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Only spoilers from Season Two are marked. Proceed with caution.

Main Characters

    Joe Goldberg 

Joseph "Joe" Goldberg
Played by: Penn Badgley

The Villain Protagonist of the story. As far as everyone knows, he is merely a humble and rather pleasant bookstore manager, but he has a secret double life as a sociopathic stalker obsessed with Beck, and his crimes slowly, but surely escalates into even more serious and heinous territory.

  • Abusive Parents: His birth father was abusive and his mother did not do anything to protect him. His adoptive father, Mr. Mooney, was also abusive, although Joe believes Mr. Mooney actually helped him and was acting in his best interest — which is part of why Joe is able to justify such extreme behaviour toward his love interests.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Joe has instances of moral clarity where he finally realizes that he is the bad guy and deserves to be punished, and that he shouldn't obsess over women. But it never lasts. Justified, as he's a sociopath, and his obsessions are pathological.
  • Affectionate Nickname:
    • Candace always calls him "Bunny", which is especially notable as there aren't many nicknames for Joe.
    • His mother called him "Joey."
    • Forty dubs him "old sport," a la The Great Gatsby.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Played straight and averted depending on the case.
    • Played straight in comparison to Henderson, Although Joe is a crazy stalker, all the women he shows interest in are of legal age and always had relations with them in a consensual way..
    • Averted in comparison with Peach and Love Quinn, They're both very wicked people, but Joe is no better than them in any way, even Love has more or less committed the exact same crimes as Joe for the exact same reasons.
    • Subverted with Ron, Although Joe initially appears to be less bad than Ron, the fact that he is willing to kidnap and kill Beck shows that Joe is as bad as Ron, even if he is not overtly abusive.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Dr. Nicky diagnosed Joe with split-personality disorder but there are signs that Joe has issues beyond that. He constantly mentions reading people wrong and his interactions with other people usually go against his narrations, indicating that he creates a socially-acceptable persona.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: When Forty discovers Joe was lying when he said his name was the very Germanic-sounding Will Bettelheim, Forty has to ask if Joe is a self-hating Jew. It's never made clear if Joe is Jewish or not.
  • Anti-Villain: Subverted. Joe may came from a hard life and while some of his victims weren't entirely good people, he's still not absolved from his numerous heinous acts.
  • Awful Wedded Life: In the episode Love, Actually, we see Joe and a pregnant Love living in suburbia after their Bonnie And Clyde-esque killing spree, which Joe refers to as his 'Siberia' and prison.
  • Badass Bookworm: Although a villainous example, Joe genuinely loves books, and he is very violent and manipulative about his behavior.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: He longs for an adoring wife who loves him as much as he loves her and appreciates all he'd do for her, and expresses a desire for children multiple times. At the end of the second season, Love happily provides him with all those things... because she's an utterly insane murderer, just like him.
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • Joe loves Paco like a little brother, often feeding him, lending him books, and being there for him when his parents can't. This culminates in him killing Ron to protect him.
    • This carries over in season two, where he takes it upon himself to protect Ellie from Henderson if her sister can't.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Plays up his innocent Boy Next Door demeanor, and has no trouble convincing cops, and the public in general, that he's an upstanding citizen.
  • Blatant Lies: Frequently, both in long-term plots and when caught off-guard by law enforcement.
  • Boomerang Bigot:
    • Joe hates Peach for stalking and controlling Beck, while stalking them both, especially Beck.
    • Joe dislikes Forty for being a misogynist, when he's actually a misogynist himself.
    • Most specifically, Joe comes to hate Love, having been obsessed with her all season, once he learns that she's a murderer and a Yandere.
    • In season 2, Joe genuinely believes that he's the victim and Candace is the sociopathic stalker, when in reality it's the other way around.
  • Born Lucky: He has committed a litany of felonies, including breaking and entering, assault, stalking, destruction of property and murder, often times with very little planning, and has been able to evade justice while the people who do learn of his crimes often end up dead.
  • Brainy Brunette: Wavy, black hair and is an avid reader who makes observational and insightful notes on people.
  • Capture and Replicate: Mundane variant. When we see him again in Season 2, he's moved across the country from New York to Los Angeles and is going by the assumed identity of "Will Bettelheim", whom in a Wham Shot we learn is a real person he's got locked in the same cage he had Beck in. Downplayed, in that the whole reason he stole the original Will's identity is it was a carefully crafted fictitious identity designed to be as featureless as possible in the first place, and he makes no effort to actually pretend to be the original Will until he's forced to by Will's enemies catching up with him.
  • Can't Get in Trouble for Nuthin': When he realizes that is a horrible person, he decides to accept being punished, either for being sent to prison or being killed by Forty, but when he is about to be killed, he is saved by Fisher and Forty is blamed for Joe's crimes.
  • Chick Magnet: Attracts a number of girls throughout the series.
  • Commonality Connection: He and Beck both love literature. He attempts to invoke this trope in other ways, in his stalking of Beck and showing up in places she likes.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: If anything gets between him and Beck, he'll kill them. He desperately tries to avoid this with Love.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Deconstructed and crossing over with Heroism Addict. Joe genuinely thinks he wants to "help" Beck (and he actually does want to help Claudia and Paco), but he will be extremely manipulative and controlling, in fact actually just trying to create his perfect romance most of the time.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Abandoned by abusive parents, and raised by the abusive Mr. Mooney.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Of the handsome Dogged Nice Guy. He lies to Beck, manipulates her, steals her things, violates her privacy, and kills several people and, eventually, her. He justifies this by saying that it's all the name of love, but the series goes out of its way to point out how horrible this all is.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: An extreme and homicidal version.
  • Didn't Think This Through: By his own admission, he tends to clobber first, think of a next step later. He gets very close to getting caught multiple times because of this.
  • Determinator: Nothing will get in the way of him and the girl he's decided he loves. Even the girl's own wishes.
  • Entitled to Have You: If Joe falls for a girl, he's going to make sure to make her think that she deserves him. He'll even murder to make sure the girl in question only has him.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Despite knowing that both his mother and father weren't good parents, Joe is more forgiving towards his mother as while she was neglectful his father was physically abusive.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Despite being a sociopath, he genuinely cares about Paco, Claudia, and Mr. Mooney.
    • Subverted with his love interests (Beck and Love), though he supposedly loves them, he doesn't really care about them.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Even he seems to be appalled by Henderson's manipulative sexual exploitation, but there's a strong hypocritical bent.
    • To a lesser extent, Joe finds Forty's writings and general sense of taste to be lacking in substance.
  • Extremely Protective Child: He shot a guy who was attacking his mom.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: A Tall, Dark, and Handsome guy who is very good at concealing his insanity and malice.
  • First-Person Smartass: His internal monologue is just as sarcastic as it is utterly horrifying.
  • Friend to All Children: He strikes quick friendships with both Paco and Ellie, and is very protective of the both of them.
  • Freudian Excuse: It's unknown if he was always sociopathic, but his belief that loving someone doesn't preclude hurting comes from Mr. Mooney, who taught him that. His very first murder was done to protect his mom, who assured him he did the right thing. Thus, he feels justified in his murders if it's for the protection of someone else.
  • Gaslighting: Joe makes himself and his victims think they are the ones not remembering things correctly just so he won't be blamed.
  • Genius Book Club: Fitting, seeing his profession and Training from Hell from Mr. Mooney.
  • Gilded Cage: What he sees his future as, at the end of Season 2. He marries the pregnant Love, but ends up trapped with her in suburbia, being watched over by her evil parents and her blade-happy temperament.
  • Has a Type: Seems to be into artists and creative-types.
  • Heel Realization: Near the end of season two, after being locked in cage by Candace, he realizes that he is a monster.
  • Heroism Addict: A rare example of someone who falls into both Chronic Hero Syndrome and this trope at times, Joe genuinely wants to help some people out of selflessness (Paco and Ellie) but generally he falls into this, manipulating situations where the object of his affection will be seriously hurt, physically or emotionally, so that he can swoop in and help.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In Hidden Bodies, the cops find and arrest him at the end not because of the mug of piss, but because of mistakes he made while retrieving it. Doesn't happen in the show.
  • Hypocrite:
    • He expresses shock and outrage over Peach's stalking behavior, without a hint of self-awareness. He considers cheating the worst kind of sin, despite cheating on Karen with little guilt. And he is disgusted with men who treat women poorly, despite being far more violent toward women than any of them will ever be.
    • Also, he hates privileged and entitled men, yet believes that living in a posh suburban home with a rich wife who loves him is the definition of hell.
  • Ignored Aesop: In the final episode Love, Actually, after a tumultuous killing spree, Love's Face–Heel Turn and news of her pregnancy, everything should be settled then, right? Wrong. In the final scene, we see Joe's eye wandering again onto an unfortunate neighbour.
