YOU Season 4 introduced a plethora of new characters as it revamped the series with a murder mystery format.
*Warning – stop reading if you haven’t finished YOU Season 4 – Spoilers Ahead *
The shakeup made sense considering Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) uprooted his life following the fiery events in Madre Linda that killed Love Quinn and started over in London, assuming the identity of Professor Jonathan Moore.
Rather quickly, he got pulled into an elite group thanks to his co-worker and neighbor, Malcolm Harding (Stephen Hagan), who was the season’s first victim. Joe/Jonathan naturally despised Malcolm’s group, though he did find Rhys Montrose (Ed Speleers), an author running for Mayor of London, to be a bit of a kindred spirit. They came from the same broken background and shared many of the same views.
As the first half of the season unraveled, Joe sought out advice from Rhys on a handful of occasions, engaging in plenty of long heart-to-hearts with him, so it was kind of shocking when it was revealed that Rhys, as audiences have come to know him, was never real.
Rhys Montrose existed, yes, but he was never friends with Joe, nor was he the Eat the Rich Killer. The version of Rhys that Joe bonded with was a hallucination conjured up by his subconscious to protect himself and eliminate his darker, more deranged thoughts.
For much of the season, we saw Joe desperately trying to set himself free from Rhys’ grasp. At first, he saw him as public enemy #1, who somehow figured out Joe’s real identity and roped him into a murder spree by threatening to frame him for the deaths if Joe refused to participate.
However, once Joe realized that Rhys was a figment of his imagination, he began to look for ways to silence the evil little voice forever, while also trying to figure out a plan to cover up the death of the real Rhys Montrose.
Joe was tasked with killing the mayoral candidate, who he assumed at the time was the Eat the Rich Killer, by Kate’s (Charlotte Ritchie) father, Tom Lockwood. When he arrived at Rhys’ secret countryside hideout and tied him up, he was infuriated that Rhys claimed not to know who he was, nor would he admit to kidnapping Marienne (Tati Gabrielle). Eventually, Joe’s rage and anger took over, and he “accidentally” killed Rhys, which is when fake Rhys showed up and revealed that Joe was having a semi-psychotic break.
In the end, Joe’s suicide attempt ensured that his hallucinations were forever gone, though he did embrace the darkness he was trying so hard to snuff out, making him more dangerous than ever.
As for the real Rhys Montrose’s killer, he pinned it all on poor Nadia (Amy-Leigh Hickman), a fan of Rhys’s from the beginning, who flew too close to the sun in her attempts to bring down Joe Goldberg. If only she just listened to Marienne’s advice.
A huge congrats to the YOU team for pulling off yet another jaw-dropping twist, and to both Badgley and Speleers for completely immersing themselves in their dual characters.
YOU Review – Best of Friends (406)
Just when you thought you figured out where the season was headed, YOU pulls out the rug from under you yet again.
I’m definitely starting to feel the whiplash that Joe/Jonathan must be feeling right about now.
Things have gone from crazy to crazier rather quickly, as Rhys unveiled his true plan—along with how Joe is involved—while Joe came out victorious in front of the elite group once again, and all while a new suspect started piecing things together and realizing that Joe knows way more than he’s led on.
While Joe spent numerous hours trying to figure out a plan to get close to Rhys, Rhys just appeared at Joe’s place one night without so much as lifting a finger. Joe may think he’s the invisible one in the city, but for a man who’s so well-known and loved, Rhys seems to get around without anyone noticing.
And he made the rules of the game very clear—either Joe finds someone to frame for all the deaths or he goes down as the Eat-the-Rich killer, which isn’t exactly ideal. A little incentive goes a long way, so while Joe tried to distance himself initially, he couldn’t shake the desire for self-preservation and took the bait. He took the task rather seriously as it was either kill or be killed; he knew someone had to go down for it, but it had to be the right person.
With time running out, he genuinely began to consider Connie, but despite being an irrelevant character, he couldn’t justify pinning it on someone who was struggling with addiction and trying to turn their life around. Connie wasn’t a threat to anyone, except for maybe himself, so Joe couldn’t justify destroying his life.
