Created by Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble and based on Caroline Kepnes’ novel series, Netflix’s You season three, with a whopping 43 million household views, is one of the streaming giant’s most popular shows with an incredibly dark, twisted and morbid premise.
With the third season of the Penn Badgely-led show having premiered this October and the announcement for the fourth season preceding that release, fans are already excited for what is to come.
While the third season of You will feature a lot of new faces as Joe Goldberg and his girlfriend, Love, move into a new house, become new parents to a baby boy, and more madness and chaos ensue as the psychopathic couple come together to live under one roof.
With a wide array of characters, the show focuses on racism, infidelity, domestic abuse, child abuse, emotional and psychological harassment and other heavyweight themes that add to the riveting premise.
Out of the many characters, there are some that stood out to us. So, we, at Best of Netflix, decided to rank the seven best characters of Netflix’s You season 3:
Ranking the 7 best characters of Netflix’s ‘You’ season 3
7. Dottie Quinn
Saffron Burrows makes an appearance yet again as Love’s ignorant and ditzy alcoholic mother whose negligence towards her children, Love and now-dead Forty Quinn, made them turn out deranged and disturbed. Dottie buys a winery and frequently looks after Love and Joe’s son, Henry, whom she sees as a reincarnation of Forty and calls him so. Separated from her husband and seemingly still reeling under the shock of Forty’s untimely demise, Dottie is devoid of common sense and empathy.
Dottie suspects Love’s infidelity and advises her against it. Her lack of empathy or compassion towards her daughter makes us feel almost sorry for the monstrous Love Quinn as we connect the dots and understand how parental obliviousness led her to become what she is.
6. Marienne Bellamy
The intellectual librarian of Madre Linde, Marienne is perhaps one of the most impressive characters this season. From openly speaking up about the prevalence of racism in the United States — when Natalie Engler goes missing, Marienne comments on how the buzz around the disappearance of a white woman would never happen if a Black woman disappeared — to her relentless battle over the custody of her daughter with an abusive celebrity of an ex, Marienne’s indomitable spirit and strength deserve love and appreciation.
Played by Tati Gabrielle, the character is seen connecting with Goldberg over their shared love of books and their tragic histories in foster care. Marianne escapes Love’s vicious jealousy due to the sudden appearance of the former’s daughter and is seen leaving Madre Linde. Since Joe goes to Paris in search of her, there might be more of Tati Gabrielle in the fourth season!
5. Cary Conrad
The Conrads represent the depravity of the modern condition where one’s identity is based on their appearance on social media. Played by Travis Van Winkle, Cary Conrad, with his sharp jaw, chiselled abs and dirty blonde mane, is the self-proclaimed icon of masculinity and an ultimate vegan fitness freak. He encourages his affluent neighbours to embrace their inner beasts and takes them on annual camping trips where they “hunt” like animals and growl to embrace their primal feelings about masculinity.
A perfect foil to Goldberg, he is seemingly comfortable in his marriage and apparently too comfortable with himself. During their foursome, Cary engages in a bizarre act of self-love in front of a mirror. Narcissus personified; he admires himself in the mirror and gets off to that. Later, when he is locked in a cage with Cary, they escape unscathed and capitalise on their predicament by writing a book about it and going to TEDx speeches. Typical!
4. Sherry Conrad
The local mom-fluencer and gossip queen, Shalita Grant’s Sherry Conrad is the Queen Bee of the posh neighbourhood of Madre Linde. Although Sherry is pretty warm and welcoming on the outside, she manages to disguise her feelings of envy and insecurity well. She never misses an opportunity of making snarky and condescending comments towards Love. Devoid of empathy, Sherry only cares about keeping up appearances for her burgeoning social media following. A mother to twins, she introduces Quinn to her elite inner circle- this turns out to be a harrowing decision in the end.
