Hello, YOU. That’s right, the chilling series “YOU” has just dropped season four on Netflix and it is like nothing we’ve seen before. This means that stalker and serial killer Joe Goldberg is back, yet facing quite different challenges than we have seen in previous seasons. Fair warning, if you aren’t caught up with Joe’s latest crimes don’t read any further, spoilers are ahead!
Season four meets us with new characters, a new country, a new name and even a new YOU. Joe Goldberg has rebranded himself as Johnathan Moore, and is now an English professor in London in an attempt to escape his incriminating past. While in London, he becomes entwined with posh, wealthy, British snobs who are hiding a lot more under the surface than they let on. Joe–or should I say, Jonathan–takes a particular interest in a woman named Kate, which makes things quite complicated when he wakes up from a night of heavy drinking to see Kate’s husband, Malcolm, dead in his apartment with a knife through his chest. Joe has no memory of what happened the night before, but for the first time, Joe isn’t the killer.
In every prior season Joe has been the stalker, always keeping diligent watch on whatever woman he was fascinated with at the time. He would refer to these women as “you,” making his narrative voice overs even more creepy. First, “you” was Beck, then it was Love, then Marienne. Season four is the first season in which the “you” is unknown, and in which Joe isn’t doing the stalking, but instead being stalked. After the murder of Kate’s husband, Joe receives anonymous texts from someone who knows his every move. The plot takes a “Pretty Little Liars” shift in this way, as Joe’s anonymous correspondent knows everything about his life and his past…enough to ruin his life for good. Joe refers to this nameless texter as “you” throughout the season, providing an unexpected shift in the show’s usual pattern.
Season four shows viewers a side of Joe that we have never seen before. For once, Joe is actually trying to stay out of trouble rather than causing it. And he was succeeding, that is until the wealthy Brits that he has associated himself with begin to get murdered by what the news calls the “Eat the Rich Killer.” Joe is faced with speculation, anonymous texts and trying to protect Kate from harm all while attempting to start a new life and shake his troubled past. The creepy anonymous texts cause Joe to become suspicious and untrusting of everyone around him as he tries to identify who is out to get him.
While many things have changed in season four, Joe’s sarcastic narration and dry sense of humor are a constant. Penn Badgley plays Joe so flawlessly and realistically that viewers can’t help but root for him and want the best for him–which is messed up once you remember that he is a serial killer. I think that this is the most brilliant part of the entire show, getting viewers to subconsciously take a liking to a stalker and serial killer. It doesn’t get more messed up than that!
While I did enjoy season four and thought the new ‘whodunit’ plot was interesting, I will admit that I missed the twisted craziness and high-stakes action of prior seasons. As much as I like Kate as a new love interest, I really do miss Love Quinn, Joe’s former wife. While Love was definitely psychotic, arguably more so than Joe, she kept the action moving and there was always something new going on. Luckily, season four part two is coming out on March 9, and the trailer dropped a huge spoiler: Love’s return. Needless to say, I can’t wait to see my girl Love Quinn back on the screen.
Overall, Joe is Johnathan, the rich Brits are crazy, there’s a murderer on the loose, Joe has a stalker, Love is coming back to spice things up and March 9 can’t come fast enough!
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