Wherever Joe Goldberg goes, his glass cage follows. As «You» progresses through its four seasons, the baseball-cap-wearing serial killer moves from New York to Los Angeles to (the fictional) Madre Linda to London, trapping many of his victims in a transparent chamber at each new locale. When Joe’s cage reemerges in season four with a wide-eyed Marienne Bellamy locked inside, my first thoughts were, «Hold up, how the hell did this thing make it all the way from California to England in one piece? Did it travel by plane? Boat? Did Joe get TSA PreCheck for it?» With these questions pestering me and many other fans, I did a deep dive to dissect what I’m formally referring to as «The Mysterious Case of Joe Goldberg’s World-Traveling Glass Cage.»
Let’s throw it back to the cage’s first appearance: in season one, the glass structure serves as a temperature-controlled space to store rare books in the basement of Mr. Mooney’s bookstore. He often shut Joe inside to teach him various lessons throughout his childhood, which clearly rubs off on Joe’s psyche.
Upon fleeing to Los Angeles, Joe imprisons hacker Will Bettelheim in a similar vault and shares that he rebuilt it himself inside a storage unit. «Without Mr. Mooney’s help, it took two full days to put this thing together. . . . Three-quarter-inch plexi’s a beast,» he says, referencing the plexiglass’s thickness. Though the box may look identical to the one featured in season one, there are subtle differences — there’s now an interior handle on the door, and the hatch for delivering food is located higher up. (Yes, I painstakingly compared all four cages . . . y’know, for research.)
Several victims later, Joe relocates to the California suburb of Madre Linda for season three. In episode two, he and wife, Love, are briefly seen carrying a large piece of glass into the basement of their new bakery to — you guessed it — build another freakin’ cage. Again, there are minute differences with Joe’s latest holding cell, such as the hatch handle being placed on the opposite side.
Does Amazon sell a DIY glass-cage kit?
These observations essentially confirm that Joe constructed the cage from scratch before capturing Marienne in season four rather than having it shipped across the pond fully intact. Many viewers assumed the latter was the case, with one person tweeting, «Bruh. How did Joe get the cage all the way to London? I need answers!» and plenty others airing similar confusion. Even with that detail cleared up, we still need more answers. For one, where on earth does Joe purchase the cage materials? Does Amazon sell a DIY glass-cage kit? Or does he only shop local, perusing hardware stores in each new city? I’m also curious about the pricing — it sure doesn’t look cheap, and Joe’s supposed to be living on a professor’s salary in London.
Logistically speaking, the vaults look like a pain to put together. Seeing as Joe was visibly struggling to carry a single glass pane with Love’s help in season two, are we really expected to believe he moved multiple panes down the stairs of the abandoned building all by himself in season four? And even before that, how could he have repeatedly entered the caution-tape-strewn building multiple times with his materials in tow without alarming passersby? The people need to know. (It’s me. I’m the people.)
At the end of the day, this may just be a «You» plot hole that forever goes unaddressed. But at least it provides a clue for season five, should Netflix renew the series: that damn cage will likely be popping back up in the Big Apple, where it all began.