Sherry never fails to draw the spotlight upon herself. Even in the wake of Natalie Engler’s mysterious disappearance, she organises a search party to dig deeper into the gossip and to pose as the concerned neighbour on social media. A perfect mother by day and a swinger by night, Sherry and her husband engage in a fateful foursome with Love and Joe that almost gets them killed. However, like true influencers, they manage to make the best of the situation and emerge as ultimate winners, writing a book and all!
3. Theo Engler
The role of Theo Engler is portrayed by Dylan Arnold, who finally bagged a role in the show after two consecutive failed auditions as Joe Goldberg and Forty Quinn in the first two seasons. Theo is a 19-year-old neighbour of the Quinn-Goldbergs and the stepson of Natalie Engler. Theo is smitten by Love’s caring nature, whose concern and adult-like presence in his life fill up the void in his heart. He yearns for her love, affection and attention to make up for his father’s ignorance. He is reeling under the shock of the sudden disappearance of Natalie as well.
Although he is aware of the town gossip revolving around him and his DUI offences, he only cares about Love’s opinions. Love takes advantage of his unadulterated infatuation with her to know how Matthew is going about his missing wife’s investigation- someone she had murdered in cold blood. Theo’s blind trust and love almost get him killed when Love pushes him down the stairs and leaves him to die. We cannot wait to see if he makes an appearance in the fourth season!
2. Joe Goldberg
Joe Goldberg is Penn Badgley’s most hated role and perhaps one of the scariest characters Netflix ever created. A monstrous dream with a deep baritone and hawk-like observational skills, Joe Goldberg, is a fan favourite. People go gaga over Joe and his stalking skills. With a knack for reading and restoring books, disposing of dead bodies and stealing (and sniffing) women’s underwear, Joe is a twisted and vile character whose saviour complex leads him to want to possess women he ends up liking. He is controlling, sadistic and obsessive.
He builds a cage to keep the disrupters confined and does not hesitate in murdering them. Although the third season gives the viewers an insight into his harrowing childhood in the foster system, where he was incessantly bullied, as well as his abusive father, whom he ended up killing, Joe’s redemptive arc is nullified by his actions. His perverted and sadistic voyeuristic tendencies make him wear a cap as a disguise as he spies on the women who interest him. He treats them as objects which need his protection as they are fragile and delicate. However, his perception is disrupted by the looming presence of his wife, Love, whose sadism overtakes his tendencies. His stunted development and self-centred, egotistical self is often seen staring at people for extended periods of time while his sardonic voice-over engages in chilling, self-reflective monologues that send chills down the audience’s spines.
When asked how he managed to bring out the eeriness of his character with such effortless ease, Badgley revealed to Stephen Colbert that by doing nothing and staring at the camera in silence, he gives off “real Charles Manson vibes”. He added, “I arrive on the mark …. I do nothing but look up. And the entire crew behind the camera goes ‘Oh! Whoa, man. That is phenomenal. That is so creepy.’ And I did nothing.”
1. Love Quinn
Love Quinn, portrayed by the uber-talented Victoria Pedretti, is the most transgressive character on the show. Sinister and murderous, Love does not hesitate to murder anyone. Her expressions remain neutral as she tries to rope in her husband’s help to dispose of the bodies. She is fiercely protective of her son and desperately latches on to her “soulmate” Joe as they fit each other like broken puzzle pieces. Her fragile yet twisted psyche finds solace in the dwindling marriage with Goldberg as it provides a safe haven. She is haunted by the harrowing hallucinations of her twin Forty Quinn who died in the previous season and had said that she would never be a good mother- something that haunts her constantly.
Love starts her own bakery while dealing with postpartum problems and constant bickering with Joe. Suspecting infidelity, she murders the beautiful next-door neighbour, leading to the rising conflict of the show.
Usually, fans tend to shower Joe with love but hate on Love. However, as a transgressive, feminist character, Love redefines the position of women in psychological thrillers. While women were usually being pursued by their predator-like stalkers in other films and shows, Love takes up that role, constantly watching her husband and leading him to live in fear of unleashing the beast inside her. She is the most dominating character on the show as she manages to overpower Joe both physically and psychologically.