‘You’ Season 4: Joe’s New Object of His Obsession

By Ella Malmgren

Hello, you. 

Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) is returning yet again – but this time he has taken his antics overseas. The fourth season of ‘You’ aired on Netflix on Feb. 9, and will be followed by a second part of the season on March 9. 

‘You’ is a psychological thriller following the perspective of a man named Joe, whose initially innocent crushes inevitably trigger his obsessive stalker tendencies…resulting in quite a few casualties during his pursuits.

The last time we saw Joe, he was fleeing his California home after his plans for a life in suburbia quickly took a dark turn. He murdered his wife, Love, and faked his death and blamed it on her.

His last victim of obsession was the local librarian, Marienne. She plans to start anew in Paris, and Joe intends to track her down. 

In season 4, he has set his sights on England with the alias “Jonathon Moore,” and he poses as a professor. As he settles into his new life, Joe develops a mysterious stalker of his own.

It’s revealed in a flashback that Joe initially went to Paris in search of Marienne. He found a painting of her from a street artist, who informed him that Marienne went to England for an art show. Thus, he continued his pursuit. 

He plans to keep to himself, but he ends up befriending his coworker, Malcolm, and his girlfriend Kate. 

After saving Kate from an attacker outside the university, Kate calls the police, but Joe asks her not to tell them he was there. Unbeknownst to Kate, the police believe Joe is dead, and he can’t let them find out he’s living here in England. 

To thank him for protecting his girlfriend, Malcolm invites Joe to his friend’s club, Sundry House.

This is where Joe meets a wealthy circle of friends. He researches each of them, and bonds with Rhys, a distinguished author who shares Joe’s view of the rich. 

One of the friends in the group is murdered that night, and Joe doesn’t know if he’s responsible because he blacked out that night from drinking absinthe.

Joe starts to get mysterious texts, from someone saying that they know what he’s done, and that they’re watching him. He eventually deduces that whoever is texting him killed his friend. 

He makes it his mission to find out who murdered them, searching their office for clues that would lead to a motive, and watching each of the friends in the group closely.

After two other murders in the group, Joe coins this killer as the “Eat the Rich” killer. Throughout the season, he works to decipher who is behind this. 

This season is considerably different than the last three. Instead of Joe being the stalker-killer that we know, this time he poses as a detective trying to find the killer and their motive.

Fans have mixed reactions about this new season. 

One frequent critique is that there’s no real love interest this time. We’ve seen Joe obsess over Beck, Love, and Marienne these past few seasons, and there’s no target of his affection in season 4. 

Although, some may argue that Joe’s target of obsession this season is the killer, who he’s determined to uncover. 

Since there’s no love interest, the show has taken a different spin. Perhaps the writers believed that it would be too repetitive if he found an interest during the first episode and slowly heightened his antics, following the framework of the past seasons. 

“I think [the writers] tried to do something different this time because it’s hard to do the same plot over and over,” said Kristen Quarless, senior marketing major at UT. “But I don’t like the murder-mystery vibe as much as the original style of the show.”

The trailer for the second part of season 4 was released on Feb. 15. In it, Joe unmasks the killer, and it’s hinted that the killer wants Joe to team up with them. Joe’s monologue reveals that he’s struggling between his natural tendencies and doing what’s morally right.

The second part will be released on Netflix March 9.

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