HomeTelevisionYOU Season 4 Part 2 Review: The Deliciously Twisted Undoing

YOU Season 4 Part 2 Review: The Deliciously Twisted Undoing


master mentalism tricks

The enemy of thine enemy is thyself.

Just when it seemed like YOU Season 4 would fizzle out with its ending, it proved to be a slow burn that built into one of the most fabulous twists of the series to date.

The dynamic duo of Penn Badgley and Ed Speleers was enough to have viewers on the edge of their seats until the end credits of the season.

Me and My Darkness  - YOU

And now, one must wonder, where do they go next with Joe, and will there ever be any comeuppance for him?

At this point, Joe seems his most unstoppable yet! He’s made peace with who he is, embraced his dark side entirely, and got the girl despite that and her unlimited money, power, and resources to cover his tracks at every conceivable turn.

Facing His Truth -tall  - YOU

Joe gets to hide behind Kate’s money, power, and reputation and give the illusion that he’s one-half of a philanthropic couple while leaving nothing but death, pain, and destruction in his wake.

It’s so horrific that it’s ingenious, and on any other series, it would be the ending point for his story after four seasons of Joe denying who he really is and succumbing to it anyway.

But YOU wouldn’t possibly leave a story about a serial killer who wins without paying some form of price, right? Not even the book series the show is based on allowed that to happen fully.

While the first half of the season became a murder mystery centered on Joe, attempting to determine who was behind all the bodies that dropped, it had moments where one had to slog through to complete it.

Burnt Out  - YOU

However, the season’s second half made all of that worthwhile with a revelation that should come as no real shock to anyone, yet it did. Joe was the person who was behind all the murders the entire time.

He was tearing himself to pieces, attempting to get to the bottom of the Eat the Rich Killer. He determined that said person was Rhys, some more charming, sinister, and unapologetic version of Joe who was giving Joe a run for his money, big time.

Except, he really was a version of Joe, the personification of Joe’s darkness, the gleeful, murderous alter who, in his way, volleyed between protecting Joe and taunting the hell out of him.

A dissociative twist is not uncommon in television series. When not done well, it feels like a cheap ploy to provide a character with some “out” that absolves them of their guilt and misgivings and puts the onus of all the ill will they’ve done on the part of themselves they’re unable to control.

Teaming Up with Rhys -tall  - YOU

Or it can feel like a misrepresentation of a mental condition that further stigmatizes mental illness.

But YOU handles this twist well, and it’s something they’ve set up all season and may have done for much of the series. And it makes sense, too.

D.I.D. is a condition that’s rooted in trauma. It’s a trauma response for some individuals, the brain’s way of protecting itself. We know that Joe’s experience with his parents heavily influenced him and shaped who he is and how he’s approached relationships since childhood.

After so long of faking deaths and covering up a plethora of murders, desperate to stay ahead of his own misdeeds revealing themselves, slipping into the same patterns, it’s no surprise that he broke and broke away at some point from himself.

Unhinged Joe -tall  - YOU

What’s surprising is when that presumably happened, as it tied to the other big twist of the season, that Marienne never got away, and she was in the Joe glass cage across from some takeout joint the entire time.

It was deliciously twisted. Joe couldn’t let Marienne go, and we should’ve known that. He can never let anyone go, so there he was with Marienne, spending however long she was down there, as he held her captive, a bird with clipped wings, unable to escape.

Things got even scarier for her when Joe, the one she knew, the devil she knew best, was gone after his sudden bout of self-harm, banging his head against the glass, and Rhys, Joe’s version of him, took over.

The darkness in Joe didn’t like Marienne, and with that distaste came the easy solution of blocking her out altogether and moving on with his life, leaving her there to waste away with Joe none the wiser slowly.

Something Unexpected -tall  - YOU

It was incredibly wild to consider that. And the timeline takes time to wrap one’s head around. Marienne had been in that cage since before Joe settled into his new life as Jonathan Moore, which means she had to have been there for months.

