For the last two seasons, fans of You on Netflix have been hooked on the story of Joe Goldberg. An obsessive, psychopathic man who sees what he does as right because it’s all in the name of love certainly serves as an interesting subject, especially following the end of the second season, which sees Joe now married to Love Quinn, a woman who is equally as crazy as he is – and carrying his child. Although continuing Joe’s story comes at the risk of retreading old ground, season 3 of You manages to keep the narrative fresh and as exciting as ever, telling Joe’s most thrilling scandals yet.
Season 3 opens up with the birth of Joe and Love’s son, Henry Quinn-Goldberg, and the child’s introduction is the first major step the series takes in keeping itself interesting and unpredictable. While a baby can often feel like a lazy way to shake up the status quo of a show, Henry feels like a welcome addition to the cast. Getting to see the parental sides of Joe and Love adds even more layers to the two great leads, especially knowing their problematic history with their parents. Things get extra twisted when Henry is forced to tag along on Joe’s stalking trips or Love’s murderous clean-ups, as his innocent presence adds a far greater tension to these already dramatic moments – a definite edge these latest episodes have over the previous two seasons.
Another aspect that breathes some fresh air into the series is the change of setting. The first two seasons make great use of their big-city locations, with the first set in New York and the second in Los Angeles. Season 3 of You, however, makes a big move. While still set in California, Joe and Love take their escapades to a small suburban community up north, and it proves to be the perfect place for these characters. This main duo couldn’t be more damaged, so seeing them move into a seemingly flawless reality – and discovering its true imperfections – is a compelling and unique catch that keeps the viewer engaged steadily across ten episodes.
A rousing setting and plot are elevated by an incredible ensemble in season 3. Penn Badgley and Victoria Pedretti return as Joe and Love respectively and are more dynamic than ever. Seeing them behave as a married couple and as parents gives them a wider range to display their talents; keeping audiences on their toes the whole time. The two are allowed to be at their best, especially with Badgley, who continues to give an absolutely thrilling performance, carrying the show as its voice and face. Without Badgley, You wouldn’t have the quality and strength that it does, but thanks to the multi-faceted actor, this Netflix original continues to live up to its name.
Besides the two leads, this season welcomes a large cast of new characters, and each one adds further depth to the series as a whole. Tati Gabrielle and Dylan Arnold, specifically, shine as Marienne and Theo, two residents of the fictional suburban Madre Linda who shake up the relationship between Joe and Love in drastic ways. They get the most development and screen time out of the new players introduced, and it makes them effective and much-welcome additions. Travis Van Winkle and Shalita Grant are also amazing as the enigmatic Conrads, an eccentric couple that serves as stellar comedic relief, while also having their own fair share of secrets that will surprise even the keenest watchers when revealed.
You has notoriously built itself on plot threads that run entirely on twists and turns, and it’s no different here. Every episode guarantees either a shocking revelation, major complication, or out-of-nowhere moment that will surely leave viewers on the edge of their seats. But rather than feeling lazy or like a desperate attempt at shock value, each event builds on the overall narrative and fits completely into the established world of the show, which is why season 3 works so well. The reveals keep You incalculable thanks to a robust writing team that manages to tell a coherent story that doesn’t get convoluted or confusing as more and more mysteries are uncovered.
Season 3 of You delivers the strongest run for the series so far, bolstered by superb performances from leads Penn Badgley and Victoria Pedretti, a solid cast of new characters, and revelations unlike anything else streaming right now. As You continues to soar as one of Netflix’s most popular originals ever, it reaches new heights with a story full of humor, tragedy, and romance. You is definitely not showing signs of slowing down anytime soon.