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“You” Season 4, Part 1: Europe, Stalking… and Golden Showers?

By Lilyen McCarthy

March 9 approaches in three days, which means “You” Season 4, Part 2 hits Netflix very soon. Part 1 released last month and compared to the first three seasons, I was not impressed. The show’s storyline is experiencing another character reset, as viewers are meeting a mostly new cast once again this season. Penn Badgley’s character, Joe Goldberg on the other hand, has not changed a bit.

Joe Goldberg is Professor Jonathan Moore who teaches American Literature in a college classroom in London. He has a new identity, new apartment and of course, a new love interest conveniently right across the building to watch from his own window. The plot centers around Joe, a poor American who must work for his money, infiltrating an English group of privileged aristocrats and other wealthy individuals. Joe doesn’t want anything to do with this group, but he of course never “wants” to do any of the horrible things he’s done in the past. It’s always, I “have” to do this or “I didn’t mean to.”


As Part 2 of ‘You’ Season 4 approaches, there are still plenty of questions about some characters’ fates that still need to be answered.

Joe is one of those characters that I hate to love, or at least hate to support. Within the first 30 minutes of episode one, it looks like Joe has already killed someone. My first thought: Joe, you couldn’t even make it a half hour? What other character in film history have I ever watched commit murder and simply thought, “ah, silly Joe”?

He enters a moment of sexual tension with his new love interest, Kate Galvin, played by English actress Charlotte Ritchie, and I’m staring at my laptop anticipating their kiss as if Joe Goldberg isn’t a serial killer. Another character in the little group of aristocrats, Tilly Keeper’s Lady Phoebe, lures Joe into a room to seduce him, and I’m rooting for him to escape the situation. Not only has he manipulated and won over almost all characters in the last three and a half seasons, but his tactics have worked on me as well.

In Part 1, there is someone framing Joe for murder and blackmailing him for his past. It’s a classic, perhaps cliché “whodunnit” plot line, and the show sneaks in ironic criticism of it along the way. When Rhys Montrose, played by Ed Speleers, reveals himself as the antagonizing killer behind the scenes, I was not sitting with my jaw dropped.

Montrose is the only friend in the exclusive aristocratic group that came from a lower-class background. The people of London place him on a pedestal throughout the whole show as a perfect golden man who always knows what to say. So who could possibly be the killer anonymously manipulating Joe from behind the scenes? Oh, the only “perfect” one out of a group of narcissistic, rich people? I’m shocked.

A predictable outcome is always one way to lose my intrigue but Season 4 found a way to keep me engaged, at the very least unable to turn away. If there is one part of the plot I would never have been able to predict, it would be one of the unbearable socialites in the group, Adam Pratt played by “White Lotus” star Lukas Gage, begging for one of the service employees to urinate on his face. I will never look at swim goggles the same.

Regardless of the predictable plot or unexpected kink mentioned, I have questions to be answered in Part 2. The whole point of Joe moving to Europe was to find his love interest that got away in Season 3, Tati Gabrielle’s character, Marienne Bellamy. I’m curious to see if she makes an appearance, or even makes an attempt at Joe’s life. Joe’s ex wife, Love, has been mentioned a few too many times for her not to appear, even if it is in one of his hallucinations. I also wouldn’t be surprised if show writers found a way to keep her alive.

Frankly, I don’t have an investment in most of the new characters from Season 4. At the very least, I hope Kate Galvin makes it out of the season alive, although the track record of Joe’s past lovers is not very promising in her favor. My last prediction, coming way out of left field, is that Joe’s son Henry is somehow brought into the story. With the amount of information Rhys has dug up about Joe, there is no way that Joe’s child won’t be used as blackmail for the rest of the season.

Just like everyone else, I’ll be tuning in to the trainwreck to be released on March 9, but I’m not quite invested enough to stay in the splash zone.



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