At some point, one will eventually get snared in the tangled webs they weave.
In other words, shit just got real on YOU Season 1 Episode 9!
This series is so addictive it's sinful, and with each installment, the series built up to this pivotal moment.
Beck, bless her heart, now knows the truth. For Beck, it's ridiculous that it took this long to see Joe for who and what he is at his core. For us viewers, it has been one hell of a ride that was worth the wait.
YOU waited until the penultimate installment to give us the story behind Candace and introduce us to present-day Mooney. It could not have been mapped out better, as many of us were antsy with anticipation.
Candace, like nearly every character on this series, is the absolute worst. It shouldn't be a surprise that Candace is of this ilk, but there were moments where I was dubious of Joe's infidelity assertion.
Joe isn't the most reliable narrator, but one particular voiceover was notable and a game-changer. For Joe, it specifically pertained to his gut feeling that Beck was sleeping with Dr. Nicky. On a larger scale, in hindsight, Joe's instincts have been accurate.
It's troubling to reach that conclusion knowing full well of his terrible misdeeds. It's also thrilling because try as you might distance yourself from Joe's particular brand of crazy there is a twisted validation for Joe, but also for those of us who are enjoying him far more than we should.
More than any previous segment, this hour made sense of Joe's crazy. We understand and can accept Joe's motivations and mechanizations; it's his actions that are the most problematic. What separates those of us who fall short of being certified stalkers and murderers from Joe are restraint, moral ethics, and impulse control.
I've made a lot of mistakes, Beck. Trusting my parents would come back for me someday was a mistake. Loving Candace, forgetting Mooney, trying to help Claudia ... all mistakes. But what all of that has taught me, everything goes to shit when I don't follow my instincts.Joe VO
That's why the use of voiceovers are integral to the entire YOU experience. Everyone has had a mild type of pretentious, deluded, disparaging, mean, and impulsive thoughts that Joe has. Not everyone shares those thoughts or feel the need to act on them.
YOU spent the season making a known baddie relatable and arguably endearing. Then, building up to the seasons most anticipated moment: Beck discovering the truth and the prey facing her predator, the series provided enough insight into Joe that he remained sympathetic even as he watched Beck through the glass from a distance.
Joe has terrible taste in women, no game, a damaging impression of being a "nice guy," and a pesky habit of being sucked into the orbit of women during meet-cutes.
It's like everything he learned about women, love, and relationships derived from the books he read. His relationships can sustain for a bit with him putting forth his best attempt at being who he envisions himself as a rendition of Mr. Darcy, but the women he meets in the real world are not like the fictional heroines he reads about.
Oddly enough, I wanted to say the women he encounters are more than the two-dimensional women of his stories, but Beck is the epitome of two- dimensional.
Joe's distorted romanticism has him constantly attempting to squeeze his love interests between the pages of his classic literature, and when he eventually tires of trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, he loses it.
The incorporation of Wuthering Heights during this hour was clever. It coincided with learning more about Candace via flashback, and we learned of Mooney too. Joe gifted Candace a first-edition of the classic, but Candace didn't have much interest in literature nor Joe for that matter.
Candace and Beck are cut from the same cloth. To Joe, Candace was his Catherine. When given the opportunity to ascend to fame, Candace slept with Elijah for a record deal the way Catherine married Edgar for social status.
Joe thought Beck was his Catherine, too. Throughout the season there has been an ongoing theme of classism. Through Beck's association with Peach, Lynn, and Annika, she was presented with a chance to climb the social ladder ranks. It was the same with her relationship with Benji.
Beck isn't wealthy, and she doesn't actively attempt to social climb. However, Beck positions herself among individuals who can improve her status.
She has been in the middle of this all season. Her relationship with Joe was a point of contention for others in part because of his low-class ranking. Technically, Beck is Catherine if she chose Heathcliff over Edgar.
Beck's motivations for choosing Joe are questionable, and so is her professing to love him. However, she made her choice. Of course, it didn't do her any good in the end. She's just as screwed as Candace.
It's hard to feel sympathy for a woman who cheated on her boyfriend to advance in her career, didn't show an ounce of remorse and then challenged Joe to do something about it.
It's possible Joe wouldn't have done anything before he shoved Elijah over the ledge on impulse, but the Joe who killed Elijah and was protected by Mooney didn't think twice.
Joe: Stop. I love you. Candace, I don't care about what happened between you and Elijah, and you love me, we can get past this. We can get past anything. I know you do, I can see it in your eyes.
Candace: No, Joe. I don't love you. I don't. I don't love you; I never have
Joe: You don't mean that. Stop it.
Candace: You're crazy! What are you going to co about Joe, hm?
Elijah was genuinely contrite about the matter, but he messed up going on and on about how terrible a person Candace was for what she did to Joe. His attempts at solidarity slipped into being derogatory. He did everything but call Candace a whore, but the sentiment was there.
You knew the guy was going over the ledge the moment he started babbling about Candace. Why do people say controversial things so close to ledges and stairs?
Elijah must have been Joe's first victim. He was traumatized by it when he ran to the only person he could, Mooney. It's insane how Mooney saved him and destroyed him at the same time. He was an abusive and stern man, so it was shocking to see his tender, paternal side when he hugged Joe and helped him cover up what he did.
Initially, it seemed Mooney had the best intentions trying to protect his progeny. But who tells someone that some people deserve to die? He gave Joe carte blanche to kill whomever he feels deserves it.
The parallels between Joe and Heathcliff were most apparent with Joe's connection with Mooney. What's unfortunate, however, is Joe's antiquated view of women. Joe is too focused on qualities like chivalry but embodying certain archaic values is a double-edged sword.
