YOU Season 2 is almost here, and it looks like Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) will be getting back to the business of being a monologue-happy creep — this time using a new name, in a new locale, and, most importantly, with a new love interest in his sights. Season 2 marks the show's first run as a Netflix original, after originally airing on Lifetime, but with a reported 40 million viewers tuning in to the streaming service to see Joe's deadly obsession play out in Season 1, it's already a hot commodity for Netflix.
Following the events of Season 1's gruesome finale — let's all pour one out for Beck (Elizabeth Lail) — the second season will follow Joe to new places. But try as he might to start a new life, he'll still be the same twisted weirdo some people like just a little too much.
Here's everything we know so far about YOU Season 2.
Season 2 premieres in December. YOU Season 2 premieres Thursday, Dec. 26 on Netflix, the series' new home. (Season 1 first aired on Lifetime in the fall of 2018.) The streaming platform has also released new key art for the second season.
The trailer reveals Joe's new identity and obsession. The trailer for YOU's second season reveals that Joe will be taking on a new identity as he moves to Los Angeles; he introduces himself as Will Bettelheim. He'll also be setting his sights — by way of a telescope — on a new love interest named Love Quinn (The Haunting of Hill House star Victoria Pedretti). However, he still won't be able to fully escape his past because his ex-girlfriend Candace (Ambyr Childers) is absolutely back in the picture, and she's got a score to settle with Joe.
The show will borrow from the book sequel but add new twists. YOU's first season was based upon Caroline Kepnes' 2014 book of the same name but featured a few key changes from the text. Likewise, Season 2 will draw from the novel's 2016 sequel, Hidden Bodies. Showrunner Sera Gamble has cautioned, though, that book fans are still in for some more surprises ahead. She told TV Guide, "There's a ton of great stuff we are planning on doing from the second book. Starting with setting the new season in Los Angeles. But also, now the show has a life of its own and we are excited to take a few things in a direction that will be surprising to everyone, including fans of the books."
Joe won't exactly be a better person. Joe already has a lot of blood on his hands, and fans shouldn't expect him to be any different in his new location. As Gamble told Digital Spy, "I can't say he's fully reformed. It isn't like he's getting shelter dogs adopted in Season 2. He's doing some pretty crazy s---." Still, his self-image as a novice has made him sloppy (leaving a box of evidence above the toilet, urinating in Peach's house, e.g.) and that lack of precision will "come back to haunt him" in the new season.
The new setting will be a big problem. Joe's journey out west won't be easy for him, either. If he thought the Peach Salinger-types of New York were Instagram-happy, he's in for a really rude awakening in the Hollywood circuit. Gamble told TV Guide, "One problem that Joe might face coming to Los Angeles is that you can't walk down the goddamn street without someone posing against a selfie wall for their Instagram. It's really hard to stay out of pictures ... If you want to lay low, if you want to stay out of trouble, if you're trying not to be known, Los Angeles is the wrong place to live." In other words, if Joe wants to keep those bodies hidden, so to speak, the ubiquitousness of social media in La La Land is not gonna help.
Fans can expect at least one very gory scene. The violence in YOU Season 1 might have been tame compared to what's to come. Gamble told LADbible that the new season could feel like a horror show in at least one scene. "At least one scene comes to mind that's gorier and scarier than anything we had in Season 1," she teased. "You will know it when you see it. Episode 2 of the season has my single favorite shot that I have been a part of in my entire career. My career is full of blood and gore and monsters. It's also beautifully shot and the director who shot the second episode lavished a lot of love. Joe is forced to do something he really doesn't want to do." Shudder.
Candace isn't here to play nice. The return of Joe's ex-girlfriend Candace in Season 1's finale was one of the biggest twists of the show so far, and it looks like she's coming back with a vengeance in Season 2. Ambyr Childers was promoted to a series regular for the second season, and she's expected to be "hell-bent on teaching him a lesson" this time around. Dun dun dunnnn.
Joe isn't fully over Beck. Although it's clear from the trailer that Joe will be devoting a lot of his creepy energy to courting Love Quinn, he might not totally be over Guinevere Beck right away. Gamble told Entertainment Weekly,"Joe is not out there looking for love. He's truly heartbroken by what has happened, and so what Love offers is a different kind of friendship and a different kind of relationship."
Love's brother is basically the new Peach. Heathers star James Scully also joined the fold as Forty, Love's brother who struggles with his sobriety and has a major chip on his shoulder. He's described by TVLine as "confident, opinionated and privileged — at his best, a charming buddy; at his worst, a razor-sharp bully." Knowing Joe, Forty's flaws won't sit well with him for long.
Love's coworker may also be one to watch. Another Heathers alum who's joining YOU's second season is Adwin Brown, who'll appear as Calvin. According to Deadline, Calvin will manage the store Love works at, and while he likes to meditate, the stresses of his job at the "unconventional" store might just get to him a bit.
Love has also got a bestie you might recognize. Netflix added Russian Doll star Charlie Barnett to the cast as Gabe, Love's best friend. Barnett teased that his character will help introduce the "a little more of the crime and punishment" theme of the story in Season 2.
Joe won't be the only one conning people. Jane the Virgin's Jenna Ortega will also appear in YOU as Ellie, a girl trying to make it on the mean streets without much adult influence who will try to con Joe, among other grown-ups. Since Paco is not expected to return, perhaps Ellie will become Joe's new protégé.
The therapist might come back as well. Joe might think he's put a pin in the matter of Beck's murder by framing Dr. Nicky (John Stamos), with Beck's forced fictionalization of their affair as proof. However, there's a chance he could come back into play during the show's second season as he continues to maintain his innocence. Gamble told The Hollywood Reporter that while it was "too soon" to say whether the character would return to the series or not, his arc could be another part of Joe's problem, as he's still got a few loose ends (including Nicky's investment in uncovering the truth and Peach's family's private investigator) that could unravel his veil of innocence.
Trouble is coming for a new guy. Gotham's Robin Lord Taylor will recur in Season 2 as Will, a smart, personable guy who, per Deadline, deals with "unsavory sorts" in his job. Will's connection to the rest of the action is unclear so far, but we know he's about to get caught in a "bad situation" — and it's a safe bet that Joe will be involved.
A famous comedian could be Joe's next victim. Deadline reported that YOU Season 2 also cast Chris D'Elia as Henderson, "a designer-hoodie, black Ray-Bans, expensive sneakers-wearing" kind of guy who's rocking a "man of the people" kind of vibe. Considering this description sounds a whole lot like Benji (Lou Taylor Pucci) and Elijah (Esteban Benito), the two d-bags Joe killed in the name of love in Season 1, Henderson might want to watch his back around mallets and tall buildings.
YOU Season 1 is available on Netflix. Season 2 premieres Thursday, Dec. 26 on Netflix.