But Dawn, well, she fell right into his lap. The few times we saw her snapping photos of the elite, and focusing on Joe–including when she spotted him at Rhys’ mayoral rally—I was convinced that she recognized him from his previous life. And that seems to be what the series wanted me to think so that they could pull a fast one on us because when Dawn pulled Phoebe aside to a “safe room” to keep her protected from the killer, it was revealed that Dawn was just an obsessive stalker who was connived that she was friends with the elite, Phoebe in particular. Dawn was a threat to a lot of people, so Joe took advantage of it. He framed her by planting Simon’s ear in her belongings, and since no one would ever believe a word she said over Phoebe’s accounts of what happened, Dawn couldn’t prove her innocence. Plus, she made an ideal suspect since she was at nearly every single event where a murder occurred as she was stalking the group. I mean, it couldn’t have been any more perfect if Joe had tried to plan it himself.
However, his heroics did raise some questions from Nadia, his student and the lover of all murder mysteries. She noticed that Jonathan seemed to be at the center of every single scenario, oftentimes being championed as a hero, though he’s not actually connected to any of these people in any meaningful way. It’s a dangerous thing to play detective, especially when you’re setting your sights on Joe Goldberg. Jonathan seems to like Nadia, but if she threatened him, I don’t think Joe would hesitate to take her down. Self-preservation is his M.O., remember?
Once Joe thought he finally got Rhys off of his back by framing Dawn, he decided to give into his desires and pursue a relationship with Kate. Honestly, Kate makes some really poor decisions, starting with just accepting Jonathan for who he is now and promising never to ask questions about his past. She wants someone to see her for who she is in the moment so badly that she’s letting logic take a backseat. Why would someone want to deny their past so badly unless they did something truly unforgivable? Kate wants to shed her past because of her connection to her father and she thinks that makes her and Jonathan equal, but they are not the same.
By the time she realizes the truth about who Joe is, it might be too late.
As for Rhys, did Joe think he was really going to get rid of him that easily? Rhys has always wanted a friend to help him get to the finish line so to speak. He believes that they are the same, so he wasn’t going to just let Joe slip away.
And while his motive wasn’t evident at first, he seems hellbent on taking out those who don’t deserve their success and wealth. The three victims, Malcolm, Simon, and Gemma, all threatened his mayoral run in some way, so they were taken care of, and now, he’s setting his sights on the ultimate villain–Kate’s father. She may have a complicated relationship with her tycoon dad, but I don’t think Kate would ever want to see anything bad happen to him, let alone at the hands of the man she’s in love with.
However, Rhys doesn’t seem to give Joe much of a choice as he still holds all of the cards. One might think that Joe could just handle this in the same way he always does, but well, you can’t just try to kill a killer. He’d see that coming from miles away. Joe needs to be strategic and deliberate in his plan, so for now, he has to play along. I, for one, am curious to see what all the hubbub is about Kate’s father–is he really as terrible as she makes him out to be?
As for Rhys, what is the catch? Fans were disappointed with the first half of the season since his reveal as the killer was obvious—and his motives, including his desire to kill Kate’s father–are exactly shocking or game-changing. What are we missing?
What did you think of the episode?
What Time Does Netflix Release New Shows?
Netflix has become one of the most popular ways to consume new movies and TV shows.
The streaming giant has not only dominated the TV and movie landscape but it’s changed the way content is released.
While primetime TV still adheres to a weekly episodic release schedule, Netflix—and many of the streamers that followed—adopted the idea of dumping a full season on fans, creating a binge-watch model.
Most Netflix Originals are released in bulk, with the full episode order arriving at one time. A handful of shows, most recently Firefly Lane and YOU, has been split up into two parts—with the first half arriving a few months prior to the second half of the season, which definitely helps build up some anticipation and makes for more digestible viewing.
Of course, as you anticipate new seasons and episodes of your favorite shows, you naturally want to know what time they are going to premiere.
The good news is that Netflix’s release times are pretty standard for original TV shows and movies.
All titles are typically released globally at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Time, which is 2:00 a.m. Central Time and 3:00 a.m. Eastern Time.
Netflix noted that some titles are considered an original in one country but not in another, and in that case, if they are premiering in a country where it is a licensed title, it will premiere at 12:00 a.m. local time.
