February 21, 2024

Every Wednesday, the Womyn’s Center hosts a media discussion of Netflix’s “You.” Here is a synopsis of episode one.

[New York City Skyline]. [Book store door opens, door bells chime].

“Well, hello there. Who are you? Based on your vibe, a student.
Your blouse is loose. You’re not here to be ogled, but those bracelets, they jangle. You like a little attention. Okay, I bite. You search the books. Fiction, ‘F’, through ‘K’. Now… Hmm, you’re not the standard insecure nymph hunting for Faulkner you’ll never finish. Too sun-kissed for Stephen King. Who will you buy? You sound apologetic, like you’re embarrassed to be a good girl, and you murmur your first word to me. Hello.”

“You” is a Netflix Original Series being watched by many. The first episode introduces the main characters: Joe Goldberg and Guinevere Beck. The plot begins by Guinevere, who goes by Beck, entering the bookstore that Goldberg manages. Goldberg is quickly intrigued by Beck, who has made flirtatious passes towards him. Goldberg begins researching her online, due to her giving him her full name and information from her credit card. He learns a little information about her: that she is working on her Masters, her father passed away when she was young, she has beautiful friends and she is a poetry writer.

From his online search, he finds the location of where she lives. He quickly realizes that her online profile is far different than her actual presentation of life. She is struggling financially, in her friendships, in her writing work and in her personal life. Goldberg begins watching her from a distance–through open windows at her home, her encounters with her friends at a bar and as she is walking through campus. He watches her without her knowing of his presence.

In the show, he invites audiences to hear his thoughts and observations about her life. Goldberg watches her with a man she has previously seen, Benji, who had been unfaithful at a previous time. They have a quick sexual encounter, and then the man quickly leaves. Goldberg continues to watch her as she sexually satisfies herself, while he begins getting aroused and is interrupted by someone approaching.

There is little presented about Goldberg throughout this episode, but it is discussed that he was given the opportunity to work at the bookstore at a young age by the original owner. Goldberg lives in an apartment, where another young boy lives. The young boy, Paco, is often seen in the hallways of the apartment building due to his mom and her boyfriend fighting, or having sex. Goldberg befriends Paco and brings him a variety of literature to read, gives him food and helps him fix a book that his mom’s boyfriend broke. When the mom’s boyfriend finds out about this, he tells Goldberg to stay away from Paco and calls him a freak. Goldberg simply goes back into his apartment.

Goldberg orchestrates the opportunity to go into Beck’s apartment by scheduling a gas company maintenance while she is out, and then convincing the worker that he is her live-in boyfriend. He is almost caught when she considers taking a shower — where he is hiding at — but she quickly changes her mind and asks her friends to go to a bar with her.

When Goldberg goes to the same bar, he realizes Beck is doing a poetry reading very drunk. He is quickly disturbed about how sad she is painting her life. He makes the observation that she gives all of these people love — her friends and her romantic interest, but they will never give it back in the same degree. As he leaves, he heads to the subway station. There, it is just him and a homeless man singing. Later, he looks over and sees Beck stumbling in her walk. She creeps closer and closer to the edge, and eventually falls into the subway tracks.

Frantically, Goldberg extends his arm and encourages her to reach for it as the train is nearing. She does and then quickly feels like she owes him a favor. They ride a cab together, and at some point he has stolen her cell phone to keep for himself. She thinks she simply lost it at the subway, but she gives him her email.

Before she leaves, Benji comes and rushes her departure to go be inside with him. The episode ends with Beck returning to the bookstore to thank Goldberg officially. It is also revealed that Goldberg had lured Benji into the basement of the bookstore unbeknownst to him and then bashed him on the head with a mallet. Goldberg returns to the basement where Benji is alive and scared, and trying to convince Goldberg that, “he must have the wrong guy.”

Catch the next episode in the Womyn’s Center Wednesdays at 5:00 p.m. in Shouvlin 103.

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