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Love Is Not A Strong Enough Word, But Obsession Is- A Review of the Seventh Episode of “YOU”

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Penn Badgley and Elizabeth Lail in the seventh episode of You. Credit: TV Fanatic

Editor’s Note: This article contains spoilers from Season 1 Episode 7 of ‘YOU’.

This week’s episode of You was enthralling, heartbreaking, and held a lot of depth. A huge part of the captivity of the show this week was the acting. It was interesting because the main characters were evolving in front of the viewers’ eyes. Penn Badgley, who plays Joe, perfectly expressed the different stages of emotional grief when he thought he was being cheated on, but in a very twisted way. It was particularly striking to see character, who is extremely damaged and doesn’t act in a way that any typical person would, go through heartbreak. I thought Elizabeth Lail showed superior ability when displaying her rendition of a woman coming to terms with her best friend’s death, while simultaneously detaching herself from an overzealous boyfriend. Her character became more independent, though her head is still up in the clouds half the time. One of Beck’s friends, Lynn, makes an appearance in the show with quite a big role. Whereas in other episodes Lynn was only just apparent enough to be acknowledged: she took on the persona of party planner to help Joe organize an unwanted surprise for Beck. Played by Nicole Kang, the fresh character is sharp, well-dressed, and snappy, a trend of qualities in Beck’s group of friends. Another new character, Dr. Nicky is introduced, and is considered to be a threat in Joe’s eyes. He is portrayed by John Stamos, who shows us that lovable Uncle Jesse isn’t the only persona he can bring to life. Although the new characters were important, some new characteristics of old characters came to light as well.

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Peach and Beck before the violent end to Peach’s life. Credit: Variety

One of Joe’s characteristics that really presented itself very strongly in the seventh episode is a flaw that’s been noticeable before. He flatters Beck way too much- it’s kind of pathetic. When he’s not cooking her breakfast or doing her laundry for her, he’s talking about how perfect she is. One of Beck’s most notable expressions this week was “The more you want me, the less I want you”. He is always there- even when she doesn’t know it- and that’s not necessarily a positive thing. Beck’s best friend just died, and people going through traumatic situations need space. Right now, Beck can’t even breathe. What she wants is the ability to just work this out by herself, but Joe is constantly trying to be there for her. There’s a lot of things Beck doesn’t know about Joe, and yet he’s around so often that he has trouble making himself a mystery. It’s obvious why Beck isn’t interested anymore, but Joe views her disinterest to be something stronger than it is. The second she starts to act differently, he immediately tries to analyze her every move and draws the conclusion that she must be cheating on him. If she’s cheating, it’s with herself– she needs time to unravel her tangled web of emotions. Since it’s his fault that her friend died, you’d think he’d at least try to take pity on the girl he claims he’s in love with. Instead, he’s too busy wondering why she’s upset about it at all. According to him, he was saving her by removing Peach from her life. He thinks of Peach in the same light as Benji. Granted, both characters treated Beck like dirt, but that’s barely what he’s concerned with. He just wants to remove anyone from Beck’s life that gets in his way, and he proves that in this episode when characters who care about Beck present themselves, such as Dr. Nicky. Dr. Nicky is Beck’s therapist and evidently, another man who is present in Beck’s life- which causes a problem for Joe.

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John Stamos and Penn Badgley in You. Credit: Vulture

Just like with Candace, Joe gets angry at Beck’s requests to see her phone when she decides she doesn’t want to expose all the information he wants. This is a little odd because he can see all of her social media on his own phone so it’s kind of pointless to force her to give it to him. Beck is probably not hiding anything from him that he would really need to know. She’s just seeking help that he can’t give her, but he can’t handle that. Joe can’t seem to give her anything she really needs, and the two of them end up parting their ways because of this. It’s possible that it’s actually permanent, because Joe smashed the phone he stole from her that night on the tracks with what appears to be the same mallet he used to kill Benji. It’s as if the mallet symbolizes his distraught towards people he feels threatened or hurt by. Candace appears once again at the end of this episode, to ask Joe if Beck would end up like her- a ghost in Joe’s everyday life. According to my future predictions, we will see Beck becoming part of a distant dream, and Joe going on a dramatic rampage and act like he’s been wronged. To be completely honest, the girls Joe is with are never the reason for his problems with relationships. He keeps insisting that “love” is not a strong enough word, and he’s right- jealousy and obsession are the words that he should be using to describe his current or past affection with girls like Beck and Candace. This episode went deeper into the minds of Beck and Joe, brought fresh characters, and had me surprised at times. Overall, I was impressed with episode seven and I would recommend it. You is on Lifetime at 10 PM EST.

Featured Image Via Vulture 

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