Who Is Joe Goldberg in ‘You’ Season 3?

Netflix dropped the third season of “You” on Oct. 15. Audiences follow the journey of Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) and look forward to the chaos he can cause in the new season. 

In past seasons, viewers realize Goldberg tries to figure out everyone but himself. He created a notable pattern with each pretty girl he met. The girl is apparently the love of his life and he will go above and beyond to protect her — especially murdering their close acquaintances.

It is easy to say Goldberg has communication issues. He follows a womens’ every move and critically thinks about why they might make certain decisions. I’m sure he would be great as an FBI agent but unfortunately, he traps people who wrong him in a big glass box.

Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) tries for a new start. Courtesy of Netflix.

The speciality about Goldberg is that audiences don’t exactly hate him. For starters, he’s an attractive man. There are tweets by watchers saying they wouldn’t mind if Goldberg trapped them in a box. As crazy as it sounds, lust over knowledge goes a long way. In “You”, we also hear Goldberg’s internal monologue. We know what he thinks and why he makes certain decisions. If someone was harming a person we love, we’d do our best to protect them. Maybe not murder, but through Goldberg’s head — it’s reasonable. 

Goldberg in the third season of “You” is different —  well, at least he tries to be. That’s what we want in a series, character development, right? We expect to see the main characters change. Goldberg decides to drop the murdering hobby after his wife, Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti), gives birth to their child, Henry. The couple ditches Los Angeles (mainly because they killed people) and starts a new life in a Bay Area suburb, Madre Linda. 

Goldberg is under the impression that his family will be saved in a new environment. However, there are still underlying struggles between him and Quinn. They make it seem that if they pack up their bags and get a mortgage — their problems will disappear. Unfortunately, the motive to kill based on their partner interacting with the opposite sex is still there.

Henry is Goldberg’s saving grace, although the baby is not really that into him. The Quinn family also theorizes it is Love’s deceased brother, Forty, reincarnated. I wouldn’t doubt it as Forty was also not too fond of Goldberg. 

In the third season, viewers see flashbacks of Goldberg’s childhood. He was put into a foster care system. He was constantly abused by his peers and did not receive the support he needed from any adult figures. Goldberg wants to fix his act so he can provide a great childhood for Henry. This way, his son would feel proper love and not chase it in random people. 

 Goldberg and Quinn look for new chances in Madre Linda with their baby, Henry. Courtesy of Netflix.

Goldberg meets new faces in Madre Linda and that’s not a good thing. He experiences setbacks when he meets his neighbor, Natalie Engler (Michaela McManus). It is normal for people to be attracted to others even while being in a committed relationship. However, Goldberg takes his admiration for women to another level. An average person might just look at their social media accounts and call it a day. However, Goldberg is following Engler on her grocery store run, and when he is invited over —  he takes her underwear as a souvenir. He makes a collector’s box and hides it in hopes that Quinn will never find it. (Spoiler: she finds it, and Engler is murdered.)

One thing that is intriguing about Goldberg is his self-awareness. He knows that he’s committed horrible acts. He just can’t help himself. In past seasons, Goldberg thought he was right to murder the people that got in his way. It is mostly because he has attachment issues, but in this season — audiences can see he contemplates his actions. The fact that Goldberg hesitates to murder shows that he’s improving as a human being.

Quinn is similar to Goldberg, and sometimes he sees her as a monster. He is shocked and upset to see Quinn kill Engler based on jealousy. Yet, he never wants any harm to happen to Quinn because he understands her motives. While pursuing Engler, Goldberg often contemplates if he is making the right decision to follow her. He does not want to be a cheater or make the same mistakes as he did in the past. Goldberg constantly wonders where his true soulmate is.

Just because Goldberg successfully commits murders does not mean he is not human. We all go through struggles whether it is consuming junk food or having a hard time budgeting a payment. Of course, some challenges have more consequences than others. I am excited to see what’s next for Goldberg — Netflix announced there will be a fourth season of “You.”

You” can be streamed exclusively on Netflix

By Neha Seenarine

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