With the fourth season of You soon arriving on Netflix, viewers may need to refresh their memory on the previous season, which premiered over a year ago. Here, we revisit key moments in the season 3 finale in an interview with showrunner Sera Gamble, originally published on October 16, 2021. Major spoilers for You season 3 lie ahead.
Fans have been eager to catch up with Joe Goldberg since You season 2 ended, and season 3, now streaming on Netflix, did not disappoint. From the murders to the marital drama to Joe’s multiple love affairs, the third chapter of Netflix’s hit series was every bit as juicy as we hoped, and its finale left us with the cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers.
Executive producer and showrunner Sera Gamble breaks down the shocking season 3 finale with ELLE.com, and dishes on what fans can expect when You returns for a fourth go-round.
Is Love really dead?
This is probably our biggest, burning question after watching season 3. While some viewers are probably hoping that Victoria Pedretti’s Love is still alive, according to showrunner Gamble, her fate in the finale is pretty final. “Inevitable is probably a good word for it, actually,” Gamble tells ELLE.com. “If you think of it just through the lens of Joe as a character, his loves end in tragedy because they’re not built on a foundation that will ever work. In terms of writing the story and making the show, we knew that we had a two-season story for this couple, that the turning point was when we find out who Love really is at the end of season 2.”
Watching Joe and Love’s relationship develop and disintegrate was certainly fun (though often painful), and it was just as fun to write. “It was pretty juicy. There’s a lot between them,” Gamble says. “There are definitely times where it makes perfect sense for them to be together, but I don’t think they really had what it takes to be a long-term relationship. There were definitely times this season, especially towards the end where we very much thought of Love as Joe’s antagonist, but we were well aware that’s just because we are telling the story from the point of view of [Joe], who’s our protagonist.” Gamble continues, “Really, if you put them on paper, she’s not doing anything worse than he is. In fact, might be the opposite….She did do more murdering than he did.”
Love’s fate may have been a shock to viewers, but the actors were actually pretty prepared for it. “Penn and Victoria both knew that probably [the season 3 finale] was going to end with her dead. That was probably what it was going to be,” Gamble explains. “But I’ll be honest. There were definitely days in the writer’s room where we were like, or maybe she runs away and we can play some more with this character later.”
However, leaving Love’s storyline open just didn’t feel right. Gamble says, “In the end it felt like we really had to go there. In a way it’s like the character is so powerful in the season that we really felt like we couldn’t half-ass the ending.”
Will we see Henry again?
In a full-circle moment, Joe abandoned his and Love’s son, Henry, in the season 3 finale. The weight of his decision is felt all the more deeply by viewers who know that Joe was also abandoned by his own mother.
“I think feeling like he had to do that will affect him deeply. I don’t think leaving behind a child would ever go away,” Gamble explains. “And I know that there’s certain things in Joe’s wiring that are a little different than some other people, but not that.”
As for whether Henry will be back in later seasons, the powers that be are giving nothing away. “I can’t really answer the question about what that will be in the future,” Gamble teases. “For now, he has made what I think is a pretty smart decision to leave him with parents who can properly parent him and protect him. And I couldn’t really say what the future will bring after that.”
A lot of characters survived Season 3. Will any of them come after Joe? And will Joe hunt down Marienne (Tati Gabrielle)?
The suburbs became an exceedingly dangerous place to be with Love and Joe in them, but a number of characters (including Sherry, Cary, Matthew, Dante, and Theo) all survived season 3. “I hope it doesn’t seem like we’re getting soft, that so many people didn’t die,” Gamble jokes. “Some people died and [Joe is] definitely looking for Marienne at the end of the season. That’s why he’s flown to Europe.”
As for whether any of those survivors might be looking for revenge, Gamble says, “First of all, anything bad that can happen to Joe, we’re interested in exploring…anyone who knows what his deal is, anyone who is a loose end.”
Specifically, Love and Joe’s married friends, Sherry and Cary, survived, and were inspired to start a business based on their time in the infamous cage. “In terms of people you really thought might die…I think from the moment we meet them, we’re like, ‘Oh, they’re not going to survive the season,’” Gamble says. “But it became important to us to have a married couple in the season who also went through a real crucible in their relationship, so that we could actually hold somebody up and say this is what it looks like when it’s good. This is what it looks like when people listen to each other and they are truly putting each other’s interests at the forefront of their consciousness. I will admit that as a writer’s room, we were really rooting for Sherry and Cary the whole time.”
