The following review contains spoilers, you are warned.
Our most charismatic stalker and serial killer is back!
This time though, Joe Goldberg flees from the iconic city of NY where the first season took place, to go to another iconic city, LA, after being harassed by the ex-girlfriend he almost killed once, Candace.
Out of NY, Joe wants a fresh start, which is difficult when your ex-girlfriend is threatening you to make your life impossible. So that means, moving to a city your ex would never think you would live and getting a new identity. And that’s the first thing that gets him into trouble; old habits die hard and he can’t help but kidnap his first victim, a guy so-called “Will” who he finds in Craiglist and provides you with new-fake identities (what can’t you find on Craiglist nowadays?) Seeing how time consuming could be getting a new one he decides, Will’s identity should work fine for him, so he knocks him down and locks him in the iconic cage he had in the library. Only that this time is inside a storage unit in DTLA (not that fancy).
With that new name he hunts for a job and he sets eyes in a library inside this organic-hipster-new-agey cafe, called Avraim. Joe/Will didn’t pick that place out of chance or love for the hipster LA life, (which he actually hates). He picked it because that’s where he spotted his new love interest… A cutie called “Love” (how suiting). After getting the job, he now needs to get an apartment (one, obviously, close to his new love interest so he can keep an eye on her) and we meet Delilah, the apartment manager, and her 15 year old sister, Ellie. At the beginning I wasn’t really sure what that story line would go, but it has an interesting pay off at the end. It’s also a similar storyline as the one he had with his previous neighbor, Paco, the kid his step dad was abusing. Joe saves Paco by killing his step dad, because if there’s one thing about this psychotic stalker it’s that he has a savior’s complex. He doesn’t kill because he enjoys killing…(or at least that’s what he tells to himself…) He enjoys thinking he is making the world a better place by removing certain people out of the picture for good. That’s what makes him so likeable; he is like a Dexter, although unlike Dexter (who only kills other killers), Joe/Will kills just…obnoxious people who happen to be in his way…not as justifiable as Dexter.
During one of his “Dexter-Savior complex” moments, he kills Henderson, a very big comedian who likes to drug underage girls and take pictures of them in their panties in a sex dungeon he has in his house…(creepy, I won’t argue that) and he is about to do that with Ellie until Joe saves the day (or complicates things more…) And that gets him in trouble again. Since he appears on a viral YouTube video at a party a few weeks earlier with Henderson and Forty (Love’s brother), the ex-girlfriend Candace finds a way to track him and starts dating Forty just to get to Joe. She calls herself Amy though.
After killing Henderson, Joe wants to amend himself and become a better man for Love. He releases “Will” from the cage, and once free supposedly goes to the Philippines to meet his fiancé he met online (no one is very sane in this show, clearly). Joe tries his best not to kill anybody else, although Candace’s appearance makes it kind of difficult.
Let’s talk about Candace for a second. What type of woman in her right mind would go after a guy that almost killed her and buried her alive? She could send anonymous warnings but not fly across the country, get a fake name, a fake life, seduce Forty only to get close to him…I’m telling you, no one who approaches Joe is all clear waters. Anyways, Candace exposes Joe’s real identity to Love, who has already done her homework and hired a PI to keep an eye on Amy/Candace and confronts her as well. Because Joe is not the only one who has a fake name and history…Love pays her to get away from her family and later confronts Joe and breaks up with him for lying (if she only knew Joe’s lies go beyond just changing names…)
Now Candace is out of the frame but so is he. Well, kind of, because he still works at Avraim where he gets to see Love making out with her new boyfriend, a supermodel Australian influencer who is now the lucky guy to eat Love’s cakes. But we soon learn that the Aussie appearance is just a cameo to make Joe jealous.
In the meantime, Delilah gets a booty call from the police officer that makes her suspect about Joe. She gets into his apartment (the perks of being the building manager) and finds the storage keys. She goes there and voila, finds Henderson’s computer (another bad habit of Joe, keeping the incriminating clues in his possession) and the cage. She takes a few pics and tries to escape but Joe is already there. She gets locked in the cage and Joe promises he is going to let her go in 16 hours, after he plots his escape out of the country. And then things get messy. He goes to Avrain to say goodbye, and gets kidnapped with Forty by a Russian dude to take them to a luxury hotel where apparently they are “kidnapped to write” the script Forty really wants. The story of Beck. Ellie is the intern so she is there and Forty takes some DMT to get creative. Joe didn’t know he was also ingesting some… the night gets crazy and the only thing that is clear is that Joe is really in love with Love and wants to negotiate with Delilah so he can stay…but when he gets there, surprise surprise, she is dead and covered in blood. Did he kill her when he was on drugs? He doesn’t recall it. If he didn’t, who was it then?
Forty’s script cracks the story, and Candace insists that Joe is the killer, making Forty fly out to the prison where Dr. Nicky is. But now Dr. Nicky has found God and doesn’t want to seek revenge. He recognizes Joe from a picture and tells him to stay away from that man, he was dangerous. How did he know that? I don’t know because as Nicky’s patient, Joe was nothing but nice. He had no idea he was dating Beck. In fact, Joe posed as gay and had a fictional boyfriend called “Ricardo.”
Meantime in LA, Joe is in the cage with the victim and Candace gets in, pepper sprays his eyes and locks him in the cage with the dead body until Love arrives and sees her beloved one in there. He confesses all the crimes and Love sprints out crying. Candace goes after her and another surprising twist, Love kills her. She goes back to the cage and tells Joe she has taken care of everything, and that she was the one who killed Delilah and wants to blame Ellie for Henderson’s crime. It all gets messier and messier by the minute. Joe is worried about Ellie and in one weak moment where Love opens the cage, he is about to kill her until she tells him that she is pregnant. They are going to be parents. What role models…they want to meet with Forty who now knows the truth and tries to convince him that it’s his addiction that makes him paranoid but he pulls a gun to kill Joe. He doesn’t kill him though because the police officer who has been following them kills Forty first.
The ending of that twisted love story is that Joe and Love move in together, blame everything on his brother, but since he is dead and his family owns the LAPD, surely everyone forgets. Ellie moves to Miami and Joe sends her money to survive. And shortly after they move to their new dream house, Joe spots who could potentially be his new victim…a sexy neighbor.
Ok, this ending has a lot of holes. Here is my alternative ending. Instead of Love killing Candace. She calls the police to come to the storage and blames Candace for the crime. After all, Joe appears as a victim, with all his eyes all red and inside the cage as if he was going to be the next victim. She is the one standing outside. The motive is clear. She is obsessed with him and delusional. She caught Delilah and him having sex and decided to kill her and frame him.
Forty visits Dr. Nicky and shows him the picture of Joe. He recognizes him but not as a dangerous person but “oh yes, he was one of my patients. Only came a few times.” That plants a seed into Forty’s head of “there is something fishy but I need to do more digging,” which makes it perfect for season 3. Instead of killing two pivotal characters, one gets locked and the other one gets to operate in the shadows…Ellie gets a lot of money from a fundraiser that Love does for the poor girl, her sister got killed, to go to film school in 2 years and in the meantime moves in with Joe and Love. She’s also in season 3 and could be one of the characters that finds the truth… I’m just saying, my ending is better…