Warning: This post contains spoilers from episode 1 of YOU‘s second season.
After an hour of talking about being a new man and learning from his past, Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) proved that he’s still the same guy we knew in season 1. In YOU‘s season 2 premiere, Joe hit the road. After his run-in with Candace, he decided that the only place to go was Los Angeles, the last place she’d think to find him.
Once he arrived in L.A., Joe tried to focus on being a different man. He tried to learn from the mistakes he made with Beck. And yet, in the episode’s final moments, we learned why Joe was now going by “Will.” It’s not simply a random name that he chose. It’s an identity he stole. Whose identity? The guy (Robin Lord Taylor) Joe currently has in the cage. (Yep, the cage made the cross-country move too.)
“It was really early conversations with [executive producer] Greg [Berlanti] about season 2 that led to the decisions we made about how to reveal Will and the cage,” showrunner Sera Gamble says. “We had been asking ourselves, ‘How do you make a great season 2 after the outcome of a season 1 is that the audience understands Joe and knows what tricks he’d be up to?'”
The answer: Make the audience think Joe is headed in one direction before revealing that he hasn’t changed at all. “The challenge that we set for ourselves was: If we can trick the audience again in episode 1, then you’ll be back on the same page with us,” Gamble continues. “And the way to do that is to see if we can tell the story of him trying to run away and turn over a new leaf where you would be surprised when you saw the cage again and even more important, that there’s a human man in it. Cheekily we wanted to sort of replicate the pilot in that way and surprise you by the lengths he was going to.”
YOU season 2 is available on Netflix now.