TV Recap: YOU – Still Logged Into You …

“The Last Nice Guy In New York” (Episode 102)
September 16, 2018

YOU is a classic NY love story where a girl walks into a bookstore where the boy is the manager. Boy falls in love with girl instantly. Boy begins to stalk her every where she goes; breaks into her apartment, watches her every movement from across the street of her apartment, and then commits attempted murder on girl’s douchebag boyfriend. Boy also has a heart of gold for a young neighbor boy and is also charismatic and witty.  Like I said, the classic NY love story.

Catch up on everything that happened in the Pilot episode of YOU here! And now, read on for everything that tonight … after the jump (SPOILERS BEWARE)!

We open tonight’s episode with Joe literally leaping for joy in his apartment because tonight will be his first date with Beck.  But, we must get through the day first, right? Right. Normal shenanigans. Joe is outside Beck’s apartment watching her movements both through her open windows and virtually, through the Cloud – which her old phone (that Joe has) remains logged into.

“Your old phone, which I have, is still logged into the cloud. And that means, I’m still logged into you.”

Joe notes Beck looks distracted and as she leaves Benji a voicemail, Joe realizes that Benji remains a problem in their relationship. “Relationship.” As Beck gets to her TA job with Professor Makesmevomit, Joe heads to Mooney’s.  Paco is there, this kid reads really fast  y’all, and Joe hands him a true classic, Frankenstein.

“The monster is really cool. And scary. But also, not really the monster.”

Paco isn’t sure what that means but he’ll figure it out, he seems smart. Joe sends him on his way and heads to the basement to deal with his Benji issue. Benji isn’t really happy but Joe tells him to settle down. “Let’s talk.”

Photo: Lifetime

Title Card.

We come back and Benji is still yelling and carrying on until Joe finally tells him to stop, the basement is soundproof, “sorry.” Joe narrates to Beck that he did this for her, to help her by removing the poison that is Benji, but honestly, he’s got an adult in a cage in the basement of a bookstore and, well …

“Confession. I have no idea what to do with him now.”

Benji tries offering Joe money, but duh, this isn’t about money. Then he offers to fly Joe to anywhere in the world but also, probably ends in prison time. Nopers.  Joe passes a poppy seed bagel, extra shmeer, through the trap door but Benji passes. He’s got a gluten allergy – he could die. Benji has a limited diet and really could go for a Bareburger or sushi. Ugh, this fucking guy.  Joe wishes he was a killer, this would make the Benji problem much easier.

As Benji’s list of issues grows, claustrophobic and has low blood sugar, Joe brings up the variety of drugs (including heroin) and pills he found on Benji. Benji denies any of it is his (he networks as part of Artisanal Home Soda business) but Joe presses him if his father knows about his habit? How about his girlfriend?

Photo: Lifetime

Benji denies having a girlfriend but then, BUT THEN, the wheels start turning and Benji connects the dots to when Beck introduced Benji and Joe after the train tracks incident. He even is able to recall Joe’s name (“now THAT is a complication”) Benji CANNOT believe that Joe is doing this over Beck who is not his girlfriend and totally not worth the felonies piling up here.

Later that day, Joe is getting ready for his date with Beck as he is eavesdropping on Beck’s group text with her girlfriends, most of which revolves around Benji talk. Joe emails her [email protected] account to confirm tonight and she says “Sure. Looking forward. Free at 6.” Very enthusiastic.

The Date.  Beck is talking about her life and times as Joe focuses on the minutiae, her face and mouth, this is their story he narrates. He comes back to the conversation as she mentions that while she didn’t Google him, her guess is that he’s not on social media.

“Fact. It renders you insanely vulnerable with zero upside.”

This is what he narrates to himself, to Beck he says he’s just “old fashioned guy. I like real life.” Uh huh. Sure Sure.  She asks him what his goals are beyond book store manager … Joe tells her that he just loves books and he wants his life to be what about what he actually loves. This seems to resonate with Beck but then she gets a call.

Peach has decided she too is now worried about Benji’s disappearance and Beck is all, “yeah, duh, I said that earlier.” (that’s a paraphrase). Hanging up, she ends the date with Joe so, I don’t know, she and her girls can look for Benji? Is that the plan? Joe plays it totally cool but to himself, he admits to being a bit befuddled. He thought he solved this Benji problem – guess he needs to “finish the job.”

We come back and Joe tells us that to get rid of Benji, he needs to understand him.  To do this, he starts to quiz the “poster boy for white male privilege” on his stated list of favorite books, none of which Benji has actually read in the “traditional” way of reading. He’s a fucktard extraordinaire but he says funny things.

