You season 3's twist ending explained

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

You season 3 spoilers follow – MAJOR ones, including its ending.

And there you have it. Joe Goldberg is once again free from the self-imposed shackles of family life, ready to trawl the globe – literally, the show left off with him having fled to Paris – to find his next victim "you".

Much of the third season centred around Joe and his new wife Love as they attempted to put their murderous pasts behind them in favour of a 'happy' and 'wholesome' suburban home, complete with white picket fence and picturesque garden.

Unsurprisingly, their relationship – built on the most unstable of foundations – proved to be inherently problematic. Not only did they not trust each other whatsoever, but they eventually discovered that their "spark" was tied up in violence. Yup, we have always pointed out just how toxic this show is...

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

By the second half of season three it became abundantly clear that Joe was unable to suppress his compulsive need to obsess and stalk some poor, innocent woman, despite being married with a child. With Love having, erm, taken care of their neighbour Natalie, his attentions had turned to his boss Marienne.

Believing that Joe and Love were on the verge of separation, she fell for his charm(?) and even ended up agreeing to run away with him to start a new life with her daughter and Joe's son Henry.

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

But when Marienne's own abusive ex turned up murdered, and a blood-soaked T-shirt was uncovered in their son's nursery, Love started to piece everything together. Setting the very same trap that she'd previously used on her first husband, she poisoned Joe with some flowers she'd been secretly tending to in their garden.

Desperate to show him that they were perfect for each other, Love gagged a now-paralysed Joe and then used his phone to invite Marienne over. Once her husband's lover arrived, Love's intention to do away with her became clear by the meat fork she was concealing behind her back. But Marienne's sincerity and kindness, as well as an unexpected appearance from her daughter, spoke to Love's conscience.

She ended up letting her go, appearing to come to the realisation that Joe had been the problem all along – ding, ding, ding!

In Love's mind, there she had been, desperately trying to make their marriage work and trying to keep him happy, killing for him (yep), and all the while he was doing his usual dance with another object of fixation.

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

Taking a meat cleaver from the kitchen counter, Love wanted to put an end to the cycle once and for all, going for his throat. But, always one step ahead, Joe wasn't paralysed after all and countered the attack by swiftly injecting Love with a syringe of the very same poison she had used on him (only, he didn't scrimp with the dose, meaning that she met the very same fate as that of her ex husband).

Chatting to Entertainment Weekly about that her character's demise, Victoria Pedretti said: "It was pretty crazy to see the actual way that I was going to die [when I read it in the script]. It felt very unique and strange, and I didn't really understand how to act it out, but I was very excited to rise to the challenge".

There will be some viewers who believe that Love is set to return from the dead in the next batch of episodes, à la Candace, but Pedretti isn't backing that outcome.

Talking about Love's death in an interview with Elle, she said: "I wish that that wasn't the truth, you know? But I think she's dead. I don't know. But I'm pretty, pretty positive. It's sad. I definitely loved her a lot."

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

With a dead Love laid out on the floor, Joe started doing his usual clean-up routine. He pulled together a box of trinkets, which tied Love to the framing of their neighbour for the murder of Natalie, as well as making a meat pie for the oven within which he threw in some of his own toes to stage his own death.

He finished it all off by penning a letter to the local community in Madre Linda, from Love, admitting to the crimes and taking responsibility for coercing Joe into taking part. As a final act, he turned on the gas on the stove and set the house on fire. Just enough evidence remained for the authorities to draw the conclusions that Joe had wanted, leaving him free to once again flee and start fresh somewhere new.

"To me, it marks a really significant close to the chapters we've known of Joe," Penn Badgley said (via EW). "I do think that there's got to be some really significant, fundamental shifts in the way the whole device of Joe is going to keep working. Because now we've seen him go through so, so much. In terms of the show and its tone, maybe there's a pre-Love and post-Love, because I don't know how much can be repeated."


But what about baby Henry, who has witnessed way too much violence in his short lifetime? Making perhaps the only decent decision in the show's entire three-season run, Joe decided to leave his son with his co-worker Dante and his partner. The pair had been struggling to adopt, and would no doubt provide a loving and caring home.

The Conrads, Sherry and Cary, were able to escape the doomed glass box that lived in the basement at Love's bakery. They had overheard Love's confession to murdering Natalie, and had only ever witnessed Love coming to visit them while they were being held prisoner, so they didn't have too much information to contradict the story that Joe had presented to the world. And with him presumed to be pie filling, there's not much that could have been done about it even if they had.

Much to our relief, Theo also managed to escape the usual fate of those that get entangled with Joe and Love. Completely besotted by his married neighbour, he had first believed Joe to be the "bad" one. But it was Love that attacked him and Joe that took him to the hospital, so he probably also bought into the official version of events too.

As we mentioned earlier, Joe is now in Paris, ordering fancy coffee in fancy Parisian coffee shops, and on the lookout for YOU.

What wasn't overly clear was whether he was still fixated on Marienne (he did say he thought their paths would cross again someday, which sounded a little too threatening for our liking) or whether he'll end up being tempted by someone else.

It's probably safe to assume that Marienne left Madre Linda with her daughter in tow, as planned, but with a newfound view of the man she had previously fallen for. Having discovered that Joe had lied to her about his supposed separation from Love, Marienne had conceded that she'd attracted yet another toxic man into her life and would likely want nothing to do with him if they were to ever meet again.

Plus, if she reads the papers or watched the news, she'd also be assuming that her former library colleague had become mincemeat. So there's also that.

"I don't think that Marienne would go back [to Joe], like, definitely not," Tati Gabrielle told The Wrap. "Though, I do think she would award him a conversation. Because, again, her heart was played with, for one. And I think for her own healing, she needs a freakin’ conversation, she needs to hear it from his mouth... I think it will give her a sense of peace.

"And I really want Marienne to like expose Joe, as well. I want that. Just, yes, I need that."

Our guess is that You season four – which has already been officially renewed – will see Joe getting himself back into his old habits once again, with murderous and disastrous consequences.

You seasons 1-3 are available to stream now on Netflix.

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