But for anyone hoping Scott Speedman’s Matthew might be back, that currently sounds unlikely. “That was one of the best days of the season, when we heard he might be interested in being on the show at all,” Gamble says. “I have never gotten so many texts from friends that were excited as when his casting was announced.”
Will Joe’s mother get more screen time in future seasons?
A flashback in the finale revealed that Joe’s mom moved on and started looking after another child after abandoning her son. Effectively, she left Joe behind for good, much to the chagrin of our antihero. But the maternal influence in Joe’s life might be back for future installments of the series. “That’s definitely a possibility. We haven’t nailed down any particular story, but in so many ways, when you think about Joe, all roads lead back to her, so she’s an important presence in the story,” Gamble reveals. “So I think it’s something we would at least be tempted to poke at.”
Was Episode 3, which featured Joe and Henry getting sick with the measles, intentional commentary on the COVID-19 pandemic and the anti-vax movement?
While parallels will absolutely be drawn between You‘s measles storyline and the current COVID-19 pandemic, the episode was actually written pre-pandemic. “It’s definitely interesting to have this season come out now because this conversation is very front and center today. And that happens sometimes, when you write TV, which you have to write about a year before it comes out, where suddenly it’s incredibly relevant in ways you couldn’t have predicted,” Gamble tells us. “We figured that story out in February 2020. So it’s before we knew that there would be a pandemic in this country. And not only that, it was many months before the conversation was even really about vaccines.”
She continues, “It’s not so different, this is not really a new conversation. It’s just very sharp and very heightened right now. But it’s a conversation that is very much ongoing in this country. And the possibility of a very young child being sick is just the single scariest thing that could happen to a parent.” As for Love’s reaction to meeting an anti-vax parent, Gamble says, “Part of our goal was to just put Love and Joe in situations where they would really be tested and maybe inspired to knock someone over the head and throw them in a cage.”
Will there be a Season 4 of You?
Netflix revealed days before the season 3 premiere that a season 4 of You is a go.
And Gamble has been ready, even before the next installment was confirmed. “The process every season so far has been that [executive producer] Greg Berlanti and I have a lot of text and phone conversations just about what would be cool for the next thing,” she reveals. “And we have been having them about a potential season 4 since probably before we started shooting season 3. He is always so great about coming up with these huge moving pieces that are really shocking and great. So we’re definitely armed and ready to strike if we had to do it.”
Is Joe’s move to Paris permanent?
Joe’s move to Paris reminded us a little of Carrie Bradshaw’s trip to the city way back when. “I’ve been hearing Emily [in Paris] a lot, but I like Carrie,” Gamble says. As for whether Joe has moved to France or another country for good, Gamble explains, “I think, yes. If we do another season, you get to see someplace new.”
Moving to another continent makes a lot of sense for Joe. “Just speaking for myself, I really like the idea of him being somewhere that’s very different than where he’s been and where he doesn’t necessarily fully understand all of the cultures that are happening around him,” Gamble teases. “That’s just a juicy position to put him in.”
And for anyone that noticed the New York shoutout in the final moments of the finale, Gamble tells ELLE.com, “I don’t know what Joe is thinking in that moment, but I do think of New York as his home, more than any other place and never say never, right? If we get to tell the story for long enough, maybe he’ll pop back over there at some point.”
Ultimately, Joe Goldberg may have left the suburbs behind, but his time there was fun while it lasted. “The irony of it is that they move there because it’s such a safe environment for them and their kid, but all of those factors make it a bad place to kill somebody because people are watching, there’s a lot of security, everybody’s talking to each other,” Gamble says. “So it was good because it turned up the heat on them a little bit.”
Amy Mackelden is a freelance writer, editor, and disability activist. Her bylines include Harper’s BAZAAR, Nicki Swift, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, ELLE, The Independent, Bustle, Healthline, and HelloGiggles. She co-edited The Emma Press Anthology of Illness, and previously spent all of her money on Kylie Cosmetics.