- You -Is Joe's Mom Alive In 'You'? Season 3 Explores His Tragic Backstory
You's Joe Goldberg has plenty of struggle when it comes to how he expresses and accepts love. And in Season 3, the series expanded upon why that is. Through flashbacks in You Season 3, the fate of Joe's mom is revealed, and it's pretty heartbreaking — especially since it proved that Joe's mother was doing perfectly fine when she decided to abandon her son for good.
Warning: Spoilers for Season 3 of You to follow. Turn back now or accept that I'm about to spill some details you may not want to read if you haven't finished the new season.
We learned in Season 2 that Joe was left in a group home for young boys after he shot and killed his stepfather, who was abusing his mom. In Season 3, it's revealed that this home was a total nightmare for Joe, who, much like little orphan Annie, really believed his parents would return for him and repeated that line to anyone who would listen. (Truly, so sad.)
Eventually, Joe left the group home and went searching for his mom. When he found her, she was holding hands with a little boy named Jacob, who is presumably her son and Joe's half-brother. What's worse is that she actually seemed like a good mom to Jacob — the kind of mom Joe always wished she would be. When Joe confronted her, asking if she "hated" him, she insisted she didn't — she loved him, but declared that sometimes, "people have to start over." Oof.
Joe finally accepts that his mom wasn't exactly the ideal parent in Season 3, something that he's seemingly struggled to really understand throughout the last two seasons. While he's recalled his mother's not-so-great actions (like abandoning him in a grocery store for hours to cheat on his stepdad) it was only after he became a parent to his son Henry did he comprehend how his mother's actions had damaged him. This relationship — according to Joe, anyway — is the reason why he can never seem to form a healthy romantic bond.
At the end of Season 3, it all comes full circle for Joe. He is forced to "abandon" Henry, something he swore he would never do, in order to start over. However, unlike his mother, who allowed him to fall into a toxic environment — first with the group home and then with Mr. Mooney, the abusive bookshop owner — Joe made sure that Henry ended up in a loving home with his library co-worker Dante and his husband (who both have been working to adopt another child, to no avail.)
We never got confirmation that Joe's mom is still alive, but there's a very decent chance that if she is not, Joe's brother Jacob is. Will Joe finally reunite with his family, now that he has to start over completely once again? While Season 4 of You is not guaranteed, all this mom talk could be setting up for some serious family drama in a potential next season.