YOU season four offers the best plot twist yet


Madelaine Province, Staff Writer

It is the innate nature of people to be interested by things that are dark and seen as immoral. We are often able to satiate this intrigue by watching true crime documentaries or shows like Criminal Minds or SVU. However, it is not as common to see shows that are narrated and seen through the perspective of the killer. “YOU”, a psychological thriller/crime drama series based on the novel by Caroline Kepnes, takes on this unique approach to the genre. Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) is a charismatic but manipulative man who continuously finds different women to obsess over and stalk, and more often than not, eventually ends up killing- or attempts to kill- them. 

While this is the outline the first three seasons followed, the fourth season has a new and refreshing turn of events. From Beck to Love to Marienne, Joe has always been enraptured by his love interests from the very first episode. In season four, however, the romance takes a while to form, and it might just be his healthiest one yet. Kate Galvin, an art gallery director, is Joe’s cool and calm neighbor and the girlfriend of one of his colleagues at the University. To Joe’s dismay, he and Kate often clash and don’t develop anything resembling a friendship until the fourth episode, and their romantic relationship doesn’t begin until the sixth. This is a huge contrast to the other seasons. The continuous and at times tumultuous relationship between these two is more honest and unconditional than any of Joe’s previous affairs, and it seems that he has finally found someone who will accept him completely- murderous flaws and all. However, one must wonder if it will really last with Joe’s tendencies. Regardless, this new and unconditional love that Joe has found was a surprising and captivating addition to the season. 

In past seasons, Joe is not close with many people except for the women he’s infatuated with. He’s often reclusive and focuses all of his time on his future victims. In season four, however, he accidentally falls in with a group of London’s richest (and most out of touch) young entrepreneurs, forcing him to socialize with more people. He befriends and becomes somewhat of a father figure for Lady Phoebe Borehall-Blaxworth, an aristocratic socialite and influencer. This protectiveness he feels for a woman that he is not romantically attracted to serves as a sort of redemption for him, as we get to see him caring for someone with no ulterior motive. 

While YOU has had many plot twists, season four has one of the best yet. From the very first episode, Joe is convinced that he is being stalked and blackmailed by someone trying to frame him for the “Eat the Rich” murders. He continuously receives ominous and threatening texts from his stalker and one of the main turmoils of each episode is Joe trying to outsmart his assailant. In the fourth episode he discovers that his stalker is none other than Ryhs Montrose, author and candidate for Mayor of London. This was a shock to audience members, as Montrose was a man with a calm exterior and good intentions, and truly didn’t seem like he would hurt a fly. This unbelievable twist turned out to actually be unbelievable, as it is revealed that Ryhs and the stalking was a figment of Joe’s imagination that he had been using to forget about his heinous actions. 

This revelation not only shocked Joe but viewers as well. Just as we’d believed our favorite serial killer had finally redeemed himself, it turns out that he’s the same flawed man he’s been since. This twist, while shocking, is the most accurate depiction of Joe. Time and time again, he recognizes his faults but fails to make a determined conscious effort to correct them. The writers did an excellent job at portraying Joe in a way that might make viewers give up on the idea that he’s simply just misguided once and for all. 

As he always does, Joe once again was able to get out of everything unscathed. With the help of Kate and her newly inherited fortune (a result of Joe murdering her father), he successfully frames Nadia, one of his students, for the murders. This ending, while frustrating, was expected, as the show can’t continue on if Joe gets caught. We can only hope that with his newfound fame and wealth, Joe has finally attained redemption and will be retiring from his murderous tendencies, but we won’t know for sure until the fifth season, which is expected to be released in 2024.

Rating: 4/5