial expressions mixed with the ever-present pain she shields from everyone around her makes her the most complex and captivating character on screen. In fact, I'd say the season revolves more strongly around her than it does Joe, and I'm not complaining one bit about that.
The trouble Season 3 has is with maintaining its originality. While it might be brimming with twists and turns, many of this season's most shocking moments are rehashed from the previous two seasons, ultimately voiding them of true emotion and surprise. I find it hard to believe that this story can survive another full season on the current path it's taking, and that's mainly due to the flip-flopping motivations of the core characters and the vastly deeper hole they continue to dig for themselves with each passing episode. These concerns went away for me temporarily toward the middle of the season, but a lackluster finale squashes any hopes of a narrative shakeup in Season 4. Because of that, I find that Season 3 hinders on feeling a bit too been-there-done-that, and any character development is intentionally downplayed out of fears that too much change will scare away fans. I'd argue, however, that too much of the same will do that even faster.
It's also worth noting that the show addresses current events like the pandemic and vaccine controversies, but does so in a way that is overflowing with goofiness. It isn't necessarily tone deaf, and I'd argue a few of the elements work well, but the majority of these moments fall flat or just feel too cringe-worthy for their own good.
- Final Thoughts -
You: Season 3 is a familiar romp in the crime-ridden, surreal lives of the two most lovable stalkers and murderers Netflix has to offer. It won't blow you away, but hey, it's suspenseful, sexy, and more violent than both of its previous seasons combined. For that alone, it's worthy of your time.
(Image courtesy of Variety.com)