You Season 2, Episode 1, “A Fresh Start” starts the second instalment as you’d expect — bonkers, imaginative and extremely creepy.
This recap of Netflix Series You Season 2, Episode 1, “A Fresh Start” contains significant spoilers.
- Read the Season 2 review.
- Read the recap of Episode 2.
- Access the archive of all the episode recaps.
Hello folks, so here we are for another season of You. I hope you are prepared for the absolutely entertaining and wild nonsense we are about to embark on. Let’s do this…
“Love, this is why you’re not for me”, is Joe’s (Penn Badgley) opening. He talks about how he tried to do everything for Guinevere Beck but that she stopped trusting him and that he had to let her go. A flashback shows Candace showing up again, which has led him to the present-day — Los Angelos.
It’s not surprising that Joe hates LA — he believes it is the worst city in the world. “A quiet guy, who just wanted to lead a quiet life”. It turns out he’s now called Will Bettelheim. Delilah shows him around his new apartment — apparently the last tenant left in a hurry. Joe talks about his obsessive ways and asks himself not to fixate on anyone. In his dreams, Beck is still alive.
In another contextual flashback, Candace wanted to chat with Joe in public. Candace talks about when she was in a new town and that she saw this book authored by Guinevere. Candace looks at Joe dead in the eyes — “You did it again, didn’t you?”. Candace doesn’t threaten to kill Joe, but she does threaten to go to the cops.
Episode 1, “A Fresh Start” then reverts to the present day — a girl called Ellie ends up talking to Joe on the balcony and she tells him she’s 15. At this point, Joe thinks, “No, she’s not my problem,” and I nearly turned off Netflix immediately. Joe goes to a job interview but the interviewer is not sure about him, but then sees that Joe is into books and wonders if he would rather work in the bookstore. Classic Joe.
At the book store, unsurprisingly, Joe sees a woman he is attracted to and tries to stop himself from obsessing over her. He can’t stop himself and begins describing this woman. As Joe slowly approaches her, she talks to him — “Do you think this peach looks like a butt?”. This woman notices that Joe works here and introduces herself — she’s called Love.
Absolutely incredible that, the writers calling Joe’s new romance Love. You could not make this s–t up.
“Love, you are not for me” — flashbacks show Joe getting extremely nervous when sitting with Candance. He walks off.
While working in the bookstore, Forty speaks to Joe and asks if there is a book that is vegan. His boss Calvin rushes over; turns out Forty was playing around and his parents own the place. Love turns up again and talks to Joe. She wonders what his favorite movie is, but Joe does not make an effort to engage and walks off. In the back of the store, he imagines Love making a move on him — “Are you running away from me?”. Love kisses him and then proceeds to give him a handjob. Of course, in real life, he’s just masturbating.
Another flashback arrives in Episode 1, “A Fresh Start” — Candace rings Joe and claims she wants to destroy him: “It doesn’t take a genius to hurt someone if you really want to”. In the present day, he is paranoid and asks Ellie why she’s filming him. Joe accidentally breaks her phone by grabbing her. Ellie says she was making a movie for school.
While Joe is applying for his new driver’s license, he notices Love helping out an Arabic woman. Love walks up to Joe and asks “What are the chances?”. Joe checks out her Instagram and sees her social media profiles are extremely private. Joe buys Ellie a new phone and asks her how she knows if a social media profile is fake. Joe asks Ellie for help to set up his profiles. Ellie thinks the only reason Joe is doing this is either because he likes someone or that he wants revenge and has a nemesis. Joe adds Love Quinn as a friend on Facebook.
While giving himself bad sunburn in the park, a flashback shows Joe as a child; he thought he had lost his mother but he soon finds her. His mother puts sunscreen on him and tells Joe to go buy ice cream and meet her back at the same spot. It looks like she abandoned him. Back in the present and Joe is very sunburnt. He notices that Love has accepted his invite — he sees that she is married.
Nearing the end of You Season 2, Episode 1 and Love goes to Joe’s apartment and offers to help relieve his sunburn. Love mocks Joe for being a typical ex-New Yorker. Love offers to take Joe around LA to convert him; she shows him different places to eat and cooks for him until he is sold by the city — “You’re not a snob, you are just old fashioned”. Love confesses how she is married but that her husband died. Love tells Joe that she can see it in his eyes — real love, but real loss. She gives Joe a book.
Joe now believes that Love understands him and explains that he doesn’t need to shut down forever. Ellie tells Joe that a man called Jasper came by looking for him. Joe heads out to a storage container; inside the container, there’s a man trapped inside a glass box called Will, and Joe asks him who Jasper is.
You Season 2, Episode 1, “A Fresh Start” ends with a revelation; it turns out Joe was planning to work at the book store and meet Love all along. He has a telescope that looks at Love’s house. Netflix’s You has basically written a scenario where Joe gets to live the same life again, with Candace still looming over him. Let’s hope it’s just as bonkers as the last season.
“You win, Love. I’ll stay”.
- “Detox should be uncomfortable”.
- “People are predictable”
- “Are you flirting? I’d like to think you are”
- “I cannot let you in”.
- “You’re are married, so you are safe, so this is actually good”
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.