Last night, Lifetime’s latest drama, You, premiered, and based off the last five minutes alone, the rest of the season is guaranteed to be the most intense kind of roller coaster ride. The entire episode was filled with scenes that leave you saying OMG, but the most shocking moment was saved for the end. But before we discuss that shocking conclusion, let’s take a quick look at how we got there.
****Warning: Spoilers ahead****
In only one hour, we met Joe (Penn Badgley) a clerk at a New York City bookstore and the object of his affection, a woman named Beck (Elizabeth Lail) who just so happens to be one of his customers. Over the course of the episode, Joe gets to know Beck, but not through any normal sort of courtship. Instead of wooing her with flirty banter and dates at the movies, Joe begins to stalk Beck, breaking into her home, hacking her computer and watching her during some of her most intimate moments. With all of this info in hand, Joe is able to orchestrate the perfect time to sweep Beck off her feet, after he rescues her when she drunkenly falls off a subway platform following her poetry reading. And while it looks like Joe and Beck are somehow destined to be together, there’s one problem: Beck is in a committed relationship with another questionable love interest—her entrepreneur boyfriend, Benji.
Still from Lifetime's You
But Joe is not one to let anyone stand in the way of him and his one true love. So, in the final minutes of the episode, after stealing Beck’s phone, Joe begins to catfish Benji. With the promise of helping Benji with his “artisanal soda” business (yeah, I have no idea what that is either), Joe meets up with Benji at the bookshop where he has a surprise for him—a blow to the head with a mallet used to repair books (as demonstrated to Joe’s young neighbor, Paco, earlier in the episode). Any normal show would end there since we’re pretty certain that Benji has been savagely murdered. But because this is You, we have to take the creep factor up a notch—which means, the next day, we see that Benji is still alive and he is being held captive in the book repair room (who knew book preservation could be so frightening?). Oh, and Beck? She returns to the bookstore to accept Joe’s offer of going for drinks.
While many red flags were raised throughout the episode (mainly concerning Joe’s stalking and Beck’s somewhat toxic relationships with literally everyone in her life), the ending was certainly one of the most unsettling parts, because it preyed on a fear so many of us have: how well do we really know the people in our lives? Beck thinks that she is entering a rom-com-esque romance with a quintessential “good guy,” when in actuality she is getting closer and closer to a predator (something that feels like a timely discussion in the #MeToo era).
And with a twist this big in only the first episode, one big question to ask is, where are things going to go from here? How long is it going to take for Beck to realize that Benji isn’t tied up with his artisanal soda company, but is literally tied up in Joe’s book room? How is Joe going to mange to keep a secret this big from Beck? Are we going to get to see more of Beck’s friends (because I personally want more Shay Mitchell on my TV screen)? And, of course, how is anyone going to be able to repair any books with Benji is the book room? If you have read Caroline Kepnes’s novel (as I have), you probably know the answers to some of these questions. But even if you think you know the direction You is headed in, don’t stop watching because You is looking like it will be one of this fall’s most twisty and juicy shows.
You airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on Lifetime.