Netflix’s “You”: Horrifying turn of events

Olivia Warren and Sophie Borislow

This article contains spoilers for You Season 4. 

Content Warning: This article contains detailed descriptions of suicide. 

The last five episodes of “You” season 4 were released on Netflix on March 9

Last we heard, Rhys Montrose was exposed as the “Eat the Rich” killer, and Joe was hellbent on taking him down. Rhys wanted him and Joe to team up as a duo of cold-blooded killers, but Joe rejected this heinous yet intriguing offer. 

Part Two takes a 180-degree turn. In this “Fight Club”-esque turn of events, it is revealed that the Rhys we have seen blackmail Joe so many times was an apparition created by Joe’s dissociative brain. 

Shivani Bondada

The real Rhys existed, but he was unaware of their supposed murderous bromance. He was simply a guy Joe had never met. Joe created an idea of Rhys to manifest his own violent personality. Joe’s selection of Rhys as his devilish split personality is no coincidence. Joe was obsessed with Rhys the entire time, meticulously stalking and formulating the relationship in his head, quite similar to previous iterations of his obsessive behavior in seasons prior. 

After an uncomfortable torture scene, Joe suffocates the real Rhys. The ghostlike Rhys then appears to reveal that Joe is the true murderer of Malcolm, Simon and Gemma, with Rhys representing his split, scapegoated personality. 

The unraveling of Joe’s warped brain makes the painful turtle-pace of Part One almost worth it. Whatever slightly redeemable characteristics that might have gained audience support were destroyed by his unsettling, manic actions. 

Joe argues with fake Rhys and tries to dismiss his dissociative murderous episodes, but Nadia is on his scent. She breaks into his flat and finds a hidden key. The key leads her to the infamous clear cage with his ex-girlfriend, Marrienne, abandoned inside. In one of Joe’s murderous blackouts, he abducted Marienne as she was on her way to reunite with her daughter.

Nadia promises she will set Marienne free either by killing or catching Joe. The audience gains hope as her quick wit out-maneuvers Joe. 

Episode 8 is told from Marienne’s perspective in the form of a haunting children’s rhyme, a heartbreaking ode to the love between a mother and her child. The episode finally reveals the true nature of Joe as we see his true psycho-killer form, without the internal struggle of believing himself to be a sweet old soul. 

In a genius move, Nadia and Marienne use beta-blockers to fake Marienne’s death. After a stressful scene where she fakes an allergic reaction, Joe leaves Marienne’s body on a dim-lit park bench, looking like a drugged-out woman who abandoned her child. But Nadia hid behind nearby bushes, quick to administer ketamine and revive Marienne so she could return to her daughter.

The show finally gives women a chance to beat Joe at his own game. Seeing actors Amy-Leigh Hickman and Tati Gabrielle get close to catching Joe is the heartwrenching protagonism Part One missed. Marienne is fighting to get back to her daughter, and Nadia is leading the battle against Joe to bring him to justice for all his victims. The hope is too much to bear.

Joe continues to experience a psychotic break as he hallucinates his dead exes, including welcomed cameos from Victoria Pedretti as Love Quinn and Elizabeth Lail as Guinivere Beck. 

After his first experience with guilt for his murderous tendencies, Joe attempts to end his life. Fake Rhys begs Joe not to end his life, but Joe jumps off the bridge anyway. In another classic Joe monologue, it is revealed that he regrets his decision and longs for Kate. 

To the audience’s dismay, Joe’s attempt to take his life was unsuccessful. He awoke in the hospital room, Kate by his side. Per her request so that the two could move forward in their relationship, Joe reveals all the details of who he was before he became Johnathan Moore. Kate accepts her boyfriend for the psychotic serial killer that he is. Her lifelong battle to be a good person ends here, and she accepts Joe as a femicidal serial killer.  

In a heartbreaking scene, Joe leads Nadia to her boyfriend, dead in a pool of blood. He threatens her and frames her for the murder. She got so close to stopping him that we almost believed she would win, but the show reminded us again: Joe always wins.

Joe and Kate seem to live happily ever after. In the final scene, they sit in their New York City penthouse and are interviewed about their do-goodness. But when Joe looks in the mirror, it isn’t his own swoon-worthy eyes looking back at him — it’s Rhys’. After four seasons, Joe finally accepts his true self as a serial killer. He can stop lying to himself and all of us about being a hopelessly romantic feminist.

But this can’t be the end. The episode ends perfectly to set up season 5 to twist the knife into us once again. We hope season 5 comes and, with it, Joe Goldberg’s downfall. 

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