The highly-anticipated fourth season of “You” premiered in two parts, beginning in February and running into March. While writers have not confirmed the addition of another season, the series is drawing towards a close and should not be extended much longer. Marking a turning point in the psychological thriller, season four diverges from the three-season pattern of stalking and adopts a whodunit storyline, paralleling a modern retelling of “Clue.”
Penn Badgley reprises his role as Joe Goldberg accompanied by an ensemble of fresh faces. “White Lotus” star Lukas Gage and English actress Charlotte Ritchie take the stage with popular “As Good as it Gets” actor Greg Kinnear.
Leaving his old life behind, Joe travels to France in search of his lost love Marienne, played by Tati Gabrielle.
Once he realizes her affinity turned into fear, Joe turns over a new leaf and becomes university professor Jonathan Moore. His fellow teacher Malcolm drags him out one night to a party with the social elites. After blacking out, Joe wakes up to a murdered partygoer on his table with no recollection of what happened.
Season four sets the stage for a new era of Joe as he attempts to put his murderous stalking behind him. The audience sees him in a different light. As the poor, drab outsider to a clique of socialites, Joe finds himself caught in the middle of someone else’s plot. “You” transitions from lustful to vengeful as Joe addresses his anonymous blackmailer.
The character depth across the cast is a fresh pivot from previous seasons. Joe becomes a mature, determined man striving to prove his good nature. Instead of placing Joe in the same mundane situations, the season’s relocation to France offers a completely new identity and social integration. This situation also opens the door for another perspective on Joe and his tendencies.
Arguably the best character development lies in Tom Lockwood. Introduced in season four’s part two, Tom immediately demands the audience’s attention with his manipulation and strategy, especially in the polarizing gossip about him throughout the first part.
Despite the new twists, “You” stays true to the deathly romance and psychological questions. Conflicts arise between the old habits of Joe and the new chances he has at a normal life. Contrary to past relationships, Joe and his love interest reflect the more traditional partnership by mostly staring, flirting and having sex. Few instances connect his previous obsessive relationships with the love towards his new crush. Joe is no longer the mastermind, but a pawn. The audience knows as much as Joe does, making for greater mental stimulation through guessing the murderer and piecing together the truth. Every episode poses new questions and uncovers more parts of the master plot.
With a brand new concept, “You” season four renews its audience’s love. Season four’s part two is especially filled with second-guessing, misinformation and all the fixings for an enjoyable murder mystery.
Whether viewers dropped off the series after the first episode or the first season, the changes “You” season four employs allows for a newly-excited viewership and potential to further the series.