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Hey, You: Remembering Joe’s Most Heinous Acts of Violence and Jealousy

Get ready for Season 4 with a refresher course on Joe's deranged actions.
  • Penn Badgley as Joe in You (Netflix)
    Penn Badgley as Joe in You (Netflix)

    Netflix's You returns for its fourth season this week, but it's been more than a year since we last spent time with Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) and his persistent, unhinged voiceover. Joe would probably call himself a romantic, though his idea of romance is fixating on women, stalking them, and then manipulating them into a relationship. This often includes murdering anybody who stands in his way.

    Over the course of three seasons, Joe has done a lot of deranged and unforgivable things in the name of love (or Love, referring to his now-deceased wife) and self-preservation — so much that it can be easy to forget the litany of crimes and creepy behavior. Allow the following list of "highlights" to refresh your memory before we join Joe in England for Season 4 on February 9.

    As a child, Joe killed his own father

    Threaded through the first three seasons of You are flashbacks to Joe's childhood, which have revealed his past in bits and pieces. He was an orphan who spent significant time in a group home where he was bullied. He was eventually adopted by the elderly Mr. Mooney, who owned a bookstore but disciplined young Joe by locking him in a plexiglass cage in the basement. But Joe's damage went further back than that, to his biological parents. Joe's father was violently abusive to Joe's mother, and one day, Joe picked up a gun and shot his father dead, beginning a lifetime's work of killing men who threaten the women he loves. [Season 2, Episode 9, "P.I. Joe"]

    He also killed a romantic rival with peanut oil

    In the first season, Joe became dangerously obsessed with Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail), a pretty, blond aspiring writer who came into the book shop where he worked. He soon began stalking her and learned she had an unfaithful and generally crappy boyfriend named Benji (Lou Taylor Pucci). After attacking Benji and locking him in the cage below the bookstore, Joe dosed Benji's annoyingly specific coffee order — maple latte, almond milk, two stevia — with peanut oil, to which Benji was deathly allergic. Goodbye, Benji. [Season 1, Episode 2, "The Last Nice Guy in New York"]

    Left a jar of his own urine in Peach Salinger's apartment

    Peach (Shay Mitchell) was an impediment to Joe's courting/stalking of Beck, and Joe tried a couple times to get rid of her. After discovering Joe skulking around her wealthy family's estate, Peach pulled a gun on Joe and even managed to shoot him in the leg, but as is his tendency, Joe got the upper hand and shot Peach dead. Before all that, though, while Joe was still hiding in the Salinger house spying on Peach and Beck, he had to pee and couldn't hold it in, so he grabbed the nearest apothecary jar and peed in there. He was never able to retrieve it, and it remains an undiscovered loose end. [Season 1, Episode 6, "Amour Fou"]

    Pretended to be gay in order to get intel on Dr. Nicky (John Stamos) in Season 1

    Never one to be able to leave well enough alone, Joe ended up ruining his relationship with Beck by being too nosy about her relationship with her shrink, Dr. Nicky (John Stamos). Posing as a gay man named Paul, Joe began attending sessions with Dr. Nicky in order to keep tabs. But when he outright accused Beck of sleeping with her shrink, Beck dumped him. Even after that, Joe continued to see Dr. Nicky. The joke was eventually on Joe (and the good doctor) when Joe found out that Beck really was sleeping with Dr. Nicky. [Season 1 Episode 7, Everythingship"; and Episode 8 "You Got Me, Babe"]

    Killed Guinevere Beck and framed Dr. Nicky in a bestseller

    After Beck figured out the truth about Joe, he locked her in the bookstore cage, and after she failed in her attempt to turn the tables on him, he killed her. He then refashioned Beck's writings into a book, which implicated Dr. Nicky in not only her murder but the Benji and Peach murders as well. [Season 1, Episode 10, "Bluebeard's Castle"]

    Killed a predatory comedian played by Chris D'Elia in Season 2

    The second season of You was as much about Joe (now posing as "Will") being disgusted by Los Angeles culture as it was about Joe committing murders. After having one too many encounters with popular comedian Henderson (D'Elia) and hearing through the grapevine about his basement pleasure room and tendency to target underage women — it should be noted that this episode aired only a year prior to D'Elia being accused of grooming underage girls in real life — Joe took action. As Henderson was about to drug and take advantage of 15-year-old Ellie (Jenna Ortega), Joe got the jump on him and drugged him first. Technically, killing Henderson was a mistake, since Joe was just trying to stop him from escaping and accidentally threw him down the stairs, but Joe covered up his manslaughter just the same. [Season 2, Episode 4, "The Good, The Bad, & the Hendy]

    Trapped his building manager in his glass cage, which led to her death

    Joe spent most of Season 2 trying to win the affections of Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti), but he had a dalliance with Delilah (Carmela Zumbado), a gossip columnist who also happened to manage his apartment building. Delilah quickly grew suspicious of Will (Joe's alias at the time), eventually finding the storage locker with his plexiglass cage. He imprisoned her but promised to set her free. Love, of course, had other plans — after finding Delilah in the cage, she killed her, though Joe/Will thought he had done it while in a drug-fueled haze with Forty (James Scully). [Season 2, Episode 7, "Ex-istential Crisis" and Season 2, Episode 8, "Fear and Loathing in Beverly Hills"]

    Helped Love cover up her murder of their neighbor, with whom Joe had become obsessed in Season 3

    For Season 3, Joe, Love, and their newborn Henry moved to the northern California suburbs and attempted to be a normal family. It didn't last. Joe's stalking eye turned pretty quickly to Natalie (Michaela McManus), the married woman next door. It wasn’t long, though, before Love found out about Joe and Natalie's flirtatious relationship and impulsively hatcheted Natalie to death in the basement of her newly-leased bakery. Joe, having more know-how when it comes to disposing of dead bodies, helped Love get rid of Natalie, and the two spent the rest of the season covering up the murder. [Season 3, Episode 1, "And They Lived Happily Ever After"]

    Attacked a polyamorous couple in the midst of a group-sex encounter when they overheard Love confess to Natalie's murder

    When they weren't covering up murders — and Joe wasn't finding a new woman to obsess over in Marienne (Tati Gabrielle), his single-mom boss at the library — Joe and Love were trying to work on their faltering marriage. Which is how they ended up attempting a swingers situation with their influencer neighbors Sherry (Shalita Grant) and Cary (Travis Van Winkle). When Joe and Love excused themselves to argue, Love blurted out that she'd murdered Natalie. And when it became clear that Sherry and Cary had overheard them, Joe and Love attacked and — say it with me — imprisoned them in their glass cage. [Season 3, Episode 8, "Swing and a Miss"]

    Cut off two of his toes with a kitchen knife and tenderizing mallet while faking his own death

    After saving himself with the antidote, Joe overpowered Love and injected her with a lethal dose of poison. He then wrote a false confession on Love's behalf, staged an elaborate murder-suicide, and cut off two toes in order to leave behind DNA evidence of his demise. Then he set the house ablaze and slunk out of California entirely. [Season 3, Episode 10, "What Is Love?"]

    The first half of You Season 4 premieres on Netflix on February 9. Join the discussion about the show in our forums.

    Joe Reid is the senior writer at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.

    TOPICS: You (Netflix series), Netflix, Chris D'Elia, James Scully, Jenna Ortega, John Stamos, Penn Badgley, Shalita Grant, Shay Mitchell, Tati Gabrielle, Travis Van Winkle, Victoria Pedretti