However, when it comes to those big-name shows like Outer Banks or Stranger Things, it’s safe to say that all episodes will be loaded in late in the evening, so you can either stay up and binge-watch or take the day off and squeeze them in bright and early!
YOU Review – The Fox and the Hound (405)
Wow, YOU Season 4 Episode 5—the mini-season finale to hold fans over until the remaining 5 episodes of the season premiere on March 9—really went off the deep end.
But now, it makes sense that the series has been split into two parts. “The Fox and the Hound” closed the chapter on the murder mystery as Joe finally learned the identity of you. And while he was utterly shocked that he didn’t crack the mystery or even consider the possibility while at Hampsie, the twist wasn’t as shocking as I hoped it to be. There were definitely many possibilities for the stalker/ murderer, but Rhys continuously topped my lists of suspects, so how did Joe, a natural-born stalker and killer, miss this one? Is he really that off his game? And is this the show’s way of throwing us off for several remaining episodes?
With the whodunnit in the rearview mirror, the second half of the season can focus on what Joe is going to do about it now that he knows the truth while everyone else continues buying into Rhys’ “man of the people” persona that he’s adopted for his mayoral run. Part 2 of YOU is going to be all about Joe’s revenge because if there’s one thing Joe despises, it’s someone threatening him and his European holiday. And Rhys did all of that—not to mention he left Joe to die in a blazing fire.
While the Rhys revelation wasn’t shocking, the rest of the episode was unhinged… in a good way. You really have no idea what these rich people are capable of, which provided a thrill ride from start to finish. Joe was running on a high of emotions—from helping Kate hide Gemma’s body to running through the wood being chased by a raging aristocratic lunatic that was keen on shooting and killing him. Absolutely nuts, and yet, still somehow grounded and believable. I can’t explain it, maybe it’s the way the episode was constructed, maybe we want to buy into what’s being sold, or maybe we’ve just boarded a similar yet completely different crazy train with Joe a few times before so we’re ready for anything to happen.
We also know, from past experiences, that he’ll always manage to find a way out of a bind. He’s been trapped in worse situations than this, so I have no doubt that this will end with Joe victorious once again.
The craziest thing about this revamped season is that Joe is semi-likable. And that might be the real danger of all. I don’t know what the series is trying to do by giving Joe a somewhat redeeming story arc—this is the same man that kept teeth from his victims, bashed Peach Salinger’s head while she was jogging simply because he didn’t like her, and kept people locked up in cages—so why am I rooting for him?
Joe’s “reformed,” which provides a complex situation because while he’s doing the right thing by trying to save Kate and her unworthy bunch of friends and setting his sights on the murderer, Rhys, it doesn’t suddenly make him a good person or absolve him of any of his past crimes. Joe is still a full-on murderer. The good thing about someone cracking his true identity, even someone like Rhys, is that it serves as a reminder that Jonathan is a facade. It forces us to look at/remember who Joe really is under the crafted persona—to dig into the real Joe, who we know will do just about anything to stop Rhys.
Will we get to see his true nature come on in the latter half of the season?
The one thing that separates Joe and Rhys is that the latter is honest about who he is—he’s openly and willingly murdering people because he believes they deserve it. Joe lives in denial about himself, always repressing those ugly parts and pretending that they don’t exist.
This season, Joe pales in comparison to Rhys, which is disturbing, problematic, confusing, and mostly, dangerous territory. Rhys reached out to Joe because he was impressed by him—he saw who Joe really was and was in awe of his past kills. It’s a sickening thought, and the only comforting thing is that it also seems to sicken Joe. So, while I don’t think Joe deserves to get away with all his past murders in the end, on the surface, at least Rhys is forcing him to acknowledge how messed up it all is. Maybe he’ll finally develop a conscious in the end.
The point of this season is to make audiences feel conflicted about Joe, and I’ll say they definitely succeeded.
Joe has set his sights on Rhys, a man that has a platform and looks like a saint to most of the people in London. And if he doesn’t play his cards right, Rhys could expose Joe in a heartbeat. There’s no easy way to play this, especially because Rhys is such a wild card and was really hoping that he and Joe would be kindred spirits: some serial killing/slashing duo of sorts. In a way, I’m kind of proud that Joe has fought every single bad thought, temptation, and itch. He’s definitely got blood on his hands with Vic, but for the most part, he’s really trying to not screw up this time.
