Tue, 14 February 2023 at 12:09 pm GMT
We’d like to think we’ve come to expect the various twists and turns of the You on Netflix universe (the Youniverse, if you will). But with a season four that has given us a mid-point cliff-hanger that none of us could have seen coming, we think it’s apt to take a moment to evaluate where we’ve left off (and just what we’ll be anxiously waiting for until Part 2 hits our screens!).
What was Netflix’s You Part 1 about?
Netflix’s You Part 1 gave us American psycho-killer, but with a British twist. After Joe flees Paris following a rejection from ex-obsession Marienne, he winds up in London, where he poses as a university professor and falls in with the disgustingly rich and deliciously unlikeable English elite.
Initially, Joe tries to lay low. But this isn’t the stuff that Netflix dreams are made of, so of course there’s a violent twist. Instead of the usual go-to plot of Joe meets girl, Joe becomes obsessed with girl, Joe kills several people to get the girl, we are instead presented with a series riddled with questions and an enticing cat-and-mouse chase as Joe finds himself being the subject of a stalker-killer who starts to kill off all his new buddies.
A deviation from the usual You blueprint. (The Youprint, if you will… Okay, we’ll stop.)
Netflix’s You season 4 part 1 ending explained
Netflix’s You season 4 part 1 takes us through a spine-chilling journey of Joe trying to uncover the identity of the murderous figure (working under the ‘Eat the Rich Killer’ moniker) who has been stalking him and killing off his new wealthy pals one by one. The killer also reveals to Joe through newspaper clippings that they know about Joe’s past.
Joe is taunted, teased, and kept on his toes by this new adversary, giving him a taste of his own stalker-y medicine. This whodunnit style twist kept us on the edge of our seats all throughout, and kept us guessing as to who was behind the bloody crimes.
In the climatic fifth and final episode of Part 1, while the gang hides out in an extravagant countryside getaway, Joe is accused of being the killer by Roald, a descendent of a long-standing aristocratic European family, who is a close friend of Joe’s love interest Kate, a feisty and independent art gallery director.
Roald offers his explanation to the group of friends all while holding a gun to Joe’s face. Although Joe manages to escape and run for the hills, Roald catches up to him and the two become embroiled in a violent exchange.
In a twist that nobody saw coming, Rhys Montrose appears and kidnaps them both, containing them in a secret underground hideout under the manor house (hmm, secret underground prison – sound familiar Joe?).
It’s here that Joe realises the stark truth: Rhys is the Eat the Rich Killer.
But wait, who is Rhys, you ask? Well, Rhys took on the role of Joe’s confidant and pseudo-ally in the new series, after Joe finds a connection with the character on account of his poverty-driven and humble beginnings before rising up to become a prominent member of London’s elite as a successful author and aspiring politician.
Given that the two became something resembling kindred-spirits, this reveal hit twice as hard for Joe.
In a speech that even a moustache-twirling supervillain would be jealous of, Rhys reveals his motives and tells Joe that he had planned to pin everything on Roald. The catch? He wants Joe to be the one to actually kill Roald. After Rhys finds out that Joe doesn’t want to be part of his diabolical scheme, he sets the dungeon on fire, leaving both Joe and Roald to perish.
Luckily, Kate comes to the rescue, and the group eventually returns, just barely, to London. Here, Kate, who Joe has been attracted to over the course of the season, makes advances towards him. However, Joe rejects her, knowing that he not only has to try and keep her safe, but also keep his attention fixated on taking down Rhys.
As Part 1 ends, we are left with the image of Joe watching a televised interview with Rhys, who puts on a smile and continues his innocent ‘man of the people’ façade as he announces his plans to run for Mayor of London.
As Joe stares darkly into the screen, he vows to put an end to Rhys’ campaign of terror. (See what we did there?)
What happens next in You season 4?
Well, the Part 1 ending leaves us with a lot of questions and guesses as to what will happen next. Firstly, how will Joe take down Rhys? And more importantly, can he?
It’s clear that Rhys, with his street-smarts and public appeal, is a worthy opponent to Joe’s manipulative and cunning ways. Not to mention the fact that Rhys has Joe wrapped around his little finger under the threat of being able to reveal his big murderous secret. Perhaps Joe has finally met his match.
The complex relationship between Joe and Rhys is significant for how much it deviates from Joe’s usual male connections — connections which, according to Penn Padgley in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, are important to the character.
“Every season, you see one or maybe two key male relationships. And for me as an actor, they’re often quite fun because it’s where Joe is the most challenged,” he said. “Unfortunately, he’s a really consistent, successful predator with women. With men, he’s out of his element and he feels threatened. Or, he wants actual male intimacy, which is a bit of a mystery for all men. So I love that relationship, and I especially love how it develops over Part 2.”
We’re torn. On one hand, Joe has killed in the past and is a villain in himself. However, if he were to go down for these London crimes which he never committed, then he wouldn’t be able to bring about the end of the current murderer of the moment. Heads or tails? One sadistic serial killer or the other? That’s one morality complicated coin toss.
Plus, Part 2 will be sure to bring about more romantic tension between Joe and Kate, the budding relationship between them being put on ice in the mid-season finale. But knowing Joe as we do, we can’t exactly count on the fact that he’ll be able to keep himself away from his love interest. (After all, look how that’s turned out in the past.)
All we can say for now is that Part 1 of You’s newest season has left us just as addicted as ever, and with Part 2 arriving on 9th March, we’ll be getting caught up in our own theories as to how Joe is going to tackle his greatest and most dangerous obsession yet.