what the hell paco?

Missing Bodies and Missing Curtains: Your 13 Most Pressing You Questions, Answered

Photo: Vulture/Netflix

When You aired on Lifetime, approximately 17 people were watching it, and I was one of those people, bravely going where cable-cutting millennial viewers could not be bothered to go. With its relocation to Netflix, You blew up like an Instagram of body-positive icon Annika getting wasted and spewing some casual racism. After this delicious and ridiculous series moved in next door to Lara Jean Covey, some “40 million” people (I’ll believe Netflix data when literally anyone besides Netflix verifies it) found the show. And then they found me, your friendly neighborhood You recapper, to ask their most pressing, dire questions about all things You.

Because I believe in service journalism, Vulture solicited all your You queries, concerns, and unsolved mysteries so that I could answer them for you. Thank you all for these questions, which reveal more thought and insight than the series that inspired them! My 100 percent definitive answers to these subjective, technically unknowable queries are below.

Do you think the finale is problematic? I thought it was disappointing that Beck ended up dead and the stalker won (for now), but then again it is Lifetime, and scary stalker stories are kind of its milieu. And do you think Candace is REALLY alive, or was that just her ghost showing up at the end?!

I think as a culture we’ve reached Peak Problematic and the word is starting to lose all meaning, like when you stare at the word hello for so long that you think you must have spelled it wrong. That said, I was McKayla Maroney–winning-the-silver-in-2012 levels of unimpressed with the finale. As I wrote in my recap, after spending hours and hours of my life with this program — precious, fleeting time that I’ll never get back, frittered away while this warming Earth is still somewhat habitable and all my favorite coastal cities are still, barely, above water — I emerged from this viewing experience convinced that You wasn’t just the harmless-but-ridiculous semi-escapist fare I was expecting. At its core, it is as toxic as the masculinity it purports to be taking down.

I wish You were willing to commit to its mid-season efforts at full batshit and have Candace be a ghost-slash-guilt-hallucination of Joe’s. It’s such a delicious and soapy idea and I am here for it. (Speaking of soapy: Could she be Candace’s identical twin? Or a triplet!? Could the joke of You be that Joe was and is being scammed by some infinite series of identical Candaces? Orphan Black: New York Rising?)

But, fantasies of more thrilling plot twists aside, I don’t think we’re in for some Sam Esmail–style reveal (ghost/hallucination) or that our Penn Badgley is getting Blake Livelied (that’s an A Simple Favor spoiler, sorry if I ruined it for you). I think that’s just … Candace, the woman who committed the cardinal sin of not being as into Joe as Joe was into her.

Okay, this is maybe an insane question, but is Peach actually dead? We never saw her after the mysterious gunshot (right?), just Joe writing her suicide note. Normally the answer would be clear, but this is You, so did she somehow pull a Candace and miraculously get out alive?

As someone who is intimately familiar with Peach Salinger’s early work — I miss you, Pretty Little Liars! I have learned that, on a show like this one, you can never say die until you see a body. And then you have to see that body at an open-casket wake, be at the graveside when it gets buried, and visit on a regular basis to make sure nobody clawed their way out of the ground. And also you have to double-check that the body isn’t just the identical twin of the body you thought you were burying.

Which is to say: I don’t think your question is insane. I think your question is perfect, and I hope that Peach Salinger lives and breathes and will be back in season two to torture Joseph.

When the police investigated Peach’s death, did they even try? There’s just no way that a gunshot fired in a one-on-one struggle could be interpreted as a suicide/self-inflicted wound.

Yet another lesson I picked up at Rosewood High: Assume all police officers are wildly incompetent and incapable of solving murders!

Is Beck actually still alive? Could the body in the trunk just have been Ron’s?

See above logic re: no visible corpse, no certain death. That said, the show would really have no stakes if it turned out that all of the most important homicides that Joe allegedly committed— of Candace, Peach, and Beck — didn’t actually happen. So if the writers care about that sort of thing, Beck ought to be as dead as John Stamos’s therapy practice.

Do you think Karen Minty will find someone good after all this?

Karen Minty was dumped mid-pedicure by Joe, when he could no longer bring himself to cohabitate with someone who DARED to consume pop culture that he deemed unworthy. (In his defense … CBS sitcoms? Really, Karen?) At the time, this probably seemed like a shitty experience in her life, but as we all know, it was absolutely the best-case exit scenario for a woman who was involved with Joe.

My hope for Karen is that she hooks up with a sweet, self-deprecating guy who lives in Queens and buys her a Kindle for Christmas.

Wondering what order I should watch these in to fully understand Paco’s emotional journey: You, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Thanks!

