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Warning: Major You spoilers ahead. Do not read until you've watched the first and second season of You.
Viewers were stunned when Candace (Ambyr Childers), Joe Goldberg's (Penn Badgley) presumed-dead ex-girlfriend, showed up in the season one finale of You. For context, in case you've forgotten: Joe is an obsessive serial killer who develops unhealthy, dangerous attachments to the women he pursues. Before he dated and ultimately murdered Beck (Elizabeth Lail) in season one, it was believed he did the same thing to his previous girlfriend, Candace, whom we only heard about from supporting characters. That is, until she surprised him in the flesh, very much alive—and very pissed off.
She had a right to be. As we learn in season two, Joe did attempt to murder Candace, and he thought he succeeded. But nope: He left Candace still breathing, and she was able to escape. Now, she's determined to seek revenge and make sure Joe doesn't hurt Love (Victoria Pedretti), the woman he starts seeing after moving to Los Angeles.
But the plot twist to end all plot twists happens in episode nine. (Seriously, if you don't want to be majorly spoiled, leave this article now.) Candace finally is able to show Love what an unhinged maniac Joe is—but instead of siding with her, Love murders Candace. All in the name of, you guessed it, love. It's a shocking turn of events that will surely have the internet talking. Childers, however, understands why Love would make that choice. Below, she opens up about that twist, playing Candace, and why "Joe Fucking Goldberg" seems to get away with everything.
Glamour: When you first learned where Candace was going in season two—all those twists and turns—what did you think?
Ambyr Childers: I was really excited. She's alive and she's pissed off at Joe and now she's going to figure out how to execute this revenge. It's justifiable revenge, but now she's the antagonist.
How were you able to wrap your head around and justify the specific things Candace does this season?
At the end of the day, she's the vigilante and she's going to go out and protect these other women, or just human beings, from getting in the path of Joe. My mantra is that she's a badass and she's going to protect these people. She's a mama bear. Joe's not a good guy. He buries [Candace] alive, and now she's like, "OK, motherfucker, we're going to play cat and mouse." That's pretty much what happened in all of season two.
Did you have fun playing her?
Of course. For me, it's not a fun day on set if I'm not doing something wildly crazy or saying something insane or chasing after someone.
Candace does some horrible things, but I found myself rooting for her the whole time. I think others will too. Do you have any insight as to why you think that is?
I think it wouldn't make sense if you didn't see Joe continue his behavior in season two. He's coming to Los Angeles and he's trying his hardest not to repeat the same actions, but obviously he just can't help himself. And then you have Candace on his tail the entire time, inserting herself in his new quote-unquote happy life. She will do anything to just tear his world apart, not only for what he did to her, but also for what she sees—or what potentially is going to happen—to everybody else. She sees through all of it, when Joe's attempting to be this good guy. She knows him like the back of her hand.
There's one scene where you essentially throw your hands up and you're like, "What is it about everyone with Joe Goldberg?" It's almost like Candace is the embodiment of people watching a horror movie and screaming at characters making dumb choices.
I really enjoyed that scene. I feel that way, sometimes, in my own personal life. It's like, "Dude, what the fuck is up with Joe Goldberg?" What does everyone love about Joe? Joe Fucking Goldberg! That was one of my favorite scenes, I think. That line says it all. He's so fucking charming, and he's so charismatic. [Penn Badgley] plays such a great—he's so talented, and just to see him play this character, this bad guy, in such a subtle way, just makes him even more creepy.
Our world is so fascinated and involved with social media and dating apps. You really, really, really, really have to be careful out there. You have to be really careful about who you let into your life and really get to know someone before you start dating them. Online protection, for me, it's a big thing.
Love killing Candace in the ninth episode was one of biggest twists of the show. What did you make of that when you first read it? Can you understand why Love did it?
She did it for love. I think people do crazy things for love. I love watching all those crime shows: Women Who Kill or 25 to Life or Locked Up. All those shows. You really get to see behind the psychology of these people who snap or make premeditated decisions to take someone's life or whatever it is. Love makes people do wacky things.
Did you ever hope that Candace and Love would team up and take Joe down together?
Here's the thing: It's only on the second season. The show must go on. I think one of the reasons the show is successful is Joe just always wins. It goes back to, again, what is it about Joe Fucking Goldberg? I don't get it. He's just one of those guys who is constantly going to get away with it. Just when you think he's going to get caught, either he doesn't get caught and he gets himself out of it, or someone comes and saves him.
What were you most shocked by on the show, and what do you think is going to shock viewers the most?
Love! She plays this beautiful, vulnerable, sweet, broken human being. When she killed Candace in the end, it's just like, I don't think people are going to see that coming. You don't. What you think is because Candace is back, somehow she's going to figure a way out to get Joe back. And, yeah, she does in little ways, but ultimately you can't put up a fight against him. That's just the way it is.
There's such a cult phenomenon around this show. I'm sure you get asked all the time about the second season. How have you been able to keep all of these plot twists a secret?
If I gave away [spoilers], I don't think Netflix would ever hire me. But in all seriousness, that's what's fun: seeing people's reactions and those surprises. Because it's on a streaming platform, it's going to happen so quickly that you don't want to give the storyline away. That's not cool. When you have such a great following, their reactions are going to be everything. When you're on a show like this, you live for how people respond to the twists in the storylines.
What do you hope fans take away from the season?
The importance of safety, for men and women who are out there dating. Maybe that sounds super cheesy because I'm a mother and I want to protect everybody, but it's reality. It makes you think about it automatically, especially in the first season. It definitely makes you think of like, "Oh shit, my stuff needs to go on private." Or, "I really need to think twice about who I accept or be friends [with] or go out with or swipe right," or whatever it is. I think, for me, that would be the main thing.
Christopher Rosa is the staff entertainment writer at Glamour. Follow him on Instagram @chris.rosa92.
Originally Appeared on Glamour