You Season 4 Part 1: A Commentary

SPOILER WARNING: Article contains spoilers to Part 1 of the series


“You” is finally back for its 4th season but this time, its separated into two parts

  I’ve been waiting for this day since 2021, and I could not be more excited that the day is finally here. You —Season 4 debuted on February 9th. I was sitting by my screen, waiting to press play. 

  Season 3 of You took place in the middle of American suburbia in contrast to the previous season’s destinations of New York and L.A.,  respectively. This choice gave the audience an intimate look into the depths of a quaint family, the Goldbergs. No, I’m not talking about the quirky ABC sitcom Goldbergs, I’m talking about the intensely homicidal, don’t you dare cross me Goldbergs. 

  Between the two of them, Love and Joe have racked up a whopping total of 15 homicides. Though that doesn’t even count all of the attempted murders and the deaths that happened not necessarily by the hands of Joe and Love but surely under their influence. 

  This season, though,  we were in for a change. Not the murder part, that’s sure to stay, but You is going international. And I’m here for it. After the catastrophic Season 3 finale, Joe, now considered a literal dead man, Love actually is dead, and he takes on the identity of ‘Jonathan Moore,’ an English professor set to teach at a University in England. How did he get a job there? 

  This is incredibly impossible to answer.

  This season is a game: a game of the depths of delusional Joe. Now in a new atmosphere, facing generational wealth and London social society, he’s involved in a good British “whodunit.” Is this the perfect way to get him acclimated? Of course. 

  Now, without further ado, let’s try to make ourselves remember why we love this show. 


Episode 1 – Joe takes a Holiday 

  The season begins with Joe, aka Jonathan, teaching a literature class at Oxford and to no one’s surprise, his inner monologue is a prominent feature of the opening. He comes into this season hoping for an uneventful “European holiday”– side eye– obviously we all know that’s not happening. The first side character we’re introduced to is Nadia, a fiery, heavily opinionated student in his class, who is sure to be the next Ellie, aka the young voice that perplexes Joe’s mind and guilts him into trying to be a good person for the youth of the world. God this guy has such a savior complex. 

  Then we have the privilege of meeting Malcolm, a grade-A jerky Brit professor who’s sure to get on everyone’s nerves. But, for the first time in forever, he actually knows Joe can see right into his flat because he’s the one who set him up with it. As soon as Joe looks into the flat and sees Malcolm’s fiance Kate, his little stalker inkling starts to tingle and we already know what we’re in for. Not long after, Kate leaves the flat and conveniently enough, Joe witnesses two men trying to mug her as she gets into her car. Joe takes disturbingly long to step in and help her but once he does they hurry off with her watch– but don’t worry she hates that thing anyway. After an awkward introduction, Joe begs her not to mention his name to the police claiming his work visa is “shaky”. Luckily for her, she sees through his BS right away and she surely doesn’t hide it. This is a nice contrast to the typical ‘ingénue’ Joe usually takes a liking to so color me intrigued. 

  The next day, Joe’s invited to go out for drinks with Kate and Malcolm’s friends as a thank-you for the night before. He’s hesitant to go but Malcolm insists, and thus Joe knows he wouldn’t have a non-suspicious reason to say no to the invitation. At Sundry House, the most prominent club for anybody who’s anybody, where we meet all the potential suspects– I mean friends– of Kate and Malcolm. Joe acts like he doesn’t want to be there with, as Holden Caulfield would call them, the “phonies”, but I think we all know he craves chaos. 

  After way too many drinks, Joe wakes up remembering nothing–been there done that. Everything seems normal until Joe walks past his kitchen where he just so happens to discover Malcolm, lying dead on his dining table with a knife in his chest. 


Episode 2 – Portrait of the Artist 

  Assuming he was the one that killed him, because well… his track record isn’t the cleanest, Joe disposes of Malcolm’s body and I’m not going to go into the details but oh my god trigger warning: VERY graphic. 

  Throughout the episode we get flashbacks to weeks prior as Joe attempts to find Marianne in Paris and guys I’m sorry I’m gonna be so real right now…I hate them together and have the entire time. He follows her to an art fair in London and when she saw him there was literal fear in her eyes. He was absolutely astonished that she was afraid of him, somehow forgetting that she knew he was a cold-blooded murderer and that he just chased her through the streets of London. He lets her leave but not before she could give him a reality check when she says, “You act like it’s not true. Like you’re a good man who just did a bad thing. You’re a murderer Joe”.

