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The Scariest Moments In You So Far

After beginning on the Lifetime channel in 2018, "You" was picked up by Netflix after its first season when Lifetime had to drop the series due to its low ratings (via The Hollywood Reporter). As soon as Season 1 of "You" hit Netflix, a lack of an audience was no longer an issue, as the thriller became an instant hit on the streaming service. The series has aired three seasons and is still going strong, with Netflix even renewing it for its fourth season before the third had premiered (via Deadline).

Once you get going with "You," it's clear why it's become so popular — the thriller drama is, well, thrilling. It follows Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley), a self-proclaimed romantic who will do anything for the woman he loves — including stalking her, manipulating her, and even killing for her. A few episodes in and it becomes clear that Joe is a serial killer, but that's not how he sees himself — and through Joe's narration, viewers get to experience how the killer justifies his actions.

Considering the nature of the plot, it's no surprise that the series is full of creepy moments, but which ones are the most terrifying? Here, we break down the scariest moments in "You" that viewers have seen so far.

Joe attacks Benji - Season 1, Episode 1

As soon as Joe meets Beck (Elizabeth Lail) in the show's first moments, he believes they're a perfect match. Joe begins spying on Beck to learn everything about her — which is how he finds out that Beck has a boyfriend, Benji (Lou Taylor Pucci). Eager to get Benji out of the way, Joe emails him posing as a journalist from New York Magazine who wants to write a piece about Benji's soda startup. When they meet up, Joe leads Benji down an alleyway, claiming there's a hidden bar at the end of it. Once Benji is in the basement where Joe keeps his book vault, Joe knocks him out with a mallet. The next time we see Benji, in the following episode, he's locked in the book vault.

However, when the episode ends, the viewer is unsure if Benji is still alive — or if Joe killed him. Since it's just the first episode, the viewer doesn't know Joe's limits or what exactly he's capable of. Sure, he's definitely creepy and stalks the woman he's into, but will he get physical?

By attacking Benji, the viewer gets a big yes for an answer. Seeing Joe take matters into his own hands so violently for the first time remains one of the scariest moments of the series.

Joe kills Benji - Season 1, Episode 2

Benji turns out to be alive after Joe attacks him, but he isn't free. Joe decides to keep him locked up in his vault until he figures out what to do with him. Joe narrates, "Okay, granted, didn't think too far ahead when I swung that mallet. I just knew Benji was the worst kind of poison." By this, Joe means that he has to get Benji out of the equation because he thinks Beck is too good for him. The fact that he doesn't think it through, however, only makes it scarier — his impulsiveness can lead to violence at any time.

Benji, pleading with Joe, says, "Whoever you are, you're not a killer." Joe, within his narration, agrees with Benji. This, of course, turns out to be far from the truth. Knowing that releasing Benji means possibly landing himself in jail (or worse), Joe decides to kill him, and Benji soon becomes Joe's first murder that the viewer witnesses. 

Joe gives Benji a latte with two hidden tablespoons of peanut oil in it, which Benji is deathly allergic to. Joe watches calmly as Benji gaps for air and eventually dies — and the viewer gets confirmation that not only is Joe willing to kill, but he doesn't feel anything when he does.

Joe kills Peach - Season 1, Episode 6

Joe may have gotten Benji out of the way, but Beck's best friend Peach (Shay Mitchell) proves to be another barrier in his relationship with Beck, as Peach hates Joe and suspects he isn't as perfect as he seems. Joe's motives to get Peach out of the way only grow stronger once Joe finds a massive collection of photos and videos of Beck on Peach's computer, leading him to realize that Peach is "obsessed" with Beck.

In the sixth episode of Season 1, Joe secretly follows Peach and Beck when they head to Peach's family home in Connecticut. Peach finds him and the two fight over Joe's gun, resulting in Joe ultimately shooting Peach. He then frames it as Peach's suicide. Naturally, he then uses the opportunity to take care of Beck while she grieves.

