You TV Review
You TV Review Metabox
This review contains spoilers from the first part of season four – do not read if you have not yet watched episodes 401-405.
You did this. You had to take it too far. You ruined a strong 3+ year relationship.
With the Eat the Rich killer now unmasked, Joe now finds himself back on offense as he looks to take down Rhys, the series’ newest serial killer. A guy running for mayor and whose “heart seems to be in the right place – as least as politicians go”, Rhys spends his days in the final five episodes alongside Joe, taunting him every step of the way. If Joe doesn’t frame someone else for the numerous killings, he is going to go down as the ultimate murderer. But it’s not just Rhys that Joe has to contend with as his student Nadia and Kate’s father Tom (Greg Kinnear) are also hot on his tail. Joe’s world is quickly falling in on him and he needs to find a way out before it’s too late.
What has made You so enjoyable in the past is Penn Badgley’s portrayal of Joe Goldberg and the writing of his complex character. But the excitement of past seasons is gone. The chemistry between Joe and Kate is lukewarm at best. The introduction of so many despicable characters in season four has made their eventual demise uneventful. Joe’s eyes have grown empty and just as Joe goes off the rails in these final episodes, so does the series.
Looking back it was a combination of factors that really started this downward spiral. It started with Netflix’s greedy decision to break the season into two parts – a clear grab for additional press from the aging series. Stealing from the Knives Out franchise with the whodunit story that played out in the first part of season four only exacerbated the fall. Without one of Caroline Kepnes’ books as a guide – as they were used in previous seasons – the writers struggled to come up with an engaging original story. Instead, the series is left to silly throwaway lines like “the enemy of my enemy is my frenemy.” and an id vs. ego storyline that grows more stale by the minute. But the nail in the coffin was taking Joe past the point of no return. Despite his penchant for murdering people in past seasons, Joe’s rationale for his murders and likability factor helped justify his actions. That all is erased in episodes 406-410 and it brings into question ‘what is the writers’ end game for Joe?’ Showrunner Sera Gamble already has shared that she has an idea for season five, but as Joe says at one point, “All I’ve ever wanted is to love and be loved completely.” If that is true, this feels like a fitting end to the hit series – it’s played itself out and it’s time to call it a day as it’s hard to love a character who has gone too far ‘completely’ any longer. But, conversely, should one of Netflix’s most popular series end on such a sour note? Time will only tell as the cast and crew await a season five renewal order.