The Anti-Vax Subplot of You, Season 3

You is a fair to middling series about a serial killer who sees himself as noble, tries to be a better person, and whose internal monologues are reminiscent of Dexter. In season 3 he’s married to someone who relishes killing more than he does, and at the end of the third episode comes a gratifying twist that’s hard to see as a coincidence, despite what the show writers say: she makes one of her victims an anti-vaxxer.

This happens when Joe and Love’s baby gets measles and is hospitalized for it, thanks to a couple of parents in town who refused to vaccinate their two girls. When the father, Gil, justifies himself to Love with the anti-vax rhetoric that’s become too familiar in our real world, she becomes enraged and bludgeons him with a rolling pin. Then she drags him unconscious into the “safe space” (read: torture cage) that she and Joe have prepared for their victims. When Gil comes around in the fourth episode, Joe is waiting for him inside the cage. Because Joe doesn’t want to kill anyone, except as a last resort, he tries to feel a way toward freeing Gil on the condition Gil won’t say a word about being assaulted and dumped in a rather ominous looking cage. The conclusion is foreordained (of course), and it doesn’t help that Gil holds fast to his anti-vax dogma, stupidly telling Joe how good it was for his baby boy that he got the measles from his unvaccinated girls.

Joe: Love and I are very embarrassed. Is there any chance we could keep this between us? Of course we will not tell a soul how you recklessly endangered our son —

Gil: I don’t know that I would put it like that.

Joe: No? How?

Gil: Well, it’s just — I mean, no judgment, but to dose an infant with chemicals we know nothing about? I mean, I call that reckless.

Joe: Hmm.

Gil: You know, actually your son has naturally gained immunity. So, I’d go so far as to say it was beneficial.

Joe: [knuckles cracking, staring at Gil]

Needless to say, Joe keeps him in the cage. Gil doesn’t leave it alive.

This is all a rather gratuitous way of making us cheer for anti-heroes Joe and Love, though the writers claim that the anti-vax plot-point was developed in February 2020, weeks before the Covid shutdowns. Timely and gratifying either way. While I would not cheer on a real-world serial killer, if I had to make an exception, I could conceivably carve out some open-mindedness on the subject when it comes to anti-vaxxers. Giving in to my baser instincts.


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