Why did Joe kill Love Quinn (and cut his toes) in You?

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You Season 4 landed on Netflix in February 2023 and immediately caught all fans’ attention. The fourth season follows Joe Goldberg in London, trying to restart his life after what happened in Madre Linda in Season 3. Since the plot has become entirely different than the book series, the spectators had some specific questions that could explain the events in the last season: why did Joe kill Love in Season 3? Why did he cut his toes off? And why is Marienne scared? Let’s have the ending of Season 3 explained to understand better what’s happening in Season 4.

You can watch the official trailer for You Season 4 here on Youtube.

The story before You Season 4, explained: Why did Joe kill Love? Why did he cut his toes off?

In You Season 3, released on Netflix in 2021, Joe is married to Love Quinn. They live in Madre Linda with their little baby Henry, and they are doing their best to be good parents and partners, trying to transform their lives. However, their nature and their instincts are making things complicated: Joe develops again an obsession with another woman, her colleague at the library Marienne, and he believes she’s the perfect woman for him; at the same time, Love cannot control her anger, and she kills a couple of people (first she murders her neighbor Natalie after suspecting she has an affair with Joe, then she attacks Gil because she discovers Henry got measles because of him, and lastly, she also hits Theo).

The evolution of You Season 3 slowly shows how Joe clearly wants to leave the marriage, intending to focus his entire life on Marienne, and Love progressively understands his plans. All the events culminate in the last episode, where Love confronts Joe at dinner: she proposes to have another baby and tries to fix their life once and for all, but Joe asks for a divorce. While they discuss, Love leaves the room because their kid cries, and Joe, scared about what happened, grabs a knife. That’s something Love planned: she previously applied a paralyzing poison on the knife’s handle, and Joe is, therefore, temporarily paralyzed. Love texts Marienne and invites her home, planning to kill her.

Love has, therefore, the intention to kill Marienne and Joe. When Marienne comes, thought, Love sees her daughter and changes her mind, setting her free, revealing that Joe killed her ex-husband and is obsessed with her, and suggesting she leaves. Then she gets closer to Joe, but he is prepared (he injected a natural antidote to the poison earlier, suspecting that Love could poison him, so the paralyzing effect was lighter): Joe kills Love by injecting a lethal dose of that poison into her body.

So why did Joe kill Love? Because he wanted to break up with her, tired of living with a killer and keep hiding the bodies she killed, because he wanted to start a new life with Marienne, and ultimately because Love attempted to kill him. The finalization of his plan was to blame Love for all the murders in Madre Linda: he stages her confession, and he simulates his death, cutting off two of his toes to make everyone believe that Love killed him and saved his toes as a trophy. This way, the last episode of Season 3 has explained to us why things go that way in Season 4.

Why is Marienne scared of Joe in Season 4?

After staging his death, Joe left the USA and reached Paris, looking for Marienne: he assumed she would go there with her daughter because of her artistic nature. And he actually succeeds in tracing her movements: he finds a painting done by her, and asking for more information, he finds out she went to London for an art exhibition. He immediately flies to London, where he starts his new life as a professor at the University, still looking for Marienne.

One day, he sees Marienne on the street, and she recognizes him. At first, she seems positively surprised to see him, but it’s just a moment: the moment after, she looks scared and runs away. Joe reaches her, and she tries to defend herself with a knife.

Marienne is scared of Joe Goldberg because she finally understands he’s a murderer and a psycho. She loved him for a while, but after discovering the truth, she started fearing for her life and decided to cut all ties with him. She wants Joe out of her life.

At first, Joe does what he always does: going on with his obsession, he plans to do everything he can to prove her wrong about him. But the events suddenly take a turn: Joe is threatened by a hitter sent by the Quinn family to kill him, but they reach an agreement, Joe can live, the hitter will get Love Quinn’s money, and in order to protect his new identity, Marienne has to die. Joe won’t kill her, though; he will just pretend to do it, stealing her necklace and sending the photo to the hitter, pretending that the murder was done.

That’s how Season 4 takes off. Joe has no intention to kill anyone else, but surprisingly, he’s stalked by the “Eat the Rich killer,” who’s murdering several wealthy people that recently became friends with Joe. The whole Part 1 of Season 4 focuses on Joe’s efforts to discover who the killer is and how to get out of his trap.

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