Joe calls him a fraud and Benji tells him to give On the Road now, he’ll read it right now if it gets him out of there. Also, he’s starting to go through withdrawal. Benji says he’s quitting but needs a little fix. Joe agrees to give him a little bump but also, he’s going to need Benji’s phone password. Which, happens to be “LEANNA.”

“His phone lock is another girl’s name, Beck. Jesus Christ.”

Joe is beyond exasperated by his time with Benji and going through his phone which is filled with pictures of him with other women, doesn’t help. As Benji passes out from the concoction Joe gave him, Joe stages some risque photos and posts them on Benji’s social media, as Benji.

Photo: Lifetime

Cut to Beck and her girlfriends at brunch, drinking and talking about Benji the shitbird (Beck saw his social media post). She tells the friends that she can’t meet tonight since she to have drinks with Professor Makesmevomit, which makes Peach’s ears perk up, and Annika says that sleeping with your adviser is a grad school rite of passage. “Is it,” Peach questions sarcastically? Peach has her moments. Annika defends her position saying she banged her bio professor and passed the class. “Eyes on the prize.” Excellent advice, Annika. Moving on, Peach confirms Beck WILL BE at her party the next night – the annual anniversary of her parents divorce party.  “The party I always have to distract myself.” Beck says of course she’s coming.

Photo: Lifetime

The Cage. Benji is trying to get Joe to open up to him, he guesses what Beck is doing now and Joe corrects him.  Benji derides her some and Joe narrates that if he wasn’t late to stalking Beck, he’d beat Benji up for the way he speaks. Priorities, amiright?!? Benji is definitely trying this “bro code” thing with Joe – trying to make a “Dicks Before Chicks” brotherhood connection but, it’s just not working guy. Give it up.

Drinks with Professor Makesmevomit. Professor Makesmevomit is as smarmy and gross and inappropriately forward as you imagined he was going to be, complete with putting his hand on Beck’s.

“You have nothing to be nervous about. The world is your bright red apple.”

VOMIT EVERYWHERE. Joe is here, watching all of this, of course.  Professor Makesmevomit goes one step too far when he puts his hand on Beck’s leg under the table causing her to stand up knocking over her chair.  He calls his moves “not sexy” but rather, “repulsive.” Preach, child! She realizes what she’s done but Professor Makesmevomit will not be mocked. He blames her for inviting him to touch, for flirting and wearing suggestive clothing (he can see her nipples!).

“If you want to stay on the safe side of the plausible deniability zone … cover your tits, stop the blowjob eyes, and write … better.”

Professor Makesmevomit fires her from the TA position and leaves. Beck calls Joe which is awkward since Joe’s phone starts to ring at the bar.  He heads outside and takes her call. she wants to meet and he tells he’ll be there in 15 minutes.  At the bar, she makes small talk but Joe wants her to open up, “why did you call me.” She says no particular reason and he switches gears to “keep it light.”  They play the fun people watching game of what is the story of the couples in the restaurant.They bond and make cute about their future selves.  She’s happy he’s there.

Beck tells Joe about her thesis adviser and how she thought the professor believed in her work but really, he just wanted to bone.  Joe assures her that it wasn’t her fault.  She’s flustered.

“I’m starting to think I’m some kind of magnet for, like, dudes with serious issues.”

Joe says he believes in her and she invites him to Peach’s party the next night. Perfect! This is going exactly as Joe planned! She tells him that the party is at the home of Peach Salinger, as in JD Salinger, but she doesn’t like to talk about it. Joe lets out a “whoa” like he didn’t know already and the date is set.  She moves in for a kiss but then swerves and steals a sip of his drink. Oh, Joe Blue Balls is going to have a long night.

Mooney’s Rare and Used. Paco is with Joe in the bookstore as Stephen King Day begins.  He’s working through who the real bad guy is in Frankenstein while Ethan unleashes the Kraken of Stephen King fans who are knocking down the door to buy his latest.  Later, Joe freaks when he learns Paco took his key to go the basement and get more boxes of King books.  Luckily, Joe is able to stop Paco on the stairs and no harm is done. Well, he calls Paco an idiot so some harm was probably done.

That afternoon, Peach is getting ready while Beck laments on her life and Peach has had enough – she cuts a check to Beck to get her through.  Beck isn’t happy but she doesn’t tear up the check either. Also, Peach? Hellllllo Nurse!

