Spoiler warning: Spoilers for You Season 4 Part 2 follow. After You’s arguably most beloved character appeared once again held in Joe’s glass cage, many fans were left wondering if Love Quinn was alive for You Season 4 Part 2. Reading Rhys’ autobiography, Victoria Pedretti greeted our protagonist with the famous catchphrase “Hi, Joe,” and created a string of theories about whether she survived Season 3 and which role will she take on this new chapter. So, is Love alive in You Season 4? It takes a bit of backstory to understand her return to the show.
With conspiracies spanning from her vengeance to another try at their relationship, Love’s Season 4 comeback wasn’t entirely expected this time around. The character missed the entire first part of the season, including the hunt for the Eat the Rich killer. And this was for good reason too, since she was shown to be killed by Joe in the finale of the previous season.
First introduced in Season 2 as Joe’s latest obsession, Love turned out to be a match much greater than viewers expected: With tendencies as dark as Joe’s — and just as many homicides behind her — the character was able to strike up a more long-term relationship with the librarian, which ended up in the couple moving to Madre Linda to start a new life with their son in Season 3.
However, sprinkled with infidelity and a lot of murders, their marriage soon started to fall apart in the suburbs. The troubles came to a head at their infamous, final dinner, in which Love admitted to killing her first husband, James, and confessed that she would murder Joe in the same way: with poison.
Joe, however, expected the attempt on his life. Flipping the situation by loading up on an antidote beforehand, Joe injected Love with aconite and, ultimately, murdered her. The whole ordeal was framed by Joe as murder and arson attempt — as he faked a suicide letter in anticipation for leaving his son behind and moving to London — and featured Taylor Swift’s iconic song “exile.”
So, reality points to Love being dead and her part in this season was only a hallucination. Her appearance in the fourth season serves to exemplify Joe’s deteriorating sanity in his search for the real Eat the Rich killer. Constantly on the verge of a breakdown, the character is often shown talking to dead people — or, in fact, people he killed — when fighting psychologically to uncover what truly happened. Guinevere Beck, for example, also makes an appearance to confront Joe, despite being killed in the first season; Rhys, his companion this season, is also shown to be dead in the second part of the season.
Joe is also portrayed as splitting personalities, confronting what he did. Love’s comeback, thus, is only a part of this encounter with his regret of killing his victims and impulses that he can’t really change. So, sad news for fans, but Love is unfortunately still dead.