Start with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, when Paco still had a glimmer in his eye and the joie de vivre of someone who doesn’t spend all his waking hours lurking around doorways and reading musty hardcover books published centuries before his birth. Then comes You, where Paco abandons the streets of the city for his true home: the stairwell. After walking away from what he knows, deep in some hidden-away corner of his soul was a crime he could have prevented if only he’d intervened, Paco goes to California and tries to reinvent himself as a child star to escape the trauma of his New York past.

Why am I so invested even though I hate it? No, that’s not my question. My question is: How is Joe going to stalk people in Los Angeles? I’m very worried for him. You can’t plan a meet-cute on a subway track; there aren’t as many places to duck away when someone might see you; it’s not as easy to attempt to murder people in our parks — how will this work?! Personally, I think Joe should become a Lyft driver and park his Prius nearby his new victim’s apartment and wait for her to call for the nearest driver. And, yes, it has to be a Prius. Nobody is suspicious of a Prius.

I am concerned about how thoroughly you’ve considered all the stalking-and-murdering options in Los Angeles. Everyone in L.A., please be on the lookout for this dangerous fan of You. They are reading Vulture and definitely drive a Prius, so that should narrow it down.

Did Dr. Nicky keep treating Beck while they were sleeping together?

I think we are supposed to believe that Beck and John Stamos did real therapy maybe twice before they started hooking up, and then all those times she was “going to therapy” she was … not really going to therapy.

Why hasn’t anyone bought Beck some curtains!!!
Why doesn’t Beck own curtains??!
Why doesn’t Beck have blinds?!?!
Does anybody in this show close their drapes? You live on the ground floor; people can see in through your windows, guys!!

Guys, I love you for thinking I could possibly have the answer to this question. I have NO idea. I raised this in my series-premiere recap. My reaction to Beck living on the ground floor of a building with giant windows and no curtains was, Oooookay. And it has not changed since then.

Co-creator Sera Gamble tried to explain this to Vulture by saying that Beck is too broke for home furnishings: “I gotta say, if it was a choice between getting a sandwich and finding a shirt for the job interview that didn’t have a hole in it, and putting curtains up, who gives a fuck about curtains? It’s a quiet street, you know?” And when Elizabeth Lail gets asked this question, according to Gamble, she “bristles” at it and essentially says: Don’t victim-blame Beck, since it’s not her fault she’s being spied on by the psycho jerking off in the bushes.

As I have sworn on my first edition of Ozma of Oz to tell the whole truth in all my recaps, I call bullshit. Beck found money she didn’t have to buy a dress to wear to Peach’s Parents Got Divorced Party. She went to that swanky-looking furniture store to buy a solid-wood bed. She talks about being broke all the time … over expensive cocktails and/or ironic pickleback shots with her girlfriends. Frankly, her financial situation never seems to affect her choices or her lifestyle in any noticeable way, so this whole “Beck is literally too poor to spend $19.99 on curtains from Amazon” justification does not check out. Besides, you know this chick has a credit card and isn’t paying it off every month anyway, so what’s one more small expense? (In addition to writing recaps, I also give sound financial advice.)

And considering that Beck’s mom is MIA — she made a whopping one “appearance” in this series, on the other end of a phone call when Beck was whining about money — and her dad is “dead,” odds are extremely high that rich bestie Peach was the one with her Beckalicious on move-in day and that the lack of curtains would’ve been the first thing she noticed, given the young Miss Salinger’s history of being stalked. Things did not end well with James Franco, #neverforget.

Did Joe hurt Mooney on purpose?

I was so annoyed that the show never followed up on this! We see all these flashbacks of Mooney as abusive bookkeeper — you know, that classic trope — and then, poof, he’s in a wheelchair and can’t communicate because of a very convenient “stroke.” Joe TOTALLY ran over this dude with his own car or body-checked him down those basement stairs, right? I bet Paco’s whole college fund that Joe is responsible for Mooney’s current status.

Not so much a question as a theory: What if Mr. Mooney didn’t have a stroke at all and was just acting for the one time Beck was there? He could be fine/masterminding things offscreen, and the wife is in on it.

You know what? This hadn’t occurred to me at all. Wouldn’t this require Mooney and Joe to be in cahoots, though? Doesn’t quite work for me, but I like the general thesis: Everyone on this show is a pathological liar and will do virtually anything for attention.

How do we get more Blythe?

How wonderful is Hari Nef in this show? She’s in the cast of Daddy, which opens Off Broadway next month. This means that she will be safe from that Vulture-reading homicide expert who lives in Los Angeles, thank goodness.

What the hell, Paco?

I don’t actually have anything to say about this one, just including it here for emphasis because — seriously, what the hell, Paco?

Your 13 Most Pressing You Questions, Answered