Note: The following contains spoilers for the entirety of “You” Season 3.
From the haunts of New York’s literary elite to the manicured streets of suburban California, Penn Badgley’s Joe Goldberg has stalked, obsessed and murdered his way across the country in Netflix‘s addictive thriller series “You.”
Each season introduces a new location, a (mostly) new cast and a big batch of new characters that wind up in the way of Joe’s catastrophic quest for love, so if you need a refresher on what happened in Season 3, we’ve got you covered with a comprehensive recap.
What happened to Love? Who did Joe kill? How did it end? Where the heck is the baby? Here’s everything you need to remember about Season 3.
Where Is Season 3 Set?
During the chaos and bloodshed of Season 2 finale, Joe comes this close to killing Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti) after she offs Candace (Ambyr C. Childers) and Delilah (Carmela Zumbado), but stops short when he learns she’s pregnant. Instead, they decide to start a new life together. Covering up their crimes with the Quinn family money, the pair gets hitched and relocates from Los Angeles to the Silicon Valley suburb of Madre Linda, where Season 3 is set.
Who Is the Neighbor Joe Stalks at the End of Season 2?
At the end of Season 2, we see that obsessive Joe’s cycle is starting again and he begins to fixate on a mysterious neighbor reading in her yard, dubbing her the new “You.” In Season 3, we learn that is Natalie (Michaela McManus), their new next-door neighbor in Madre Linda. Married to Matthew (Scott Speedman), Natalie becomes Joe’s new obsession. He collects her belongings and drops by for a flirtatious glass of wine, but Love discovers his wandering eye and kills Natalie with an axe before things can go any further.
Who Dies in Season 3 — and Who Kills Them?
Season 3 actually has a relatively low body count, with a total of four deaths. In order, they are as follows:
- Natalie Engler (Killed by Love): Joe and Love’s next-door neighbor, Natalie is murdered by Love in Episode 1, after Love discovers that Joe is becoming obsessed with her. Joe and Love dispose of the body together, setting off the events of the season as the suburban town rallies to find Natalie’s killer — none more so than Natalie’s wealthy tech husband, Matthew.
- Gil Brigham (Attacked by Love, dies by suicide): A local teacher, Gil (Mackenzie Astin) gets on the wrong side of Love in Episode 3, when he comes to her bakery and reveals that his anti-vax family is responsible for landing Henry in the hospital with a measles infection. In a rage, Love attacks him with a rolling pin and imprisons him in Joe’s glass cage. Trying to devise a way to keep Gil alive, Joe decides they need leverage via blackmail to ensure Gil will keep his mouth shut, but when they reveal that his son is a serial sexual abuser, Gil dies by suicide in the glass cage.
- Ryan Goodwin (Killed by Joe): It doesn’t take long after Natalie’s death for Joe’s eye to wander again, this time toward local librarian Marienne (Tati Gabrielle). A kind single mother with a history of substance addiction, Marienne is caught in a custody battle with her ex-husband, Ryan (Scott Michael Foster), who manipulates the courts to take back custody of their daughter, Juliette, despite his ongoing addiction. After a key custody hearing gone bad, Joe takes it upon himself to violently remove Ryan from the equation, initially staging his death as a mugging before pinning it on Love.
- Love (Killed by Joe): Undoubtedly the most controversial death in “You” history, Love dies by her husband’s hand in the Season 3 finale — right after she tries to kill him. As she says with her dying words, they’re “perfect for each other.” When Love discovers that Joe has one again found a new object of fixation in Marrienne, she stages a sit-down chicken dinner with plans to poison Joe into submission. But he catches wise, gives himself the antidote just in time, injects Love with a lethal dose of her own poison and frames her for for all the deaths in Madre Linda — including his own.
- Bonus: Joe Goldberg’s Identity (Killed by Joe): As a part of his exit strategy, Joe cuts off two of his toes (and bakes one into a pie, for flourish) leaving them behind as evidence that he was murdered by Love. That means we’ll be meeting Joe with an all-new identity, London professor Jonathan Moore, when we pick up with him in Season 4.
Season 3 Ending Explained: What Happened?
Joe and Love’s short-lived attempt at the suburban dream goes up in literal flames at the end of Season 3.
The dynamic between Love and Joe was permanently altered after he learned she was a murderer in Season 2, and the third season follows that disdain and disconnect all the way to its heartbreaking conclusion. Disgusted by his wife (and the reflection of himself that he sees in her), Joe continues to turn his obsessive gaze toward new opportunities to meet the love of his life, and Love, who believes she’s finally met the person who can understand her, relentlessly pursues any opportunity to win him back — up to and including poison.