  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You: Inverted. It's implied that he wants to escape Love because she isn't as easily manipulated the way any of his other victims are.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Used to justify his Hypocrite tendencies, and violence in general.
  • Karma Houdini: Doesn't get in trouble for any of the murders he's committed.
  • The Kindnapper: A very dark version of the "obviously misguided" subtype. He truly believes he's doing Beck a favor by locking her in the cage, suggesting that it's an opportunity for growth for her or a chance for her to focus on her writing, all in the face of her screaming and crying for him to let her out and begging him not to hurt her. Even aside from that, he has kidnapped at least three people to protect himself or his relationships. Flashbacks into his backstory show how Mr. Mooney taught him this philosophy by repeatedly locking him in the cage under the bookshop for even the flimsiest of reasons, all to "help" Joe straighten his life out.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: For anybody else, being trapped in a relationship with an utterly insane murderer who's obsessed with them would be a terrible fate. But after everything Joe's done over the course of the first two seasons, it's hard not to see it as a bit of divine retribution.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Joe is of this opinion, but it's actually a subversion, as Joe seems to have serious issues regardless, love is just his preferred method of showing it.
  • Meaningful Rename: A justified version. Joe changes his name to "Will Bettelheim" in order to escape Candace's revenge on him.
  • Misogyny: He dismisses most women he meets as vapid or promiscuous. While he puts Beck on a pedestal, he doesn't have any faith in her intelligence, agency, or right to make her own choices. He even falls out of love with Love when he realizes that she has much more agency than he thought.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: Ron is under the belief that the only reason he hangs out with Paco is because he's a "freak."
  • Moral Myopia:
    • He could be the trope namer, he's such an egregious example. He can justify basically all of his awful behavior while freaking out over the possibility of Peach stalking Beck.
    • A notable example in the second season where Joe finds out about Love's true nature. He's utterly repulsed, even though she's done basically exactly the same things as him, for the exact same reasons.
  • Mr. Fanservice: A lot of fans probably look past his actions on account of how handsome he is; there's also plenty of scenes of him shirtless in the show, mostly when he's engaging in sexual behavior with Beck or fantasizing about it.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: While he generally shows little to no remorse for the horrible things he's done and constantly finds ways to justify his actions, Delilah's supposed murder by his hands truly upsets him, and he goes to great lengths to find evidence that proves otherwise. When he was incapable of doing so, he wanted to turn himself in or somehow be punished.
  • Never My Fault: He acknowledges that some things he does are wrong, but he always tries to give a justification for why he does the things he does.
    (after attacking Peach) She forced my hand, that's on her and her family for screwing her up.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: He's not very athletic, when trying to follow Peach while she's jugging in the morning he can barely keep up with her. And in his one fair fight, he gets absolutely clobbered.
  • Oedipus Complex: Season 2 reveals this to be his Freudian Excuse. His father was extremely physically abusive to his mother, who constantly dragged them around different — bad — men, and he eventually killed his father to stop him beating his mother.
  • On the Rebound: Tends to do this right after a breakup. With Beck, it was Karen Minty. With Love, it was Delilah.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Joe can differentiate between good and bad, and most of the people he targets are abhorrent in his eyes (e.g. douchebags, stalkers, rapists, and domestic abusers) and believes that his actions benefit the world at large. However, he can't recognize that he is also a bad person.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • He displays genuine concern for his neighbor Paco, and regularly gives him books, food, and companionship.
    • In the second season, he goes out of the way to look out for Ellie when he realizes she's getting groomed by a pedophile.
    • After his Heel Realization in Season Two, he finally, truly apologizes to Candace and admits she was right about him and what he is all along. It's probably the most decent thing he ever did regarding her.
  • Psychological Projection: He does this all the time, whether putting his own motives onto others (Candace once she comes back, Peach), but also assuming his romantic interests will genuinely requite and understand his horrible behavior.
  • Retired Monster: Subverted, at the end of the second season he decides to withdraw from his life as a stalker in pursuit of being a good father to his daughter, but quickly becomes obsessed with another woman.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: Occupies the role of "poor suitor" compared to Beck's other romantic interests, and social circle in general, especially Peach and Benji. Feels it deeply.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Absolutely refuses to acknowledge that Beck isn't as perfect as he believes she is. He also refuses to acknowledge that there's anything really wrong with his behavior.
  • Serial Killer: His body count is up to at least four by the end of the first season, and he doesn't stop there.
  • Sherlock Scan: Joe is shown to be very perceptive, perhaps to a fault.
  • The Sociopath: Has trouble genuinely connecting with other people and has generally no issues committing morally reprehensible actions beyond not getting caught. He has occasional bursts of moral clarity (such as his brief panic of guilt over killing Benji while treating Claudia's drug overdose), but they quickly pass.
  • Sliding Scale of Beauty: Joe seems to be an example of "Common Beauty", several people note that he is good looking, but not enough to stand out or attract attention.
  • Stalker with a Crush: The premise of the series; every time Joe gets a love interest, he begins stalking her to find out everything about her and endeavors to form a relationship with her based on said stalking.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: Joe is a horrible person, but he manages to be sympathetic to the fact that we see the story from his point of view.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Not so much in real life, but in his monologues, he absolutely excels at this.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: He's charming, handsome, and intelligent. No one would think that he's murdered several people.
  • Thinks Like a Romance Novel: He really believes in true love and destiny, and imagines he's the protagonist of a romcom or an epic Rescue Romance with whoever he's crushing on, thinking about how he "can't wait to tell [their] kids about this." Which only makes his behavior so much creepier. Beck actually exploits this to trick Joe into letting her out of the cage by pretending it's the Warts and All moment where the girl professes her love for the guy in spite of all his flaws. He falls for it, and the second she's out of the cage, she makes a break for it.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Unlike other sociopaths depicted in media, he oftentimes does things without a plan of how to move forward. He frequently has to think of plans to deal with the aftermath of his mistakes. His first murder was also an impulsive crime of passion, which helped set him on his current path.
  • The Unfettered: He has no moral qualms doing what it takes to get and keep Beck. This takes a weird turn in Season Two when he acknowledges that his actions are wrong and obsessively attempts to avoid repeating them, but he ends up doing them any way.
  • Unreliable Narrator: It's best to take some of his observations of and opinions on other people with a grain of salt, as they are very self-serving, and he's slightly Ax-Crazy.
  • Villain Has a Point:
    • While he surpasses any justifiable actions, he is spot on about Benji being a horrible person, Peach being in love with Beck, and Beck cheating on him with Dr. Nicky.
    • In season 2, he continues to make valid points in regards to Forty's Manchild behavior and how Henderson's past traumas doesn't excuse his actions.
  • Villainous BSoD: He suffers from this once Candace locks him in his own glass cage at the end of season 2 and calls Love to show that ”he” killed Delilah. When this happens he thinks that this means that he is too bad and thus doesn’t deserve Love.
  • Wanting Is Better Than Having: The end of Season 2 reveals this to be his problem in a big way. He gets exactly what he wants — a brilliant, beautiful, and even wealthy wife in Love. However, although she really did only do it out of (twisted) love for him, he is both bored and repulsed by her.
  • Wicked Cultured: Joe's a definite sociopath but also quite intelligent and has a love of books, particularly old and rare classics.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Arguably his one redeeming quality.
    • Despite the fact that he's murdered multiple people, he wouldn't kill or hurt Paco.
    • Extends to teens as well, as he's shown to care a lot for Ellie's wellbeing even knowing that her sister is capable of looking after her.
    • He does seem sincere in his desire to be a good father to his unborn daughter.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Rather than the disturbing psychological thriller that it is, Joe perceives his romance with Beck as that of a romantic comedy, albeit maybe with a bit of drama. On one occasion he notes (when Beck almost catches him in her apartment) how he's seen enough romantic comedies to know the guy gets out of plenty of similar situations like his. When he and Beck get back together after having broken up, as Joe runs to her house he notes how much this is like in the movies when the protagonist is running in the rain to meet with the girl he loves (though it's not raining, and tellingly when he tries to throw a rock to get Beck's attention he breaks her window on accident.) Even Beck plays into this to tempt him to let her out of the cage, noting how if they were in a movie this would be the climactic moment when they would be kissing, with the music swelling and everything.
  • Yandere: Will take out anyone he sees as "interfering" with his and Beck's relationship, including Benji and Peach. Additionally, it's shown that he can get extremely jealous and controlling if he suspects his girlfriend of cheating. Furthermore, he murders Beck when she ultimately refuses to accept his dangerous and obsessive side, as well as having kidnapped and then killed Candace (to his knowledge) when she angrily tried to break up with him.
  • You Hate What You Are: Joe dislikes Forty's misogynistic writing, despite being a misogynist himself.