Photo: Lifetime

The Cage. Joe gives Benji a taste test to see if he can pick his own Artisanal Home Soda. The prize for getting it right? Freedom! It should be no surprise that Benji thinks they all taste like ass and yes, all three were Benji’s shitty soda water. Benji is breaking down and cry pleading to be let out. But Joe has a date. Benji whines that its fine, he loses.

“We all lose because what am I going to do with this lying sack of shit, Beck?”

Except Joe doesn’t narrate this, he actually says it out loud.  Benji hears Beck and is all over it, telling Joe that Beck is playing him – that Beck will never ever go for a guy for Joe, not in a long term kind of way. He says to Joe that she’s taking him to the Salinger party to give her “texture” Listen, Benji is a dick but he’s probably not wrong here. As we see Joe and Beck showing up to Peach’s place, a den of college educated Millennial snobs, Joe’s confidence is cracking because Benji’s words are getting to him.  Benji tells Joe about a red ladle that Beck uses him with cause she’s kinky with Benji because Benji is loaded and Joe … is the opposite. Benji tells Joe that he needs Benji if he wants to get Beck.  As Beck and Joe approach Peach’s door, she drops his hand to fluff herself in a reflection. He stares at her.



Photo: Lifetime

Salinger House. We come back to Peach’s party and Joe knows these are not his people.  Even if he wasn’t a psychotic stalker and just a bookstore manager, these wouldn’t be his people.  He highlights Annika and Lynn, Beck’s two other besties besides Peach and we see him researching them prior to tonight.  They are an example of the entire party writ large.

In the Salinger library, Joe finds solace with the family’s amazing collection. He focuses on  hardcover edition of L. Frank Baum’s classic Ozma of Oz (1907).  He flashes back to when he first saw this book, down in the Cage with Mr. Mooney. When teenage Joe says he  only read the first book in the series, Mooney slaps him and locks him in the Cage.

“You think I need some illiterate working in my shop?”

Teenage Joe begs to be let out and Mooney tells him that everything he needs, “is in there” – pointing at the books that surround him.

Peach interrupts Joe’s reverie and calls him Joseph. “It’s Joe, just Joe.” Joe calls her Peaches in retort and she begins her inquiry. “Casual tone, detective eyes.” She quips that it was great that Joe just happened to be in Greenpoint when Beck needed saving after having only met once in the bookstore.  “Thank goodness for you,” she says before leaving him to head back to the party. Downstairs, Joe sees Beck has already attracted “Benji 2.0.” Joe wonders to himself which Beck is the real Beck.

Later on, she finds Joe on the balcony and he asks why she brought him? She thought it would be fun but, Joe says he isn’t like her other friends. She says she likes that and that she comes to these types of parties more out of a sense of obligation and expectation. She also mentions taking Peach’s check to stay afloat. Joe gives her some life advice about sticking up for herself.

“Sometimes, to survive, you have to show some teeth. And I’m guessing yours are pretty sharp.”

Photo: Lifetime

She puts her head on his shoulder and says she’s glad they met and are friends.  You can literally hear his penis deflate as the music sours and he narrates, “for the love of Christ.” HA!


Back in the party, as Joe and Peach are getting ready to leave, Maddie Johnson (Manini Gupta) approaches Joe.  She is friend of Candace. You an imagine this can’t be more awkward for Joe. Maddie fishes that everyone was pretty hurt and surprised by how abruptly Candace picked up and moved to Rome to be with the guy she left Joe for. Joe is pretty over it but you can tell Maddie is fishing for a reaction. Beck, misreading the situation that some friend of a jaded ex is approaching Joe, breaks up the conversation and they make their exit.

Yeah, Joe definitely did something to Candace, who he’s mentioned several times as breaking his heart before Beck but no other details are known yet.

Case de Joe. Paco is outside as the adults are fighting inside (they’ll be fucking soon, I’m sure – they’re mercurial). Joe hands Paco a book but he says he can’t take it inside – the whole “Rob destroys books like an animal” thing. Joe teaches Paco about the secret drop ceilings in the buildings’ bathroom, a perfect place to hide the book … and other stuff.

Joe wakes up the next morning, and in the midst of having a pity part for himself about how Beck isn’t really into him and how Benji was right, Oh  Shit, Joe realizes he forgot about Benji!  Whoopsies.

He runs to Mooney’s and in the Cage, Benji has thrashed and tore all the books in the cage. He’s completely broken.  “You left me here to die,” he howls over and over when he sees Joe.

Across town, Beck shows up at Professor Makesmevomit and begs for her TA job back.  And if not with him, with someone else – she needs the job and the housing that comes with it. Professor Makesmevomit says he can’t help her and she turns to go.  But, she’s not done. She wheels on him that, with very little effort, she gathered a group of women with identical stories of harassment … call her bluff, she dares him.