In the Season 3 finale, Love deduces that Joe killed Marienne’s ex-husband, Ryan, when she discovers Joe’s bloody clothes in their son’s hamper. In one last desperate attempt to win back her husband, she prepares a roast chicken dinner (the same “perfect bite” she made him while they were falling in love in Season 2) and sits down for a candid talk.
Over dinner, Love confesses that — as Joe and her mother suspected — she killed her first husband, James. Just not on purpose. Despite the fact that she took care of him throughout his illness, James tried to leave her. To stop him, Love poisoned him with Aconite, aka Wolfsbane — which she grows in her garden. But not to kill him, just to paralyze him long enough that she could change his mind. However, she accidentally overdid the dose and he died on the spot. A mistake, she explains, she won’t make with Joe, who is poisoned and immobilized at the dinner table. Love poisoned the handle of the knife on the table, and the moment he picked it up, it started working through his system.
Once Joe is out of action, Love texts Marienne and tells her to come to their house, planning to kill Joe’s latest obsession in front of him. However, after she realizes Marienne is a mother and has a brief heart-to-heart with her would-be victim, Love decides to let her go, telling Marienne that Joe killed her ex-husband and that she needs to take her daughter and run. After their talk, Love also decides that she’s not the problem with her marriage — Joe is — and she decides to kill him once and for all, but before she can strike, Joe injects her with with a lethal dose of Wolfsbane and she dies in his arms, telling him, “We’re perfect for each other, but bad for Henry. He’ll see what you are.”
Joe seems to agree with that last part, as he makes the heartbreaking decision to leave Henry behind, and uses Love’s death as an opportunity to make his grand escape from Madre Linda (and hopefully, the far reaches of Quinn family money). Joe cuts off two of his toes to leave behind as evidence, baking one into a pie, and frames Love for all the carnage. And just like he did with Beck, he once again rewrites his victim’s story, penning an eviscerating confession from Love and emailing it to the Home Owners Association before he burns their house down.
In the final moments of the Season 3 ending, we learned that Joe’s evil scheme worked — the fire destroyed enough evidence to muddy the details, but the cops found his toes and assumed he was dead. Love takes the blame for it all and “became the Mrs. Lovett of Madre Linda. Once the nausea passed, people were ravenous for her … A bit of a folk hero, more famous even than Guinevere Beck.”
Once again, Joe literally gets away with murder. And where does he go? The last we see Joe in Season 3, he’s skulking through the streets of Paris, trying to find Marienne.
Did Love Really Die?
Yes. I’m sorry, I know, it sucks. But by all accounts, Love Quinn is well and truly dead. We all know the old standby TV rule: death is never certain if it happened offscreen. Well, Love died very much on-screen; we witnessed her final moments up-close, and then we watched Joe bake a pie, pose her body and light the house on fire with her inside. Which is to say, the writing and filmmaking couldn’t be trying harder to show us that Love is dead.
If that’s not enough for you (and hey, it’s understandable after that Season 1 Candace twist), Victoria Pedretti, Penn Badgley and showrunner Sara Gamble all confirmed that Love is dead in an interview with Newsweek. And in her postmortem interview with TheWrap, Gamble said that Love’s death was planned from the start, explaining “We knew that the day we met Victoria for her chemistry read with Penn. We knew that this was a two-season story.”
What Happens to Baby Henry?
In one of Joe’s rare moments of self-awareness, he realizes that Love was right — at least about one thing — he would be bad for his son, Henry. Before he goes on the run, he leaves the baby with Dante (Ben Mehl) and Lansing (Noel Arthur), a Madre Linda couple Joe and Love befriended during Season 3, with a note expressing his last wish “that they protect Henry as if he were their own son.”
Last we see of him, Henry is having a happy moment in a sandbox with them. However, Joe also leaves us with a mystery in the final narration, telling the audience that the note he left for Dante and Lansing also included a message to Henry. “Someday when he’s old enough, he can read the rest of the note,” Joe says, “but that’s between him and me.”
Does Marienne Die?
Poor, lovely Marienne is barely hanging on, just trying to get her life back together when she becomes the next object of Joe’s fixation and, like Beck and Love before her, falls for the mask of the man he pretends to be. But unlike most of Joe’s obsessions, Marienne lives to see another day — for now.
