‘You’ season four: A new tryst with the Oxford comma and serial murders 
(Credit: Netflix)

Editor's Choice

‘You’ season four: A new tryst with the Oxford comma and serial murders 

'You'- Sera Gamble, Greg Berlanti

At this point, Netflix’s You – created by Sera Gamble and Greg Berlanti, starring Penn Badgley as the psychotic and sociopathic stalker, Joe Goldberg, in the lead – is more of a guilty pleasure than anything else. Nothing sells more than murder, sex, and violence. 

You serves just that across the four seasons and retains viewership like no other. Love him or hate him, you cannot ignore Joe Goldberg — a deranged and dangerous sociopath whose penchant for books, women’s panties and murder leads him to fall for various women across the seasons. His obsession makes him descend into a rabbit hole of gruesome violence, where he kills to protect the ones he allegedly loves.

Season three ended on an epic cliffhanger. Love Quinn, Joe’s equally deranged former wife, dies in a fire and Joe sets out to Paris to look for his next target, Marianne. However, season four sees him on his little “European holiday”. Now called Jonathan Moore, Joe’s distinguished beard, tweed coats, and messenger bags help him fit into the role of a loner academic and professor in London, albeit without a degree. 

While Joe desperately tries to keep his hands clean, he quickly finds himself assimilating into a group of filthy rich British people who love nothing more than keeping up appearances, backstabbing one another, hating the poor and snorting cocaine at any given moment. These rich people are vicious and obnoxious, grew up with platinum spoons thrust in their mouth and love to pick on those beneath their stature, especially Joe. 

Joe despises them but is weirdly drawn in. And he soon gets stuck in the circle after a series of murders nearly implicate him and he is taunted by an unknown stalker who uncovers his secret and blackmails him into doing their bidding. This twist in the tale is indeed interesting as the predator becomes the prey. As Joe finds himself caught in the middle of the basest form of literature (in his opinion), a whodunit murder mystery, he loses his mind trying to figure out the puzzle pieces and races against time to find the stalker. 

Badgley is brilliant. Once again. His stoic expression does not give away his murderous thoughts. He is creepier than ever. However, he is genuinely irked and scared, too. For a change. Which is honestly refreshing to watch. He is still delusional but is somehow given the moral higher ground by being the target of a new, more dangerous, and cold-blooded killer who slowly makes their way through the group of British elites, slaughtering them mercilessly. (It is somewhat cathartic, however, to see these elitist scums suffer!)

The newest cast members in addition to Penn Badgley do an epic job of making themselves despicable. The fourth season takes a jab at the ways of the rich and shows their tone-deafness and their hatred for one another. Nothing is as it seems, and they are nothing like Joe’s previous targets and victims. All Oxford graduates, some by dint of perseverance and excellence and others purely due to wealth and legacy, they cannot seem to want to breathe the same air as that of the poor. As Joe fights ideological battles and tries not to let his opinions and worldview get the better of him, the season almost tries to redeem Goldberg. But it is too late. 

The creators’ decisions really confounded me. What was the point of severing this season into two halves? They give away the identity of the stalker. Or so we think. Will the second volume see Joe being apprehended for his past crimes? Does his newest romantic interest, Kate, an employee at an art gallery, with her razor-sharp tongue and wit and menacing bob, take him down? Or will she be an accomplice? The season leaves us with a lot of questions that could have almost been answered in just one other episode, instead of making the audience wait till March 2023 to follow Netflix’s newest model of breaking seasons into different volumes to retain interest, viewership numbers and suspense. 

As we wait eagerly for the second part of this riveting season, we cannot help but reminisce the epic quotes from the show, especially one that made me chuckle (and my British friend understandably angry; “This is such an American writing,” he said.): 

“Being around British people trying to feel feelings is creepy.”