The tension between Joe and Peach reaches its peak on YOU Season 1 Episode 5, “Living With the Enemy,” and it results in a (literally) bloody mess.
Whereas Benji (RIP) initially appeared to be Joe’s main rival for Beck’s affection, “Living With the Enemy” makes clear that he was mistaken. It’s actually Peach who’s the bigger threat. And Peach is incredibly manipulative! Like, almost as much as Joe (minus the murder — that we know of).
What I particularly love about this show is its pacing. There hasn’t been a slow episode or one that feels wasted. Each and every one of the five that have aired so far have either forwarded the plot or deepened a character (and often both at once).
After quickly delivering a major twist in the form of Joe murdering Benji so early in the season, one might have expected that the show would hold off on making any more huge moves for a bit. But then, Joe jogs up behind Peach and brains her with a rock.
I seriously gasped aloud.
At first, I was convinced that this was simply in Joe’s head and that he was imagining what he’d like to do to Peach. But no, Joe sincerely and truly loses his cool.
Once again, Penn Badgley does a great job with Joe’s voiceover. His frantic internal rant immediately after the attack is perfectly delivered. It conveys Joe’s delusional mentality (that he does these evil, terrible things for Beck’s benefit) and his ever-increasing loss of control.
“Living With the Enemy” also finally establishes (explicitly) Peach’s interest in Beck. Namely, she’s just about as obsessed with her as Joe is. At least if her secret file of Beck photos and videos is any indication. (Creeeeeepy!)
Now, at first I thought that perhaps our view of Peach was being skewed since everything is from Joe’s POV. But this episode makes it extremely clear that, objectively, Peach is not a mentally well person herself. More than that, she’s a distinctly negative presence in Beck’s life.
Poor Beck. She’s like a magnet for all of these fundamentally damaged people who just want somebody to love and who will love them.
In Joe’s reading of the situation, Peach wants Beck to fail in order to maintain Beck’s financial and emotional reliance on her. This is proven essentially true by how Peach handles setting Beck up with Roger, the grody literary agent who attempts to have sex with Beck in his car rather than sign her.
Maybe the worst moment, though, is Peach’s faked suicide attempt to “win” Beck back after their fight. Beck rightly calls Peach out on her manipulation after Joe’s warning is proven right, and you can see Peach break right there on the sidewalk when she realizes Beck is walking away from her. (This entire episode is a great performance from Shay Mitchell, by the way.)
Anyone who would pretend to kill themselves is not someone I can root for, so at this point I’m rooting for Beck to get the hell away from both Peach and Joe. Or at least to find out about their emotional manipulation of her sooner rather than later.
Unfortunately (for Joe), that won’t be happening anytime soon, as Peach is very much alive after his attack. More than likely, his attack will have had the opposite of his intended effect, bringing Beck and Peach closer together than ever.
Now, the question is… Did she see who attacked her?
Stray Thoughts and Observations:
- I’m still wondering how Paco’s storyline will eventually intersect with the larger narrative. Or if it even will.
- Paco’s stepdad beating the crap out of Joe is obviously incredibly satisfying. Will it screw Joe up in the long run or inadvertently give him a cover when he’s suspected of Peach’s attack (as I’m sure he will be)?
- Yet again, the Joe and Beck sex scenes are uncomfortably hot.
What did you think of this episode of YOU? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
YOU airs Sundays at 10/9c on Lifetime.
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