When Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail) walks through the door of his bookstore in the opening moments of You, Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) is smitten instantly. The show is told through his point of view, so we get his inner thoughts as Beck walks through the store. Even though he’s never met Beck, he thinks he knows what kind of girl she is. Because she wears noisy bracelets, he thinks she likes attention. Okay, maybe she just likes to accessorize, Joe. They hit it off because Joe is charming in person. Joe is convinced that Beck wants him to know her name because she handed him her credit card. Dude, no.
Joe continues to fantasize about Beck. When he gets home to his apartment, we see he’s formed a friendship with the neglected boy next door, Paco, whose mom and stepdad are constantly fighting. Joe feels for the kid. But his mind never strays from Beck for too long. He heads right to his computer to investigate Beck. He says he has to “protect himself to make sure she’s safe.” He finds that every one of Beck’s accounts are set to public. “You want to be seen. Heard. Known,” Joe believes. Before you know it, he finds out where she lives using one of her Instagram photos. Well, now I know never to post the outside of my own apartment.
Joe goes to Beck’s apartment and follows her around during the day. Everywhere. She. Goes. He watches her hookup with her on-again, off-again man, Benji. He later watches her masturbate and jerks off at the same time. Holy nuts, You is going THERE.
Joe continues to go to extreme lengths to manipulate himself into Beck’s life. He breaks into her house, takes her underwear, and hacks her computer. Beck comes home while he’s still there, so Joe jumps in the shower. He nearly gets caught, but he’s one lucky stalker. JOE, WTF?!
Later, Beck gets drunk after a poetry reading and heads down to the subway. Joe is not too far behind. He gets pissed at Beck’s decision. “What if some sicko followed you down here?” he says. Joe is truly delusional and doesn’t see that he is the person in the wrong here. You are the sicko! Beck falls onto he track after dropping her phone. Joe saves her in the knick of time, only to get thrown up on by Beck.
Joe’s not just going to wait for Beck to come around. He wants to be the only man in her life, so he lures Benji to the bookstore basement and knocks him out. No more random hookups for Beck! She later stops back by the bookstore to thank Joe, and he makes his move. She falls for his knight in shining armor act. Oh, Beck. You need to run and fast.
You is one psychological thriller I’ll be talking about for a long time. As a young, single woman living in New York City, I relate a lot to Beck. Hearing the thoughts in Joe’s head, spoken masterfully by Penn, make me question every move I make. For so long, we have accepted creepy moves by men all in the name of romance. Well, You is blowing all that up. Count me in for what’s sure to be one wild and twisted ride.