It’s always a risky move when you take a popular show and move it to a new city with an almost entirely new cast. But moving You to both Netflix and LA for season 2 pays off with more fun, more thrills, and definitely more kills. (Contains spoilers for Season 2 of You, currently streaming on Netflix)
Last seen in New York, Joe’s ex Candace presumed dead has tracked him down. Will flees to where she’d never think to look for him – LA. Like a true New Yorker, he hates everything about the city but it’s a great place to disappear while he plans his next move.
Finding Love in LA
Season 2 has everything that was great about the first season. False identities, Joe is now Will. How did he get this new name? Ask the real Will, trapped in a glass book cage deep within a storage unit. And of course we get Love. Joe/Will’s new love interest this season is literally called Love. He’s finally found true Love. Unfortunately just as with Beck, the path to Love is filled with chaos. She has a needy twin brother, a powerful family and close friends.
Unlike the first season, this time around Joe/Will is getting some friends too. Despite his best efforts, he quickly befriends Ellie and her sister Delilah who live in his building. Ellie is a precious 15 year old who has a habit of befriending the wrong people, including celebrity comedian Henderson. Her sister Delilah is a journalist out to expose the dark side of LA.
Keep Your Friends Close
The cast additions to the new season are truly what elevates it. Joe has always been a New Yorker snob, so pushing him in to the LA insanity only heightens his disgust at everyone but Love. Episode 5 Have a Good Wellkend, Joe! which places him at a wellness retreat with Love’s wealthy family is a piece of brilliance. You walks a careful line of making us root for Joe, yet also be terrified of him. Placing him with the truly wealthy LA elite helps us remember why Joe is our damaged hero, and who among us wasn’t hoping he would snap Forty’s neck at some point?
The Ellie conundrum also helps to alleviate some of the intense romance. Joe spend so much time pining for Beck in season one, it was hard to understand why she would put up with him. By giving Joe/Will a mission, ‘save the girl’, it takes him away from Love, and widens his character. Joe believes in good, he only kills to protect people. Like with Henderson – as an audience we all knew how this was going to end, but it was all the more delightful to see Will’s mask start to crack until he literally rips it off to scream that he is nothing like Henderson. Joe doesn’t rape people, he just kills them.
With the death count growing all season, when Delilah ends up locked in the cage, despite Will’s protests, we all know she’s not making it out. Putting Will on an acid trip? Perfection. Episode 8 Fear and Loathing in Beverly Hills goes full American Psycho with Will begging anyone to tell him what he’s done.
In a twist that wasn’t as surprising as it could have been, Love confesses that she is just like Joe. She killed Delilah for him. For them. The reveals of the dark side of Love isn’t the brilliance of this, so much as Joe’s utter disgust at her actions. We once again see Joe’s delusion, he doesn’t see himself as a killer, he’s a protector, a hero. Love has broken his careful code. Watching him squirm like Beck at the end of season 1 is great, but seeing him trapped in a real prison of his own making – perfect suburbia – in the final scenes, is the perfect punishment. Damage finds damage, and Love is the perfect damage for Joe. But it’s ok, he’s found You. His new neighbour.
See you all for Season 3, which promises to be a delightful Desperate Housewives style drama.