  This leaves Joe a sad little murderer. He finds Rhys Montrose again at a bar and asks him if redemption is possible. The short answer: no not really but kind of. 

  Afterward, we see a flashback of the events that led up to his residence in London as Hitman Elliot shows up, sent by Love’s father to kill Joe– meaning Love’s parents know Joe is alive… yikes. Elliot chooses not to kill him though because like Joe claims to be season after season, he’s a reformed serial murderer. He encourages Joe to take on a new identity and tie up loose ends… meaning Marienne. He knows he’s not going to do that but nonetheless, this is how he takes on the identity of “Jonathan Moore”. 

The more he thinks about it, Joe doesn’t think he was the one that killed Malcolm. But if he didn’t, then who did? 

  It’s only when a text arrives on Joe’s phone that he realizes something suspicious might be going on. The text reads, “Hello, Joe”. Hmm, very ominous.  “Admit you’re Joe Goldberg,” a later text says, while another reads “For starters: Why’d you kill ALL those people?” 

  I know this is “You” but it’s definitely giving Pretty Little Liars right now and I’m here for it. 


Episode 3 – Eat the Rich 

  Joe’s at a disadvantage; the killer knows who he is but he doesn’t know who they are.  Now at every corner, Joe has to be suspicious of everyone, professor, student, and friend alike: nobody is safe. We’re in for a classic Agatha Christie-style Whodunit, or as Joe would call it, “the lowest form of literature.”

    I know it’s a cliché but the story can still be done right. With a highly suspicious group of friends and the right misdirects, we could be in for an alluring story. Following an “eat the rich” undertone in accordance with Simon Soo’s opening night of his art show, what could go wrong? Nadia gives Joe a little mini-lesson on the basic rules of a whodunit: 1. There are no coincidences, 2. All motives come down to sex, money, or revenge, and 3. The first suspect is always the second victim. Well seeing as Adam was quickly passed over as a suspect because of his… real secret, the 1st suspect would leave us to Simon Soo. Joe is in full detective mode because of the anonymous texter and enlightenment has been brought to the table: all of Malcolm’s “friends” aren’t his friends. Nobody liked him, especially the Soo’s; even Kate wasn’t defending him. At this point though, they still don’t know that he’s dead. And it gets even more interesting; apparently, Malcolm had been gathering intel on the group before he was murdered. How did Joe figure this out? Oh, well he broke into Malcolm’s office but it’s fine because it’s not like he’d be there to stop him anyway. This could be totally off but I think it would be a fun twist if Malcolm was undercover for MI6 (basically the British version of the FBI). What was he trying to undercover though? That I’m not sure of but Connie seemed to allude that Malcolm owed him some money from betting, and what was the 2nd rule of a whodunit? All motives come down to sex, money, or revenge. Noted. 

  Earlier, Joe was spying on his first suspect, Adam Pratt, and Vic catches him in the act and is sure to let him know he’s onto his schemes. Threatening, sure, but Joe has more priorities other than worrying about Phoebe’s Bodyguard. The more time goes on in this episode Kate and Joe get… close. Not soon after though, Kate absolutely obliterates Joe–similarly to what Joe did to Malcolm– telling him she’d “rather get chopped into bits than spend another second alone with him”. Ouch. At the end of the Episode, Joe follows Kate to a mausoleum, but someone else is following Joe and this does not end well for the said follower. The episode ends on a cliffhanger, as everyone is waiting for him at Sundry house where the police approach him and ask to talk to him again. 


Episode 4 – Hampsie 

  Nothing is ever Joe’s fault, he’s a raging narcissist. It is nice that he’s not actually killing people right now and is the detective in the situation, though I’m sure the second I say this that will not be the case. One question we need to figure out: how is this anonymous texter getting in and out of Joe’s apartment? And more importantly, Why has Joe not installed cameras yet? With the murderer using Malcolm’s stolen pinky amongst other things to frame Joe during the last episode, he needs to figure out who this person is before they can get the job done. This becomes a harder task as Kate sends the police to Joe’s apartment because he was the last person to see Malcolm alive…meaning the woman Joe’s obsessed with right now… isn’t falling for his act? I never thought I’d see the day.