It's laughable that he hails himself this enlightened feminist, but he's rather sexist. He doesn't respect the agency of his lovers. He idealizes them and places them on this pedestal, and he ignores that they are flawed, imperfect people. We saw that in how he doesn't hold them accountable for anything.
Joe thought Candace was corrupted into sleeping with Elijah. He also felt her friends, and her twin (who mysteriously died in a psychiatric facility), got inside of her head. It was everyone's fault but Candace even when Candace told him she was never interested in him.
Joe: I killed him.
Mooney: Listen to me, boy. So long as you tell no one, you are fine. Men, they go off to war, kill people every day then come back and move on with their lives. Hear me? His life is over, not yours. Now, oh Joseph. Some people deserve to die. I'm sure you had your reasons.
Much like Beck, it seems Candace took the so-called nice guy for a spin and enjoyed him doting on her but nothing more. She used him, and once again it's bordering on uncomfortable that the murderer is more sympathetic than the victim.
It's bold and speaks to how she took Joe's "niceness" for granted that she could call him crazy, rip a first edition book to shreds and dare him to do something about it. Just like Beck bought into Joe's manipulation and lies because she took his personality for granted. Unlike Joe, she did not trust her instincts, and now she's in the dungeon.
Karen got into her head, but if not for Karen would Beck have ever pried into Joe's life? Who waits until 1000 months into a relationship to ask the most basic of questions?
This hour highlighted how little Beck knew about Joe because she was too self-absorbed. From grilling Ethan to tracking down Candace's friend Maddie she was determined to figure out what happened to Candace.
Joe told his lies and half-truths well. He was convincing, but he shouldn't have been. She relented because she thought Joe was above murder, but how could she when she spent the hour looking into his past because she didn't know him?
Beck meeting Mooney clouded what little judgment she has. Her heart is as dense as the rest of her.
If Paco didn't come to rat Joe out, she would have put everything to bed. Thank goodness for that. It led to one of the best moments in a stellar episode filled with them.
The horror on Beck's face as she found Joe's treasure chest of tokens from all the people he killed and was obsessed with was priceless. She was freaked out by the teeth more than she was the bloody finger, which was odd.
The flashes of all the items, who they belonged to, and when he acquired them was a nice visual. The color drained out of Beck's face, but nothing compared to Joe's expression when he realized Beck found his stash.
Beck should have left sooner and been inconspicuous as she attempted to exit with her cut finger. Now, there is no telling what Joe has planned for her; he still loves her, but he's not above loving her to death.
I thought she was close to being a goner when Joe figured out Beck was sleeping with her therapist. Book enthusiasts can rest assured that they didn't derail from that plot.
When you think Beck can't get any worse, we find out that she was sleeping with Nicky. When you consider that Beck assumed Joe was a good guy and she also knew his ex-girlfriend cheated on him but she did it anyway, she comes across worse than before.
Beck: What happened?
Joe: You told me I was crazy.
Joe: You told me I was crazy for even thinking it.
Joe VO: If we don't have trust we have nothing. You said that to me do you remember?
Beck: What are you talking about?
Joe: You know what I'm talking about. There's no Emma Fox. I'm only going to ask you once, and I want the truth. Are you, or were you ever fucking your therapist? Answer me. Answer me!
Joe VO: You don't love me. You never loved me.
Beck: Yes, I was. I did. I cheated, but it's over now.
Joe VO: It was a lie it was all a lie.
Joe: I've done nothing but dote on you; support you.
Beck: I know.
Joe: Love you.
Beck: I know, Joe.
Joe: And look at what you've done to me!
Beck: What I did.
Joe: You dig into my past. You dissect my life. You paint me out to be this monster; someone who hurts people who can do terrible things but who is the monster here. Who?
Joe had every right to confront her about it and point out how she insisted he was crazy for thinking it. She still wasn't owning up to it until he grew more irate and demanded the truth more than once.
All of that anger and hurt dissipated when she told him she loved him. He accepted her bullshit excuse for why she cheated like it was no big deal.
Joe is an idiot. It's irritating that the closest Beck comes to owning her shit is saying she's a mess and batting her eyelashes. Her explanation sounded like something Nicky fed her in bed after a post-coital puff of his medicinal weed to justify her behavior.
Joe held his composure while piecing things together, but he unleashed on Nicky while pretending to be a robber. It's a miracle Nicky escaped with his life for the second time. The intensity of that scene was breathtaking. For once, Joe spared the life of someone and went to confront the person he was pissed at Beck.
There was something cathartic and satisfying about Joe calling Beck out on her crap, and I won't pretend I wasn't gleeful when she ended up in his dungeon. Beck may be getting her due this time, but the Salingers have hired a private investigator to look into Peach's death.
They refuse to accept that their precious Peach killed herself. Joe didn't cover his tracks, so he's on borrowed time. Everything will catch up to him sooner rather than later.
It's curious that the investigative spoke to Annika and Lynn but hasn't spoken to Beck at all. They have to know she was with Peach before she died. They'll make the connection between Joe and Peach in no time. Someone is bound to find his urine, and they'll follow up with connecting Joe to Mooney's car.
Joe VO: Beck, Beck, Beck, Beck, Beck, Beck, Beck, Beck.
Nicky: Just take whatever you want.
Joe VO: You were for months. He tasted you. He was inside you; in the bed I built. He has been defiling you; taking advantage of you. He'll get what's coming to him. This, Beck is between me and you.
YOU is gearing up to a fantastic, must-see finale. The best part is we already know there will be a season two.
Over to YOU. What are your thoughts theories, and reactions to the hour? Hit the comments below!
There is time to catch up before the finale. You can watch YOU online here via TV Fanatic!
Jasmine Blu is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.