The Cage. Joe cleans up the room as a weak Benji sits on the floor, broken.  He tells Joe that he knows he’s not a killer and makes a bargain (that Joe doesn’t actually agree to). Benji tells Joe that he’ll tell him his worst secret so they’ll be kind of even Stevens and Joe can let him go.  Commercials.

We come back to a video of a wasted Benji and his wasted, douchebag friends watching a kid drown in a pool and none of them tried to help. Joe decides Benji is the worst because he held the camera and filled the entire thing. Joe guesses that Benji held on to the recording to hold it over his friends’ heads and now, Joe is going to do the same to him.  And he agrees with Benji, “it is enough to buy his freedom.”

The next day, as Joe is replaying the balcony scene and what he could have different, Beck pops into the bookstore to thank Joe.  Because of him, she showed Professor Makesmevomit some teeth and it worked. She bought him a doughnut.  And now she lives to fight another day and not take Peach’s money. She says words that are very sincere about how Joe helped her and saved her and the doughnut she brought him is a classic, old school flavor – no flashy trying to hard bullshit. He takes a bite and says its good.

And then she pulls him across the counter and kisses him.

Photo: Lifetime

They break apart and she leaves for class. Everyone is happy. Well, not Benji. He’s still in the Cage downstairs. Joe brings him a well done breakfast order and tells Benji he watched the video.  Benji does something akin to a dance of joy as he celebrates mutually assured destruction.

Hold your horses there, son, Joe says (he doesn’t really say that). He wants to talk about Beck a bit. Remember how you called her a golddigger, Benji? You were wrong, WRONG, and you are the problem, Benji.  You create this narrative about Beck, Benji, but it isn’t true who she is.  And the video? I doesn’t make up for what the damage you’ve done to her.

Benji, who is enjoying his latte as Joe speaks, swears he’s done with Beck but Joe worries what Benji might try to do to her.  Joe says he’d roll the dice on being square if it was just him and Benji, Joe isn’t a killer like Benji said BUT …

Benji’s face contorts as he drops the coffee. Joe added some peanut pil to his coffee.  And while a massive liar, it turns out, Benji’s peanut allergy was real. As Benji writhes on floor, breathing his last gasps, we see Joe in his apartment putting Benji’s phone in the bathroom hidey hole.

“Benji’s going to die an honest man.”

Our final shot is Joe pulling the bathroom tile back over the hole and the screen goes black.


RIP Benji, you sucked and were a horrible human being and an even worse boyfriend. BUT, I fear that in the end, you had some good takes on Beck.  Takes Joe isn’t ready to see.

Listen, Joe is a psychopath and a stalker and now, he’s actually a straight up killer. BUT, he’s also got some good qualities. He’s mostly great with Paco (I think the outburst on the stairs was understandable given the human he had in custody in the Cage) and he has some spot on hot takes about Beck’s friends and the kind of people they are as a group and how they look down upon people like the Joes of the world. And, in his lucid moments, Joe knows that Beck has a lot of those flaws. And all of those things continue to make him root for Joe for a lot of the episode – how many people said to themselves during this episode, “Joe you can do better than Beck, she doesn’t deserve you!”

It’s okay to admit, I think the show wants you to feel that way so that when you realize he cold blooded, premeditated killed Benji, you suffer morality whiplash. The joy comes in the uneasiness.

Here is the interesting thought experiment I want to leave you with. What if Joe was 10 seconds later to catching up to Paco in the stairs? What if Paco makes it to the basement and sees Benji? What does Joe do? Does he use his adult influence and earned good will to manipulate Paco into forgetting what he saw? Maybe but maybe he throws Paco in the Cage with Benji.  And that, right there, is why Joe can never be the real hero you want him to be.  That it’s in the realistic realm of possibility that Joe kills or significantly harms Paco to keep his plan afloat … that’s a game changer you can’t really walk back from.

Quick note on the Frankenstein allusion and Joe’s lesson to Paco that it’s not terribly easy to see who the monster in that story really is — that it’s open to interpretation.  In Joe’s world, he is the Frankenstein’s monster to Beck’s Frankenstein … he would say that his actions, who he has become, directly stem from his concern over and actions to woo Beck.  Which is interesting because in that way, Joe isn’t any better than Professor Makesmevomit who said it was Beck’s fault for his coming on to her over drinks.

The moral of the story? Men suck and blame women for their bad behavior because they’re pussies that can’t own up to their shit and befucked impulses.

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