Through his justification that Peach was dangerously obsessed with Beck — despite Peach's actions being nowhere near the level of stalking that Joe has resorted to — Joe once again feels no remorse when taking a life. He simply claims it had to be done.

Joe traps and kills Beck - Season 1, Episode 10

The first season's finale is an action-packed one. Following the Episode 9 cliffhanger, Beck wakes up in the book vault after Joe realizes she found his obsessive box of her things, which includes everything from her underwear to a used tampon, and things get a lot more intense very quickly.

Eventually, Beck decides to tell Joe how much she loves him and that she forgives him to get him to let her out of the vault — which he falls for. Beck manages to stab Joe, then lock him in the vault while she escapes. Beck even gets to tell Joe off, as she asserts that he's a sociopath, that tells him that she could never love him. Unfortunately, Beck doesn't know Joe has a key in the cage in case something like this happens. Beck manages to knock Joe down with a mallet but cannot escape before he grabs her. In the next shot, it's revealed that Beck has died.

Even though it becomes clear before it happens that Joe will kill Beck, it's still terrifying to watch. Beyond that, as the first instance in which we actually see Joe get rid of someone he claims to love, it leaves the door wide open to all the possible future victims of Joe's — including any and all future girlfriends (or wives).

Joe frames Dr. Nicky - Season 1, Episode 10

While trapped in the vault, Beck writes out a fictionalized version of her affair with Dr. Nicky (John Stamos) that makes him as obsessive and sociopathic as Joe. She does this to create a way for him to take the fall for Joe's crimes — and to get Joe to trust her enough to let her out of the vault.

After she dies, Joe sends in what she wrote to a publisher, and it becomes a posthumous success — and does half of what Beck intends for it to do in framing Dr. Nicky. Unfortunately, Beck doesn't make it out alive, and Joe is the only one who benefits from one of her last-ditch attempts to free herself from Joe's cage and Joe himself.

Once again, Joe is remorseless when it comes to the fact that Dr. Nicky is going down for all of the crimes that Joe committed. Further, in his mind, it's totally justified because Dr. Nicky had an affair with his girlfriend.

Joe keeps to his old ways - Season 2, Episode 1

As Season 2 begins, Joe has moved from New York City to Los Angeles to escape his ex-girlfriend Candace, who he thought was dead. To start a new life, he has taken on a new name, Will Bettelheim, and is determined not to get fixated on someone again after what happened with Beck, as this is meant to be his "fresh start."

Of course, it turns out that Joe hasn't exactly turned over a new leaf. At the end of the episode, it's revealed that Joe is keeping the real Will Bettelheim hostage in a brand new book vault, this time within a storage unit, to use his identity. In this case, Will hasn't even done anything to Joe that Joe could possibly use to justify his actions — this capture is merely Joe deciding that he'll do anything to get what he wants.

What he wants is Love (Victoria Pedretti), a woman who he sets his sights on immediately after coming to LA despite claiming to be past his old fixating ways. By the end of Season 2, Episode 1, it's crystal clear that Joe has not changed one bit and that he is just as, if not more, ruthless than ever.

Joe utilizes a meat grinder - Season 2, Episode 2

Joe meets Will, who runs a business giving people new temporary identities, while he searches for a way to escape Candace. After Will tells Joe that it takes years to create a fully livable identity, Joe decides to take Will's identity instead. While pretending to be Will, Joe hits a roadblock when a man named Jasper (Steven W. Bailey) confronts Joe — thinking he's Will — claiming he's owed money. 

Unable to get Will to pay Jasper back, Joe tries to offer up Will to Jasper to protect himself. However, Jasper indicates that if Joe couldn't get Will to cough up the money, how would Jasper be able to? Jasper then goes after Joe with his knife, causing Joe to stab Jasper to death in self-defense. With a need to get rid of a body, he decides to utilize the kitchen of his new workplace, a high-end grocery store, Anavrin. Specifically, Joe puts Jasper directly through the meat grinder after sawing him into pieces. Joe vomits from how sick of an act it is. He wasn't the only one — the show's fans even expressed their disgust avidly online, as noted by Metro.

