If you’ve spent even a minute on social media, you definitely have heard of Joe and Love. And not to mention, the wildly unexpected ending of the third season of YOU. We’ve seen the passionate couple go through ups and downs, well mostly downs. Here’s a summary-cum-analysis of Love and Joe.
Joe’s childhood and past partners
Joe Goldberg is a charming young man who definitely knows his way about- be it friendships, romantic afflictions, or work-related relationships. The man can seemingly get anyone to like him with ease. Joe on the surface is a character straight out of a young adult romance novel- sweet, handsome, old-school kind of romantic, considerate, and to sum it up, too good to be true.
As perfect as Joe Goldberg is on the outside, he is inexplicably messed up behind the nice guy facade. Joe’s obsessive nature finds its roots in his childhood. The boy’s single mother was not the ideal parent. She had abusive relationships that affected Joe and when Joe killed her partner, she did not reprimand him. The woman later abandons her son at a tender age.
This gives rise to Joe’s need to “protect” females he sees around him- just as he had felt with his mother. And this, sadly, also explains why he gets obsessed with a female and feels the need to know everything about her. He had been abandoned without an explanation and would subconsciously go to any lengths to prevent the history from repeating itself again.
This nature of his is made worse as he finds home with Mr. Mooney. Mooney would trap and shut Joe in the cage in his basement. Joe was abused and treated with violence and as fire kills fire, the only way to protect oneself against violence is to use violence itself as a defense.
Presenting to you, the cherry on top: two partners Joe fell utterly in love with, both of whom ended up cheating on him. Joe had found a string of people who would always end up bringing out the worst in him, by choice or by chance. But that temporarily seemed to go away with his third significant partner in the series- Love Quinn. With Love, Joe was killing people in order to stay with her. He never felt the need to kill for her. As debauched as it sounds, this was better than his former situation with Beck or Candace.
Of course, Love has a history of her own- history just as dark as Joe’s.
Love and her husband
Love Quinn grew up in an affluent household with her twin brother Forty Quinn. Her parents, just as Joe’s mother had done, abandoned them all of a sudden. However, unlike Joe who had been pushed around all his childhood, Love was left with an au pair. She, just like Joe, had developed the same obsessive nature that comes from craving the lost affection of absent parents.
The nanny, Sophia, however, began sexually abusing Love’s brother Forty, who she had always been protective of. And so Love killed someone for the first time. Life certainly didn’t get better instantly but Love focused her energy on bringing her brother up. And she fell in love at a young age!
Love met James when they were both in school. The two fell in love and got married. Love didn’t abandon James even while he was suffering from cancer. She took care of him to the best of her abilities for over a year. But while Love was busy taking care of James, he was planning on leaving her.
Of course, she didn’t take it well and in a desperate attempt to talk him out of his decision to get a divorce, she ended up killing the man she loved.
Joe and Love- did they always walk a very thin line?
Yes, that was a reference to Exile by Taylor Swift and Bon Iver. The song definitely managed to pull a string or two in viewers’ hearts as we watched Joe get rid of Love’s body at the end of the third season of the Netflix Original.
Much has been said about how Joe and Love are psychotic, murderous, and obsessive, and hence they belong together. But here’s a different take on their compatibility:
Joe and Love didn’t belong together because of their barbarous nature or bloodthirst. They belong together because they’d both been abandoned at a tender age and came to crave affection in a manner and intensity that made them violent.
This, of course, isn’t an attempt to humanize the murders or other barbarous acts they have done on the way. This is to point out that while Joe and Love were not the ideal couple, they could have been so if help was given to them at some point in their childhood.
Were Joe and Love perfect humans? Clearly not.
Does their sad childhood make their crimes any less inhuman? No. Absolutely not.
But did they belong together in some sick, twisted way? Could they have stayed together had it not been for Joe’s need to stay obsessed with and “protect” some woman, even if it wasn’t Love? Could they have each made up for the losses in their respective childhoods? The answer, mi amigo, I’m afraid is yes.
Trying to sum up Love and Joe’s story from the last two seasons of YOU would come down to a single, rather cliché sentence:
A match made in hell.