Joe And Love Might Be Psychopaths, But They Are So Relatable As Parents

by Tanay Howard
Originally Published: 
Penn Badgley and Victoria Pedretti as the Goldbergs in "You"

They may be psycho, but every parent can relate to them (minus the murder) — and y’all cannot sit here and try to deny that! Season 3 of Netflix’s highly anticipated series You premiered on Friday (Oct. 15th) and Joe and Love are back and more toxic than ever. Joe and Love Quinn-Goldberg (yep… he married her) traded in their busy city life for the American dream! Season 3 of the series is set in San Francisco suburb Madre-Linda, where the lawns are green and everything is peachy keen! From yoga to lattes to snooty town influencers, everything is a little too perfect. Alas, everyone’s favorite psycho duo is looking for a fresh start in these hell-burbs. And as new parents, they make it a little too easy for us to look past their blatant toxicity and nod our heads like “girl … same.”

Well, me at least. Hear me out!

*You Season 3 Spoilers Ahead*

If you’re all caught up with the Goldbergs, then you know that season 3 of You picks up right where season 2 left off. Joe has “met” the new object of his affections (read: obsession) in next door neighbor Natalie. As we all expect, Joe can never leave well enough alone. We’re barely a full episode in before Love figures out her husband is up to his old ways and takes the Natalie situation into her own hands. Nice knowing ya, Nat!

Could it be the insecurity of not feeling seen by your husband after just having a baby? Especially with more awkward and inopportune sex moments in this season than we can count. Because girl … relatable! If we didn’t know that they were both absolutely bat-shit crazy, one might even make an attempt to blame Love’s completely impulsive behavior on hormones. She is, after all, a very new mom and wife, in a new town, with a husband that has a habit of … straying. And we hear Love ask Joe more than once this season, is it me? Who hasn’t felt that?



There was probably one time too many throughout this season when Love acted on impulse and I just stared at the screen and was like, well I mean … I kinda get it! If you thought Love was crazy about Joe, her love for baby Henry is unmatched. Both parents have a strong will to give Henry the life they dreamed of having as children. So from shouting matches with her husband, to digging up bodies as a team, Love considered Henry at absolutely every moment. The kid barely got an opportunity to whimper the entire season. As a mother at any stage, I know I would do anything to protect my children. WHATEVER IT TAKES. I just don’t have the option (privilege?) of being able to bop anti-vaxxers over the head and hide them in a glass box in my basement.


To make matters worse (if that’s possible), Love and Joe constantly have company this season, in the form of Love’s overbearing and annoying mother Dottie Quinn. Going through a divorce, losing her son, and being toxic in all her own ways, Dottie never goes the hell away — even taking her woo-woo to the next level with her belief that little Henry is the reincarnation of Love’s brother Forty. Nothing puts a strain on a new marriage and new parenthood like an overbearing in-law. Here the writers go again, appealing to the masses. WE SEE YOU JOE, WE SEE YOU!

Penn Badgley does a great job at conveying his humanity. All throughout this season I found myself sympathizing with him as he takes us through his wild narration. Joe had me convinced he was really just trying to be a good husband and father. He struggles in the beginning to bond with his son, a tale many fathers can tell over and over. And as the season progresses we see a side of Joe that, like other seasons, wraps us right around his finger.



I mean for god’s sake the man has a lot to deal with! He was forced to marry “the monster” due to his own mommy issues which we continue to see play out. There’s the fear of damaging and/or abandoning his son. He cannot, try as he might, stop with the stalking. And every time I found myself thinking he may be on the up, Love was there to drag him right back down to reality.

You season 3 was one episode after another of absolute WTF moments. But, I can’t deny seeing the human in both main characters. As parents, Love and Joe wanted what we all want. They moved to a good neighborhood, worried about getting Henry into the best preschool, and repeatedly made decisions in hopes of protecting and preserving the innocence of their son. They both sat in their unhappiness singing to the tune of saving their family. It’s a song many of us have written our own lyrics to.

But yeah — as people, they could do with far more therapy than those little marriage counseling sessions provided.

At least we can all sleep with the comfort of knowing that Henry, at least, won at the end of this season. And maybe that’s enough for Joe to finally get some act right! I guess we’ll find out next season, being that season 4 is already confirmed.

Season 3 of You is now streaming on Netflix.

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