I think it is safe to say that season four of the hit show “You” was disappointing. On March 9, the second half of the season was released with minimal hype. While starting it, I was fully prepared to go into this review giving it two stars maximum and honestly ripping the show apart, but by episode seven I had to remember to close my mouth because it was hanging open in shock.
Episodes six through 10 were released, but the season did not prove to be anything special until seven. It was absolutely crazy, and exactly the twist this show needed in order to bring us right back into what we fell in love with in the first place.
The second half follows Joe Goldberg as he is manipulated by acquaintance Rhys Montrose, or so we thought. It is revealed that Montrose was actually a figment of Joe’s imagination, representing the darkest parts of himself. Montrose is a real person, but he was never harassing Joe or doing any of the killings we witnessed in the first half of the season.
Therefore, our old Joe is back and apparently never left — we just didn’t know it. The twist was jaw-dropping, and Penn Badgley is a phenomenal actor who does an incredible job portraying this character and his struggles. The twist also made all of the boring buildup between episodes one and six worth the wait. Not only was it just astonishing, but an unbelievable and arguably important way to show the internal fight between self-versus-self.
The details put in by the writers are extraordinary, both from past seasons and what was just watched. I have always commended them for never leaving us with unanswered questions. Even in season one, when Joe has a session with Dr. Nicky, the man he framed for love interest Guinevere Beck’s murder, Nicky tells Joe he thinks there are two of him.
This season also saw the return of beloved characters Love Quinn and Beck, but in dream form. Both women tell Joe their true thoughts about him and his actions. In the scene where Joe sees Beck, it is at her funeral, and all the seats have peaches on them. It is such a small detail but so great to include, as it pays homage to Beck’s friend Peach who Joe also murdered.
Of course, the season was not perfect. I am upset with how some characters ended up, like Joe’s students Nadia and Edward for example. However, I refuse to remove a star because of it just because of how amazing the rest of the show was and the great character development of characters such as Kate Galvin and Lady Phoebe Borehall-Blaxworth.
The end of the season showed Joe back as himself, not Jonathan Moore, Joe’s fake London identity. Happily dating Kate, the two are sharing his story and have plans to “make a difference” in the world and with Kate’s company in New York. However, Rhys has not left Joe. When he stares through a window into the city, Rhys is the reflection. This gives plenty of room for a new storyline in a possible fifth season.
The series closed with Taylor Swift’s song “Anti-Hero,” and I could not think of a better song choice, because it really is exhausting rooting for Joe, our favorite anti-hero. As much as we try to hate him, we truly can never get enough.
Featured photo courtesy of @YouNetflix, Twitter