You season four part two
The fourth season of hit Netflix show You began with obsessive stalker Joe (Penn Badgley) living in London under a different name and posing as a literature professor. While he tried to put his turbulent and complex past behind him, he became swept up into a whodunnit-style conspiracy when he was framed for the death of one of the city’s wealthiest socialites and blackmailed by a mysterious stranger who knew about his past. With the perpetrator unmasked by the series’ midpoint, however, the second part of this season finds itself falling into familiar habits, as the script does away with the very thing that made the first half so enthralling to begin with.
The latest season of You was intriguing precisely because it didn’t abide by the show’s conventions. This time it was Joe who was on the back foot and would need to use his wits to stay one step ahead of whoever has been responsible for slaying the circle of super-rich Londoners he’d become affiliated with. It was a sharply written mystery that turned the show’s premise on its head, whilst delivering an engrossing plot with unexpected revelations and a dash of social satire along the way. With this unique approach to the show gone, the final episodes reach for a series of utterly ridiculous twists in an attempt to keep the ending from becoming stale.
Though Badgley’s performance is as sardonically sharp-witted as ever, while a genuinely unexpected reveal puts a new spin on an established character and the series’ events so far, the remainder of the plot becomes too convoluted to maintain the devilish playfulness of before. Rather, the show now plays out as if the writers are constantly trying to outdo the last twist in the most over-the-top way possible, to the point where pivotal moments are undone moments later for the shock factor.
Part two also suffers from not knowing what to do with its lingering plot threads. The steamy dramas of the monstrously rich that made a humorous backdrop to Joe’s investigation, for example, now become their own subplot. Lacking in narrative substance, though, their continued inclusion gets more in the way of the narrative rather than adding to it.
Though fans will be excited that the finale sets Joe up to return for a fifth season, this one crashes to disappointing lows after starting so brilliantly.
You season four part two is released on Netflix on 9th March 2023. Read our review of part one here.
Watch the trailer for You season four part two here: