You Season 2, Episode 3, “What Are Friends For?” attempts to make Joe a vigilante while trying to be friends with Love at the same time, forming a funny but predictable outcome.
This recap of Netflix Series You Season 2, Episode 3, “What Are Friends For?” contains significant spoilers.
- Read the Season 2 review.
- Read the recap of Episode 4.
- Read the recap of the previous episode (2).
- Access the archive of all the episode recaps.
Episode 3 is mostly about Joe (Penn Badgley) trying to be a vigilante and trying his hardest to be Love’s friend at the same time. It’s hilarious.
“What Are Friends For?” opens up with Joe describing how he and Love are making the friendship work, but he keeps imagining having sex with her. Love leaves him baked gifts every day as friendly offerings, while he helps her with the soup kitchen. Joe keeps repeating how being platonic is safe, which ironically, doesn’t sound safe.
Joe speaks to Will about Love and Will advises that they should have sex. Weirdly enough, Will and Joe have formed a bond, but Will is desperate to apparently become friends. Meanwhile, Love’s friends have a date for a wedding and Love wants to bake a cake for them. Apparently, when she’s frustrated she always bakes.
Forty speaks to Joe and says that he is crushing it. Joe believes Forty is trying to stay close to him, as an enemy, due to his sister Love. Joe is desperate to win Love’s brother over. Forty invites Joe to an improv show. Joe goes through Forty’s social media history; he directed one thing and then did nothing — he’s a has-been, and Joe describes the improv show as a place for “Hollywood outsiders”. Henderson joins the set and Joe asks Forty if Henderson is a good guy. In the VIP section, a security man lets Ellie through to Henderson — Joe is worried due to Delilah’s experience with Henderson and now he wants to protect her.
After the party in Episode 3, “What Are Friends For?” Joe checks up on Ellie after Henderson drives off. Joe even makes protecting people look creepy. Ellie states her sister slept with him, and that she has to meet Henderson in secret. She angrily states that it is completely innocent and that Henderson is offering her an internship. Ellie has a pop at Joe and asks him if he wants to f–k her. When Joe returns home he speaks to Will in the storage container and says the reason he does not want a relationship with Love is that he does not want to repeat history.
The next day Joe opens up his locker and notices there is no baked treat. Love asks him if he was expecting something — she’s clearly being off with him. Joe apologises to her but she does not seem bothered. In the bookstore, Forty asks Joe what his intentions are with his sister. Joe refutes the idea, claiming he his working on himself. Forty raises that Love is baking a lot recently, which encourages Joe to return the favor.
At the midway point of Episode 3, “What Are Friends For?”, Joe overhears Delilah having a go at Ellie for being around Henderson. Delilah then confronts Joe about her sister and claims she is eventually going to have evidence on the man. But Joe ignores Delilah, he wants to protect Ellie. Surprise, surprise, Joe has already put spyware on Ellie’s new smartphone and he can see the messages between Ellie and Henderson — they talk about films a lot.
Love comes over and Joe is wearing a baker outfit to amuse her. He has made her breakfast for dinner (an idea from Forty). With the romantic gesture wooing her, she kisses Joe — “I didn’t mean for this to be romantic”. Love asks if he is a sociopath and walks out due to the mixed signals. Joe notices Ellie is outside puking up and says that while watching films with Henderson, she ate snacks and then ended up asleep on the balcony. Joe wonders what happened in the period of time she does not remember. Ellie begs Joe not to tell her sister.
Joe is desperate to protect Ellie now in Episode 3, “What Are Friends For?”. He asks Will how to hack a celebrity. He wants evidence on Henderson and the underage girls he abuses. Will says he will need Henderson’s jacktop and a laptop with WiFi. Joe is worried Will will do something with the WiFi. Meanwhile, Forty asks Love about Joe. Love tells Forty that he needs to help himself and “do the work” which turns in an argument. Forty claims that Love is scared that he and Joe may get closer than she can with him.
Joe visits Henderson’s house after a brief investigation and realizes he needs to be invited to his VIP party to get his jacktop. Freddy, an improv actor, is his ticket in. Joe attends an improv and speaks in their lingo. Joe speaks to Freddy and finds ways to relate. Freddy gives Joe Henderson’s gate access for the party. When Joe arrives at the party, Forty shows up and is rejected by Henderson’s agent at the party while Joe snoops around. Joe catches Forty drinking alcohol and taking drugs (he’s meant to stay sober) so texts Love about the situation. Joe tries to take Forty home but he refuses. Henderson comes over to help and ends the party to make Forty feel better. Joe and Henderson talk to each other briefly.
Love comes over to help Forty at Joe’s apartment. After they help Forty, Love tells Joe that Forty is fragile — when they were younger they had an au pair and he saw way too much. She lists how she has a codependent brother and that she’s also a widow. Joe tells Love she deserves better than another broken soul but she denies that idea. Joe grabs her and then kisses her. They finally have sex, but what made the entire scene funny is that Joe is grunting before it even starts and she has to tell him to be quiet so Forty does not hear.
Joe thinks Love is a different kind of woman and vows to never hurt her. We’ve all heard that before.
You Season 2, Episode 3, “What Are Friends For?” closes with Will hacking Henderson’s data; apparently he’s completely clean. Joe also checks up on Ellie who seems completely fine. Joe wonders if his suspicions are wrong about Henderson. Forty talks to Joe at the bookstore about his next idea. Joe asks Forty what happened between him and Henderson. Their conversation ends up innocently leading to where Forty reveals that Henderson has a creepy dungeon.
Looks like Joe has much more in common with Henderson than he thought.
- “This is me protecting you, by being your friend”.
- “Oh, it’s like eating pure sex”.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.