‘You’ Season 4 Review: A Risky Reinvention for Joe Goldberg Pays Off
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‘You’ Season 4 Review: A Risky Reinvention for Joe Goldberg Pays Off

Hiya, You. It has been far too lengthy. Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley), resident serial killer with a penchant for baseball caps and pretentious literature, is again for the most recent season of You – however this time, he’s acquired a brand new identify, new metropolis, and new goal. Surprisingly (and fortunately), Joe’s latest goal shouldn’t be one more poor, unsuspecting girl. As an alternative, Season 4 of You finds Joe truly being the one on the protection as he frantically tries to determine the id of the “Eat the Wealthy Killer,” a mysterious stranger who kills off members of the Oxford circle of rich snobs with whom Joe finds himself surrounded. Oh, and the killer additionally occurs to know Joe’s true id and full murderous previous. A lot for Joe’s stress-free trip within the UK.

The tip of Season 3 noticed Joe on the run after murdering his spouse Love (Victoria Pedretti), faking his personal loss of life, and leaving their new child son behind. The beginning of Season 4 sees Joe in London with a brand-new id: Professor Jonathan Moore, a university teacher of American quick fiction. He’s surrounded by a brand new solid of eccentric characters – a gaggle of buddies who all met as college students at Oxford. The Oxford gang is every little thing that Joe hates – filthy wealthy elitists who inherited fame and fortune with out having to raise a finger.

Every season of You up so far has been set in a distinct metropolis, every with its personal distinctive solid of characters who border on caricatures. Season 4 is not any totally different. Simply as Season 2 captured the stereotype of the granola LA hipsters and Season 3 showcased the poisonous wasteland of momfluencers, Season 4 delves into the world of the wealthy and royal. There are actually some standouts in You’s new supporting solid – Charlotte Ritchie provides a good looking depth to her character Kate, who could also be a member of the elite, however has an emotional backstory that balances out her preliminary “ice queen” act. Tilly Keeper is an absolute delight as Woman Phoebe, who could also be royalty however lacks the cruelty and inhumanity of her rich friends. Keeper’s comedic timing is ideal, however like Ritchie, she brings a particular emotional contact as a lady who, beneath all of the wealth, feels really alone and misunderstood. Ed Speleers additionally provides a stellar efficiency as creator Rhys Montrose, the sudden member of the Oxford group resulting from being born into poverty.

As an entire, the brand new supporting solid works nicely in opposition to Joe, however does usually lean a bit too laborious into the hyperbolic. Granted, You has at all times delivered an over-the-top solid of characters, however maybe there’s solely a lot you are able to do with royalty earlier than it loses its comedic enchantment. The Oxford gang is solely not as memorable because the likes of Sherry (Shalita Grant) and Cary (Travis Van Winkle) Conrad (true MVPs of Season 3), and even Artisanal Soda Bro Benji (Lou Taylor Pucci) again in Season 1. And naturally, there’s nobody fairly like Love Quinn. Pedretti’s attractive, chilling efficiency as Love breathed new life into You, so when she met her premature finish final season, it was laborious to think about how the sequence would possibly survive with out her. And right here’s the reality: You let go of its beating coronary heart with Love, Joe’s excellent match, and also you do really feel her absence in Season 4. With out Pedretti, there may be the sense that there’s something lacking. All of that stated, nonetheless, Season 4 proved that You’ll be able to nonetheless be good with out Love due to one key cause: it lastly broke its tried-and-true components.

Apart from Pedretti’s unforgettable efficiency within the final two seasons, Love’s introduction to the sequence labored so nicely as a result of she provided Joe his first actual adversary – the mirror picture of himself. She turned the tables on Joe and disrupted what we assumed could be one other Beck (Elizabeth Lail) 2.0 scenario: stalk, allure, kill. With the Season 4 trailer displaying Joe chasing Marienne (Tati Gabrielle) by way of the streets of a brand new metropolis, it was simple to imagine that we have been going again to the fundamentals. Was Marienne one other Beck (albeit a lot cooler and quite a bit much less whiny)? Would Season 4 simply be one other season of Joe obsessively stalking the identical girl each episode?

Season 4 avoids this by making Joe the goal. His acquainted narration that guides the present is now not delivered with twisted “adoration” for a lady, however with a simmering resentment for a stranger who’s hellbent on ensuring he will get his arms soiled by giving in to his murderous impulses. This creates not solely a recent twist on a longtime components that You has maintained for 3 seasons, but additionally provides us the possibility to look deeper into Joe’s warped sense of self. All through the season, he’s appalled on the “Eat the Wealthy” killer’s actions, clearly viewing himself as morally superior – even if the killer is solely doing the identical precise factor Joe has accomplished for the previous three seasons. How dare somebody stalk him and discover out each element of his life? Joe is enraged at this stranger’s audacity, emphasizing Joe’s utter delusion and wildly distorted picture of himself because the “tragic hero” who solely does what he does for “love.”

The second half of Season 4 is admittedly stronger than the primary. Half 2 (set to drop on March 9) provides us what You does finest. Simply while you’re considering, “That is good, however it wants one thing” – You provides it to you. You is the grasp of twists, and Season 4 is not any exception. Whereas the primary half of Season 4 is actually a enjoyable watch, there may be the sense that one thing else should be occurring right here. Ever since Season 2, You has by no means settled – it at all times finds a technique to pull the rug out from beneath its viewers. On the finish of Season 2, we discovered that Love shouldn’t be who Joe thinks she is – and positively not who we thought she was both. It left us with the sophisticated query: is Love simply as unhealthy as Joe? Is she redeemable? Then, in Season 3, You as soon as once more did the sudden. Simply as we thought there was a brand new “You” with Joe’s new neighbor, the mysterious girl throughout the fence (Michaela McManus), Love gave her the ax (actually) on the finish of Episode 1. Simply after we assumed we knew the overarching narrative, You flipped it on its head.

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