    Guinevere Beck 

Guinevere "Beck" Beck
Played by: Elizabeth Lail

A broke NYU graduate student and an aspiring writer, who has the bad luck of crossing into Joe's orbit and becoming the center of his attention.

  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: In specific contrast with the narcissistic Peach, Beck isn't anywhere near as pathological as Peach or Joe, but she ignores Joe the minute Benji pays attention to her, she prefers being around Peach solely because Peach pays her a lot of attention, and it goes to her head quickly when she goes viral after Peach's death.
  • Adaptational Dye Job: Has dark hair in the book and blonde hair in the adaptation.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: So much, which makes the negative reaction some viewers have towards her even more noticeable. Book Beck is cruel about Joe to her friends, telling them he has nothing but her in his life. She's also a Gold Digger (according to Benji, but she also takes advantage of Peach), admits that she doesn't care about Peach, and intentionally seduces most of the men around her. Television Beck is much kinder to Joe, is never rude about him to her friends, genuinely tries to help Peach, babysits Paco, and most noticeably, while she does cheat on Joe with Nicky, she also permanently ends the relationship when she gets back together with Joe, and it's made clear Nicky was exploiting her fragile emotional state at the time.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: A more realistic example of the trope. She's very attracted to Benji who is a manipulative drug addict, and Joe, though she has no idea how bad he is.
  • Always Someone Better: She hates her new step-father's perfect family.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: In a sense, the show presents Beck as not a good person. She's flighty, irresponsible, and proud. She cheated on her boyfriend on numerous occasions, lied to him, and started seducing him despite him being in a happy relationship. Despite this, she is a saint compared to Joe. She even points out herself how while she did cheat on him and lie to him, what she did in no way compares to him murdering the people in her life and obsessively stalking her, and that he's insane for thinking that they're equivalent.
  • Broken Bird: Her history with her father has fucked her up as a child, and she has difficulty finding actual intimacy. She goes after broken men because she believes that she doesn't deserve better and constantly tells Joe that she's a mess.
  • Bunker Woman: When Joe captures her near season one's finale. After an unsuccessful escape attempt, she's killed there.
  • Consummate Liar: She's nowhere near as bad as her Ax-Crazy boyfriend, but Beck has a lot of issues with honesty. She carries on affairs and frequently misleads people in her life.
  • Crying Wolf: This borders on her Fatal Flaw. Because Beck lies about so much — sleeping with Dr. Nicky, her father being dead — it's easy for Joe to not raise any suspicions when he kidnaps her, and then to frame Nicky for her murder.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Zig-zagged, as she's had some genuine struggles but she sometimes misrepresents her life experiences to seem more interesting/dramatic as an author. For one thing, although her father isn't actually dead, we do learn that her father did still overdose and she'd briefly thought he was dead, only for him to abandon her and her mother for his Holier Than Thou sober coach after he'd cleaned up his act. She also reveals how her uncle had groped her as a teenager and her father had "accusation" in his eyes when she told him, as well as how her combined issues led her to have a string of romances with men that were clearly bad for her, like Benji.
  • Dead Person Conversation: She shows up a bunch of times in Season 2 as a guilt-induced hallucination Joe is having. Note that these hallucinations have her spelling it out clearly for Joe and the audience that she really is dead, in contrast to Candace, who really did miraculously survive. Joe sometimes has difficulty telling the difference.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: She feels uncomfortable when Peach offers to pay for things or help her out financially, even though Peach can certainly afford it.
  • Doom Magnet: As Joe's Love Interest, bad things tend to befall everyone she is associated with.
  • Dude Magnet: Besides Joe and Benji, other men have been attracted to her.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: While Peach is most probably a lesbian anyway, she undoubtedly could get other girls... it's just that she's obsessed with Beck.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Attracts Joe, Benji, as well as her friend Peach and therapist, Dr. Nicky.
  • Freudian Excuse: Her father was a drug addict, although he didn't die, he abandoned her for a Wicked Stepmother. At the end of Season 1, she recalls being groped by her uncle and that her father shamed her for it.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: She has a pretty swank living situation, despite just being a student with a part time job. It turns out that her father gives her money to support her.
  • Good Bad Girl: Beck is a sweet and friendly person who is not shy about casual sex. Even her best friends jokingly describe her as "mildly slutty". It's played with in her cheating with Dr Nicky, where it causes serious problems in her relationship with Joe.
  • Honey Trap: She pretends that she understands and still loves Joe so that he would let her out of the cage. She manages to stab him and trap him, but it doesn't do any good since he has a spare key inside.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: While Joe masks his red flags behind layers of charm, making her trusting him a bit more understandable, she nonetheless fails to notice many red flags with the likes of Peach, who manipulates and guilts her on a regular basis. Nearly all the other guys she's dated are also implied to be jerks like Benji.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: Her final piece of writing reveals that she always dreamed of meeting Prince Charming, but due to a series of traumatic incidents and horrible relationships, came to the conclusion she didn't deserve him. Instead, she got Bluebeard.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Beck yearns to stand out from everyone as a writer and as a social influencer, envying the "princesses" like Peach and her rich friends. Early on she worries about whether or not she's "remarkable." Unfortunately, Joe thinks that she is very remarkable...
  • Incompatible Orientation: With Peach, who's in love with her. Beck herself is straight.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The basic premise of Season 2 makes it pretty obvious that, unfortunately, she didn't survive Season 1.
  • Last-Name Basis: No one calls her "Guinevere", even her father who shares her last name.
  • Liar Revealed: Essentially what Joe learns about her when he's stalking her.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: She's nice, friendly, hardworking, and cares very much about her friends. She's also flighty, can be somewhat self-centered, sometimes resents her friends for their wealth and success, and has a dubious relationship with the truth. In other words, she's not a bad person, but she's still very realistically flawed. While most viewers (thankfully) probably don't know someone as twisted and psychopathic as Joe (or Peach, for that matter), it's very likely that they know somebody a lot like Beck.
  • Nice Girl: Beck is no saint, but her friendly nature makes her stand out from most other characters. She's shown in the first episode trying to give her friends gifts outside her price range, is basically polite and friendly to everyone, worries for Benji when he goes missing despite knowing what a jerk he is, and is a genuinely good friend to Peach to the point that even when she's had enough of Peach's toxic behavior, she runs right back to her after Peach makes a fake suicide attempt.
  • Parting Words Regret: Implied to be a key factor in her depression after Peach died — besides, you know, the part about her best friend dying. The last conversation they had was a horrible fight, with Beck seeming determined to cut Peach out of her life for good. So when Peach "commits suicide" mere hours later...
  • Psychotic Love Triangle: Doesn't fully realize it, but is in one with Joe and Peach. Both are sociopaths who are utterly obsessed with her.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Gives one to Peach when she learns the latter tried to sabotage her writing career, ending it by saying how exhausting it is to be friends with her and storming away.
    • Also delivers a very angry one to Joe after locking him in his own cage, expressing disbelief that he thought she actually loved him or meant any of the things she said when he was literally holding her captive. She theorizes that rather than doing terrible things for love, he gets off on his sense of control and just uses love as an excuse to do terrible things.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: She's insecure about how perfect Joe is to her and she's scared he'll leave her. So she cheats on him to ruin their relationship. According to Annika, this has happened before; any time anything good happens to Beck, she unconsciously sets off to sabotage it, because she believes it'll eventually be snatched away from her anyway.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: She loves Joe more than anyone else and believes he's the one. He's kind to her, polite, charming, intelligent, and he dotes on her and also unconditionally loves her. She's instantly turned off when she realizes he's a monster.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: When her writing on Peach's death is published, it quickly goes to her head.
  • So Beautiful It's a Curse: Attracting Joe doesn't end well for Beck.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Invoked. Beck struggles to write things that are inventive and profound, citing writer's block and a number of other challenges. This is subverted with her later works that become very popular, implying that her flaw as a writer was that the things she wrote about before were based on lies, whereas her last two most famous works were (for the most part) based on the truth.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: She feigns this in the final episode of Season 1 to trick Joe into letting his guard down, claiming that she finally understands him and loves him despite what he did, since he did it for her, and that it's not all that bad in the cage either. She immediately drops the act once she gets the upper hand.
  • Take a Moment to Catch Your Death: Beck and Joe get in a vicious fight as she tries to escape the cage. She gets the upper hand and manages to beat Joe... only to run upstairs and learn that the door is still locked, and Paco is outside. She begs Paco for his help but he ignores her, and Joe kills her.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Despite being rather normal, if not somewhat flighty and irresponsible, she manages to attract the attention of two stalkers who are both willing to murder for her.

    Peach Salinger 

Peach Salinger
Played by: Shay Mitchell

A wealthy and influential socialite and Beck's best friend. Joe quickly comes to pick up on the fact that she has some sociopathic traits of her own, such as her extreme possessiveness towards Beck.

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Maybe. Joe described Peach as being unnatural, harsh-looking, anorexic, and quite ugly. However, it's possible that she was always intended to be as beautiful as Shay Mitchell, and this was always meant to be a sign of Joe's Unreliable Narrator.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: Possibly. In the book, Peach was unambiguously a lesbian and in fact seemed to lie about dating men rather than go on dates. Peach has sex with a guy, even though it's pretty clear she'd rather have Beck. It's possible that she is gay or bi.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: With everyone; she can even be pretty aloof and snobby to Beck, she's very rude to Annika, and she hates Joe.
  • Alpha Bitch: Despite being in her mid-twenties, she still acts like one for their group of friend.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Peach has noisy sex with a guy, though the real object of her affections is Beck. It's left unclear if Peach likes men too, is lesbian though still pretending otherwise, or just likes Beck specifically.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Peach's manic and manipulative behavior puts her into this category. She exhibits traits of Borderline, Narcissistic, Paranoid and Antisocial personality disorders.
  • Asshole Victim: She — like Joe — wants to own and control Beck completely out of a twisted "love".
  • Attention Whore: Blows up Beck's phone, and even fakes a suicide attempt to keep Beck near.
  • The Beautiful Elite: She's beautiful, rich and fashionable and looks down on Joe for being a poor bookstore clerk.
  • Control Freak: From her fitness regimen to her need to dominate her social circle, Peach needs to be alpha.
  • Crying Wolf: Peach is such an Attention Whore that nobody believes her when she actually has a point, like with Joe being a stalker.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Peach may be bi, since she's quite obsessed with Beck and stalks her often (having taken a huge amount of photos she keeps archived) while also sleeping with a guy.
  • Driven to Suicide: Averted, but invoked. Joe fakes a suicide note to cover up his murder of her. The Salinger family ends up hiring a private investigator, believing Peach wasn't suicidal.
  • Even Evil Can Be Loved: Despite her horrible behavior, her friend group is genuinely saddened at her passing, with Beck in particular being noticeably depressed afterwards.
  • Freudian Excuse: Curiously, she never provides one for her behavior, but Joe does, guessing that her conservative parents and their controlling parenting probably made her feel ashamed of her sexuality, and her crush on Beck. Said crush, which probably started off as perfectly healthy and normal, gradually grew to an obsession and a need to possess the object of her affection.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Peach's attitude makes her very hard to get along with. Even after her death, Annika acknowledges this, though they all do genuinely mourn her.
    Joe: You didn't even like Peach.
    Annika: None of us liked Peach. But we loved her.
  • Hate Sink: Peach Salinger is a Rich Bitch who plays up her neuroses to the point where Beck is guilt-tripped into never leaving her side. She goes as far as to get Beck drunk and rope her into a threesome which is clearly an attempt to date-rape her.
  • Incompatible Orientation: With Beck, which borders on Single-Target Sexuality because there's no reason why she couldn't hook up with another woman. She just loves Beck.
  • It's All About Me: She cares about herself and Beck. Everyone else is expendable. And it still doesn't stop her from hurting Beck in an attempt to make her more dependent on Peach.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Her own ulterior motives aside, she is entirely correct in being suspicious of Joe and his interest in Beck, and also correct to suspect that he was the one stole her book and laptop.
  • Malicious Misnaming: Repeatedly calls Joe, whom she looks down on and comes to despise, "Joseph," despite him clarifying that it's just Joe.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Peach will backstab, manipulate, and gaslight just about everyone, even her close friend and hopeless crush Beck, just so she can control them and feel superior to them.
  • Narcissist: Oh, Hell yeah.
  • Old Money: She comes from an old-moneyed family.
  • Poisonous Friend: Especially to Annika, whose life she more or less ruins, but also more subtly to Beck, trying to turn her against everybody close to her.
  • One-Hour Work Week: Unlike her friends who are students or freelance, Peach works a conventional 9-5 job. Like her friends, she seemingly has endless time and money for random cocktail parties and shopping trips.
  • Rich Bitch: Most definitely. A snooty, Upper East Side princess.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Joe's main "obstacle" to win Beck's love, and is killed off by him halfway through the first season.
  • The Sociopath: Joe describes her as one and although it's a case of the pot calling the kettle black in his case, he's probably not wrong. Peach shows various sociopathic tendencies including controlling and manipulative behaviour, antisocial behaviour such as spying on her friend without remorse, lack of empathy for people outside her social class, a grandiose sense of self-worth, violent and angry outbursts, personal charisma and a tendency to make empty suicide attempts to gain attention and power.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Revealed to be one to Beck, even keeping an archive of photos of her on her computer.
  • With Friends Like These...: Frequently makes catty comments towards her friends, and sabotages their attempts at success for petty reasons.