Of course, in Joe's case, his reaction is one of seeing a human body cut up into pieces, not of the fact that he just took yet another life. For the viewer, though, the scene is scary because it shows Joe's clever capability to find countless ways to get rid of the bodies of the individuals he kills — including stomach-churning ones.

Henderson drugs Ellie - Season 2, Episode 4

Joe isn't the only monster in Season 2 of "You." One of the characters introduced this season is Henderson (Chris D'Elia), a famous comedian who recently beat testicular cancer. Despite his fame and the public sympathy for him post-cancer, Henderson's true nature is soon revealed through Joe's digging and Delilah's (Carmela Zumbado) work as a celebrity reporter. Henderson, as it turns out, is a different kind of predator than Joe — he's one that preys on underage girls, sexually assaulting them after drugging them. He has a collection of photos that prove this, which Joe finds.

After learning this, Joe is worried about Ellie (Jenna Ortega), who wants Henderson to mentor her. In the fourth episode of Season 2, Ellie goes over to Henderson's house, hoping to show him her short film. While there, Henderson attempts to roofie her. Luckily, Joe, looking out for Ellie, is there, and, in a rare moment in which his stalking is a good thing, he intervenes by drugging Henderson's drink as well. It all ends when Henderson dies after falling down the stairs while fighting with Joe.

However, the fact that the fight ends in death is not the scariest part of this sequence of events. What's most terrifying about the whole thing is seeing a grown-up, powerful man attempt to abuse his power with an underage girl — something we know he has gotten away with over and over again.

Joe buries Candace - Season 2, Episode 5

Joe's relationship with Candace is already over by the start of the series. Throughout the first season, flashbacks and references to their relationship reveal the darkest sides of Joe while showcasing that what happened with Beck is not the first time Joe's love life has turned deadly, nor will it be the last.

We find out more about that backstory in Season 2 when we learn that after Candace tries to leave the relationship, Joe kidnaps her and drives her out to the middle of the woods. There, while covering her mouth to keep her from screaming, Joe hits Candace's head on a block of wood.

In the next shot from the flashback, we see is Candace digging her way out of the ground. It's never explicitly stated if Joe thinks she is dead and buries her to cover up the accidental murder or if he purposefully buries her alive. Knowing Joe and taking into account that her heart must have been beating, it's likely the second one, making the scene all the more terrifying. It's one of the most horrific things Joe has ever done, and on a very long list of brutal crimes he's committed.

Love kills Candace and Delilah - Season 2, Episode 9

By the ninth episode of Season 2, viewers are likely very worried about the fate of Love — after all, we all saw what happened to Joe's last love, Beck. Plus, the beginning of Episode 8 sees Joe finding Delilah, who he trapped in his vault after she discovers his true nature, dead. Joe fears he may have killed her while tripping on acid with Forty (James Scully) the previous day.

Meanwhile, Candace continues her quest to make Joe pay for his actions. Right as it seems she may be about to get what she wants by locking him in the vault with Delilah's dead body, Candace calls Love to the vault, hoping to expose Joe. However, Love isn't exactly disgusted or scared to find out that Joe is a killer, and she stabs Candace to death in order to save Joe.

After that shocking twist, Love returns to Joe and reveals that she "took care" of Candace. In the final episode of Season 2, fans find out that Love also killed Delilah in defense of Joe and the au pair who abused her brother when they were younger. She tells Joe about all of the digging that she did into his past, revealing that he isn't the only one who resorts to stalking a love interest. Love showing her true nature paints a clear picture that there's never just one sociopath out in the world.