Nadia pieced things together in the nick of time, and had she not figured everything out, Marienne would be dead. It was such a refreshing change of pace to see someone get over on Joe for a change.

Marienne has to be the luckiest of all of Joe’s paramours that she’s been able to escape him multiple times and live to tell the tale.

It was heartbreaking when it seemed as if she succumbed to her addiction out of the devastation that she would no longer be with her daughter again, but it was an ingenious plan to have her fake her death, thanks to beta blockers, and leave Joe spiraling.

Blonde Marienne- tall - YOU Season 4 Episode 1

At least this way, we can hope that Joe will never learn the truth about Marienne, and she’ll be safe for good; of course, that’s assuming that he and Kate never cross paths with her in Paris.

The tragedy in this all is that Nadia was too clever for her own good and on the cusp of taking Joe down once and for all, and she paid the price for it, as well as her boyfriend.

There are some monsters you just can’t slay, and as much as you understand the impulse, it would’ve been better for Nadia if she left things at saving Marienne and gotten away from Joe.

If he was clever enough to cover up so many murders in London, and he’s bodied more people than Jack the Ripper there, she had to know he’d be onto her, too.

Nadia On the case -tall  - YOU

She’s alive, but now, she’s gone down for the death of the real Rhys Monstrose and her boyfriend, and she’s stuck in some prison somewhere, not uttering a single word, likely traumatized beyond recognition.

It’s a terrible fate for such a bright girl with a great future ahead of her, and it’s enough to wish she’d get the justice she deserves because Nadia didn’t deserve any of this.

It’s not even the first person Joe framed since we saw that he pinned all the other deaths on the fellow erotomaniac woman who was stalking Phoebe.

And sadly, no one will ever believe that woman’s tales because of her own mental issues.

Stalking Phoebe-tall - YOU

But her erotomania was a great way to segue into Joe’s own, and his obsession with Rhys went far beyond what we could’ve anticipated.

Part of it was that we’d known Joe to be obsessive, but typically with a beautiful woman he wants to pursue, not some wealthy male politician.

He studied everything about Rhys, knew all there was to know about him, and then made the personification of his darkness this version of Rhys he conjured up in his head.

And we should’ve seen it the whole way through. In almost every scene Joe shared with Rhys, they were alone.

Connected Unexpectedly  - YOU

He was never publicly seen with Rhys, and typically when people asked him about who he was speaking to, he was alone, usually with some libation or something around that would explain or cause someone to dismiss that Joe was talking to himself the entire time.

It took the moment of Joe, seemingly the pawn between “Rhys” and Tom Lockwood, opting to kill Rhys at Tom’s demand that we learn that Rhys had no idea who Joe was.

And that split of Joe’s version of Rhys taunting him after he killed the real deal, that your jaw dropped to the floor at this great twist.

As awful as it was, there was pure entertainment and delight in seeing Joe and “Rhys” working together to unravel the mystery behind Marienne and kill Tom Lockwood.

Tom Lockwoode -tall  - YOU

“Rhys” was such a cheeky bastard, darkly comedic, and such a little shit.

The scenes with those two were among the best of the season, if not the series. They played off one another so well, making everything about this fucked up situation all the richer.

Of course, the series also used a Victoria Pendretti return with Love telling Joe about himself and driving him to end his life, which was in everyone’s best interest.

The Love Quinn chapter of this series is closed, and it may be an unpopular opinion, but it needed to be. However, that cameo was everything a person could ask for and more.

Love Quinn Returns - tall - YOU

Joe’s dreamscape was such a culmination of all the things that got him to this point, some great realization and self-awareness that he never had quite possessed and genuine growth on his part.

It was a surprise that Joe settled on taking his own life to end the cycle of violence and murder he’s been responsible for, and he seemed genuine about all of that.

Some of it was rooted in his not wanting to kill Kate. He had already recognized how he’s killed for her, in the same vain he did for his previous lovers, convincing himself that it was for their own good.

