Spoiler: Is Joe Goldberg rooting for himself in season 4’s ‘You?’



Poster showing Joe Goldberg with a new look for Season 4 of “You.”

Christine Nader and Mel Ayala

Season 4 of the hit Netflix show “You” takes viewers down a rabbit hole of suspense, accompanied by plenty of stormy twists.

Series lead Joe Goldberg is seemingly convinced that he can start again in a different city without any retribution, despite the whole reason for his relocation being to continue his disturbed activities.

The season is split into two parts where the first five episodes tease a skeleton of an unbeknownst mishap, causing viewers to double-take if they were pining for Joe to succeed.

The first part flips the previous narrative where now the hunter becomes the hunted.

Having apparently done something decent for once in his life, he sheds his tainted identity in exchange for a brand new name and backstory.

Now name Jonathan Moore and posing as an English professor, Joe hopes he can build a functional life for himself.

Shortly after Joe’s arrival, a trail of sudden murders is revealed.

Since Joe was just as shocked at the announcement of every murder, this has the audience thinking that he really has changed for the better.

The release of the last five episodes pulverized any last thought that Joe could ever turn a new leaf.

From the writing to the cinematography, this season transformed the series from a dramatic thriller into a full-on psychological horror.

Season 4 provided lots of substance in terms of the psyche of our anti-hero.

Penn Badgley delivered a scarily convincing performance during the scenes shown through another perspective, finally seeing Joe Goldberg at his most dangerous.

The plot eventually reveals that Joe has erotomania, a syndrome where someone thinks that another person is deeply in love with them.

This means that Joe was unaware that he committed the crimes, which shows that Joe struggled with processing that he was even more violent than usual.

This explanation behind the character of Joe makes the most sense since every crime he’s committed since Season One has never seemed logical.

The series pays homage to Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella, “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” where both main characters have their psyche split in two: good and evil.

This feels like a very fitting direction for Joe’s character as he is a connoisseur of literature who’s likely to read the book.

An interesting detail was how the writers crafted a scenario where Joe and the audience connect the dots about the murderer at the same time.

The cinematography is set up in such a way that effectively captures and emphasizes the darkness of Joe Goldberg’s psyche, as well as the trauma Joe’s victims face.

The writing also has our protagonist break down and render him vulnerable as he faces the ghosts of his past who force him to look within himself.

Fans are already anticipating a fifth season now that Joe Goldberg is at what appears to be the pinnacle of his arc, having enormous amounts of power at his disposal.

What is next for Joe Goldberg? Will the seemingly invincible serial killer finally meet an end to his vicious cycle or will he continue to get away with his crimes?

I’d give Season four of “You” a rating of 10/10 because the suspense was built really nicely, even though most people would have seen that as a flaw.

The storyline was a needed explanation of the intensity of Joe’s character.