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You - Season 4, Part 2 - Review

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After a major reveal in part one, “You” returned with its much anticipated second part, which despite major plot holes and a ridiculous plot twist, managed to still be wildly entertaining. The brilliance of part two, stemmed from the fact that the writers stuck to their proven formula- developing satirical yet engaging characters and incorporating a myriad of entertaining twists and turns that kept viewers hanging on right to the very end. 

Part two picked up exactly where part one left off- Rhys Montrose (Ed Speleers) was revealed to be the “Eat the Rich Killer.” In my review of part one, I wondered what mystery could be left to solve, now that the killer had been revealed. I should have known better than to question show runners Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble. They have created a show that is famous for its shocking and unpredictable twists and turns, and part two was no exception. The biggest twist of part two was indeed unexpected, and it changed the course of the entire season. Season 4 was no longer a whodunit, but a deep dive into the darkest parts of Joe Goldberg’s psyche. After Rhys conned Joe into committing a few more crimes, including pinning the Eat the Rich murders on a crazed fan of Lady Phoebe, viewers that were hopeful that Joe had finally turned over a new leaf, discovered that was far from the case. In a move that felt like it came straight out of the movie, “Fight Club,” it was revealed that the real villain of the story was not Rhys Montrose, it was actually Joe himself. As Joe was torturing and killing Rhys, he claimed in his dying breath that he and Joe had never met. In a series of flashbacks, viewers learned that Rhys was actually a figment of Joe’s imagination. He is Joe’s alter ego that is derived from the darkest, most evil parts of Joe’s mind. The flashbacks revealed that every time Joe was talking to Rhys, he was actually alone and talking to himself. This twist allowed Joe’s internal struggle to become external, as he shared dialogue with Rhys about the dark thoughts that plagued him, allowing viewers to get an even better look inside the mind of Joe Goldberg. 

Once the major plot twist was revealed, the show shifted from a whodunit, to Joe struggling with his conscience, literally fighting with his alter, Rhys, about the morality of what he had done. Joe has always rationalized his violent acts as a matter of circumstance, and tried to make himself believe that he is not a murderer. During part one, viewers were lured in by Joe’s charming narration, believing that he was a man who was really trying to change his life and let go of his dark past. Part two changed the game. Joe’s alter, Rhys, led him to finally see the reality of his actions, making it difficult for Joe to continue living in denial. He was forced to accept that he is a violent murderer, capable of unspeakable acts. This shift from denial to acceptance was a necessary move in order for the show to keep going. At some point, viewers are going to tire of empathizing with Joe’s violent nature and denials of his acts. This character development allows viewers to continue to empathize with Joe, thus making them willing to believe that maybe, just maybe he actually wants to change. 

Part two introduced Kate’s father, Tim Lockwood, a man who Kate painted as a cunning and cruel businessman, with the blood of many innocent victims on his hands. The show cast Hollywood superstar Greg Kinnear as Kate’s father, which despite his status and talent, fell flat. His scenes with Charlotte Richie, who portrays Kate, felt forced and devoid of any organic father-daughter chemistry. While the casting choice was questionable, Kinnear did a solid job of portraying Lockwood as a man with an obsessive need to control Kate, motivated by the belief that she needed to be saved from herself. As Joe spent time with Lockwood, he began to see the depths of the pain that Lockwood had caused Kate. Joe decided that he needed to eliminate Kate’s father from her life, and he convinced himself that he was doing so to save her, a typical Joe Goldberg move- He justifies his actions by claiming they are for the greater good. 

Another surprising plot twist revealed that Joe did not let Marienne go in the first episode after all. Instead, he locked her in one of his signature glass cages, this time in an abandoned building on a seedy London street. Tati Gabrielle, who portrays Marienne, brilliantly evoked the pain of a mother trapped by a psychopath, wondering if she would ever see her daughter again. Part of Joe’s struggle with his conscience is that he felt badly for Marienne’s daughter, which made him want to let her go. Obviously, it is not that easy as Joe knows that if he did let her go, she would turn him in. Joe desperately tried to find a way to set Gabrielle free, but he was distracted by his saviour complex, also desperately wanting to help Kate free herself from the evil clutches of her father. 

