Thursday, December 26, 2019

REVIEW: 'You' - Joe Enlists Will's Help to Better Protect His New Friends From the World's Dangers in 'What Are Friends For?'

Netflix's You - Episode 2.03 "What Are Friends For?"

Joe attempts to keep things platonic with Love and keep his nose out of Ellie's business. But his instincts soon get the better of him.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's You.

"What Are Friends For?" was written by Neil Reynolds and directed by John Scott

Joe wanted to hide out in Los Angeles while building up his resolve to face Candace and what she has planned for him. It was impossible for him to curb his impulses though. He is firmly planted in this new city now. He has a new life that is just as dangerous as before. He hasn't changed. Yes, the circumstances this season are different than his former connection with Beck and her friends. There is a fundamental sense that he is following the same pattern of behavior. He wants to avoid hurting Love because of the damage caused from his relationship with Beck. However, that becomes more like a convenient saying instead of trusting Love with honesty. She feels strong and empowered because she has been upfront about what her life has been up to this point. She has a codependent relationship with her brother, Forty. She found love and he tragically died. That pain defines her but she is also willing to explore something new knowing exactly how to handle herself. She has a solid life in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Joe is a new transplant who has stepped into someone else's life. Will is locked up in a cage and only serves a purpose when Joe needs to hack someone. Will's inclusion in the narrative proves that Joe isn't some technological mastermind. He has the expertise that any regular person can have. That's especially damning and daunting. All it takes is having a telescope or buying the spy technology. He views it as a necessary form of life. He has to be aware of what the people around him are doing. He justifies it by saying it's keeping them safe to have his presence looming over their lives. He needs to see that Love's friends are actually good for her. He needs to target the threat that has damaged Delilah's life and may be doing the exact same thing with Ellie. He continues to be quite effective in manipulating the world around him in order to get the precise access that allows him to move with such confidence. Sure, that also runs the risk of exposing him because he has become engaged with this world. That's not inherently a bad thing. People aren't designed to be solitary creatures. We need human interaction and connection. It's important to form bonds with the world around us. It can be scary and terrifying but it can also be insanely rewarding and healthy in the long run. Joe follows that path knowing it's important for his overall health. It just continues to prop him up as someone who believes himself to be good even though he is just as monstrous as so many other toxic individuals. He views himself as the savior who will protect Ellie from a creep. And yes, an adult should speak up when someone underage is in a situation they shouldn't be in. A stand-up comedian has absolutely no need for an intern. He already has a management team to take care of his needs. It's strange for Ellie to be hanging out with Henderson. She views it as a way of expressing her maturity. She isn't some troubled or precious kid. Instead, she is a young woman everyone admires because of her intelligence. She is still young though. Her brain is still developing. As such, people can't just remark on her intelligence in order to believe that everything will work out for the best. Yes, a person still has to fundamentally be responsible for their own actions. It's also important for others to stand up when something bad is going on. Delilah was more than comfortable sharing her story of being abused by Henderson with Joe in order to warn him that she knows what monstrous men look like. She doesn't trust him. She wants him far away from her sister. She wants to protect Ellie from the dangers of the world for as long as possible. Joe just sees that as ineffective parenting. His is demonstrably better. That gives him a mission and purpose. It just inflicts a lot of damage in the process. He may get what he wants in the end through having sex with Love. That is more aggressive than what he has previously fantasized about this bond. But it also highlights the selfish nature of his desires. He wants to be controlling and dismisses any notion that he has serious issues that have to be worked out in either therapy or behind bars. He refuses to admit that even though Candace and Will repeatedly tell him as the victims of his various horrendous actions.