Season 4 of YOU pressed reset—and based on the first episode of the season, I haven’t quite figured out whether that’s a good thing.
It’s impressive that a series manages to reinvent itself with every season while still keeping the main character intact, the only thing stringing together the seasons into one cohesive thought.
Joe attempts to reinvent himself too, but underneath it all, he’s still the same guy running the New York bookstore who romanticized his creepy obsessions with women in an attempt to normalize his behavior.
On YOU Season 4 Episode 1, things pick up with Joe’s new life in London. The events before this over-the-seas move are addressed—he killed Love, faked his death, dropped his baby off (the hardest thing he’s ever had to do, he claims) with a family he trusted, and hopped on a plane to Paris to find Marianne, the woman he deems his one true love.
But we’ve been down this path before… with you. We know how this goes and that Marianne is just the latest of Joe’s obsessions. We also know how it always ends, so for Marianne’s sake, I hope she’s found a way to get off the grid for good.
Somewhere along the way, while hunting for Marianne, Joe ended up teaching English at a university under the guise of Professor Jonathan Moore.
Jonathan Moore kind of suits Joe—and I dare say it almost grounds him. He’s lived through some really wild situations, most of his own making and stemming from his obsessive nature, so it’s refreshing to see Joe fight those demons. Whenever he feels his obsessiveness pulling him under, he stops himself, diverts his attention, and tries to do better. Trying is half the battle, they say, but unfortunately, Joe’s life becomes entangled in yet another shady scenario when he gets pulled in with an elite group of “douchebags” through his colleague Malcolm.
While we spend much of the first episode exploring Joe’s new life under his pseudonym, the series tackles the remaining loose thread connecting him back to Joe head-on by giving audiences a play-by-play of what brought him to this very rebirth.
We see how he made his way from Paris to London—it’s where Marianne ended up for an art show—and after a tense confrontation with her during which she looked at him as though he’s a killer (I mean, she’s right, he is) and he vowed to prove her wrong, he was confronted by a hitman hired by Love’s father. Turns out, they knew Joe’s death was “too good to be true.”
The theme of being hunted is heavily explored this season, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
In a rather unpredictable turn of events, the hitman admits that he’s “tired” of killing—and Joe says he can relate—so he offers him a deal: a new identity in exchange for his disappearance. The one caveat is that he must kill the only person out there who still knows he’s alive—Marianne.
Joe has never had a problem killing before when his life depended on it, and yet, when he’s ordered to kill, he struggles to follow through, mainly because the target is a woman he loves. Instead, Joe pickpockets her necklace and sends it as proof that the “job was done,” which for now, seems like lazy writing as I don’t think an expert hitman would just take Joe’s word for it. Why wouldn’t he follow Joe to make sure? Why wouldn’t he ensure that the last thread was taken care of?
Regardless, Joe took the risk because he thought that by not killing Marianne, he was proving to her that he was a genuinely good guy. It’s twisted, but Joe’s twisted, so I’m sure it makes sense to him. You have to give it to him for continued positivity through any situation.
Truthfully, nothing gets Joe down, including waking up from a wild night out with the elitist bunch with a wicked absinthe hangover only to find Malcolm dead on his dining room table. Joe has zero memory of what happened, and yet he doesn’t even hesitate when considering that he may have been the one responsible for the murder. His response is basically, “whoop, not again! Oh, darn.” Given his track record, it’s not entirely surprising that he’d just accept that he killed again.
Without wasting a minute, he rolls Malcolm’s body up in a rug and throws him in the trunk of his car, before taking the corpse and dismembering it. I know that YOU loves to push boundaries to see how far they can take it, but I thought (hoped?) we were done with dismembering bodies after the nauseating meat grinder scene. Did things have to get this graphic? Though I guess in a way, you can sense the anxiety and heaviness that Joe feels having to get this done in a foreign country once again. He’s resourceful, I’ll give him that, but he’d really rather not. And it was slightly reassuring that after everything he has done, he was still disgusted and disturbed by the task at hand.
The fact that Malcolm had his fingers cut off didn’t even phase Joe since he did something similar to himself when trying to stage his suicide in Madre Linda. The murder was textbook Joe, so rather than looking at it as a whodunit, he simply accepted it as an “I slipped up.”
That is until he gets a mysterious text from a random number and the person reveals that they killed Malcolm and tried framing him for it. The anonymous texter admits to being impressed by how Joe disposed of the body, and suddenly, the series embraces a whole new vibe as the tables have turned— Joe is the one being hunted and stalked, and he’s getting a dose of his own medicine.
And since we don’t know who the person on the other end of the secret messaging system is, YOU has become a classic whodunnit murder mystery, with the suspects all sitting at the table of the exclusive Sundry House. Any one of them could’ve done it as they have a motive. It was hard keeping up with the who’s who of it all, but I feel like we’ll get to know these characters on a deeper level, including what makes them tick, as the series continues.
If I had to wager a guess based on what we witnessed in the first episode, my money is on Rhys, the author plotting a run for governor who comes from a broken home and has endured a traumatic childhood. He’s the only one that Joe connected with and saw eye-to-eye with. In fact, in my notes, I wrote that Joe found his equal, so it makes sense if he was to be revealed as the killer. Two broken men finding common ground in murder—it’s the making of a promising murder mystery.
Joe even felt comfortable enough confiding in him about his past, including what torments him, the darkness and the hiccups he’s faced—without giving away too much, of course—and Rhys’ advice about just accepting and facing it all, no matter how difficult, was odd.
It’s almost as if Rhys knew what Joe was talking about without him having to say it. However, Rhys as the prime suspect seems almost too easy, so my backup guess would be Kate, Malcolm’s girlfriend who was definitely not happy in the relationship. She’s made it clear that she doesn’t trust newcomers and wants to keep Joe at arm’s length, even after he risked his life to save him from the muggers.
Regardless of who the killer turns out to be, Joe’s perfect “European holiday” has already been tainted, and now we’ll have to see how/if he finds his way out of it without crashing and burning. If he didn’t get rid of the body, he would’ve been framed for a murder he didn’t commit, but in taking care of it, he’s made the killer question who Joe really is. And nothing threatens a new identity like someone sniffing around your old one.
Joe is a chameleon, sure, but can he play this game and win? How many lives does he have left before his past and his sins catch up with him? And can he push off his obsession with Marianne or will it be what destroys him and forces him to slip up? After all, his love for her is kind of what got him into this mess in the first place as he allowed himself to get completely annihilated to numb the pain of “losing her.”
What did you think of the YOU Season 4 premiere episode? Do you like the show’s new vibe and that Joe is really the only constant?
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 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!
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