×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘You’ Boss Talks ‘Biggest Tragedy’ in Finale and Planning Season 2

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Bluebeard’s Castle,” the first season finale of “You.”

On Lifetime’s “You,” Joe Goldberg’s (Penn Badgley) past has come back to haunt him — just in time for the show to take its hiatus between seasons.

At the end of the first season, showrunner Sera Gamble opted to bring Joe’s ex Candace (Ambyr Childers) walking through the doors of his bookstore, very much alive and very much to the surprise of Joe himself. This was a major plot deviation from Caroline Kepnes’ novel of the same name, on which the show has been based. The novel ends with Joe finding a new object of obsession in the form of a young woman named Amy.

“The philosophy is always to remix the books in a way that makes emotional sense,” Gamble tells Variety. “The way you feel when you read the books, we want to capture that in the show a little deeper. … We were just thinking about what would be the best cliffhanger and f— with everybody’s head in the best way as they waited for more.”

Gamble also wanted to subvert expectations about how Joe and Candace’s relationship ended. The novel leaves the storyline vague, and as she and her writers’ room were working on episodes, she says they realized pretty quickly the audience would assume Joe had killed her.

“That started a conversation about, ‘What if he didn’t; what if he just thought he did?'” she says. “It just opened up all of these avenues for Joe Goldberg’s future that [were] irresistible.”

The history the audience knows Joe and Candace have had — told through his perspective and that of her friends in the first season — sets up higher stakes for the already ordered-second season than if Gamble had followed the book verbatim and introduced a new character.

The character of Joe’s young neighbor Paco (Luca Padovan) also became an important ingredient in raising the stakes for Joe. All season long, Joe tried to protect Paco from his mother’s abusive boyfriend Ron (Daniel Cosgrove) and in the finale ended up killing him — in front of Paco’s eyes.

“Paco has been a character that illuminates the best, most compassionate side of Joe,” Gamble says. “He educates Paco, he gives Paco a sandwich when he’s hungry, he keeps Paco safe. And then he does this incredible thing in the finale.”

Gamble notes that Joe “doesn’t go around killing people for no reason” but has a “very strong code.” Usually his self-interest and preservation is at the center, which is what led him down the road to killing his girlfriend’s meddling best friend Peach (Shay Mitchell) earlier in the season and even that girlfriend, Beck (Elizabeth Lail), herself in the finale. But in this instance he put concerns about Paco first.

In many ways, Paco could be seen as a loose end for Joe going forward in the story. After all, not only does he know what Joe did to Ron, but he also caught Beck trying to escape the basement of the bookstore, where Joe had imprisoned her. But in choosing not to help Beck, Paco proved his loyalty to Joe.

“Paco has been exposed to Joe [after] being trained to see Joe as this hero and savior, do the biggest tragedy for me in the finale is that moment where Paco does the math and realizes there must be something very deeply wrong with her or Joe would never do something like this to [her],” Gamble says. “His faith in Joe and his trust in Joe was so deep that Beck could literally be screaming through that door, but what Paco has just learned is that if Joe is doing something like this, he must have an incredibly important reason.”

Gamble admits “being loved by Joe is a double-edged sword.” Gamble recalls reading the novel and thinking that Beck would somehow still make it out of her relationship with Joe alive — and that “those two crazy kids were going to make it work.” Although she acknowledges that was a “shocking and appalling” line of thought, that was “the spirit of the story that we wanted to capture” for the roller coaster ride of the show.

While Beck and Joe’s story came to an end in the first season finale, in many ways Candace and Joe’s story, as well as Paco and Joe’s story, may just be beginning.

“Do you remember in ‘Kill Bill’ when Uma Thurman’s character says to the little girl, ‘Come find me in 20 years?’ When we were shooting those last scenes with Paco, that’s what kept popping into my head,” Gamble says. “What I’m most interested in is doing an entire TV show about who Paco grows up to be because he spent some time with Joe.”

Of course, Gamble isn’t actually making that a reality just yet. The second season of “You” will follow some of the themes and dynamics of Kepnes’ sequel, “Hidden Bodies,” as the story follows Joe who worries over the “stress and the pressure of what he has done.” While he may be able to justify and live with the murders, there are people still out there who are trying to get to the bottom of them, leaving him vulnerable.

Gamble shares that people including Peach Salinger’s family and Dr. Nicky (John Stamos), who is in prison for the murders of Peach and Beck but “has something to say about his innocence,” are still in play. Other loose ends weighing on Joe in the second season will be the DNA he left behind at one crime scene, just like in the novel, as well as Beck’s friends, and of course Candace, who Gamble says is “the one that is the most in his face.”

“The fun of breaking season 2 is figuring out largely when to detonate each bomb. Joe may be trying to start a new life and have a fresh start, but it’s hard to do that when you have such skeletons in [your] closet,” she says.

More TV

  • Telemundo to Launch English-Language Newscast With

    Telemundo to Launch First English-Language Newscast on YouTube (EXCLUSIVE)

    NBCUniversal’s Hispanic broadcaster Telemundo is developing its first English-language newscast in collaboration with YouTube in a bid to tap the burgeoning U.S. Hispanic youth demographic. Borne out of a YouTube grant aimed at awarding journalism projects that “elevate quality journalism, evolve business models to drive sustainable growth, and empower news organizations through technological innovation,” Telemundo News’ [...]

  • THE ASSASSINATION OF GIANNI VERSACE: AMERICAN

    How the HFPA Celebrated History with 2019 Golden Globe Nominees

    The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. often prides itself on being trendsetting when it comes to recognizing new talent and programming, and the 2019 crop of nominees certainly follows that pattern. But sometimes celebrating something new actually means celebrating something old, in the form of storytelling that explores key eras in history. FX Soviet spy drama [...]

  • Ryan Murphy - Outstanding Directing for

    Ryan Murphy to Be Honored by Costume Designers Guild

    The Costume Designers Guild has selected Ryan Murphy as the recipient of its distinguished collaborator award. The producer will be honored at the 21st Costume Designers Guild Awards on Feb. 19 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. The distinguished collaborator award honors individuals who demonstrate “unwavering support” of costume design and creative partnerships with [...]

  • 'Dark Crystal' Series Cast Includes Nathalie

    'Dark Crystal' Series Voice Cast Includes Nathalie Emmanuel, Taron Egerton

    The upcoming “Dark Crystal” series at Netflix has announced a stacked voice cast. Leading the cast for “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance” are Taron Egerton, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Nathalie Emmanuel as Rian, Brea and Deet, three Gelfling heroes. Other Gelfling characters are voiced by: Caitriona Balfe, Helena Bonham-Carter, Harris Dickinson, Natalie Dormer, Eddie Izzard, [...]

  • Greek forensic experts search outside the

    Greece Condemns Bombing of TV and Radio Broadcaster

    The Greek government has condemned the bombing of a major media group in Athens as an “attack by cowardly and dark forces against democracy itself.” No injuries were reported in the powerful dead-of-night blast outside the offices of the Skai TV channel and radio network. The building also houses leading daily newspaper Kathimerini, which is [...]

  • Kathleen FinchDiscovery Executive Session panel, TV

    Discovery Builds HGTV Companion to TLC's 'Say Yes to the Dress' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Discovery is readying a home-improvement version of TLC favorite “Say Yes To The Dress,” a signal that the company is working to maximize opportunities to make use of the Scripps cable networks  – including HGTV – it acquired earlier this year. The long-running bridal fashion show will return for a new season on Saturday, January [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content