Editor’s Note: This article contains spoilers from Season 1 Episode 4 of YOU.
The beginning of this episode is as awkward as the end of the last. After a failed attempt at being together, Beck flees. Seconds later, she receives a direct message on Twitter from someone called “The Captain”. Joe watches the conversation from his own phone screen as he grows worried of who this mystery man may be and how he could potentially threaten his relationship with her, especially right after the unfortunate incident Joe and Beck have. As the storyline progresses, we find out the truth about who this man is and why Beck is meeting him in a motel outside the city.
In previous episodes, a problem occurring for Beck has constantly been that she never has anything to write about, or that what she has written isn’t as brilliant as what everyone else in her class is writing. We saw her struggle with judgmental students and deadlines she can never seem to meet as well. Finally, she starts to channel what she should have been expressing this whole time- her unresolved issues with her father, a.k.a. “The Captain”. Before her father’s being alive was revealed to viewers, it was thought that Beck’s father overdosed when she was a kid. Some of that is true, but there was a lot more than what Beck was hiding. She finally allows herself to face the problems she endured as a child and write about them, which will benefit her career altogether but may affect the existing relationship with him. We also find out how her childhood led her to become the person she is now: a coward, a damsel in distress and arguably pathetic. It’s not her fault, though- she went through a lot and she still is. She learned about the effect that addiction can have much earlier than she should have. She practically watched her father die. Now, she has to watch her dad rebuild himself and his life turns into a puzzle that she doesn’t quite fit into as it includes a new wife and children who don’t exactly go out of their way to be welcoming towards her. Lying to everyone she knows about him, Beck confesses that she is a fraud and a fake. Until Joe finds out (in the middle of stalking Beck at a motel in the middle of nowhere) that Beck’s dad is in fact, not dead. She had glossed over that part of her life so she wouldn’t have to confront it. As she is still blind to everything Joe does to stalk and control her, she tells him he is the most real person she knows.
As Joe continues to try and figure Beck out, he asks a question in his inner monologue- “Who the hell are you, Beck?” which made me think, who the hell are you, Joe? I think it’s shocking that a person could be so ignorant of their own flaws that they actually put themselves on a pedestal and look down on those who they claim they care so much for. I can’t stress it enough- Joe is a twisted and confusing character. His only appeal is that he can appear to be nicer than some of the other jerks Beck has dated if you ignore the whole stalker-murderer combo and the fact that he’s a little pretentious. In this episode, he does show he can listen to and resolve Beck’s problems. He’s also genuinely kind to her when she puts herself down but none of that changes the seriousness of any of his actions. Beck’s closest friend and Joe’s least favorite person, Peach, is totally on to him. During episode four she attempts to reveal what she thinks she may know about him, though Beck doesn’t believe any of it and ignores Peach’s warning to avoid him.
While Beck attends a festival inspired by Emily Dickinson with her father’s new family, the viewers are provided with a pleasant view that counteracts the creepy plot line. We see dozens of colonial costumes of all colors, patterns, and styles. Beck’s own dress, which was more than four hundred dollars, practically looks like lingerie as is pointed out by The Captain’s new wife, who is kind of the worst even including Joe. Surrounded by many other people dressed similarly, the set is somewhat understated- it is beneficial to the story because it doesn’t distract the viewer. The festival is by the water, which creates calming scenery during the more tense scenes. Overall, this episode was uncomfortable, tense, and surprising, and the directors and writers prove they know how to keep us wanting more. YOU is on every Sunday at 10 pm EST on Lifetime.
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