The weather has cooled down, and I’ve found my new fall obsession in Lifetime’s “You.”
You is a promising offering; it’s thrilling yet sexy, provocative yet at times, uncomfortable. You bet your ass I’m referring to the scene where Joe stands outside her window watching her “finish” and pleasuring himself in the bushes. And I shudder to think that’s just the beginning of what Joe is capable of.
The premiere focused mostly on nice guy Joe Goldberg’s character, and he’s problematic in the best way.
We learned about who he is, how he operates and what he thinks via voiceovers that were directed at Beck, the girl from the bookstore. The relationship he formed with her in his mind was alarming but concurrently, one of the best parts of the episode because it really allowed you to get inside his twisted head. You were able to stalk the stalker and make the same judgements about him that he was making about those around him.
What seemed like an innocent connection between two book nerds rather quickly turned into something more dangerous, even deadly. Joe became consumed with getting to know Beck. His obsession teetered on the border of normalcy — when he social media stalked her — to insanity — when he reported a gas leak in her apartment so he can sneak in and look through her things.
Penn Badgley’s performance of the guy-next-door-turned complete psycho was intoxicating simply because you found yourself rooting for the guy you really shouldn’t be rooting for. Tgive credit where credit is due, he did pull her up when she fell onto the train tracks, didn’t freak-out when she threw up in his face (how did he not?) and got her home safely. But he also stole her phone so he could read all of her messages and trace her every move so there’s that.
He warned “Beck” about the strangers who may have bad intentions while being the stranger with bad intentions. Everything Joe tried to protect her from, he became. It’s a stunning display of a person who lacks self-awareness even though they are able to assess and pass judgment, mostly accurate, about everyone around them.
But it’s also one thing to think he friends aren’t faithful, that her boyfriend is a douchebag, and that she’s an attention seeker, but it’s another thing to act on those judgments and impulses.
And act on them he did.
The moment when he took a hammer to bind the book for his neighbor friend was palpitating because it was evident that the next thing being struck by said hammer would be the back of Benji’s head. I predicted it, which was infuriating because should a guy like Joe really be that predictable?
Most concerning is how unaware Joe is that his crazy is untucking. On the surface he’s nice, but he’s got the manipulation down to an art. He thinks he’s superior to everyone around him, including Beck, but he also believes he’s acting out of love or that his intentions are in the right place. He believes he’s the hero in the story and also, the savior that she needs as a damsel in distress.
And he justifies his extreme action of locking up her hook-up in the book cage because he’s a shit human.
If this is what he pulls after just knowing Beck for less than a week, what else does good ‘ole Joe have in store for us?
There was a brief mention of Joe’s previous girlfriend, the one that made his so wary of love and sparked his interest on being “careful,” but it seems like she may have been his first victim.
Who knows, maybe Joe Goldberg isn’t even his real name.
I’m intrigued to see what happens when it dawns on him that the Beck he’s infatuated with, the woman he created based on the social media profiles and the perception she puts out into the world, isn’t actually the woman she really is.
Will he lose it? Will her friends pick up on the fact that Joe isn’t just a nice guy? Will they “see it in his eyes” like the abuser that lives next door?
He sees right through Joe which would make him a bigger threat than Benji. The only difference is that Ron doesn’t stand in the way of his relationship with Beck the way Benji does.
His ability to comprehend that Ron isn’t a good person because he’s a woman beater while convincing himself that whatever stalker-ish things he’s doing is concerning in itself.
There are still likable moments about Joe ranging from his cheek-in-tongue commentary about our society to taking young Paco under his wing and teaching him about books. Hopefully, this part of the friendship remains innocent. The fact that Joe would selflessly share his sandwich with the kid while not having any food in the apartment speaks volumes to there being something redeemable in Joe.
However, if he continues down this path, which I’m sure he will, those selfless acts won’t be able to save him for long.
People are disappointing Beck said upon meeting Joe and really, she has no idea.
Let this show be a lesson that you have to be very wary of what you put on social media channels and how much you allow the public to know about you.
At no point should a stranger ever be able to find out that much information about you. YOU may be the reality check our society needs.
What did you think? Rate the premiere in the comments below!
Will There Be a 5th Season of ‘YOU’?
As YOU wrapped up its fourth season run on March 9, fans couldn’t help but wonder whether a fifth season was in the works.
The good news is that on March 24, Netflix announced that YOU Season 5 is happening.
Unfortunately, the fifth season will also mark the drama’s final season. No premiere date has been announced, but new episodes are expected to arrive in 2024.
Brace yourself for Joe Goldberg's final chapter.
