The decision to release season 4 of You as two parts seems more of a creative decision as there is a stark difference in the tone of the story in Part 2. With the intricacy level becoming even tighter in the fourth season, You Season 4 is an exhilarating roller-coaster ride through the mind of a psychopath that holds your interest till the very end.
In the third season, we saw Joe following Marienne Bellamy all the way to Paris. As we start season 4, we are shown that Joe is now in London, living under a new alias Professor Jonathan. But his obsessive stalking behavior hasn’t really changed, even though he is fighting it really hard internally. He generates curiosity about a couple’s relationship in his neighborhood, Kate and Malcolm. Malcolm invites Joe to his close circle group’s party after Joe saves Kate from an ambush. How that dope-heavy party changes everything for Joe and the repercussions of that are what we witness in You Season 4.
Be it a movie or a series, the foundation is the writing, and in the case of You, the writing is simply fantastic. The attention span, in general, these days is minimal, and I found myself sitting through the fourth season episodes without looking at the clock. What makes almost every season in the series unique is that even though it eventually repeats the same cycle, there is an evolution happening to the central character. And the challenges ahead of him are always getting complex. Just when you think the challenges can no longer go big, Sera Gamble and her brilliant writers put Joe in the middle of a group of sociopaths.
In part 1 of the fourth season, the most fascinating element is the fact that our psychopath hero is getting suffocated in a group of snobby and filthy-rich UK sociopaths. If Love Quin was like an equal force that shook Joe, here, this group of diverse people with almost zero empathy is confusing him. The series’ transition from a convoluted whodunit to a gripping psychological thriller is actually the USP of this new season. The massive reveal that happened in the 7th episode of the series was totally a shocker. As I said, the writing was highly clever in ruling out that possibility from the viewer’s mind.
The pattern of killing and the frequency of it is pretty much the signature of this show, and that has been maintained here as well. But what feels even more solid is the emotional angle. While Joe Goldberg acted more like a person who justified his acts in the previous seasons, there is a sense of realization about his dark side in how he behaves in season 4. The hallucination angle to the second part of the season somewhere brings the audience closer to him. And just like the other seasons, they were able to give space to almost all the other characters adequately so that they get registered in our minds.
Penn Badgley, as the central character Joe Goldberg, maintains that attractive creepiness in how he presents the character. Even though the voiceovers help him in conveying the emotions, it is a very tricky space as the expressions are mainly on the minimal side. Charlotte Ritchie as Kate was great, and the gradual transition of that character from an extremely thankless person to a subtle romantic looked really convincing on screen. Ed Speleers has the charm his role demands, and in part two of the series, the actor is spectacular. Tilly Keeper, as Lady Pheobe, managed to humanize a character that usually ends up looking like a caricature. Amy-Leigh Hickman, as Nadia, was convincing as the intelligent and concerned student, and the nervous energy her character creates in the final episode is too much to handle. Tati Gabrielle reprises her role as Marienne and we might get to see more of her if Netflix renews You for a fifth season.
On a craft level, the way You has expanded over the seasons is really remarkable, and you end up admiring the way it creates convoluted yet compelling plots each time. Even though the basic elements are somewhat repeating in each season, the brave narrative experiments they do in this series and the conviction with which they pull it off are genuinely praiseworthy.
With the intricacy level becoming even tighter in the fourth season, You Season 4 is an exhilarating roller-coaster ride through the mind of a psychopath that holds your interest till the very end.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended