‘You’ Season 4 Part 2: a confusing pile of nonsense disguised as a ‘plot twist’


John P. Fleenor | Netflix © 2021

Samantha Sollitto

While the fourth season of “You” had already been dismissed by many regular viewers prior to its release for the exclusion of Victoria Pedretti’s character, Love Quinn, the trailer released on Jan. 9 gave hope for a new season where everyone’s favorite psychopath, Joe Goldberg, got exactly what was coming to him.

But you know what they say: never trust a book by its cover.

Part one introduced us to London’s elite, the richest and worst people you’ll ever encounter. It may have been difficult to care for any of them and more difficult to care about their deaths, but the writers somehow managed to make us care about Goldberg, who is on a path to reform himself.

It is revealed in episode five and the last episode of part one that Rhys Montrose, political figure and author, is the “Eat the Rich” killer that has been tormenting Goldberg and trying to frame him for the murders while also admiring Goldberg’s twisted mind.

However, when part two dropped on Netflix on March 9, there was a new reveal that showed the audience Goldberg is not as reformed as he or we thought. For specifics, one would have to watch for themselves.

The idea behind such a plot twist has been marinating for several years—a complication that undoes just about everything in part one and yet reaffirms the notion that Goldberg will always be the psychotic killer he’s been since the first season.

Sera Gamble, “You”’s showrunner and creator, revealed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that she knew a twist like this one would be difficult to pull off.

“For better and for worse,” Gamble noted, “I don’t have much interest in working on a season of TV that isn’t continuing to challenge me as a writer and challenge the writers room.”

While the twist certainly seems like a challenge to write, to call it successfully done would be a blatant lie and a disservice to those inquiring about the new season.

At best, the only purpose it served was as a shock factor. We already knew Goldberg was a bad person from the get go—if you believed otherwise, it would only be because of Penn Badgely’s admirable skill to make the character likable and allow the audience to empathize with him.

It is one thing to lead the audience on, making them believe Goldberg was being stalked and tortured like he had done to his victims. To completely rip that out from underneath you and call you stupid for ever believing he could change is another.

Had part one had any indications that maybe this killer wasn’t all he seems to be, or that there was something more going on, fans could probably have gotten behind the plot twist.

But when you need multiple scenes to explain how something happened or why something you thought happened didn’t actually occur, then maybe your plot twist isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Even Badgely cannot help but feel that at this point in the series, Goldberg needs to get exactly what he deserves.

“I don’t know where it’s going,” noted Badgely in an interview with IndieWire. “But to me, with this concept and with this character, we always wanted to be responsible and it’s not just the kind of thing we can let keep going because it’s doing well.”

This tired cycle of “find someone, stalk them, date them and eventually kill them” doesn’t work anymore. Maybe killing Goldberg off in season three and following his equally insane wife Quinn would have been the better move.

If Netflix does greenlight a fifth season, one thing is clear: Joe Goldberg needs to die…or at least go to prison.