For February, Joe Goldberg returns as the beloved stalker in a new season of Netflix’s hit series “You.” In the previous three seasons, viewers had a chance to enjoy brutal, intricate murders, schemes and ploys from Joe as he tries to find love and let nothing stop him. With a tendency to use extreme measures, the writing of Joe’s character is impressive insofar that fans of the show still find themselves rooting for him despite his psychotic nature.
The third season of Joe’s obsessive love story starts with his newfound fatherhood with his newborn son, Henry, and a toxic relationship with Love Quinn. It followed the ending of the second season where Joe finds out about Love’s very own murderous streak. He almost kills Quinn at the very climatic finale of that season and only spares her when she reveals her pregnancy with his child. Battling through their murderous intentions, while trying to protect Henry, Joe and Love’s story give ways to twists and turns and eventually end in a literal explosion. Joe then moves on to a new romantic target in the form of Marienne and leaves his son remorsefully in the hands of a past coworker.
In this new season, Joe supposedly turns over a new leaf, vowing to become a better person as he promises never to kill again. Winding up in Paris in his chase of Marienne, he takes on the mantle of a college professor and lives in London. Accompanying a new change to the setting, the biggest difference comes monumentally in the approach to its genre. Fans of the show will not only enjoy Joe’s stalking and plotting but also a new, interesting twist as it is revealed that Joe is now being stalked and watched, as well. “You” season 4 flips the script of hunter and prey as Joe is now the target of someone’s own extreme tendencies which also allows writers to dip their feet in the murder-mystery whodunit genre.
As Joe again finds himself intertwined with a new set of complicated acquaintances, he must find who is after him, and their intentions and stop them. With the only confirmed recurring characters being himself and Marienne, the multitude of additions provide unbridled excitement and reinvigoration to the show’s premise.
Fans will also join Joe in trying to figure out this mystery and choose out of the new colorful cast of characters that become a part of Joe’s friend group. This new ensemble includes stars like Lukas Gage (“Euphoria,” “The White Lotus”) and Charlotte Ritchie (“Ghosts”) as Kate. Kate also serves as another potential love interest to Joe, which is not surprising considering his pattern of eventually becoming bored with his romantic targets and pursuing others.
While these new changes to the narrative approach to “You” can set up for another successful season, these changes also have the chance of failing to meet the expectations of fans as it strays from its usual formula of storytelling. The series at its core is a story that prospers from the very unhinged Joe using various tactics and techniques to court his romantic interest, thus, incorporating another plotline could prove challenging to the writers as they must balance Joe’s antics with the impending danger of a mysterious opponent. Antagonists in this form are not new as Joe has met his match many times in the previous seasons against characters like the crazy Peach Salinger or obsessive Matthew Engler and, hopefully, the mystery behind our new antagonist will only serve to heighten the viewing experience.
Verdict: With a new cast, a change to its premise, and Joe’s same old stalking and plotting, the fourth season of “You” sets itself for another exciting and promising story.