'YOU' Season 3 Ending: Penn Badgley and Sera Gamble on That 'Hard' Finale—and Season 4

As to be expected, YOU Season 3 is full of twists and turns to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

Despite becoming parents and moving to the idyllic (and, sadly, fictional) town of Madre Linda, Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) and Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti) can't temper their baser instincts and quash their desire to kill.

Naturally, everything comes to a head in the season finale, which sees Love completely lose her cool and desperately clutch at the shreds of her nuclear family.

Newsweek caught up with stars Penn Badgley and Victoria Pedretti, as well as showrunner Sera Gamble, to break down the dramatic conclusion of YOU Season 3.

**WARNING: Major spoilers ahead (obviously)**

What happened at the end of YOU Season 3?

Joe and Love

The YOU Season 3 finale began with a blood-stained Joe returning from having killed Marienne's (Tati Gabrielle) ex-husband Ryan (Scott Michael Foster). Ryan's death had just started to hit the news and Marienne believed he had been the victim of a mugging. In a panic, Joe hid his bloody shirt in a nappy waste-bin in Henry's nursery, which was very quickly discovered by Love.

Putting two and two together, Love realized Joe must have been the perpetrator and that he was obviously in love with Marienne, because he sought to eliminate any threat to their future relationship.

At dinner that same evening, Joe asked Love for a divorce, admitting he wanted to be with Marienne. But instead of talking things over like a normal couple, Love decided she would kill Joe instead.

Furious, Love confessed she had poisoned Joe in the same way she had her first husband James (Daniel Durant) — a shocking revelation that confirmed both viewers' and Dottie's (Saffron Burrows) hunch was right.

Expanding on what happened in the past, Love admitted she had poisoned James with a paralytic called Wolfsbane after he wanted to end their marriage, but she had gotten the dosage wrong, killing him instead.

Years later, Love had fine-tuned the dosage and had figured out a way for the poison to be absorbed through the skin. As Joe and Love discussed her past over dinner, Love warned Joe: "This time, I'm letting it seep through the skin. I have to point out, none of this would be happening if you hadn't grabbed a weapon."

However, Joe was one step ahead of Love and outsmarted her devious plan by taking an adrenaline pill (the only way to counteract the effects of wolfsbane) moments before they sat down for dinner.

Just as Love was ready to kill him with a butcher's knife, Joe injected Love with aconite, which killed her almost instantly.

Joe then prepared his escape. He took Henry to Dante's (Ben Mehl) home and left him on the doorstep along with a letter, asking Dante to raise his son. Joe then returned home and framed his own murder. He amputated two of his toes and baked them in a pie, before setting the house on fire with Love's lifeless body inside.

At the end of the episode, it is revealed Joe had made it all the way to Paris, France, under the pseudonym of Nick. As he waited in a cafe, his inner monologue revealed he was searching for Marienne and hoped they would "cross paths" in the future.

Victoria Pedretti YOU
Love was killed by Joe in YOU Season 3 JOHN P. FLEENOR/NETFLIX

However, Love did not go quietly and before her supposed death, made it crystal clear to Marienne that Joe was a serial killer, and thanks to Joe's faked murder, for all Marienne knows, Joe is well and truly dead.

Penn Badgley told Newsweek it was difficult knowing he was going to be killing his co-star in the YOU Season 3 finale.

He said: "It's never easy to know intellectually that your character is going to murder the very person you're like striving to have this chemistry and relationship with and tell this story through the relationship, right?

"That's always been the thing about Joe that is hard before action and after the cut.

"Obviously, during the scene, I can't really be thinking about all these things but that's, and that's why I've spoken about Joe in the way that I have, because he's, a hard guy to play. If you're invested in the work and you care about the characters, he's a hard guy to play."

YOU showrunner Sera Gamble described the finale as an "extended shot of adrenaline."

"We worked very, very hard to pull it off," she explained. "This is definitely a show where you have to begin with the ending in mind because the last two or three episodes of the season tend to be a really extended shot of adrenaline with a lot of twists and turns.

"I think, one of them, small silver linings of the long hiatus, the fact that we couldn't shoot the scripts as soon as we had them, because the world was shut down by COVID is that we were able to give Victoria and Penn a lot of information about where their characters were going to be going."

She added: "I think if you found the finale successful, a lot of that might come down to the fact that the actors did really amazing preparation, and really thoughtful work in advance of shooting those scenes."

There is good news for fans of YOU: Season 4 has already been given the green light, and Joe's story isn't over yet.

Speaking about Joe's future, Badgley joked: "Joe's toe is just going to come back. If Joe's toe were to come back, where would he be?"

Gamble added: "Putting him in Europe is exciting, because a lot of people in Europe watch the show and the world has become smaller, so it's fun to expand his map and think about other possibilities."


Theo (Dylan Arnold) fans will be delighted to know the college student is alive and well by the end of Season 3.

Unfortunately for Theo, things rapidly turned sour between him and Love after he discovered she had injured and locked Sherry (Shalita Grant) and Cary (Travis Van Winkle) in the glass cage in her bakery's basement.

After Theo promised Love not to tell anybody what he saw, she knocked him unconscious, throwing him down the stairs and leaving him for dead.

Theo survived in the YOU Season 3 finale JOHN P. FLEENOR/NETFLIX

Joe also assumed Theo was dead and wrapped his unconscious body up, ready to dispose of it. However, Theo was actually alive and for a reason we may never know, Joe fought his instincts and did not kill him. Instead, Joe dropped Theo off at a local hospital, giving him a chance of survival.

At the end of Episode 10, his stepfather Matthew (Scott Speedman) visited Theo in the hospital, where it is revealed he was in recovery and was learning how to walk again.

Victoria Pedretti explained Love had no choice but to kill Theo. She said: "Ultimately, it ends in a way that's very tragic for both of them. I don't think Love felt like there was anything else she could do at that moment to protect her child. But it's—it's something she definitely doesn't want to do."

Sherry and Cary

In the season finale, Sherry and Cary were still locked in the glass cage underneath Love's bakery, A Fresh Tart.

While viewers didn't see them escape, it is suggested they made it out with the key Sherry discovered. Either way, the pair were alive and their marriage seemed to be stronger than ever.

The narrative then shifts in a flash-forward, where we see the couple giving Ted Talks about their traumatic experience. They have also become best-selling authors of the book "Caged: A Radical Couple's Therapy Technique."

Sherry and Cary YOU
Shalita Grant as Sherry Conrad in YOU Season 3 JOHN P. FLEENOR/NETFLIX

YOU seasons 1 to 3 are streaming on Netflix now.

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