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The Plot Thickens: A Review Of The Eighth Episode Of “YOU”

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Credit: Vulture

Editor’s Note: This article contains spoilers from the Eight-Episode of “YOU”.

On this episode of You, we view the characters experiencing new things and repeating old behaviors. Beck is still a mess (no shock there) and Joe has become almost as talented of an actor as the one playing his character. He’s still seeing Dr Nicky, Beck’s therapist, who has been made to believe that Joe is a homosexual named Paul, and in a love triangle of sorts- a part of Joe’s perfectly planned out sequence of lies that perfectly parallel his real life. Dr Nicky can’t know that when Joe talks about his former lover “Ronaldo,” he means his other patient Beck, and when Beck talks about Joe, she’s unknowingly referring to his new case “Paul”. It’s perverse, but it’s smart. Played by Natalie Paul is Joe’s new girlfriend, Karen. She comes into the picture, but that doesn’t stop Joe’s old behavior of subtly checking up on Beck whenever possible. His inability to resist desire reigns strong. This episode of You is a little shocking, but the behavior of the characters continues to be predictable- especially Beck and Joe’s tendencies in terms of each another.

Image Credit: Refinery29

The two twisted lovebirds just can’t seem to tear themselves apart- Beck is still a little bit hung up on Joe, and even though Joe doesn’t want to admit it, he’s still into her too. He acts like he’s not the guy to come crawling back, banging on her door, but we all know how inaccurate that is. He’s still checking her Facebook two or three times a day, which is today’s equivalent of silently wishing someone would return. Checking her online statuses isn’t the only thing he’s doing- he’s comparing her to Karen, his new girlfriend, constantly. When Karen says or does anything, Joe smiles and pretends he’s simply enjoying her company, but he’s secretly thinking about how Beck would have said or done the same thing in a more condescending or pretentious way. He wants to make Beck seem like the villain to prove to himself he doesn’t need her. Karen shows her true colors when she meets Beck and refuses to show enough class to even shake Joe’s ex’s hand. Beck acted totally calm in this situation that Karen made more awkward for her. Beck had done nothing wrong, actually; Joe and Karen looked at her like yesterday’s trash. On a lighter note, one thing I noticed while watching was that the scenery behind this particular scene was actually quite eye-catching; colorful food trucks lined closed off streets near Joe’s apartment, with the lights of New York apartments towering over them. The set for this show has always shown off New York City in such a simple way, yet it’s so interesting to look at. Eventually, after their accidental meet up, Joe and Beck fall into an unhealthy habit of communicating regularly, without Karen knowing. Beck tries to convince herself and Dr Nicky that she and Joe are just casually talking, but they’re texting all the time, including when Joe has his arm around another girl. According to Dr Nicky, they’re definitely flirting. When Beck and Joe end up thrown into a situation where they have to work side by side, Joe becomes really aware of everything Beck is doing and how she’s moving while he silently pretends he’s ignoring her. When they get to talking face to face for the first time in three months, they realize they are still interested in each other and it’s clear that the close relationship they’re developing will only make their lives spiral away from the direction they should be going in i.e. away from each other. This can only lead to negative circumstances for both of them.

Penn Badgley and Elizabeth Lail in You (2018)

Image Credit: IMDb

Karen, Joe’s girlfriend since the day he and Beck broke up (very classy, Joe) is the only thing left to separate the two of them, and there’s no doubt that she’s somewhat aware of the problem and how it will eventually affect her. A huge part of Karen’s nature is that she’s independent- she doesn’t need Joe. Beck, who is no longer with Joe, still asks to pick his brain for advice and comments on her work, showing her needy side. It’s a little pathetic how Beck is very dependent on other people, usually, those she views as stronger than her. Joe is an example of that type of person in her life. She wants him on “a need basis,” so she says, which basically entails that she can have him whenever she wants. Karen, on the other hand, wants to take care of Joe in the way that Joe used to take care of Beck, proving that she doesn’t need him at all. I find this a refreshing change from Beck’s constant need for attention. Karen can handle her own problems, but unfortunately for her, she doesn’t realize how much of a problem it is to be with someone like Joe.  If he was stalking her the way he did to Beck, maybe these qualities would present themselves sooner. I don’t know if it’s fortunate or unfortunate because this that means she’s completely unaware of everything Joe has proven to be capable of. For example, Joe is becoming scarily good at being several different people- one who likes Karen, one who is still involved with Beck, and one named Paul who’s gay and in love with two different men. He’s concocted different lies, which are all specific to the people he’s feeding them to. His dishonesties have become him; they’ve changed the potential he had to be a genuine person. He’s so ingenuine that this episode ends with him breaking the heart of someone who actually would have been a good match for him, had he not developed these messy qualities and abhorrent addictions that he runs to the second he lets go of her. In the last moments of the eighth episode, there were some alarming words thrown out for the characters to mull over next week. This week’s episode was definitely worth the watch- I can definitely say I was mesmerized by it as Joe is by Beck.

Watch next week’s episode of You on Lifetime next Sunday at 10 PM EST.

Featured Image Via Heavy Entertainment

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