There are so many directions this could go.
You Season 2 ended with a lot of unanswered questions, and because of Season 3’s production delays, fans have had a lot of time to mull over where the show could go next. Between multiple cliffhangers, unexpected twists, and several loose threads involving the season’s side characters, the Season 2 finale inspired countless ideas about what will happen next in Joe Golberg’s gory saga. The resulting You Season 3 fan theories predict wild new directions for the show to go, and yet they also seem at least somewhat likely after the events of Season 2.
The second season of Netflix's psychosexual drama transplanted Joe Goldberg from New York to Los Angeles and gave him the new identity of Will Bettelheim. The real twist, though, came in the finale episode, when Joe realized his new obsession was a much more perfect match for him than he thought. As it turned out, Love Quinn had no qualms about killing to keep her relationship alive, and although the revelation startled Joe, the two killers ended up moving to a house in suburbia together and are now expecting their first child.
So, what will life in the ‘burbs mean for a big-city killer like Joe? Check out these theories and start deciding which ones you think are most likely to come true in Season 3.
1. Joe's neighbor is his mom.
The biggest question left at the end of the season is the identity of Joe's new neighbor, whom has clearly become his new fixation. All we see of the mystery woman is the back of her head as she reads books in her yard, but fans quickly came together behind a prominent theory about her: She's Joe's mom. Joe notably never answered Love's question about whether his mom was still alive or not earlier in the season, and all the flashbacks to his childhood showed his close but fraught relationship with his mother. So like, all signs pointed to it being her, right?
Apparently, no. While the mother theory was definitely the strongest guess about this new neighbor, Penn Badgley totally shut it down in a Jan. 9, 2020, interview with Bustle. Since then, The Vampire Diaries star Michaela McManus has been cast in the role of Joe and Love’s neighbor, who is named Natalie. Even if she isn’t Joe’s mom, could she somehow be connected to her?
2. Love will be the new protagonist.
You fans learned the truth about Love in Season 2's final episode, but there is still so much unknown about her. What fans do know is that she is actually very similar to Joe... so similar, in fact, that the You creative team could feasibly totally flip the script with Season 3 and make Love the narrator for the run of episodes. After all, she's scarily in love and totally down to murder anyone — potentially including their new neighbor — to keep Joe with her.
3. Joe and Love will move out of California.
You has changed its setting in its first two seasons, and it sounds like that may be a trend for the show moving forward. Author Caroline Kepnes’ third book in her You series, titled You Love Me, was published earlier in 2021 and saw Joe moving to the Pacific Northwest, where he worked in a library and met a former grunge rocker. The show has been straying from the books more and more as the series continues, so nothing is for sure, but it certainly seems like we may see Joe and Love relocate to somewhere near Portland or Seattle.
4. Forty's movie will expose Joe.
Forty may be dead after the events of the Season 2 finale, but he may still be the key to taking Joe down. After all, his script adaptation of Beck's novel, The Dark Face of Love, basically lays out all of Joe's crimes, as Candace pointed out to him. Forty may be gone, but his script is still floating around Hollywood, and if the right person is able to connect the dots, then Joe could be in for some big trouble.
5. Ellie will expose Joe.
Speaking of Forty's movie script, not only does Ellie very likely still have a copy of the damning write-up, but she is also the only person besides Love who knows for sure that Joe killed Henderson and Love killed Delilah, thanks to Joe's confession to her in the finale. Ellie may have run off to start a new life in Florida, but she could easily destroy Joe's life if she decides to. So watch out for the possibility of Ellie's revenge in Season 3.
6. Joe will train his son to be a killer.
It’s pretty clear that parenting will be a central part of Season 3, with Netflix’s release date announcement teaser focusing on Joe speaking directly to his newborn son, Henry. In the clip, Joe emphasizes how he doesn’t want his son to turn out like him, but the first-look photos from Season 3 seem to tell another story. Fans latched on to a shot of Joe sporting his always-ominous stalker cap while carrying his baby, leading to the theory that there may be a new troubled Goldberg boy in the future.
7. Joe and Love will try to kill one another.
Could this season of You basically turn into Mr. and Mrs. Smith? That’s one big theory, especially considering how freely the newlyweds turn to lethal violence and the clear animosity Joe has for Love after that big Season 2 finale reveal. Badgley added to this theory in a Dec. 28, 2019, interview with TVLine: “Basically, it’s set up for Season 3 in a way where they would be each other’s arch nemesis,” he said. Hide the kitchen knives in the Quinn-Goldberg household, because it sounds like things aren’t going to be all that peaceful in the suburbs.
Find out which theories fall apart and which ones prove true when You Season 3 arrives on Netflix’s doorstep on Oct. 15.
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