Sunday, December 29, 2019

REVIEW: 'You' - Joe Struggles to Piece Together a Traumatic Night That Also Reveals a New Side to Love in 'P.I. Joe'

Netflix's You - Episode 2.09 "P.I. Joe"

As Love looks after an increasingly skittish Ellie, Joe tries to reconstruct the events of a trippy evening - but finds the truth to be elusive.

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.

"P.I. Joe" was written by Michael Foley & Mairin Reed and directed by Silver Tree

Joe has long refused to accept himself as a killer. Meanwhile, the narrative has continually presented him - as well as the audience - with evidence that proves that to be true. He finally seems to be in a place willing to accept that. He was horrified to return to the storage locker to see Delilah dead in the cage. That wasn't the outcome that he wanted. He was running against the clock to prove that he could escape from this life without having to kill again. However, that wasn't the fate that ultimately came for Delilah. Now, Ellie is spiraling because she has no clue what has happened to her sister and fears that everyone is messed up because of her. That's so incredibly far from the truth. And yet, she will now have to grow up having endured a tremendous amount of pain. The suffering is far from over too. It will endure because Joe isn't given a convenient way to accept his true identity and deal with the sensible consequences. He should be locked up for the damage he has caused. He has taken several lives. In fact, this episode confirms that he killed his father at a young age. His mother bought a gun and made sure that Joe knew where it was. She couldn't use it for protection against her abusive husband. Joe did. That was the first instance in which Joe started to rationalize this behavior. His mother made the excuse that he killed in order to protect the person he loved the most. He refused to hurt his mother. He saw her as the comfort he needed most in the world. That highlights how parents may frequently traumatize their children with the rationale that they present during childhood. Joe functions as he has because of this justification. It shouldn't be viewed as simple or easy as that. Just because he killed once as a child didn't mean he had to grow up and continually kill in order to find that elusive love. He believes he has. He doesn't think that anything is standing in his way from embracing it fully. However, he thinks he killed Delilah. He is still sorting through the haze of the night before. It's clear that he doesn't even remember the events that were depicted for the audience. As such, the viewer knows that Forty killed his au pair in a blind rage when Joe believes that his friend is confessing to Delilah's murder. It's all deceitful and shows just how unreliable a narrator Joe has always been. He has been at the forefront of this story for a long time. He is the monster who comes into the world and destroys so many lives. He has people who are willing to prop him up as well. Will sees Joe as a guy who genuinely wants to do good in the world. He doubts that Joe would have killed someone he didn't want to even when she was trapped in a dire situation. Joe made a return to the storage locker for a reason. That may have just provided Candace with a clue as to how she could trap him in the heinous act he has committed. And yet, Candace has been very scattered as a threat to Joe's safety this season. It doesn't seem like anything she did helped contribute to this moment. Joe's actions were just as likely to implode his life as anything Candace could have done. That frames all of this around Joe and his own personal quest for morality. That's what the show is predominately interested in. Joe is the protagonist who embraces such horrifying actions in the pursuit of something the world conditions him to idolize. He has been told that love is so powerful and special. And now, he believes he has found his soulmate in a woman also named Love. It's so on-the-nose but incredibly perfect for him. He had to go out of his comfort zone in order to find true love. He believes he isn't good enough for her. He can't hide his true colors. He fundamentally understands that his killer tendencies are awful and will lead to condemnation. This relationship would be destroyed if Love saw that to be true. When she is confronted with it though, she too kills in order to preserve what she has with Joe. That is a shocking twist. It proves that Joe and Love may be the same in the end. He was ready to embrace his fate as a killer who deserved to be punished. He refused to even break free from the cage when he had a key hidden away in there. None of his victims found that key in time to save their lives. Meanwhile, Joe doesn't believe his is worth saving any more. But Love is a killer too. That may make this perfect. But can Joe love a woman who also operates in this way? He has long refused to accept it in himself. Can he accept and love it in someone else? That's the serious question the finale will have to delve into with all its complexities while highlighting how Joe will still be allowed to function in the world at large.