Joe and Love’s relationship came to a tragic end at the end of You season 3. After finding out about Joe’s obsession with Marienne, Love tried to “save” her marriage and started off by poisoning Joe with aconite. Joe, knowing Love better than she knows herself, had a plan B. After Love told Marienne the truth about Joe, which sent Marienne running, Joe killed Love with a fatal dose of aconite.
Joe faked his death — even cut off two of his toes to make sure no one questioned it — and burned down the home that he and Love shared. Both Joe and Love committed unspeakable acts in season 3, but he blamed everything on Love in a suicide note and said she had killed him. Joe left Madre Linda behind and went to Paris, still hoping he’ll be reunited with Marienne someday. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with You executive producer Sera Gamble about the season 3 finale twists and what they could mean for season 4.
At the end of season 3, Love is killed. Was there ever a discussion about keeping her alive? Was that always sort of the end goal for her?
Sera Gamble: This 2-season arc was always the plan, but I’m not going to lie when you’re working with an actor like Victoria Pedretti, of course, you have that conversation. We’re not idiots. She’s amazing. I feel like sometimes writers would watch cut and then sort of wistfully pitch a whole new direction just because it’s so fun to write for her. But that was always the plan.
Joe ends up in Paris at the end of season 3, and he’s still looking for Marienne. In Caroline Kepnes’ book, he ends up in the Pacific Northwest. Why the move to Paris?
Sera Gamble: Caroline was still writing the book while we were making this past season, and she and I talked quite a lot. We knew that she had a different direction for Love and for the baby. I said, ‘Well, here’s an idea that, frankly, Greg [Berlanti] pitched to me.’ He’s the one who usually texts me at 7 in the morning, ‘I had an amazing thought at 3 am.’ And then it’s like the season. That’s what Greg does. Basically, she embraced the idea that at this point the books and the show exist in two parallel timelines. They’re like cousins and not twins anymore. But I’m looking for ways to dovetail back with different aspects of what she’s writing.
Will a potential fourth season be set in Paris? [This interview was conducted before the show was renewed.]
Sera Gamble: I just don’t know yet. I can tell you that if we got to do a season 4, it would be super fun to step outside the U.S. It’s a huge mandate to always put Joe in a situation where he feels very different from the people he’s around so that he can judge the hell out of them in his mind, and we can eavesdrop on that. So it would be really fun.
Marienne figures prominently in the latter half of season 3. Would you want to circle back with her? When Love told her to run, she listened.
Sera Gamble: I think that is the probably biggest open question that we leave you with at the end of the season. I mean, when I watch it, I think it’s pretty clear that she gets the message from Love that maybe she was mistaken about this gentleman, but Joe’s not done thinking about her. So there’s always the chance, right?
I spoke with Tati about that scene and whether or not she believed what Love said and if changed after Love’s “suicide note.” I’d love to know what was going on in Marienne’s head if she learns about all this.
Sera Gamble: Watching that scene as it was shot was one of my favorite things this season. Tati and Victoria play so beautifully together. It went through a lot of iterations. We rewrote that scene a lot. They both had really good questions about it and because so much is happening and so much is pivoting, I definitely know that Tati and I had some conversations about what she and I believed the character would be thinking at that point. But one of the beautiful things about the collaboration of TV is she was thinking what she was thinking, and then it’s going to read the way it’s going to read when you watch it. I think people will watch that scene and come away with different opinions. I think it might be a bit of a debate.
Was there ever a discussion about killing her off?
Sera Gamble: We definitely cycled through that question with every single character. Like, the barista in the random cafe in Paris… is Joe going kill him? Maybe. But I think we were always pretty clear that it wasn’t about that. It would be more interesting to hand her the truth at the end of the season. Among other reasons because what an intense, powerful punch from Love. This season only works if they’re an amazing team at the beginning and amazing adversaries by the end, so we want to Love to strike some death blows.
It’s almost like Love gets the last word, even if she ended up dead.
Sera Gamble: Yeah, and I think this might sound like I’m defending her, and maybe I am in a little sort of way, she makes a lot of moves there at the end that are very protective of Marienne, Marienne’s daughter, and of her baby. So it’s not as simple as just they’re swiping at each other with kitchen knives.
“Exile” was an amazing use of a Taylor Swift song in that finale montage. Is she a fan of the show?
Sera Gamble: I have no idea if she’s ever watched anything I have anything to do with. I’ll just say I’m a fan. We did a Taylor Swift musical number in The Magicians, which is another show I worked on, and the idea of that particular song is we’re always playing with the tropes of the romantic comedy or the sad romance. It creates a nice tension when you’re watching people do things like burn a body, so it’s just such a romantic song. It’s so sincere in what it’s saying. So that felt like the right tone for the tragic end of the beautiful relationship of Joe and Love.
At the end of season 2, many fans were wondering if Joe’s mother was going to be back in the picture. Some thought she was going to be the woman next door. Could Joe’s mom still be alive?
Sera Gamble: Yeah, she could.
Is that maybe something you want to explore down the road?
Sera Gamble: I mean, it’s certainly fair game. I’ll say that.