And upon facing Tom, who knew nearly everything about him, exploited that and accurately pointed out that he and Joe are essentially the same, and Joe was repeating the same behavior Tom did to his own daughter, Joe knew he had to put an end to things.

Doorstep with Kate - tall - YOU

Not even the love of “Rhys” his own darkness was enough to save him, and there was something powerful about the two embracing before Joe shoved this version of himself that both protected him and wreaked havoc on his behalf over the rail.

It was perfectly set up for this redemptive moment for Joe, him making the ultimate sacrifice to put an end to all the suffering and pain he caused.

But then, the realization hit that he didn’t want to die once he hit that water and got saved. And in typical Joe fashion, his getting saved meant something to him, and he could run with that.

And the moment he realized that he could be brutally honest with Kate, and she’d love him anyway, it was all the validation he needed to carry on with who he really was.

Learning the Truth -tall  - YOU

After years of denying his truth, it marks a turning point in the series that he can embrace it. He knows who and what he is now, and he’s accepted that and isn’t suffering because of it.

He gets the love he always wanted and craved despite it and a woman who, unlike Love, professes to keep him honest and “good” rather than enabling his dark and bad side.

At least, that’s what they’re both telling themselves, but anyone who scrubs Joe’s past squeaky clean like that and knows what he’s capable of doing and can turn the other way is still enabling his bad side.

They essentially set Kate up to be the anti-Love, a woman who sees Joe and accepts him for who he is, similar to Love, but enables his delusion that he can and will be a good person, rather than embracing the chaos of his murderous side.

Date with Kate  - YOU

In that sense, it makes Kate an interesting love interest for Joe, even if she wasn’t for the first half of the series, and they still don’t have the most compelling chemistry.

The Kate portion of the season has had its ups and downs. She and Joe routinely fall flat, but it’s a chemistry that’s decidedly different than anything Joe has had in the past, and presumably, that’s been the point the whole time.

Ironically, despite all of Kate’s best efforts, she’s fallen into her father’s trap of running the company she claimed she was against, hoping that she can make up for all her previous poor decisions through philanthropic work.

And she’s involved with a man no different than her father. Her daddy issues were on full display by the end of the season in that regard, making her as colossally fucked up as Joe in totally different ways.

Meeting Her Father -tall  - YOU

And Joe is every bit like Kate’s father, who he killed because he didn’t like Tom’s hold on her. And he’s also like Adam, who married a vulnerable Phoebe for her money, power, and prestige.

As an aside, the only worthwhile side story with a secondary character of interest this season is that Phoebe found happiness in Thailand.

Sadly, the other characters failed to deliver anything substantial in the second half, either.

But back to Joe — he is every bit like the people he professes to loathe.

Remarkably, he found a sustainable romantic partner in Kate, but this is Joe, and how long can that last?

Happy Phoebe -tall  - YOU

Kate and her team have completely revamped and rehabilitated his image. He’s the freest that he’s been in some time.

Jonathan Moore is dead, and Joe Goldberg is back, and he is protected by money, power, and privilege, the things he’s loathed but refused to admit that he’s had this entire time.

This barrier between him and the rest of the world makes him untouchable, and that’s terrifying.

And based on that ending, with a clean-shaven Joe, the one we know and recognize best, staring out the window in New York, his home, where he loves it most, with “Rhys” smiling back at him, Joe is at his most dangerous.

Rhys Montrose -tall  - YOU

Joe can do some serious damage now; without self-loathing, he’ll do it without apology.

Somehow, the series managed to give us self-growth and awareness for Joe, but not in the direction toward redemption.

We got exactly what we asked for, yet not what we had in mind. Lest for a second, we forget this isn’t the story of a hero, and this is not a tale of redemption.

Over to YOU.

Devil on the Shoulder -tall  - YOU

What are your thoughts of YOU Season 4? Did you anticipate all of the twists?

How do you envision them wrapping things up in a season 5?

Are you happy that Joe is back in NYC? Hit the comments below.

Don’t forget to check out our YOU reviews of Part 1.

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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