A recovering drug addict, who spends the whole season fighting for a new life with her daughter, Marienne doesn’t hesitate to go on the run after her heart-to-heart with Love, during which Love reveals Joe’s true nature as a stalker-murderer. At the end of Season 3, Marienne seems to have fled the country, and Joe follows her oversees, searching for her in Paris.
What Happened to Sherry and Cary Conrad?
A-type mom-fluencer Sherry (Shalita Grant) and her alpha-male husband Cary (Travis Van Winkle) wind up trapped in Joe and Love’s glass cage in the final act of Season 3, after an attempted foursome gone hilariously — and then terrifyingly — wrong. During their would-be swinging seduction, Sherry and Cary overhear Joe and Love discussing Natalie’s murder, which prompts the killer duo to lock them up until they can figure out what to do with them. But as Joe and Love’s relationship spirals out of control, Sherry and Cary’s only grows stronger within the cage. They use their hard-won communication skills to stay alive and, eventually, they realize that since Joe and Love never trusted each other, they would have left hidden keys within the cell.
After their escape, Sherry and Cary turn their survival experience into a marketable self-help empire, capitalizing on their 15 minutes with the book “Caged: a Radical Couple’s Therapy Technique.” Last we see the indomitable duo, they’re giving a TED Talk.
What Happened to Theo and Matthew Engler?
Theo (Dylan Arnold), the literal boy-next-door, bonds with his new neighbor, Love, throughout Season 3 and ultimately falls for her — before falling victim to her violent ways. Theo lives with his stepfather, Matthew Engler (Scott Speedman) and Matthew’s wife, Natalie. After Love kills Natalie, Theo’s relationship with his stepfather grows strained. Matthew becomes obsessed with finding his wife’s killer. Theo grows closer to Love, falling in love with her and sparking up an affair, unaware that she’s the murderer.
He learns the hard way at the end of Season 3, when he discovers Sherry and Cary in the cage and, in turn, Love bludgeons him with a fire hydrant. Fortunately, he survives the attack and is rescued by Joe, who takes him to the hospital. Later, Matthew — who is (correctly) convinced that Love killed his wife — breaks into Love and Joe’s home and finds Joe indisposed, paralyzed by Love’s Aconite. After he figures out that Theo is at the hospital, he leaves Joe to suffer whatever Love has planned for him, telling Joe that he “deserves what Natalie got a hundred times over.”
Fortunately, things look up for Theo and Matthew in the Season 3 ending. During the final montage, we see Matthew picking up Theo from physical therapy, discussing the great progress he’s making. As Joe says in the narration, “Without my family poisoning the well, Madre Linda began to heal.”
What Happened to Dottie?
Love and Forty’s mother, Dottie Quinn (Saffron Burrows), plays a secondary antagonist role throughout Season 2 and Season 3, during which we learn that she’s a flighty, overbearing and abusive mother to Love. After losing Forty, Dottie pours all her affection onto baby Henry (who she calls by his middle name, Forty), growing more erratic and unstable. Especially after she loses her businesses — the Quinn family store Anavrin and her newly acquired vineyard — during her divorce from Love’s father, Ray.
Drowning her sorrows in alcohol, Dottie crosses the line when she kidnaps Henry, angry that Love hired a babysitter instead of asking her to watch him, drives away with him while drunk, and sets fire to the vineyard. Furious, Love cuts off her mother and Joe drops her off at rehab, where Dottie tells him she believes that Love killed her first husband.
That’s the last we see of Dottie in Season 3, however, in the final narration we learned that she tried to gain custody of Henry after Love’s death, and it doesn’t sound like she’s doing well. As Joe explains, “After a long legal battle, Dottie, bereaved and still not sober, yielded custody to Dante and Lansing.”
When Was the Season 3 Premiere Date?
Netflix released all 10 episodes of “You” Season 3 on Friday, October 15, 2021.
Who Is in the Season 3 Cast?
- Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg
- Victoria Pedretti as Love Quinn
- Tati Gabrielle as Marienne
- Shalita Grant as Sherry Conrad
- Travis Van Winkle as Cary Conrad
- Saffron Burrows as Dottie Quinn
- Dylan Arnold as Theo Engler
- Scott Speedman as Matthew Engler
- Michaela McManus as Natalie Engler
- Ben Mehl as Dante
- Noel Arthur as Lansing
- Shannon Chan-Kent as Kiki
- Christopher Sean as Brandon
- Mackenzie Astin as Gil
- Chris O’Shea as Andrew
- Bryan Safi as Jackson
- Ayelet Zurer as Dr. Chandra
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