You will return for a fifth and final season in 2024! pic.twitter.com/rbQBOnQPSJ
— Netflix (@netflix) March 24, 2023
The fourth season of the Lifetime-turned-Netflix thriller basically hit reset, throwing audiences for a loop with a murder mystery format surrounding Joe’s new life in London as Professor Jonathan Moore.
The action really ramped up in the second half of the season as Joe’s lies and secrets began to unravel and catch up to him, threatening his “European getaway” and any shot at happiness.
It’s actually quite amazing what the writers have been able to accomplish. They’ve managed to keep Joe’s character consistent yet provide several unique seasons that continue to keep audiences in suspense and shock with numerous well-executed twists.
And it definitely seems that there’s much more where that came from in terms of a fifth season, which will now gear up to wrap up the storyline, provide closure (will we see Dr. Nicky and Ellie make a return?) and hopefully, serve justice where justice is due.
Spoilers below—stop reading if you’re not caught up on the most recent season of YOU!!
By the end of season 4, Joe managed to come out on top, eliminating Nadia by forcing her to take the fall for Rhys Montrose and Edward’s deaths. He thought his Marienne problem was taken care of when he carried her lifeless body to a park bench, but little did Joe know, she was actually alive. He fell for the elaborate and insane escape plan that she concocted with Nadia.
And after a failed suicide attempt, Joe managed to silence the voices outside of his head, personified by the hallucination of Rhys, embraced his darkness, and found a kindred spirit—sort of—in Kate, who he believes is the love of his life.
The two promised that they’d keep each other on the straight and narrow, though for Joe, that meant simply accepting his desires to kill as normal. And with Kate’s protections in place, he’ll be able to continue on as Joe doing what Joe does.
And thus, Joe is more powerful and dangerous than ever. It would be a shame if the streamer didn’t let writers, and audiences, explore this new side of Joe—the one that’s completely content with himself and no longer running from the darker parts.
There are so many unanswered questions that benefit from another season. Can he really be the man Kate wants him to be? Will he be content with Kate and tame his obsessive nature? Can he cover up additional murders? Does having Kate on his side make it easier or will she eventually begin to pry and wonder? What if he can’t control his temper? Will Kate end up in a glass cage just like the rest of them eventually?
Then there’s Marienne, who is a loose thread since she’s alive and well. I don’t think she’d actively risk her safety to take down Joe, but she does owe Nadia, who risked everything and went out of her way to help free Marienne, only to get caught in the crosshairs herself.
There’s a lot of story left to tell when it comes to Joe Goldberg’s new lease on life, and while I’m not exactly sure how much more audiences can stomach or how much more blood needs to be spilled, Netflix clearly knows it has a duty to the people to end this series the right way—with Joe hopefully meeting his match and dying an excruciatingly painful death just like all of his victims.
That didn’t happen on YOU Season 4 as he once again got away with murder, so it just means that we’re hoping to see it on YOU Season 5.
You can check out all of our YOU coverage in the meantime!
Who Is Rhys Montrose on ‘YOU’ Season 4?
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 Season Finale Review – The Death of Jonathan Moore (410)
It all comes up Joe Goldberg…. yet again. But are we even surprised at this point?
How is it that men like Joe continue to find ways to get away with murder? And not only did he get away with it—he flourished. Joe is untouchable now, and that kind of power and protection in the hands of a soulless monster is more dangerous than anything we’ve ever seen before.
Joe went through plenty of emotions during YOU Season 4 Episode 10, and honestly, part of me wishes that when he jumped into the water, convinced that the only way to break the cycle is to kill himself, he succeeded. There’s no other way to stop someone like Joe—and that became clear to everyone around him, including himself. The devil on his shoulder, personified by Rhys, kept trying to convince Joe that he wasn’t the problem, but when he found Marienne lifeless in the glass cage because of what he’d done to her, he realized that there was no reality in which he could protect the women he loved. Eventually, a woman’s body was going to end up in his trunk.
It was actually big of Joe to come to the realization considering his constant desire for self-preservation. He was ready to do the one thing that was necessary to make the world a better place… and then he got a second chance. From a writing perspective, it makes sense. If there’s no Joe, there’s no YOU. And while the series has become pretty far-fetched and wholly unbelievable, I’m watching to see how far the creative forces—and Joe—can take this thing. I’m on board till the very end. How many twists can they conjure up that will leave audiences in a state of sheer shock?
Despite Joe’s problematic actions and behaviors, audiences still found themselves continuing to root for the antihero (thanks a lot, Taylor Swift) simply to see how far Joe can actually go.
