The first season of You went a bit into what made Joe Goldberg such a cold-hearted serial killer, but Season 2 expanded on his backstory so much more. Flashbacks throughout the new season showed Joe as a young child, but left one important question unanswered: Is Joe's mom still alive on You? Netflix has picked up the show for a third season, and the answer to that question looks like it could have a big impact on where the show could potentially go.
Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers from the entirety of You Season 2. In Season 1, viewers discovered Joe picked up his imprisonment torture techniques from Mr. Mooney, the bookstore owner who served as his father figure during his teenage years. But it turns out, he had developed a dark side even before meeting Mr. Mooney.
Season 2 is peppered with flashbacks to Joe's upbringing, which was particularly harrowing. The time jumps revealed a man (possibly Joe's father) was physically abusive to both Joe and his mom, to whom Joe was extremely attached. One day, a young Joe witnessed one of the brawls, and he decided to take action. He grabbed his mom's gun and killed the man, meaning Joe may have murdered his own father.
Unfortunately, Joe's first kill did not solve his problems like he thought it would. Rather than freeing up his mom to be with him forever, she abandoned him after the murder, possibly because she could not afford to take care of him alone, or because she wanted to distance herself from what happened. So, Joe grew up in a group home, and then took on his apprenticeship under Mr. Mooney some time after that.
But what is still not clear by the end of the season is whether Joe's mom is still alive in the present day. When Joe told Love about his upbringing toward the end of the season, she asked if his mom was still around. He did not answer the question, but did speak about her in the past tense saying, "She was a saint." The remark could imply that she's not alive anymore, but it seems more likely Joe completely lost touch with his mom after she gave him up. If that's the case, she could very well still be alive somewhere without Joe knowing.
Since Season 2 introduced Joe's mom as a pivotal part of the root of his issues, this question of whether she is still around could be a potentially huge one in You’s third season. After all, who knows what might happen if Joe is able to track down the mother who abandoned him as a child? To add to this theory even more, the final moment of Season 2 has a ton of fans convinced Joe’s new neighbor is actually his mom, though Penn Badgley debunked that notion back in January. But even if the mystery neighbor is someone else entirely, Season 3 could still end up including a conflict between Joe, Love, and Joe's mom. Knowing You, things will probably get very complicated very fast if that turns out to be the case.
You Season 3 is expected to premiere on Netflix in early 2021.
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