Metro Weekly

‘You’ Season 4 Review: Fresh Stalkings

Netflix's super-obsessed serial killer returns for a riveting fourth season in 'You.'

You: Penn Bedgley, Lukas Gage -- Photo: Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
You: Penn Badgley, Lukas Gage — Photo: Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

There’s something about You.

Maybe it’s the way Penn Badgley looks with or without a beard. Or maybe it’s the show’s funny, yet cutting satire on the people we suffer through every day.

But damn, four seasons in, You (★★★★☆), Netflix’s series about a sociopath who obsesses over women, still hits that same perverse spot it did to make it one of the streamer’s best in recent years.

Originally a Lifetime Original adapted from Caroline Kepnes’s book series, You was brought to the screen by producing giants Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble, who installed former Gossip Girl star Penn Badgley as the lead.

After one season aired on Lifetime, the show migrated to Netflix, where it blew up and has remained a permanent fixture since season two.

Badgley stars as Joe Goldberg, a troubled sociopath with inclinations for becoming obsessed with random women, ingratiating himself into their lives, and then killing anyone who gets in his way.

On paper, this seems like a strange recommendation in the #MeToo era, but You‘s greatest strength has become its humor, focusing on entertainment and sardonic musings on everyday life from a truly messed up man.

Over the first three seasons, Joe traveled across the coasts, going from being a bookstore manager in New York to a young dad in suburban California. After completely setting his life ablaze, season four finds Joe in London, donning the name Jonathan Moore, and becoming an English professor while trying to have a normal life.

Joe becomes friends with coworker Malcolm (Stephan Hagan), who introduces him to his circle of very rich socialites. Among these are spoiled rich kids Adam and Phoebe (Lukas Gage and Tilly Keeper), famous memoirist and mayoral hopeful Rhys Montrose (Ed Speleers), and Malcolm’s girlfriend Kate (Charlotte Ritchie), who, despite her icy demeanor, becomes Joe’s latest obsession.

You: Penn Bedgley -- Photo: Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
You: Penn Badgley — Photo: Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

While Joe’s attempts at a normal life start pretty simply, a night out with his new aristocratic friends ends with a body on Joe’s dinner table, thus setting the season into motion with a soft reset of sorts, making Joe the victim in someone else’s murder mystery.

Every season has done a sort of soft reset, but this is the farthest the concept has been pushed, with Joe being on the opposite end of the stalking. The loss of control sets Joe off, and plants You into new territory while still remaining true to what it made good the first time around.

Surprisingly, You knows when to hold back, allowing tensions to peak just enough to keep things fresh, while still having Joe’s neurotic musings guide you through the chaos. The mystery at the center of season four isn’t groundbreaking, but it knows how to set up its cast in the archetypes it needs to, keeping the guessing game going.

While You is no doubt entertaining, it does suffer from what Cher Horowitz would call being a “full-on Monet,” not exactly being the most detail-oriented show. Other seasons have fallen victim to this as well, with the series not elaborating on some of the more conspicuous actions of the cast, and usually just a lot of dead bodies piling up without a lot of follow-through.

Season four continues this trend, putting Joe in just the right places at just the right time, so if reason and logic are something you value, good luck finding it here.

Still, there is value in the fun of it all. You is darkly funny, and has mastered putting Joe, a bad person, with even worse people and letting the sparks fly. What You lacks in logic is made up for in entertainment, with twists and turns hitting exactly when they need to.

You: Penn Bedgley -- Photo: Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
You: Penn Bedgley — Photo: Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

Another successful piece of You‘s puzzle is Badgley, who knows the ins and outs of Joe Goldberg, and has fun with the role, making even the simpler moments into something darker and funnier. You isn’t afraid to make Joe look like a fool, which helps follow his very concentrated point-of-view, and lighten up the mood.

The rest of the cast is similarly great, with this season’s additions managing to quickly fill the show’s void to create characters, who despite sometimes feeling like caricatures, really work when they need to. Ritchie as Kate, Joe’s obsession this season, is wonderfully crafted, making Joe and the audience work just enough to fall for her, yet still keeping the mystery alive.

Gage and Keeper as a pair of oblivious socialites are just sweet enough to understand, but are clearly hiding something. When the script gives the characters some room to wiggle, they usually shine — or at least make a big swing.

You is a wild beast of a show that has shown time and time again it has the capability to change and grow however it wants. If you are on the fence about You, there probably isn’t much in season four to change your mind. But if you were captivated by Joe Goldberg the first time around, you will be again.

Season 4, Part 1 of You is now streaming on Netflix. Season 4, Part 2 launches on March 9. Visit

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