Love kills Natalie - Season 3, Episode 1

By the beginning of Season 3, Joe and Love have a newborn baby and have moved to the suburbs in the Bay Area, despite Joe initially recoiling when finding out that Love is also a murderer. When they move, Joe tries to be a good father and husband but quickly finds himself with a new obsession regarding their neighbor, Natalie (Michaela McManus).

It doesn't take long for Love, who is just as cunning as Joe, to catch onto his new fixation when she finds Joe's box of Natalie's things. Justifying her actions as necessary to save her marriage, Love lures realtor Natalie into an empty space that she says she's interested in for a new bakery and kills her with an ax.

With this move, Love showcases another character trait she has in common with Joe: impulsiveness. A few episodes later, Fans will see this when she attacks the anti-vaxxer parent who gets her kid sick. Love acts as soon as she feels things and, terrifyingly, anyone who tries to get in her way may just face a brutal death.

Joe spies on Marienne - Season 3, Episode 6

We see Joe do a whole lot of stalking and spying, often letting himself into the homes of women, sometimes even while they're present. Who could forget him hiding in Beck's shower while she stood at her bathroom sink or underneath the bed that Beck was lying on with Peach?

In Season 3, after the death of Natalie, Joe finds his new target in Marienne (Tati Gabrielle), his colleague at the library. As viewers would expect, Joe begins to stalk Marienne just as he had with his past loves. With Marienne, Joe claims that it's different and that he knows she is the one he is meant to be with. In a way, she is different, as Marienne is the first individual that Joe hasn't become obsessed with upon first sight, but rather gradually (not that this makes his obsessive stalking even 1% better).

So, there's something especially creepy about Joe sneaking around Marienne's home and hiding underneath her bed when she shows up when he claims that it's different this time around. Really, it's just a blatant reminder — if you needed one — that Joe hasn't changed and that he never will.

Love paralyzes Joe - Season 2, Episode 10

As mentioned, Love isn't exactly easy for Joe to fool, and she catches on to him when he begins fixating on Marienne. Once again, Love does what she thinks she needs to do to save her marriage, as she describes it, but with a tactic we've never seen even Joe utilize. 

Love reveals that she has been growing a paralytic called aconite in the garden and puts it on the knife that she expects Joe to grab. When he does, he begins to absorb the substance and soon becomes immobilized. Moreover, Joe finds out about one more person Love has killed before: her first husband, who she accidentally (as she claims) gave too big of a dosage to the first time she used the same paralytic that Joe just succumbed to.

Viewers have witnessed Joe do some absolutely horrific things, as he's the villain as much as he is the protagonist of "You," so seeing him overcome by someone else is a terrifying thing to watch. Joe is evil, but there are even more intense monsters out there — and Joe is married to one.

Joe kills Love and frames her - Season 3, Episode 10

However, it turns out that Joe is not actually surprised by Love paralyzing him. Sensing that something is off, he looks into what she was growing in the garden, discovering that she was preparing a paralytic to potentially use on him at any given time. Sensing her anger before their dinner — during which he tells her he wants a divorce — he takes adrenaline as an antidote in preparation for her to paralyze him. 

With the adrenaline in his system, the paralysis wears off much quicker. When Love returns, he has his own dose of the paralytic ready to inject in Love. Joe narrates, describing that when injected directly into the body, the substance "burns as it moves through the system to the heart," resulting in a "slow paralysis" and "total f***ing agony." Love dies as Joe explains how he took her down, claiming he had to stop her.

After giving their baby, Henry, to his colleague Dante (Ben Mehl), who has been trying to adopt with his partner for years, Joe finishes his plan. He fakes his death and flees, but not before sending a message out as Love, in which she confesses to all the crimes, from Natalie's death to the attack on the anti-vaxxer and even Joe's faked demise. When we next see Joe, in the final moments of Season 3, he has moved to Paris and is still in search of Marienne — destined to commit more and more horrific crimes.