Review by Yasmin Donald
When part 1 of Season 4 of You released, I wanted to see what was next for Joe Goldberg. I thought that his past would most certainly catch up with him after the last seasons, but it did not happen in the ways I expected it to.
The first part of Season 4 , with its murder mystery-esque format, led me to believe that Joe was getting a taste of his own medicine- boy was I wrong!
From the beginning, the show told us Joe was a narcissistic stalker/murderer, but his first-person narration reveals some sprinklings about past trauma alluding to empathy for the underdog. We follow a story where he recklessly steers the narrative as both a protagonist and an antagonist in denial of his true nature.
Season 4 is an amplification of this battle with denial, and because you don’t realise this, you actually think he has been capable of growth and change; that he is the hero against a much larger enemy. You’re even happy to see him genuinely connect with another human being without fabricating the relationship. But of course, when you find out it has been disassociation the whole time, you feel like a fool- and I think that’s fully intentional.
People like Joe don’t just change, (not without years and years of therapy anyway). And when young Nadia has the murder of Rhys and Edward, pinned on her by Joe, this is the pinnacle of that truth: He ruined the life of a young girl and it did not matter to him. Perhaps what is most terrifying is that with his new rich girlfriend controlling everything, he never has to stop killing. The show may have showed us that in the case of Adam Pratt and Tom Lockwood, money can’t save you, but in the case of a loved up serial killer, it can.
I was angry that Joe got his happy ending, and that’s what made the show so good. In the real world, the rich and powerful prosper, the good suffer, bad people get off scot free . We were rooting for Joe when we thought he was reformed and so, his success as the psychopathic murderer he truly is it the punishment we get. The ending to Season 4 was not the ended we wanted, it was the ending that we deserved.