And he might not be alone in his quest for revenge as he’s built a kinship with Kate and Phoebe, and likely now has Roald on his side. Roald is problematic—as almost everyone in the group is—however, he’s likely grateful that Joe freed him from the cuffs and saved him from the fire.
Yes, Joe saved a man that old Joe would’ve likely left to die. The transformation and character growth are truly shocking at times, but I’m still expecting Joe to snap and kill Roald by the end of the season.
The fact that Roald saw firsthand that Joe was also trapped in the secret dungeon, proves to him he’s not the one behind the murders as everyone accused him to be. Of course, I don’t think Joe will outright tell everyone that he knows who did it yet as he doesn’t trust them, plus, a team doesn’t even suit Joe since he does his best work alone.
But where does that leave Joe and Kate? And Joe and the rest of the group?
In the final moments of the episode, Kate reached out to thank “Jonathan” for going the extra mile to fetch the necklace she lost when they moved Gemma’s body. We all know—as they both did—that she was offering much more, and she was hurt when Joe turned her down. It likely came as a shock as they bonded the night of Gemma’s death, confessing their innermost secrets, desires, and fears to each other, well, mostly. Joe didn’t exactly tell her that he killed his wife or his prior girlfriends, nor did he come clean about his obsessive nature, but he did open up in a way we’ve never seen before. He told her about being married to a wealthy woman who did bad things, said he stuck it out for family and explained that in the end, he had to run away and pay the ultimate price—losing his son. It was one of Joe’s most vulnerable moments, which means that he truly trusted Kate with some of his secrets. I do think part of it was Joe simply finding someone he can connect with, but it was also a story that allowed him to victimize himself, skirt any responsibility for the demise of his family, and manipulate Kate’s feelings. One step forward, two steps back.
However, in the end, he realized that his feelings for Kate, which were unexpected and caught him by surprise—again, a new one for Joe—were genuine and he couldn’t risk them interfering with the mission at stake: his relationship with Rhys.
Will she stay out of his orbit? Probably not. Especially since Joe needs to keep up appearances in order to remain in the circle and close to Rhys. They’ll cross paths eventually, and I’m sure it’ll lead to more destruction.
The elite group really only consists of Adam, Phoebe, Roald, and Kate as the other three–Sophie, Blessing and Connie—are so comical and unlikable, audiences could care less about them. They don’t serve a real purpose other than to be absolutely obnoxious and annoying.
I still can’t shake this feeling that Rhys and Nadia are somehow in cahoots. She said she was sleeping with Malcolm, so what’s to say she wasn’t in bed with Rhys as well, especially since she was such a huge fan of his novel? There’s just something about Nadia’s extremely likable character, who connected with Jonathan immediately, that I don’t trust.
Other Noteworthy Moments
- Penn Badgley and Charlotte Ritchie really sold their chemistry and their distrust of each other. The way they both considered, and were briefly convinced, that the other was a murderer was so well acted.
- I love that she questioned how he knew so much about disposing of a body. It would be concerning if she didn’t pick up on that. And I was genuinely surprised Joe told her about what happened with Malcolm. I guess it’s better than the alternative that he has a certain set of skills from years of experience.
- Adam and Phoebe’s storyline about his golden shower kink is odd. I don’t fully get the point of why we’re so focused on it, but maybe it will come into play in the second half of the season.
- I really thought Adam was going to die after Joe punched him because of all the cocaine coursing through his body, which would then actually make Joe a killer with Phoebe likely turning on him. I’m glad it didn’t pan out that way.
- Joe getting a taste of his own medicine all season long has also been quite fantastic. Joe used to lock people in glass cages and now, he’s the one being locked away in a soundproof room. Oh, how things have come full circle.
- Joe’s been so preoccupied, he probably forgot all about Marienne, but hopefully, we’ll get to revisit that in the second half.
- Also, I need more information about the photographer who has seemingly recognized Joe on several occasions while taking shots of the elite at their parties. Did Rhys tip her off or is she familiar with the Joe Goldberg? Will she become an ally or an enemy?
The second half of the season drops in exactly one month on March 9, 2023. What did you think of part 1?
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