The secrets of Joe and Forty from Netflix’s ‘You’
(Credit: Netflix)

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The secrets of Joe and Forty from Netflix’s 'You'

The third season of Netflix’s seminal series You gave the viewers a look into the turbulent marriage that binds the creepy and psychotic characters Joe Goldberg and Love Quinn, portrayed effortlessly by Penn Badgley and Victoria Pedretti. The season saw the characters trying desperately hard to be good parents, trying to bury their murderous past. 

Love Quinn’s brother Forty, who has a looming presence in Love’s life even after his demise in the second season, appears in the third season as a projection of Love’s hallucination in a bathtub as he ponders over her marriage with Joe and her adulterous thoughts and practices. 

Forty played an important role in Love’s psychotic lifestyle in the second season and, despite, his initial admiration towards Joe, discovered his true character and despised him. While pulling a gun on Joe, Forty was killed by the police officer, thus taking the secret with him to his literal grave. 

Played by James Scully, Forty Quinn is as complex a character as Love and garnered a huge fan following for his eccentric and endearing nature. The dynamic that the trio shared on-screen was explosive and interesting. Scully discussed his relationship with Joe in an interview with Glamour as well as his unusual name. 

Agreeing upon how Forty was indeed “a ridiculous name for a person to have”, Scully said that it indeed helped him understand the character and his tribulations better. Forty’s parents have been extremely neglectful and emotionally abusive towards both the siblings which is reflected in how they named their son. 

Talking about a homosocial ‘not-love-scene-but-a-love-scene’ from the second season that he shared with Badgley’s Joe, Scully said, “in the eighth episode [of You], we have that moment where I confess that really painful thing to Joe, and then he comes over and sort of holds me on the floor and I cry myself to sleep in his arms.”

Talking about how it was his favourite scene that he created with Badgley, he explained, “It’s not what was written in the script, but we talked a lot about the relationship between Forty and Joe, which at that point was a little more than a friendship, obviously.”

Although Joe and Forty are at loggerheads in the season, the actor said, “I think it’s a different kind of [love]. It was two, at least partially heterosexual men being physically intimate with each other in a way that wasn’t sexual or violent. That was really important to me, and it was really important to Penn.”

Cheekily, he added, “And also, not for nothing, but having Penn Badgley hold you on the floor while you cry is a therapeutic experience that I feel like everyone could benefit from.”

Whale Forty appears in snippets on the third season, his pervading presence on Love’s mind haunts her constantly. While a fourth season has already been announced, with Love dead, it is highly unlikely to see Forty make a return. 

But one can dream, right?