  The more I think about it, it is kind of crazy how Joe got himself to be a part of this group; he has almost nothing in common with this group of socialites. In fact, he’s almost the complete opposite of the kind of person they’d want to be friends with, except Phoebe apparently, who has an odd fascination with him for god knows what reason. Her interest in him comes with a price though as her bodyguard Vic is just as confused as Joe as to why she takes such a liking to him and, well, it doesn’t end well for him as we all saw.

  This episode takes place at one of Phoebe’s many homes, this one called “Hampsie”. They all go to escape the media and well, the murderer and they invite Joe along to come with them. We see Gemma and other socialites being the worst human beings ever, treating the staff like garbage, no surprise there. 

  Raoul, who has barely been involved in this season, comes to the forefront of this episode, acting highly suspicious. He is one of Kate’s best friends, but Joe discovers that he definitely wants to be more than that as he’s been taking very weird pictures of Kate that could only be taken when she was in her home. 

  He openly dislikes Joe (definitely because of how close he’s been getting with Kate) but invites him to go hunting with him, just the two of them, which is one of the most uncomfortable scenes of the season. He seems kind of… unhinged, but I feel like it’s cliche for him to be the killer out of jealousy of Malcolm’s relationship with Kate. 

  Phoebe hosts a Whodunit party, which hits a little too close to home right now, but I digress. It was all going fine until Kate discovers that Gemma is dead which I’m definitely not upset about. But who could’ve done it?

  One thing I will admit bugs me is that it’s a little annoying that we can’t really narrow down suspects besides the people who die and even they are not safe. A fun part about plots like this is that there are usually clues and such that we can piece together so we feel like we’re solving the mystery along with them and I think the story would be more interesting to follow if we had that inclusive aspect.   


Episode 5 – The Fox and the Hound 

  Following the last episode, the primary suspect is Roald. I’ll admit he is a bit… kooky, but like I previously mentioned, I feel it’s a little too obvious to point the finger at him. He’s suspected at the angle that he is madly in love with Kate and could have killed Malcolm as a way to sneak his way into her life but then why to kill Simon? 

  Though Kate has openly despised Gemma, it wouldn’t be too farfetched to suggest he killed Gemma for her. Following the discovery of her body, Kate is worried that her dad will insist on getting involved because his security team is the one monitoring everyone at the Hampshire House and another murder is sure to bring attention.  

  This confuses Joe as for one, She seems to be more worried about her father getting involved than the actual murder itself, and two, Her family is the richest of all the cast, which is ironic because Joe saw her as the most down-to-earth of the group. Turns out, she’s the daughter of Tom Lockwood – she’s ironically richer than everyone despite Joe seeing her as the hardworking one in the group. 

  Joe has a pattern of hiding bodies with his love interests, and this season is no exception. With Kate’s motivation to keep this under wraps from her father and Joe’s fear this will all get pinned on him, they work together to stash the body. But this doesn’t work out well as Kate’s bracelet falls off mid stashing and when Joe goes back to retrieve it, he’s caught in the act by Raold who is all but sad to blame Joe for everything that has gone on these past few weeks.   

  Now, Raold and Adam are holding Joe hostage, shotgun in hand. Like it was out of a cliche horror film, Ronald essentially tells Joe to run for his life. Trying to hunt him down like an animal, one could consider it a symbolic recreation of their outing together in the previous episode. 

  Kate finds this out and decides to take matters into her own hands, but not before a certain someone gets to Joe and knocks him out.


  If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’ve watched the show, so let’s talk about the big reveal of part 1: who killed Malcolm… Simon… and Gemma? The killer is–drum roll please– of course, the well-loved author turned politician Rhys Montrose. Of course, it’s a politician. I’m definitely not surprised because they were trying so hard to make us, and especially Joe, like him. But then Joe wakes up and he’s on the floor in a cellar-like place and oh how the turn tables… Though when Rhys makes his evil entrance he explains his plan of wanting to pin all the murders on Raold, framing it as a murder/suicide. This would be good for Joe but part of that plan is for Roald to kill Joe too. We’ll pick up next time with part 2.