In “Living with the Enemy”, You continues to be absolutely barmy, and also wildly, implausibly entertaining.
Of all the totally unrealistic shit that happens in You, I reached my limit in “Living with the Enemy” when it turned out that Joe (Penn Badgley) attends Beck’s (Elizabeth Lail) girly get-togethers. This, anyone who has ever been in a relationship will know, is a step too far. Never mind that Joe has murdered Beck’s ex-boyfriend, stalks her daily, still reads her text messages through an old phone and takes any available opportunity to sniff her knickers – that he’s willing to intrude on girls’ night proves he’s a maniac. The alarm bells should be ringing.
They’re not, of course, because nobody in You behaves like an actual human being, which is a big part of the reason why it’s so implausibly entertaining. Joe, of course, thinks that the fact he has no friends or life of his own will endear him to Beck even more; he’s such an attentive, dedicated boyfriend, how could she not be charmed? But he makes the cardinal error of assuming that he’s nice enough for Beck to choose him over her smug bestie, Peach Salinger (Shay Mitchell), which forms the bulk of the conflict in “Living with the Enemy”. Maybe if Joe spent less time modelling his weird life on classic literature he’d recognise the concept of sisters over misters.
In a way I feel for Joe, because a) Peach is definitely out to get him and b) she’s clearly a psychopath herself. She sabotages poor, innocent Annika (Kathryn Gallagher) for no reason that I can fathom, and by the end of “Living with the Enemy” she has a faked a suicide attempt just to keep Beck out of Joe’s way – and it isn’t because she feels her friend is in danger, just that she isn’t giving her enough attention. There’s no wonder Joe decides to kill her, although he probably should have come up with a better plan than just sprinting up to her in broad daylight, in public, and smashing her head in with a rock. (Predictably, she survives.)
The comically flimsy justification You gives for Peach’s increasingly outlandish behaviour is that she’s in love/obsessed with Beck, which everyone seems to be, up to and including the pervy literary agent that Beck is introduced to in “Living with the Enemy”. (My favourite recurring joke in You is that Beck’s writing is garbage and the only reason anyone pretends to like it is so they can potentially sleep with her.) What’s especially funny about this is that Joe is totally appalled by the idea that Peach is being manipulative; it’s like he hasn’t realised that he’s a psychopathic murdering stalker. Maybe next week.