Joe's Backstory On 'You,' Explained

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Joe's Backstory On 'You,' Explained

Season 3 of You introduced us to a very different Joe Goldberg. Yes, he's still a stalker who occasionally murders his neighbors, but he also has a new title: father. Joe's wife, Love Quinn, gave birth to baby boy Henry sometime between the second and third season of the series, which means that Joe has to contend with what parenthood really means to him. Naturally, this has Joe remembering what his own childhood was like — which, in case you forgot, was very, very bad.

Joe has never quite laid out his entire childhood for us, but over the last three seasons, a pretty tragic rough timeline has emerged. Here's the rundown of Joe's less-than-ideal backstory, and how it shaped him as a person.

Warning: Spoilers for all three seasons of You to follow.

Childhood: Joe Lives With His Mom

Joe was initially raised by his mother, Sandy, and her abusive partner, who may or may not be Joe's biological dad. Joe felt fiercely protective over his mom, despite her not winning any awards for World's Greatest Parent. (In one particularly disturbing scene, she even left him alone in a grocery store so she could go hook up with a random man.) One day, after witnessing his potential dad beat his mother nearly to death, Joe takes a gun and kills him.

After Joe kills his (maybe?) father, Sandy tells Joe that he's still a "good boy," and that he didn't mean to hurt anyone — he just was protecting her. We can almost see the wheels in Joe's brain turning — he uses this very same logic to justify all the murders he's committed over the last three seasons. When he killed Peach, he did it because she was bad for Beck, and that same logic applies in his latest romance with Marienne: He murdered her ex-husband Ryan so that she would have a fair shot at custody of her daughter.

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