Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers from the You Season 3 finale. Joe Goldberg is kind of a pro at finding unique ways to murder people, and as all You fans found out at the end of Season 2, so is his soulmate, Love Quinn. Despite their attempts at providing a quaint, murder-free life for their newborn son Henry in the suburbs, the third season of the thriller series quickly took a bloody turn. And in the end, the two murders resorted to a weapon much more unique than usual weapons. A lethal poison called aconite plays a pivotal role in the season’s climactic scene, which might have you asking whether aconite really exists outside of You Season 3. It’s been used in a few big TV shows before, and it’s as scary in real life as it looks on TV.
Joe and Love’s escalating cat-and-mouse game finally came to a head in Season 3’s finale, when they finally admitted the truths about their respective cheating over a tense dinner. Love had figured out that Joe was obsessed with his new co-worker, Marienne, and Joe knew that Love was having an affair with their college-aged neighbor Theo. When Joe asked for a divorce, he was prepared for the worst, going so far as to grab a butcher knife from the table and hide it in his lap in case Love tried to attack him. However, Love was one step ahead. As Joe’s body began to freeze up, Love revealed she laced the knife with aconite, a powerful poison that functions as a paralytic in low doses. She admitted she used aconite on her first husband, James, hoping to temporarily paralyze him when he tried to leave her, but she accidentally overdosed him, leading to his demise.
As Joe mentioned when revealing he had noticed Love growing suspicious plants in their garden, aconite is more commonly known as wolfsbane. As it’s depicted in You, wolfsbane is a plant with purple flowers that is highly poisonous, able to take human life almost instantly in large doses. It also has a storied history with the supernatural, due to connections with werewolves in various pieces of lore. Shows like Teen Wolf and Buffy the Vampire Slayer have featured the plant in connection with the supernatural, and other bloody dramas like Dexter have also had prominent arcs concerning aconite as a poison.
There also seems to be some truth to Joe’s treatment of his aconite poisoning. Joe is able to snap himself out of his paralyzed state by ingesting adrenaline pills, and there have been medical studies showing adrenaline can indeed be used to treat aconite poisoning.
TBH, aconite feels like the perfect murder weapon for Love, since she can so seamlessly combine it with her passion for cooking. And it definitely made for one of the most suspenseful You finales ever.
You Season 3 is streaming on Netflix now.