    Candace Stone 

Candace Stone
Played by: Ambyr Childers

Joe's ex-girlfriend. After cheating on Joe, she disappears and is believed to have been killed by him. In spite of this, Candace manages to haunt Joe while he stalks other women.

  • Anti-Hero: She's a liar and a manipulator, but it's all to keep Joe from hurting any more people.
  • Ascended Extra: She's presumed dead in Season 1, but is eventually revealed to be alive and well. She then becomes a major character in Season 2.
  • Broken Bird: From being buried alive by Joe in the backstory, and not believed by the police. When she reappears, she's understandably bitter and extremely cynical.
  • Buried Alive: What Joe did to her, although she survived.
  • The Cassandra: She plays a more meta version of this throughout Season 1, as characters keep warning Beck that something bad happened between Joe and Candace, but in Season 2, she is revealed to be an even more extreme version. It all started when Joe buried her alive and the police didn't believe her, but Love also refuses to believe Candace's story of what happened between her and Joe.
  • Casting Couch: Slept with a record executive to help her band. Zig-zagged in she that she also did it because she was sick of Joe.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: She was drowned in the opening pages of the first novel. In the adaptation, she survives being buried alive only to be killed by Love at the end of Season 2.
  • Evil Redhead: Not of her own volition really, because she plays an antagonistic role to Joe, especially in Season 2. Although she still appears manipulative in the flashbacks, Unreliable Narrator is in full swing here. And even if we take her appearence there at face value, she's still miles better than Joe.
  • Faking the Dead: She took the police's advice to pretend Joe had killed her.
  • Fatal Flaw: Her vindictiveness and desire to see Joe suffer. After what he did to her, it's certainly understandable, but if she'd called the cops the instant she had Joe locked in the cage, he would've gone to jail — willingly, at that. But instead she calls Love to throw salt on the wound, and Love kills her.
  • Fiery Redhead: A gorgeous, red haired front-woman of a band.
  • The First Cut Is the Deepest: Beck speculates that Joe is not over Candace, and Karen drives the point home when calling out Beck later on in the season. Even Love can see it.
  • Hero Antagonist: In Season 2, she is Joe's arch-enemy, but her goal is totally heroic: to protect the Quinns, people she doesn't know, from him.
  • Honey Trap: She pulls this on Forty to get close to Joe again.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Even if she a bit cold and manipulative, she is a well-intentioned and a legitimately decent woman who genuinely wants to protect other people from becoming Joe's next victim. She’s a bad girlfriend, but a good person.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Candace threatens Joe that he will not getting away with hurting Love or Forty, but especially Love. Unfortunately, it isn't Joe she should've been worried about this time.
  • Not Quite Dead: Joe buried her alive, but she managed to free herself and escape. It sticks the second time, though.
  • Not Helping Your Case: She tries to convince Love Quinn that Joe is a murderer, but she does not seem credible, since she also lied with her name and profession, entered the house of "Will" as if she were a thief and seduced Love's brother to manipulate him.
  • Not Quite Saved Enough: She unexpectedly survived being buried alive by Joe, as revealed in flashbacks during Season 2. But Love kills her once she captures and threatens Joe.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Joe kills her in the book, which is implied to have been her fate after too many references to her being in Italy. She returns from Italy — though it's very ambiguous whether she was ever there, given that Joe thought she was dead — in the final scene of Season One. But she doesn't live past Season 2.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Most of her interactions resemble this, with the police, Forty, and Love.
  • Walking Spoiler: Even the fact that she's listed as a "main character" spoils that she's not dead, which is constantly implied throughout Season 1.

    Love Quinn 

Love Quinn

Joe's new love interest in Season 2. A chef and co-manager of an organic market with her twin brother Forty. In spite of wanting to try being single, Joe can't help but find himself drawn to her.

  • Adaptational Villainy: In the book, she finds out about Joe's crimes and willingly covers them up. However, in the series, she turns out to be a murderer and a major Yandere. She kills Delilah and Candace, two of the most sympathetic characters and past victims of Joe's. Although Forty's rapist was an Asshole Victim of the first order, she also had no problem making Forty believe he committed the crime.
  • At Least I Admit It: Despite being as evil as Joe, she seems to be more open about it, rather than trying to cover it up with hypocritical morality like Joe does.
  • Animal Motifs: Wolves. She is intelligent, reasonable, dignified and brave but this is most notable when she chooses the wolf as her replacement verb for "love." It's much more appropriate when we learn her true nature. She's a predator that hides in sheep's clothing.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: A fierce believer in this trope. She yearns to have children with her first husband, and she gets pregnant by Joe in an attempt to make it "better".
  • The Baby Trap: She stops Joe from killing her or leaving her by revealing she's pregnant. It's unclear whether she planned this, though.
  • Bait the Dog: Love is introduced as a nice and kind Maniac Pixie Dream Girl, in the following episodes it is shown that she has to take care of his drug addict brother and is the victim of an abusive family, which makes her more likeable. At the end of the second season it is revealed that she is a psychopath who is as evil as Joe.
  • Big Sister Instinct or Little Sister Instinct: It's never made clear if she or Forty is older, but she is deeply devoted to him, even to the point of murder.
  • Birds of a Feather: Why she still loves Joe, even after knowing he murdered so many people.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She turns out to have a taste for stalking and murder that rivals Joe's.
  • Blithe Spirit: Even when she shows herself not to be a total Manic Pixie Dream Girl, she is so constantly happy and supportive of Joe/Will that she is this.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: The minute she meets Joe (Will), she wants to spend as much time with him as possible, doesn't take kindly to him cancelling on their dates, and wants him to meet her friends within days. She's also like this with her brother Forty, though it's far more obvious on his side than hers.
  • Cloud Cuckoolanders Minder: To Forty. Essentially, any time Joe/Will suggests they do something together, she almost always follows it up with:
    "I have to take Forty".
  • Distaff Counterpart: It turns out she's Joe's mirror image. Both had troubled childhoods that culminated in them killing someone to protect a family member. Both are reeling from dead lovers, both lie, manipulate and kill out of some crazed sense of romance. The biggest similarity being when Love locks Joe in an enclosure that's identical to the one he kept Beck in.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Love genuinely seems to care about her brother and is very sad when he is killed.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Beck. She's the second object of Joe's attention and affection, the female lead, and the whole season resolves around him trying to win her. Like Beck, she too has a traumatic romantic past (although hers relates to the death of her husband, rather than dickish boyfriends like Benji), and she too has a clingy, slightly too romantically involved person close to her (while hers is her twin brother Forty, Beck's was Peach). However Beck was nowhere near as bad as she appeared, while Love herself is a serial killer.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: Has quite The Reveal as to her true self and intentions when we see her murder Candace in episode 9 — Joe is so taken aback by Love's Face–Heel Turn and his rosy, idyllic view of her being destroyed that he starts to think she's the crazy one — he's not exactly wrong either.
  • Fag Hag: Her best friend is Camp Gay, and, unusually for this trope, two of her other closest friends are a lesbian couple.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: In comparison to Beck, Joe's first love interest in the series, Love is very nurturing and she's a brilliant cook.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The "responsible" to Forty's "foolish", she's required to do everything for him and refuses to leave him behind no matter what. She even took responsibility for Forty by killing his abuser.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: She tries to make her relationship with Joe develop as quickly as possible, for their second date she wants him to meet her friends, a few days later she wants him to meet her parents and in a few weeks she is ready to leave Los Angeles to start a new life with him.
  • Hypocrite: She rails on Forty for being too involved in her love life, which he immediately calls her on, seeing as how she hired a PI to investigate his girlfriend. Love acknowledges this as fair.
  • Knight Templar Big Sister: It isn't clear if she is older or younger than Forty (they're twins), but she has every other trait. She's extremely protective of Forty, which borders on controlling, she has a desperate need to learn everything about the people in his life, and she killed his rapist.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: For Forty, although the secret is she actually wants it that way.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: She's a much straighter version of this than Beck, being a chipper, attractive young woman who immediately latches onto Joe and takes him on adventures. But she's also a murderer. The show deconstructs the concept because. Joe keeps attempting to invoke the trope. His ideal woman is somebody who is perfectly imperfect, whose flaws are obvious, but manageable and only serve to make them more lovable. The fact of the matter is that he glosses over her other flaws and balks when she's not as perfect as he once assumed.
  • Mask of Sanity: The moment that she sees Joe in the storage locker, she flips and reveals herself to be insane all along. From then on, it's totally obvious to the viewer and Joe that she's insane, although she never showed any signs of it before.
  • Meaningful Name: Serves as Joe's primary love interest for Season 2. In other words, Joe is literally "in love with Love". Some of Joe's narrations are noticeably vague whenever he's talking about either the woman or the concept.
  • Monster Fangirl: Reveals herself to be an ultimate one once she learns the truth about Joe. She fully believes that Joe was justified in killing Beck because she "wasn't special."
  • Operation: Jealousy: Attempted this with Milo, as later revealed in the season 2 finale.
  • Psycho Supporter: Not of a cause, but of Joe. Being also love-crazed, she fully believes he was justified in killing Beck and just about everyone else.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Love figures out the perfect meal for Joe just by reading some very subtle hints to his personality. Her ability to read Joe is revealed to be a massive clue that she's just as analytical and possessive as he is.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: She's just more subtle about it than Forty.
  • Second Love: Technically third, but in the framework of the series' narrative she's second to Beck.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Played with. For most of the series, Love appears to be the archetype — she's extremely nice, especially Nice to the Waiter, she tries to refuse the strings attached to her parents' money, but she's also completely blind to the fact that Joe is a killer and that Joe actually despises Forty. While the twist doesn't reveal her to be a Spoiled Brat, she's a killer who is basically only happy as long as her Spoiled Sweet façade stays up.
  • Start of Darkness: She murdered her babysitter when she found out she was having sex with Forty.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Love longs to have kids, and she's a cook. Joe is disgusted that there is more to her than that. When he learns of her pro-activeness, he immediately tries to terminate the relationship.
  • Supreme Chef: She's an awesome cook.
  • Stepford Smiler: She's cheery and good-natured, but underneath she's still very sad about her husband passing away. And underneath that, she's totally nuts.
    Forty: You are just as broken as I am. You're just a much better liar.
  • Through His Stomach: Her preferred way of showing affection is to cook for people. Joe loves this about her.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: She slashes Delilah's and Candace's throats to prevent them from exposing Joe for being a serial killer.
  • Villain Has a Point: While killing her was her Start of Darkness, she was absolutely correct that her and Forty's au pair was a rapist, and that their parents were wrong for allowing the "relationship" to continue.
  • Walking Spoiler: Even these tropes indicate there's a lot more to her than meets the eye.
  • Widow Woman: Despite her young age, she's already been married and widowed.
  • Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: She killed Forty's abusive babysitter, Delilah, and Candace, all while appearing to be the perfect girl.
  • Yandere: She's pretty possessive of Joe and Forty from the word go, but she becomes exceptionally so as she kills Candace and Delilah.