The Love Quinn twist was undoubtedly the best one, but season 4, though not as enjoyable, did redeem itself in the second half with some unexpected bombshell reveals that made my head spin. We, and Joe, know he’s the problem, but I never imagined that Kate would turn out to be so problematic—she’s an enabler, turning a blind eye to Joe’s crimes because of her need for love and her desire for power.
She made a pact with Joe that they would keep each other on the right path and accountable, but I don’t think she realized she was making a literal deal with the devil. And this coming from the woman who thought her dad was bad. She flat-out said she likes broken and tortured souls, and her willing alliance with Joe proves it.
Joe went from a suicidal murderer to a hero in the eyes of the public in a matter of minutes, and with Kate by his side, they became a power couple. While it’s absolutely cringeworthy, it presents so many opportunities for coming seasons.
For starters, how much does Kate really know? How much did Joe confide in her?
Surely, she can put two and two together and figure out that her father was murdered right before her boyfriend confessed to being a murderer, right? And when he later framed Nadia for Edward’s death, faking the DNA results found on Rhys’ body which linked back to him, did she know she was framing an innocent girl? Or is she just that naive and desperate to believe that this relationship is what she wants it to be?
What’s even viler is that Joe came out to the public claiming to be a victim when he killed so many innocent women because of his obsessive tendencies. And what’s to say he won’t do it the same to Kate eventually? Though honestly, that’s on her at this point.
Following his failed suicide attempt, there was a turning point for Joe. He didn’t kill himself, but he killed Rhys, or rather, embraced himself fully—he’s no longer hiding and running from those dark parts, nor is he actively trying not to murder people.
Since the first season, we learned that Joe has always wanted acceptance—to love and to be loved—and he got that wholeheartedly with and from Kate. He opened up to her, divulged his deepest darkest secrets, and it brought them closer together, thus making him feel as though he wasn’t a bad person for his desire to murder. He fought so hard against them, but unfortunately, the inner battle was for nothing as, in the end, he’s just accepting and coming to terms with the fact that he is a murderer. And as mentioned before, and briefly seen in action, with Kate’s protections in place, it’s going to be a hell of a lot easier to get away with his crimes.
In what’s seemingly a full-circle moment this season, Joe shot up the ranks and became one of the elites that he so passionately despised.
However, that’s not even the most shocking part of the episode.
First off is the fact that Marienne is very much alive as she and Nadia somehow managed to pull one over on Joe. That’s a first… and likely a last.
Marienne was lucky in the sense that Joe cared about her deeply, so when he saw that she overdosed on pills, he was so distraught and immediately assumed the worst. His brain wouldn’t even let him consider another possible as the guilt washed over him.
While he was definitely onto Nadia in the end, I don’t think he ever pieced it together that Nadia helped Marienne devise an insane escape plane. The two of the pulled it off after realizing that if they can’t kill Joe, they have to kill Marienne. When Joe found her unconscious, she swallowed enough beta-blockers to slow her heart rate down and make it look convincing. And then once Joe moved her body to a park bench, Nadia ran up and gave her a dose of what I’m assuming was adrenaline to wake her up.
The moral of the story is that Marienne may be one of the few women to have escaped Joe! Though, I have no idea why she didn’t move far away with her daughter once she was finally free. What if Joe decided to check in on Juliette randomly and saw Marienne, realizing that she is, somehow, alive and well? Why risk it now?
Marienne and Nadia’s bond was so strong, I’m hoping that Marienne returns the favor and attempts to help Nadia in some way now that the poor girl fell victim to Joe, who forced her to take the fall for Edward’s death and Rhys’ demise.
The truth is, Nadia should’ve stopped while she was ahead because, as she said herself, Joe was an obsessive. It’s not entirely clear how he caught onto her—though she was super jumpy around him toward the end—though I’d guess it probably had something to do with the secret camera he placed in his apartment. Or maybe she just misplaced a few items which alerted him to an intruder.
Either way, Nadia’s caring nature got the best of her as she’s now spending life in prison. And there’s nothing she can say to plead her case as no one is going to believe a word she says about Joe, especially after he planted evidence—damning proof—in her apartment and became an international hero.
No matter what, Joe always finds a way to nab a clean slate.
He lives to see another day—but who will be his next victim?
We briefly touched upon what happened to Phoebe, and it turns out Adam’s death may have been the best thing for her as she moved away to teach and lived a fulfilled life. We don’t know what happened to Roald, and I’m kind of disappointed he didn’t play a larger role in the second half of the season considering the hell he created for Joe in the first half.
Did you enjoy YOU Season 4? Did you like the revamped vibe? Are you happy that we’ll see more of Joe’s shenanigans in the future or do you think the series should just end? Do you think we will see Nadia and Marienne again in the future? And are you more or less excited about the future now that he has Kate as a sidekick?
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