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You Season 3 and Penn Badgley and Victoria

Penn Badgley and Victoria Pedretti continue their fascinating work as a fatally flawed couple who get into a different kind of trouble.

It would be easy to say that Joe Goldberg has changed by the time “You” Season 3 starts.

When last the show left him, he was on the verge of being both a husband and a father, reeling from the reveal that Love Quinn, the object of his affection (and manipulation), is almost as homicidally prolific as he is.

When Season 3 opens on the fledgling family

transplanted from LA to the fictional Bay Area suburb of Madre Linda, Joe (Penn Badgley) sees his new surroundings as a threat.

He feels inadequate at his new parental responsibilities and still can’t shake the fact that Love wasn’t the romantic cure-all he had fashioned in his mind. Before long, Love (Victoria Pedretti) is sharing in the life-upheaval misery.

Both of them have been chasing a warped, idealized conception of partnership; now that the two have each gotten as close to it as they’ll get, they despise the way it hasn’t lived up to expectations.

Costa Rica national football team and United States men’s national soccer team

Of course, this is “Scenes from a Marriage” with a preexisting body count, and it doesn’t take much for the uneasy pact Joe and Love have made to be tested by their new neighborhood. For Joe, it’s as easy as looking over the fence into the yard of their neighbors, where Natalie (Michaela McManus) becomes the newest target of his wandering eyes.

Treading any further into how Joe and Love’s tenuous bond gets tested would be to tip the hand of the characteristic litany of ill-informed decisions and dangerously tight squeezes that have become a “You” hallmark. It’s a cycle of trial, solution, and uneasy reconciliation, built on the violence-as-relationship-metaphor foundation that the show has had since its pre-Netflix days.

In many ways, Joe hasn’t changed at all. He still goes on the occasional stalker stakeout, clad in his trademark logo-free ballcap, only this time with a baby in the carseat behind him. Badgley’s narration continues to be both a hook and a strength for the show, whether Joe is luxuriating in fantasy hypotheticals or dropping in one-word reactions when plans start to go off the rails.

But the show around Joe certainly has shifted.

The wild plot swings are still there (needless to say that Madre Linda does not stay cozy and quiet for long), but they’re coupled with a better understanding of what is driving the central couple. There are more flashbacks this season, meant just as much to help Joe reckon with what’s driving his predatory behavior as the audience. And Love is more than just Joe’s spouse: She’s the first person in the “You” run who knows his secret and hasn’t spent time in the basement plexiglass cage as a result. When the Quinn-Goldberg’s path of mutually assured destruction isn’t one step away from going nuclear, their suburban detente gives “You” the first real chance at showing a relationship anywhere close to even footing.

Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley), a bibliophile, relentlessly scheming stalker, and unrepentant serial murderer, is way out of his depth. He’s moved into a new home — in the fictional California enclave of Madre Linda — and feels burdened by the responsibilities of being a new father to his son, Henry, and husband to his wife, Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti). These life changes would likely challenge most people, but he has one additional problem: His wife, like him, is impulsive and unafraid to murder people, especially if she believes they are threats to her marriage.

In the first two seasons, Joe was undoubtedly the villain and there were no serious foils for his brand of creepiness. He could slyly charm a romantic interest, like the aspiring writer Beck (Elizabeth Lail), and outsmart anyone who caught on to him, like Beck’s best friend, Peach Salinger (Shay Mitchell). His previous hunting grounds were bustling cities full of self-involved people who might not notice anything amiss, but in the suburbs, it’s harder for Joe to skulk unnoticed.

That’s right: season three of You 

ends with Joe entering his Eat, Pray, Love era. Good stuff. Parfait, even, getting Joe out of the claustrophobic suburbs and giving his life a hard refresh. He doesn’t seem to want to live this way for long, though. In actuality, he’s searching for Marienne (Tati Gabrielle), his latest love (not to be confused with his former love, Love). But after getting a chilling warning from Love, Marienne took her daughter Juliette and fled the suburbs. Joe, as he is wont to do, becomes determined to find her, heading to Paris. “All I know, mon amour, is I’ll search the world if I have to,” he vows as he struts past milling Parisians, the Eiffel Tower looming fuzzily in the distance behind him. 

The finale doesn’t give away too much about Joe’s new life

except to reveal that he goes by Nick now and he’s comfy enough in the city to go to a buzzing cafe without a baseball cap on. Apparently his true crime infamy back in the States wasn’t big enough to reach the French papers. But it makes sense that Joe would head to the city of love after losing Love, indulging in all his sick romantic whims. Let’s just imagine what his life will be like there for a moment, shall we? He’ll stroll past bakeries that will remind him of his once-beloved Love, a pang in his chest every time he sees a fresh tart. He’ll dodge American tourists in the Latin Quarter, and quietly linger by murderinos killing time at Père Lachaise. He’ll trade his baseball cap for a beret and then back to a baseball cap when he realizes no one does that. 

Sherry is one of the most iconic characters by the end of You season 3. She’s another neighbor to Love and Joe, one who on the surface seems enraptured by the trappings of upper crust life in the suburbs. She’s hyper vigilant about her children’s health and snotty to Love, but there’s a lot more going on underneath her mommy blogger exterior — especially when it comes to her marriage to alpha male Cary.

Theo is portrayed by Dylan Arnold, who also played the goofy love interest of Lennon Stella’s character Maddy in the show Nashville and Tessa’s clingy high school boyfriend Noah in the After movie series. Dylan can also be seen in the upcoming movie Halloween Kills.

The third season of the American psychological thriller television series You was ordered by Netflix on January 14, 2020. It features the continuation of Joe Goldberg’s fraught relationship with Love, who is pregnant with his child in a new suburban home. You series creators Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble return as co-executive producers, and Gamble returns as showrunner.

Penn Badgley, Victoria Pedretti and Saffron Burrows, who was upgraded to a series regular, reprise their roles. New cast members include Shalita Grant, Travis Van Winkle, Dylan Arnold, and Tati Gabrielle. Michaela McManus portrays Joe’s new neighbor, shown at end of the second season. The ten-episode season premiered on October 15, 2021.