    Forty Quinn 

Forty Quinn
Played by: James Scully

Love's troubled twin brother. An aspiring screen-writer who wastes his potential on parties and decadent living, knowing that his rich parents can look after him.

  • Addled Addict: He's constantly in a cycle of abuse and relapse as the series goes on, including getting drunk at a house party, smoking crack at his parents' anniversary and downing enough alcohol and LSD to kill a cow while script writing with Joe.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the book, he finds out the truth about Joe and is happy to keep it quiet providing that Joe writes screenplays for him for the rest of their lives, on top of being a sleazy manipulator. In the series, he is genuinely devoted to his sister Love's well-being and when he finds out the truth about Joe, he takes a gun to Joe in an attempt to protect Love from him.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Joe despises him in the book, and while in the series he does describe him as an "adult baby" as someone who needs attention and love from everyone, and clings on tight to Love, he actually is a very sweet, protective brother deep down and his main creepy behaviour only comes out when he's high, while book-Forty is actually even more of a creep constantly.
  • The Alcoholic: His love of booze only scratches the surface of his addiction, but it's definitely there.
  • Ambiguously Bi: He's definitely into women, but he's also really attached to Joe.
    Forty: [handing Joe a flower] Give that to Delilah. And when you're fucking her... think of me.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Even though they're twins and Love functions as his protector for most part, Forty loses his love and respect for Joe the moment he connects the dots that Joe is a monster. He would even try to kill Joe to protect Love.
  • Camp Straight: Or camp bisexual, though that is never explicitly confirmed. Forty loves to be dramatic, needs to be the center of attention, and will often achieve this through campy mannerisms. This is one of the reason he's an Ensemble Dark Horse.
  • Can't Take Criticism: Not at all.
  • Cassandra Truth: He sobers up in the later episodes, trying to protect people from Joe, but he's dismissed because people think he's high or drunk.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Although not a happy version, Forty is in deep denial and his self absorption often causes him to behave this way, and even more so when he falls Off the Wagon.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: A platonic version to Love. Some of the reason he likes Joe/Will so much is because Joe lets him come along.
  • Deceased Fall-Guy Gambit: Joe and Love pin Henderson's and Candace's murders on him after he's shot by a police officer.
  • Desperately Craves Affection: Love is the only person who truly cares about him, but Forty is desperate to befriend and impress everybody. Just look at how quickly he falls for "Amy Adam." This quote really says it all:
    God! Why can't I just meet, like, a nice girl like Jessica Alba, who won't lie to me, and who just wants to have my babies and love me forever? Like, is that is that too much to ask?
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: Forty gets hit by a car in the novel, but dies by being shot by a police officer in the series.
  • Entitled Bastard: His relationship with Love and, eventually Joe, can be described as very needy. Forty needs to write a script for the movie he's making, but Joe is planning to leave LA forever. His response is to kidnap and drug him to work on the movie.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The "foolish" to Love's "responsible", even when it's revealed that he didn't kill their babysitter; she did. She's still always supposed to take care of him.
  • Freudian Excuse: One of the reasons he needs Love to be his emotional crutch is because his parents have always coddled him when he was younger. A lot of his issues can also be traced back to the fact that a babysitter raped him when he was young, and his parents chose to cover it up, and didn't even bring him to counselling or anything. He still considers his abuser to be his "first love," and was further devastated by her death.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Well, Love loves him a lot, but none of Love's other friends can stand him, and Joe can't either (although warming to him later).
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Surprisingly, he is capable of writing a pretty good story, if he forces himself to focus and get real about his shortcomings as a writer. Too bad his "process" involves drug use.
    • He's much more self-aware than he lets on. He's actually perfectly aware he's a trainwreck, and hates himself for it. He's also much more perceptive of Love's issues than she realized, though he doesn't realize just how deep that particular rabbit hole goes.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: He has no idea something is off with "Amy Adam" aka Candace, misses the millions of red flags about both her and Joe, has no problem with Joe pretending to be Will and continues to want him and Love to get back together after that. Played with in regards to Love. He reveals he's well aware — more than she is, even — that she's just as screwed-up as he is, and bluntly points out she's not going to be a very good mother. However, he goes to his death unaware of just how right he is.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: An immature, self-destructive Attention Whore who does have the occasional insight.
    • When Love gets angry at him for butting into her love life, he shoots back that she hired someone to spy on his girlfriend. Even Love can't deny his point.
    • As his sister can also attest, both of their parents are assholes.
    • In his final confrontation with Joe and Love, he angrily but accurately points out that his sister is just as messed up as him, she's just better at disguising her pain.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He eventually reveals himself to be this. He's a clingy, annoying, needy drug addict who seriously gets on Joe's nerves, but he also genuinely loves Love, is pretty friendly to nearly everyone, and wants things to turn out well.
  • Kick the Dog: While drinking in a bar, Forty is feeling sorry for himself because he wants a stable relationship and a "girl to love him forever". He pays $10,000 to a pair of newlyweds so he can kiss the bride. In front of their entire wedding party. Joe comments that he ruined their marriage before it even began.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: While Love has a solid group of friends, Forty has no friends at all and is, in fact, very jealous of anything getting between him and Love. It's left ambiguous whether he wants it this way, since he does try to alienate Joe when Joe first tries to befriend him (because he wants Love to himself), but he is then very clingy towards Joe when Joe shows him affection.
  • Love Hungry: Forty wants love from anyone, all the time, especially Love. Joe notes that he won't let go of him until he calls him a "genius".
  • Manchild: He is an irresponsible addict who always relies on his family to bail him out of his messes.
  • Mama's Boy: He refers to his mom as "his Gaia, his Isis".
  • Misogyny: Joe — who himself has a rather messed-up view of women — finds his writing to be in poor taste due to the script he's working on concluding with every woman dying.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: He's riddled with guilt because he believes he killed the au pair who molested him. Turns out that was actually Love.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: He's suspicious of Joe's interest in his sister Love. He later becomes a Shipper on Deck, though, and actually turns this attitude towards Love's friend with benefits, Milo, until he finds out the truth about Joe's crimes.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: Zigzagged. He was raised in this culture by his parents, and the store he runs, Anavrin ("Nirvana" spelled backwards) revolves around fringe beliefs about organic health food, and he's internalized this to a much greater degree than his down-to-earth sister (his drink of choice is kombucha, for crying out loud). But as with most other things in his life this is inertia more than anything else; Love at one point tells Joe that his impulsive rant about ditching his parents' vegan clean-eating diet and ordering a bunch of Taco Bell is a typical sign he's about to go on a bender.
  • Psychological Projection: While he won't admit it to himself, he wants to adapt Beck's book because he identifies with her and Nicky's Questionable Consent relationship. This is confirmed when he gets high and acts as Beck while he forces Joe to act as Dr Nicky and asks "Nicky" why he manipulated and took advantage of "Beck".
  • Rape as Backstory: Love reveals to Joe that he was raped by their babysitter at aged thirteen. In disturbing Truth in Television, Forty refuses to recognize this as sexual assault and views her as his "first love".
  • Recovered Addict: At first, although Love goes through great stress to keep it that way.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: When he's in a jam, Forty's first course of action is to try to bribe the problem away.
  • Sheep in Sheep's Clothing: Although he suspects he himself murdered his "first love" — his predatory babysitter — it turns out it was actually Love, and the only violence Forty commits throughout the whole series is when he tries to protect Love from Joe.
  • Shipper on Deck: For Love and "Will", even expressing anger and jealousy about Love's relationship with Milo until he learns that Joe is a murderer.
  • Stepford Smiler: Beneath the amiable, Upper-Class Twit persona, Forty is not a happy guy. He's traumatized by past sexual abuse and his Abusive Parents.
  • Token Good Teammate: Downplayed. While he himself is far from perfect, he serves as one for the Quinn family.
  • Undying Loyalty: For Love.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Despite his serious Hidden Depths, he does fall into this, being pretty ditzy and oblivious to the darkness between Love and Joe.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: As revealed in his parents' vow renewal, Forty longs for his dad's approval but is incapable of making them happy. Zigzagged as he's clearly messed up a lot in the past, but at the same time, this is at least part thanks to his parents' mean and abusive behaviour.

    Delilah Alves 

Played by: Carmela Zumbado

Joe's new neighbor. A journalist who lives with her 15-year-old sister. She's got some issues from her past that make her distrustful of others.