At this stage, Joe was running out of options. Even if he managed to let Gabrielle go, he would never be able to return to his “quiet” life as Jonathan Moore. The writer’s managed to use Joe’s past to influence his present, by bringing back two of his most influential victims, Beck and Love, as drug-induced hallucinations. The women, who were not able to escape Joe’s murderous nature, convinced him that the only way to end the cycle was for him to take his own life. At one point, it really felt like Joe was ready to end things. Badgley poignantly portrayed what appeared to be a defeated man, desperate to free himself from the murderous pattern that he could not escape from. Joe and Rhys were at a bridge, where Joe intended to jump. Rhys attempted to talk him out of it, but Joe pushed him over the edge and jumped in after him. Just when viewers thought that Joe had finally succumbed to his reign of terror, another plot twist led to Joe waking up in the hospital, having been rescued by a police boat that was patrolling the water. 

Throughout part two, Joe’s eager and bright literature student, Nadia (Amy-Leigh Hickman), had become suspicious of Joe. She began to find it odd that a man that knew so little about the mystery genre, certainly knew his way around life or death situations and always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. An unlikely heroine, Nadia appeared to be the one who could finally unravel the mystery of Jonathan Moore, when she discovered Marienne in the cage. Marienne and Nadia feigned a death plot that would force Joe to let Marienne go. Marienne took enough beta-blockers to slow her heart rate down, leading Joe to think she had overdosed. Marienne reunited with her daughter, finally free of Joe’s clutches now that he believed she was dead. Sadly, Nadia was not fortunate enough to escape the wrath of Joe Goldberg. He cleverly managed to pin the murder of the real Rhys Montrose on Nadia, sending her to waste away in a London prison. 

Despite Joe’s struggle with the morality of his actions, a new and improved Joe Goldberg was never meant to be. He ended up better off than he was before, able to live his life in the open as Joe Goldberg, thanks to Kate’s money and power. As “Anti-Hero” by Taylor Swift fittingly played in the background, Joe and Kate were interviewed about their new life in New York City, where she had taken over her dad’s company. Even though Joe confessed his identity to Kate, she was able to look past his heinous acts, making him out to the press be a hero who had escaped his murderous wife. As Joe looked out the window, viewers saw a flash of Rhys, indicating that Joe’s dark side remains fully intact. 

If you are wondering what happened to the elitist social snobs from part one, part two did contain a sub-plot that did nothing to advance the main plot, but did bring the story of Lady Phoebe (Tilly Keeper) and Adam (Lukas Gage) to an close. Since most of the characters were killed off in part one, the group of elitist snobs was whittled down, shifting the focus solely to the seemingly mismatched duo. Although their social circle played an important role in the development of the plot in part one, their storyline felt out of place in part two. It felt as though the writers were trying to find a way to keep these characters relevant, since they had spent so much time developing them during the first part. Lady Phoebe’s struggle was relatable, however. After being kidnapped by a psychotic stalker, Phoebe struggled hard with post-traumatic stress and made a series of questionable decisions including marrying Adam, even after she found out about his shady business dealings, which led to him being broke and living in his car. Luckily, Tim Lockwood’s need to do whatever it took to protect his daughter, brought him to hire an assassin to get rid of Adam, allowing Phoebe to be set free from his clutches so that she could get the help she needed. Tilly Keeper was a true gem as Lady Phoebe, and even though her story no longer felt relevant to the overarching plot, viewers had become so invested in her character that it was still enjoyable to watch.

Much like the first part, part two was also riddled with plot holes….a glass cage was assembled in a building on a public street behind an unlocked door, yet no one had managed to discover it before Nadia? And if Rhys was actually Joe’s alter ego, why on earth would Joe have set the dungeon on fire, risking his life in the finale of part 1? Luckily, plot holes are something that viewers of this series have become accustomed to, and oddly enough, they are part of the series charm. Although a lot of the plot points seem ridiculous, the show is so wildly entertaining that it is easy to look past. As I mentioned in my review of part one, the trick is to not think too much while watching, and just enjoy the ride. 

Although no confirmation has been made, ratings would suggest that a season five is highly likely. However, without a creative plot idea, it is difficult to imagine this series sustaining viewers for another full season. This series has had one hell of a ride, that it may be best for the show runners to quit while they’re ahead. Over to you, “You” fans, do you agree that this should be the final season? What are your thoughts on the plot twist in part 2? Are you still rooting for Joe Goldberg? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Share them below and follow me on Twitter @MiddleofCanada.

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