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'You' Love and Joe
Source: Netflix

The Motivation Behind the Surprise Twist at the End of 'You' (SPOILERS)

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Oct. 18 2021, Published 3:12 p.m. ET

Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for the Season 3 finale of You.

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in the baby carriage. Next comes … murder? When it comes to Joe and Love in You Season 3, their relationship is unconventional — to put it mildly. A modern-day Bonnie and Clyde with marital problems, the two impulsive killers seem to meet their match in each other.

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But throughout Season 3 of the dramatic Netflix series, Joe and Love’s relationship is repeatedly tested. Each marital squabble leaves viewers questioning whether an impassioned homicide is just around the bend. We know there’s a Season 4 of You, but does Joe kill Love? If so, why does he do it? Or, in a crazy twist, does Love kill Joe?

'You' Love and Joe
Source: Netflix
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Joe does kill Love at the end of ‘You’ Season 3.

Season 3 of You culminates with the biggest betrayal and twist possible. Throughout the entire season, Love and Joe flip flop on who’s going to kill whom. Joe clearly doesn’t have the same obsession with Love that he had in Season 2, and she knows it.

Whenever Joe’s eyes or thoughts wander, Love comes down with a fury that can only be cured by murder. On the flip side, Joe sees Love as vengeful, erratic, and immoral (what a hypocrite), and repeatedly yearns to kill her and leave her behind.

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'You' Love before she tries to kill Joe
Source: Netflix

However, the pair make it right up until the finale despite both their infidelities. Love gets romantic with Matthew’s son, Theo, and Joe grows obsessed with Marienne the librarian (we see you, Music Man). When Love (tries) to kill Theo for Joe but then she realizes that Joe kills Ryan for Marienne, Love knows that Joe is about to kill her… or worse, leave her.

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So, Love doses Joe with a poison, aconite, to paralyze him “just to talk.” But Joe finds the aconite plant, which also contains wolfsbane, and preemptively takes an antidote.

When Love finally decides to kill Joe and leave her life with him behind, he breaks out of his paralysis and stabs Love with the wolfsbane. Not only does Joe kill her, but he frames her for all the murders of the past season, including his own faked death.

Why does Joe kill Love in Season 3 of ‘You’?

There are a lot of reasons that Joe kills Love. He becomes disillusioned with Love after she shows her murderous side.

Instead of seeing her as an equal, he sees her as immoral and even despicable (despite the blatant hypocrisy). Sera Gamble, the showrunner, says that this is intentional and is part of what leads to Love’s death by the end of Season 3.

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'You' Love and Joe
Source: Netflix

“This is a show that explores how quick we are to forgive men, and how quick we are to judge women,” Sera told Bustle. “I feel like we could talk about a lot of situations where a man feels they’re being passionate and driven, and will stop at nothing [to achieve their goals] ... whereas a woman might be [deemed] impulsive or emotional.” Joe internalizes this, and Love is the one who winds up dead because of it.

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Of course, there’s also self-preservation. The will to survive is always fascinating, and despite their intent to murder, both Joe and Love have an extraordinary will to live.

When Love tries to take Joe down, he has to protect himself. He believes that killing Love is the best thing for him, for their son, Henry, and for the world. While Love's intent to murder was motivated by jealousy and love for her son, Joe’s motives are his obsession with Marienne and his similar love for Henry.

When it comes down to it, not even murderous parents can stay together for their kid… nor can they both stay alive.

Season 3 of You is available to stream on Netflix.

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