  • Adaptational Badass: In the book, she is a Satellite Love Interest (at best) who is just used for sex by Joe, reduced to a Running Gag, and is Too Dumb to Live. In the series, she is a strong-willed survivor and feminist journalist who was previously sexually assaulted by Henderson and manages to expose him for it under great pressure, and a very protective big sister who genuinely loves her sister and will go to great lengths to protect her.
  • Aesop Collateral Damage: Was actually not meant to die — Joe never intended her to be harmed and was actually shocked by Love's account of what took place. Her death even provides a Moral Event Horizon and a What Have I Done moment for Joe.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Although a heroic version, Delilah is naturally very abrasive and sharp-tongued.
  • The Big Board: She has a cork board for possible leads in the Henderson case.
  • Big Sister Instinct: She won't let anyone harm Ellie, though she naturally fears it after being sexually exploited by Henderson.
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast: Would very likely still be alive had she not become suspicious after Fincher's own suspicion.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Reveals to Joe that she was sexually assaulted by Henderson. Her dad is dead and her mom abandoned her and Ellie.
  • Ethical Slut: Delilah has casual sex with David and Joe (that we see) and is pretty forthright about it, but she is also one of the most moral characters.
  • Friends with Benefits: She and her police pal, David Fincher. She later develops this relationship with Joe after he's sad about a breakup.
  • Gut Feeling: Has a bad feeling about Joe in the beginning which unfortunately turns out to be true.
  • Hero Antagonist: Although not to the level of Candace, she falls into this by being well-intentioned about taking down perverts, but her curiosity makes her antagonistic to Joe.
  • Idiot Ball: Finding Joe's storage locker and wandering around long enough for him to find her and lock her in the cage, instead of running out of there and making sure David Fincher picked up her call.
  • Intrepid Reporter: She makes it her life mission to expose Henderson as gross pervert with a penchant for underage kids.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Her original Gut Feeling about Joe being a creep turn out to be more true than she realized.
    • In a sad Reality Ensues moment, the reason why she never spoke up about her sexual abuse — she knows that testimony alone wouldn't get her anywhere, since Henderson is famous, rich, and well-loved. If she did, she loses credibility as a journalist for not having brought it up previously, as though she were chasing headlines.
    • While stuck in Joe's cage, Delilah angrily states that Joe has a "fucked up" view on friendship. She's not wrong.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite her sharp personality, she just wants to do what's right, and her main goal is to take down a pedophile.
  • Rape as Backstory: She was sexually exploited by Henderson.
  • Rape and Revenge: She wants her revenge on Henderson.
  • Parental Substitute: To her sister Ellie.
  • Promotion to Parent: Her and Ellie's father is dead and their mother isn't in the picture, hence why Delilah is raising Ellie now.
  • Red Shirt Reporter: She lasts slightly longer, but she is captured in the cage and then killed by Love — the first person she kills in series (although she has killed in the past — because of her curiosity about Joe's cage.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: From being sexually exploited by Henderson.
  • Spicy Latina: People wouldn't exactly describe her as chill.

Secondary Characters

New York


Played by: Luca Padovan

Joe's somewhat troubled young neighbor, whom he strikes up an Intergenerational Friendship with.

  • Break the Cutie: Ron beats up his mother, and Paco is powerless against this. He gets mad at Joe because Joe couldn't help him and in the end, he tries to get back at Ron and is nearly killed for his troubles.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Joe is one of the few people who genuinely cares for Paco, but Paco lets Joe kill Beck due to his divided loyalties.
  • Harmful to Minors: Paco witnesses the murder of Ron, and leaves Beck screaming in the basement of Mooney's bookstore.
  • Morality Pet: Paco is the only indication that there is at least a sliver of good in Joe's heart.
  • Put on a Bus: Although Joe also later moves to California, we don't see Paco and Claudia again after they leave in the final episode of Season 1.
  • Secret Keeper: At the end of the first season, he protects Joe's secret that Joe captured and killed Beck.
  • Troubling Unchild Like Behaviour: Later on in the series, he attempts to steal a gun and kill Ron with it.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: He inadvertently reveals to Beck that Joe told him that the best place to hide things is in the tiles above the toilet, due to how the building is laid out. This ignites Beck's curiosity, which leads to her finding the evidence of Joe's murders and obsessive behavior while Joe is in the apartment with her. Ultimately, this leads to her imprisonment and murder.
  • You Remind Me of X: It's clear that he reminds Joe of himself, as both have abusive pasts.

    Annika Attwater 

Annika Attwater

One of Beck's friends, a social media influencer.

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Especially because she's an original character in the TV series.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: A body-positive social media influencer.
  • Childhood Friends: With Peach.
  • Fallen Princess: After a questionable video from college is leaked, her reputation is in shambles and her business partners want nothing to do with her.
  • Fat Best Friend: Was Peach's "fat friend from prep school", and is dying to shed that reputation.
  • Hollywood Pudgy: Peach and some other characters consider her overweight, despite her just being slightly more curvaceous than the other girls in her friend group. Subverted in that the show portrays this attitude as being absurd.
  • Never My Fault: While whether she deserved to have her career ruined over something she said while drunk several years ago is up for debate, she never actually acknowledges that what she said was racist or apologizes for it.
  • Put on a Bus: Doesn't appear after Season 1.
  • Shipper on Deck: A downplayed version to Joe and Beck, generally involving Joe in Beck's struggles with her group of friends, another way in which she is a foil to Peach.
  • Those Two Girls: With Lynn.
  • Where da White Women At??: Gender and race flipped. Peach leaks a video of her at college where Annika complains that only black men are into her body. It goes down extremely badly and she's humiliated across the Internet.


Played by: Zach Cherry

Joe's employee at the bookstore.

  • Beta Couple: With Blythe.
  • Commonality Connection: He and Blythe both appreciate good writing.
  • Fat Best Friend: Best friend may be a stretch, but it's clear that Joe at least tolerates him. He even helps him move.
  • Nice Guy: Despite his attitude occasionally getting on Joe's nerves, Ethan turns out to be a pretty supportive friend (for instance, being greatly supportive of Joe and Beck because of how happy she seems to make Joe and warning Beck not to bring up Candace because he believes Joe was heartbroken by her leaving) as well as a responsible coworker (gently taking Joe aside to tell him how Beck isn't working out as an employee.) He's also a doting boyfriend to Blythe, showing how excited he becomes to move in together with her.
  • Shipper on Deck: For Joe and Beck.
  • What Does He See in Her?: Less so than in the book, where Blythe is a rude, aggressive Control Freak, while Ethan is the nicest guy in the world, but they are still an odd couple.

     Lynn Lieser 

Lynn Lieser
Played by: Nicole Kang

Another one of Beck's friends.



Paco's mother.

  • Extreme Doormat: She allows Ron back into her and Paco's lives, despite the fact that he's an alcoholic and an abuser. After he hospitalizes her, she tells them it was an accident despite it clearly not being one. Subverted in that she knows that his connections will probably mean she'll lose custody of Paco, so she chooses to continue letting him beat her.
  • The Junkie: One of the reasons Karen stays with her is to get her clean.
  • Parents as People: Dealing with an abusive boyfriend, a son and what's implied to be low-income have left her an emotional wreck, reliant on drugs to cope with her lot in life.
  • Useless Bystander Parent: Justified by her drug use, but Claudia is incapable of looking after or protecting Paco due to her addiction and Ron's abuse.



Played by: Daniel Cosgrove

Claudia's abusive boyfriend.

  • Asshole Victim: Joe kills Ron in episode 10, right before the man can assault Paco for standing up to him. Absolutely nobody notices he's gone, and nobody cares.
  • Dirty Cop: A parole officer who abuses Claudia and threatens to use his connections to take her son away from her if she stands up to him.
  • Domestic Abuse: He beats his wife, and later in the season even sends Claudia to the hospital in an ambulance with a neckbrace.
  • Hate Sink: Unlike Joe, who is given a modicum of audience sympathy by the virtue of being the POV character, Ron has zero redeeming qualities.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Attacks Joe after the latter saves his life in episode 5 of season 1.
  • Wicked Stepfather: He beats Claudia and Paco.
  • Would Hurt a Child: It's implied that he beats Paco as well and even threatens to kill Paco after the latter attacks him with a baseball bat.


Benjamin "Benji" Ashby Jr.
Played by: Lou Taylor Pucci

Beck's occasional hookup.

  • Adaptational Villainy: Benji is an unbearable, manipulative jerk in the book who has clearly made everyone's lives much worse, but this version of Benji, on top of all that, also killed a pledge during a botched fraternity ritual, and videotaped it.
  • Asshole Victim: He's coldly killed by Joe. But given how much of an pretentious, slimy jerk he is, it's hard to really care.
  • Bastard Boyfriend: Benji is emotionally manipulative of Beck, frequently putting her down as well cheating.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Benji thinks he's a caring, good-hearted guy, and presents himself on social media as an upright, progressive thinker... he's really not.
  • Blackmail: An unusual example, in that he essentially offers to blackmail himself. He offers Joe a video recording of his involvement in a frat brother's death in college, in exchange for his freedom.
  • Hate Sink: Benji is as Joe describes: "Everything that is wrong with America". He's over-privileged, vain, pretentious and the way he talks about Beck sounds outright misogynistic. That's all before we find out he got away with manslaughter.
  • Hipster: From his fashion choices, Soapbox Sadie tendencies, and interest in being cool he's a typical New York hipster.
  • Imaginary Love Triangle: Is shocked that Joe considers him a romantic rival, considering he sees Beck as a hookup at most.
  • It's All About Me: Joe's plan to kidnap Benji hinged entirely on Benji being a glory hound and not letting his partner accompany him to make a huge business deal that Joe fabricated.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: The mirror image. Benji is a reasonably terrible person and when he and Beck have sex, the latter is so unsatisfied that she has to finish the job herself.
  • The Junkie: Uses heroin and a number of other drugs, and goes through an uwilling detox while kidnapped by Joe.
  • Millionaire Playboy: Beck isn't the only girl on his radar.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Joe's first onscreen kill, demonstrating how far he'll go for Beck.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: A go-to strategy for him.
  • Snake Oil Salesman: That brand of soda he's been pitching as superior to all other sodas is revealed to be nothing new.

    Karen Minty 

Karen Minty

Played by: Natalie Paul

A friend of Claudia's, and a babysitter for Paco.

