The first two seasons of You were all about Joe Goldberg, but Season 3 is different. After that wild reveal in the Season 2 finale, Love Quinn is just as much at the center of the story as Joe this time around. Because of that, fans learn a whole lot more about Love’s motivations and her upbringing in Season 3, and most importantly, Love finally revealed what really happened to her first husband, James, in the You Season 3 finale.
Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers from the You Season 3 finale. The mysterious death of Love’s first husband was introduced as a very suspicious backstory detail in Season 2. As Joe was growing closer to Love, she told him that she was married once before to a man named James, but it didn’t last long. She said James was diagnosed with a terminal illness, and though she tried to nurse him back to health, he wound up dying of the unnamed disease. Of course, after the Season 2 finale revealed Love has no qualms about murder, fans began to theorize Love may have killed her husband herself.
That theory was proven true at the end of Season 3. When Joe and Love finally had their ultimate face-off over the dinner table, it was all about subtle machinations rather than their usual bashings or stabbings. After declaring he wanted a divorce, Joe sneakily grabbed a butcher knife from the table, unsure of how Love would react to his decision to uncouple from her. But it turned out, Love was expecting that move all along. Soon, Joe’s body began to freeze up, and Love told him this was because she laced the knife’s handle with aconite, a powerful poison she had been growing in the garden all this time.
And this wasn’t her first time using aconite. As Joe became paralyzed from the poison, Love admitted she had accidentally killed her first husband, James, with the deadly plant. She said she just wanted to temporarily paralyze him with a small dose when he began to recover from his illness and expressed his desire to get a divorce, but because she had him ingest the poison (presumably hidden in one of her many meals or treats), he wound up dead instead of paralyzed. Joe, however, really was only temporarily paralyzed because he had absorbed the aconite through contact rather than ingestion.
Love’s admission didn’t really clear everything up about her relationship with James — viewers still don’t know what illness James had or why he wanted a divorce after recovering — but at least it finally confirmed everyone’s suspicions about how her first marriage ended.
You Season 3 is streaming on Netflix now.