Warning: Spoilers for the Season 2 finale of You
The second season of You left Penn Badgley injured and nauseous. However, it did come with some parts that he loved. The Netflix hit returned with an ending bang. In the Season 2 finale, You reveals that Joe shares his homicidal streak with someone else on the show. That’s right. Joe’s Season 2 obsession, the once seemingly innocent and sweet Love, has one too.
Penn Badgley has revealed his reaction to the surprising twist, which was somewhat foreshadowed early in the True Detective-style Season 2. Remember, Love heavily pursued Joe, and what is it they say about it taking one to know one? She kept insisting that she recognized and related to something in Joe. Badgley shared his thoughts on the not-so-lovely reveal, telling TVLine:
I was told [about Love] before we started the second season. The twist that really got me was when Joe immediately started hating her for being like him. But of course that makes sense. It’s so much more psychologically sound, because that’s the trajectory. Hate only equals hate. Violence only equals violence.
Props to Penn Badgley for knowing all along about Love and never projecting that into his performance in You, as far as I can tell. I left off at Episode 4 and have no reason to suspect that changes. What a challenge for Badgley, though!
Penn Badgley had to keep playing Joe’s admiration for Love when he knew of the deadly reveal that lied ahead. Upon first spotting her in You Season 2, Joe believed Love is one of the purest souls around, and Badgley totally conveyed that. Speaking of, Joe’s radar was way off, which is interesting. Did his obsessive infatuation blind him from seeing Love's true nature?
Maybe. For Penn Badgley, You’s Season 2 twist came as a welcome respite from last season’s ending wherein Joe murdered Beck. Hence, You switched up expectations in a significant way. The actor shared his reaction to learning of the Love twist and how he felt about it. As you may have suspected at this point, he welcomed the turnaround. Badgley said:
I thought, ‘OK, great, we’re not just going to kill another woman here.’ So, personally and intellectually, it helped me. And as an actor I was looking forward to Joe being with somebody who could actually maybe tolerate his insanity and violence, or match him in some way. But then I discovered the wrongness of that logic.
You did not do a wash, rinse, and repeat with its Season 2 ending. The game-changing reveal means that Joe was going toe-to-toe with a fellow killer all along in Season 2. You’s showrunner does not believe Joe is a sociopath. Does that also apply to Love? Joe went to great lengths to both gain and reject Love’s affection in You’s second season.
As hinted at in the teaser trailer, Joe kidnapped and assumed the identity of Will. A role played by an unrecognizable Robin Lord Taylor of Gotham fame. As for Penn Badgley, it is personally intriguing to hear his take on the Season 2 reveal. He previously revealed that his character horrifies more men than women. How will the reaction to Love fall? Stay tuned.