  • Neat Freak: Joe notes that she's at least equal parts neat and freak.
  • Nice Girl: Snark aside, she's an even-tempered, friendly woman and kind babysitter to Paco.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Although she and Joe date for at least a while, we learn very little about her as a person.
  • Temporary Love Interest: Dates Joe while he and Beck temporarily break up.

    Dr. Nicky 

Dr. Nicky
Played by: John Stamos

Beck and Joe's therapist, not that he realizes that.

  • Broken Bird: By the time he reappears in Season 2, he's completely cracked from being framed for the death of his mistress, having his marriage destroyed and being stuck in prison.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: Sports these in Season 2 due to having his life ruined.
  • Hate Sink: It's revealed that he took advantage of Beck's emotional vulnerability and had an affair with her, abusing his position. Not only that, but he's shown to be an unprofessional therapist in other ways, like smoking weed during his session with Joe.
  • Heel–Faith Turn: When Forty visits him in prison, he reveals he's a born-again christian and not interested in life outside.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: When Joe frames him for Beck's murder, he leaves clues that Nicky had been seducing her, upending his marriage.
  • Put on a Bus to Hell: To prison, after being framed for killing Beck.
  • The Shrink: Is Beck's AND Joe's therapist.
  • The Stoner: Even lights up joints in front of his clients.
  • Totally Radical: Uses an insufferable amount of slang in an attempt to connect with his patients.



Played by: Hari Nef

A classmate of Beck's.

  • Always Someone Better: Beck considers her to be her rival in graduate school.
  • Beta Couple: With Ethan.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She's snobby and sometimes downright rude, but she always means well, and she's a surprisingly sweet girlfriend to Ethan. She also compliments Beck on her submission once she finally gets to read it, whereas before her behavior had led the viewer to believe she was going to be unfairly critical, and she does genuinely try to help Beck's writing career in contrast to how Peach constantly stifled it.
  • Meaningful Name: She is, indeed, very much a Blithe Spirit, especially when comparing her relatively untroubled life to what Beck has going on.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Her success as a creative writer at a very young age and the tell-all nature of her writing — particularly about her eating disorders — makes it seem like she's named after Real Life teen poet Blythe Baird.
  • Weight Woe: The fact that she won an award for an essay about her mom and herself developing bulimia at the same time is played for Black Comedy.



Played by: Magda Apanowicz

Joe's mom.

  • Gold Digger: It's strongly implied that her plan for getting away from Joe's dad involves sleeping with wealthy men she meets for their money — and that she's neglecting Joe and teaching him to lie to his dad in the process. All of this plays into present-day Joe's paranoia about infidelity and his madonna-whore complex about women.
  • Mommy Issues: All of her appearances have her dealing with difficulties that affect Joe to some degree. Telling is that all of Joe's love interest have gone through similar problems with him.
  • Parents as People: She loved Joe very much, but she wasn't always the most present or competent parent. Still a damn sight better than his father, though.
  • Single Mom Stripper: She was sleeping with men because they had money, though it's ambiguous if she was literally a sex worker or not.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: After Joe killed a man that was attacking her, she covered up everything and told Joe he did nothing wrong. This event is implied to be the start of Joe's issues, from his lack of remorse when he kills and maims people who wrong him to his deluded sense of gallantry towards women.

    Mr. Mooney 

Ivan Mooney

Played by: Mark Blum

The owner of Joe's bookstore and Joe's father figure.

  • Abusive Parents: He disciplined a teenage Joe by locking him in the glass cage, imparting his twisted sense of love onto him. It's even implied that he sexually abused Joe.
  • Evil Cripple: When we see him in the present day, he is barely functional due to a debilitating stroke - and let's be honest, Joe probably had something to do with that too.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: A very dark example: he does love Joe and protects him after his first murder but has a very harsh and twisted sense of Tough Love.

Los Angeles

    Ellie Alves 

Played by: Jenna Ortega

Delilah's teenage sister. Street-smart and outgoing, and hopes to one day become a film director.

  • Adorably Precocious Child: One of the reasons Joe continually decides to help her out.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: For Delilah and a proxy for Joe. Delilah loves her a lot but Ellie's conviction that she's smarter than she thinks she is and refuses to believe anything Delilah says about Henderson, which leaves her right in danger's way.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Although older than your standard example, Joe treats her like this because he accurately assesses her as a kid.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Technically she's Delilah's younger sister, but Delilah is her parent surrogate so the trope still applies.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: To Paco, as they are both Hispanic children who act as Morality Pets to Joe in their respective seasons. Paco is a young boy who likes books like Joe while Ellie is a teenage girl and a major movie lover with little interest in reading. Paco was aware of how dangerous his mother's abusive cop boyfriend was while Ellie was largely ignorant of Henderon being a pedophile until later on. Paco remains unaware of Joe's darker nature, believes that the latter saved him, and they part ways amicably; Ellie may not know all the details but she's aware enough that "Will" isn't the man she thought, angrily states he ruined her life, and while he continues to bankroll her entire life, they are not on good terms.
  • Cool Down Hug: She freaks out over losing Delilah and Joe gives her one to help calm her down.
  • Daddy's Girl: Ellie even refers to her father as her "best friend".
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Comes from a broken home.
  • Fille Fatale: A very realistic example; she thinks she's much more mature than she is, as Joe sees, and she's partly so precocious because she's being groomed by Henderson.
  • Final Girl: With her sister and everyone else dead, she ends up being the only surviving supporting character by the end.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: A realistic example as she's fifteen. Ellie likes Joe and loves hanging out with Henderson. One of those is a murderer and the other is planning to rape her.
  • Little Miss Snarker: Oh, yes. Fifteen-year-old Ellie's got a mouth on her.
  • Morality Pet: To Joe for this season. She's like a stand-in for Paco.
  • The Movie Buff: Ellie constantly references movies in all her appearances, often spouting off lots of them. She also hopes to one day become a filmmaker, and has apparently even made her own short film that she shows to Henderson before he tries to rape her and ends up getting killed by Joe.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: When Delilah goes missing, Ellie goes from her usual extroverted self to a nervous wreck. Given that Delilah is dead, she's right to be scared.
  • Put on a Bus: Literally. Joe puts her on one at the end and bankrolls her lifestyle.
  • Replacement Goldfish: For Paco. She even lives in Joe's apartment building like Paco did.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Ellie is incredibly smart for a 15 year old, which is why Joe and Forty take an immediate liking to her. Deconstructed somewhat, as while she's clever, she's not as grown-up or streetwise as she thinks, and is painfully oblivious to the fact that Hendy is grooming her for sexual abuse.

    Will Bettelheim 

Will Bettelheim

A computer genius who is about to help Joe hide his identity when he arrives in LA, and who gets kidnapped by Joe and held in a storage unit.

  • Ballistic Discount: Infosec variant. When Joe is demanding a completely clean slate identity he can start fresh with, Will admonishes him that such a thing takes years of hard work and patience to accomplish, and starts bragging about how carefully designed his "Will Bettelheim" identity was, allowing him to have a clean criminal record, solid credit and unbroken work history while not being tied in any way to his real face or other identifying physical information. In other words, he makes it clear that the solution to all of Joe's problems is just bludgeoning him the moment his back is turned and stealing his wallet, and then has the audacity to be surprised when that's exactly what he does.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Eccentricities aside, he is a good hacker.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: It seems like just offing the original Will is in Joe's best interests — after all, he made sure there can be no connection made between his body and the Bettelheim identity — but Joe is smart enough to know that Will might have baggage he still needs to know about. Of course, this being the only reason he's not dead yet hardly encourages Will to be fully forthcoming.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: A brilliant hacker who dedicates his whole life to living off the grid, and who even takes being kidnapped by Joe in his stride. Partly justified by the fact that he is diagnosed with severe bipolar disorder, but his friendliness with Joe takes it beyond just this trope.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Unlike most other characters trapped by Joe, Will is actually released and makes to to Manila to be with his Internet girlfriend.
  • Girlfriend in Canada: Will is obsessed with his Long-Distance Relationship with a woman in the Philippines he's never physically met, to the point of putting himself dangerously in debt to Jasper to send her all his money. Joe lampshades how ironic this is, coming from a criminal who makes his living from secrets and lies. Surprisingly, she turns out to be entirely on the level and as soon as Will is free to join her they become Happily Married.
  • Hero of Another Story: Will has a range of very impressive talents and a dark past, both of which are largely out of focus due to him being held in a cage.
  • Mood-Swinger: For good reason — he's severely bipolar.
  • Mr. Smith: "Will Bettelheim" isn't his real name either, and he reveals to Joe that his entire legal identity has been carefully constructed to be as boring and forgettable as possible to keep him safe from his Dark and Troubled Past. Partially subverted, in that Joe finds that people do notice the conspicuously Germanic name "Bettelheim", pointing out he shares a surname with the author of The Uses of Enchantment and commenting that it sounds like a Nazi name and asking if he's a self-hating Jew.
  • Nice Guy: Aside from his bipolar episodes, is a generally pleasant person. He even thinks the best of someone like Joe, despite getting kidnapped and impersonated by him.
  • Properly Paranoid: Launches into an unhinged rant about "Them" coming to look for him when he enters his manic phase. It sounds like it's the mental illness talking, but then again there is at least one shady character who really is looking for him, and turns out to be the kind of guy who chops off fingers to make a point.
    • But also subverted, in that Will seems to have sometimes been bizarrely impulsive and reckless about things he should have been paranoid about. Joe lampshades this, pointing out it was hardly professional of him to make himself vulnerable to identity theft from an amateur like Joe in the first place, and considering it comically obvious his girlfriend in Manila is a tawdry scammer. Then again, the man is bipolar.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: He genuinely likes Joe as the episodes go on, not informing the cops even though he had every opportunity to do so. He even sends Joe postcards from Manila and gives him advice after he's been set free.
  • Weirdness Coupon: He's the only person to survive Joe's cage as of yet, at least partly because he's so quirky and calm about it on top of his clear mental illness.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Says as much to Joe on a few occasions, expressing the belief that he is a mostly good person.


Played by: Chris D'Elia

A stand-up comedian that Delilah has a vendetta against.

  • Adam Westing: Hendy is an exaggerated version of Chris D'Elia's real life persona as a scruffy, irreverent Deadpan Snarker-style comedian with a narrow but intense cult following among "comedy geeks". Harsher in Hindsight after the accusations that he's preyed on underage girls in real life.
  • Asshole Victim: His death was an accident, but considering he was about to drug a 15-year-old so he could rape her, it's kind of hard to find any tragedy in it.
  • Bait the Dog: He looks after Ellie and is helping her to break into the film industry. No, he's grooming her so he can sexually abuse her at a later date.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He's a stand-up comedian, so it's a given. The only joke he's ever shown telling is essentially just him saying he hates Love Actually.
  • Dirty Coward: He's been raping defenseless girls at his own home, but when he's in danger and defenseless, he's reduces to pathetically pleading for his life and flees the first chance he breaks out of Joe's captivity.
  • Dirty Old Man: Although he isn't that old, this trope applies because he likes very, very young women... like the fifteen-year-old Ellie.
  • Ephebophile: Delilah suspects him of molesting her when she was 17 due to some suspicious circumstances. Joe finds out that he keeps photos of unconscious minors in states of undress and was planning on doing the same to Ellie.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Henderson acts cool, friendly, and confident even when Joe has him cornered... but make no mistake, he's a rapist who uses that faux affability to get away with it.
  • Freudian Excuse: He claims that his ephebophilia is a result on having been molested in childhood himself, though it's implied that he was only lying.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Regardless on whether or not Henderson's traumatic past is actually true, Joe doesn't think that this excuses his behavior for one second — and, Joe's hypocrisy aside, the audience is inclined to agree.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: He's a survivor of testicular cancer, which gives him sympathy on top of the adoration he gains from being a celebrity.
  • Nice Guy: As bemused and disgusted as Joe is with the showbiz world Henderson lives in, even he ends up having to admit he's a surprisingly decent guy for a wealthy celebrity — he's actually taken aback by how far Hendy is willing to go to be kind to Forty when Forty violently disrupts his party while on a bender. It reaches the point where it seems like Joe and Delilah — and the audience — might have read him wrong and he's not a predator after all. Sadly, no — Delilah's suspicions are completely correct and Hendy's kindness and patience with people like Forty is just an act to hide his true unsavory nature.
  • Not So Different: He may just be grasping at straws to save his life in his final speech, but he's right — other than the fact that Joe doesn't go after underage girls, he and Joe are way more similar than Joe is willing to admit. They're both damaged, warped men who put up a big show of being generous, self-sacrificing Nice Guys as overcompensation for their darker desires. While Joe doesn't directly drug and molest the objects of his lust like Hendy, he does invade their privacy, manipulate them into relationships through deceit, and murder them, and unlike Hendy he can't even bring himself to admit what he does is wrong.
  • Only One Name: Goes by just "Henderson" as a stage name, "Hendy" to his friends. His real name turns out not to have "Henderson" in it at all — he's Joshua Bunter.
  • Perma-Stubble: A prominent part of Hendy's Seriously Scruffy working-class image, which very visibly contrasts The Beautiful Elite always sucking up to him. (A trait he shares with Chris D'Elia in Real Life.) Joe, who happens never to have heard of Hendy before, finds the mob of autograph seekers chasing a guy who looks like a burned-out drug dealer at the airport surreal.
  • Pet the Dog: While a lot of Henderson's behavior is merely a front for raping girls, he does seem genuinely concerned for Forty and Forty's sobriety and breaks up the party to make sure he doesn't spiral further down.
  • Playing the Victim Card: He tries to save himself by saying that being supposedly molested by his stfather made him an ephebophile in an effort to garner sympathy for Joe. He also claims he can tell that Joe carries the damage of childhood trauma himself in another bid for sympathy; that also doesn't work.
  • Rape as Backstory: He mentions to Joe that he was molested by his father. Whether it is true or if he's just lying to save his skin remains uncertain
  • Villain Has a Point: As detestable as his actions to Delilah and his other victims were, he makes a valid point about Joe — He's no hero. And while Joe is no pedophile, he is a predatory man who shows no regards towards his victims.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: He sexually abused Delilah, who suspects that he would never suffer any consequence due to being a famous white guy with a history of cancer while she's a Latin-American nobody that anyone would assume was using him as a meal ticket.



Played by: Charlie Barnett (Gabe)

Love's best friend.

  • Camp Gay: Gabe is pansexual, but heavily prefers men. His mannerisms are very in-line with this trope.
  • Gay Best Friend: All three of them for Love.
  • Greek Chorus: Although they don't break the fourth wall, they play this role for Love and, later, Joe, Gabe especially. They provide sounding boards for Love and Joe to talk about their relationship and discuss Love's previous marriage.
  • Gay Best Friend: Like Sunrise and Lucy, and he is also Love's oldest friend except Forty (her twin brother).
  • Living Lie Detector: Gabe, by his own description, has a fantastic bullshit detector. Joe has to choose his words very carefully around him.
  • Magical Negro: Downplayed. Gabe doesn't appear to have any supernatural powers (and, if he did, it would be a huge Genre Shift) but he describes himself as having an "excellent bullshit detector" and Joe is genuinely concerned about this. When performing acupuncture on Joe, he is able to immediately sense when Joe is lying and Joe seems genuinely afraid of him for that reason.
  • Token Black Friend: The black Gabe is Love's best friend, and there isn't much to his character beyond that.
  • Twofer Token Minority: He is both black and gay.

    Sunrise and Lucy 
Played By: Melanie Field (Sunrise), Marielle Scott (Lucy)

  • Butch Lesbian: Sunrise is one.
  • Gay Best Friend: Especially unusually for this trope, as they are lesbians and Love is a woman, but they still fulfil this role.
  • Happily Married: Sunrise and Lucy are partners with a child.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Lucy is one.
  • Satellite Character: Neither Sunrise or Lucy are as important to the plot as Gabe, and both of them just mostly exist to show Love what a happy relationship looks like.
  • Sickening Sweethearts: Although they have clearly been together for a long time, Sunrise and Lucy are very much in love.

    David Fincher 

David Fincher

Played by: Danny Vasquez

A cop that Delilah is sleeping with.

  • Big Damn Heroes: He shoots and kills Forty just before Forty is about to do the same to Joe.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Downplayed. He doesn't go violent but is notably miffed when he discovers that Delilah is hooking up with Joe.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: He and Delilah are friends with benefits, but there's hints that he wants to be more than that.
  • Friends with Benefits: Has this relationship with Delilah, but is implied to want to be in an official relationship.
  • Good Counterpart: To Ron from the first season. Both are cops in a relationship with Joe's neighbour, but Ron is a violent alcoholic who imposes on Claudia while David is a decent person that is little more than a fuck-buddy to Delilah.
  • Inspector Javert: He appears occasionally to disrupt Joe's plans, sometimes when he's actually trying to do right by others.
  • Minority Police Officer: He is the only police officer who makes a significant impact on the plot, and he's Latino.
  • Name's the Same: In-Universe. He shares a name with the director. Joe lampshades them.



Played by: Steven W. Bailey

A shady guy Will (the real one) owes money to.

  • Asshole Victim: Joe kills him in self-defense.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He's a little creeped out upon finding out that Joe has his own personal dungeon.
  • Fat Bastard: Joe says he looks more like he should be running a comic book store than loan-sharking.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He comes across as very friendly...while chopping off fingers.
  • Knife Nut: He prefers to stab rather than shoot, which proves to be his undoing.
  • Villain Has a Point: Jasper wasn't entirely wrong when he states that "Will" needs psychiatric help.

    Ray & Dottie Quinn 

Ray & Dottie Quinn

Played by: Michael Reilly Burke (Ray), Saffron Burrows (Dottie)

Forty and Love's parents.

  • Abusive Parents: They treat their children like little more than objects. They covered up Forty's rape and outright hit them in public.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Joe remarks that Dottie can make blatant threats sound warm and welcoming.
  • For the Evulz: It seems like Ray loves to torture his son Forty emotionally just to spite and hurt him for sadistic fun.
  • Hands-Off Parenting: Although, when they are parenting, they're very abusive, they're mostly not around.
  • Happy Marriage Charade: Ray is cheating on Dottie and both of them are cruel and callous.
  • Hippie Parents: An Informed Attribute. We don't see them do anything particularly hippyish, but they do hold their vow renewal among yurts.
  • Incest Subtext: Dottie kisses Forty on the lips while he's complimenting her.
  • Mrs. Robinson: Dottie is not shy about showing her...appreciation for Joe. It's possible that she was testing him to find out if he was loyal to Love, but she probably would've slept with him either way.
  • Narcissist: While Dottie will coddle Forty if he pushes her openly, they're both almost totally indifferent to their kids' problems and ignored and covered up Forty's rape simply because it wasn't convenient.
  • Rich Bitch: Dottie especially qualifies, but both Ray and Dottie exploit their wealth to do whatever they want.
  • The Sociopath: They abuse their kids For the Evulz.
  • Stepford Smiler: Dottie especially always smiles over her husband's many infidelities, but neither Dottie or Ray are prepared to acknowledge how fucked up Forty is, providing to leave it all to Love.

    Milo Warrington 

Milo Warrington

Played by: Andrew Creer

Love's rebound boyfriend.

  • The Ace: Lampshaded thoroughly by Joe, who points out that guys as perfect as him don't exist outside of rom-coms.
  • Awesome Aussie: Is this cliché through and through.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Milo comes off as a caring, sensitive man but is a sneaky, Opportunistic Bastard who does Kick the Dog moments.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: His complaints of Forty's Manchild nature has its' points.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Forty provokes Milo into insulting him within earshot of Love. When Joe tries to calm things, Milo insults him as well.
    • Complaining about Love being too focused on Forty? Valid. Saying that if she wasn't, she might have noticed her husband was sick sooner? Too far.
  • Opportunistic Bastard: Forty notes that he's been sniffing around Love ever since college just waiting to catch her when she's single.
  • Romancing the Widow: According to Forty, he started attempts at this at Love's husband's funeral.
  • Romantic False Lead: To almost comical levels. He's a buff handsome suitor to Love that has little characterization outside of being a rival for Joe.

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