Warning: This post contains spoilers for season 3 and part one of season 4 of You
Penn Badgley is finally back as everyone’s favorite obsessive stalker and murderer, Joe Goldberg. The last time fans saw Joe in season 3 of You, he was on the run in Europe after killing his wife, Love, and leaving his baby, Henry, at a neighbor’s house. Before she died, Love told Marienne (Joe’s latest love interest) that Joe was the one who killed her boyfriend, warning her to get away from him. The season ended with Joe in Paris, France, looking for Marienne, vowing that she really was the one for him.
The first part of the highly-anticipated fourth season of You is out Thursday on Netflix. The season—which is broken into two parts, with five episodes out now and the final five coming March 9—slightly departs from the tried-and-true formula followed by You in previous years. Typically in the romantic thriller comedy series, Joe becomes obsessed with a woman and gets rid of anyone who might threaten to harm her or their chance of being together. Invariably, the object of Joe’s affection dies (or is killed by him), and he moves on to the next one. But after Joe fakes his death and moves to Europe, he becomes friends with some of London’s elite class, and the script is flipped on its head: someone knows Joe’s secret, and, this time, he is the one being stalked by a killer.
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The first part of season four follows Joe realizing what it’s like to be stalked and trying to figure out who in his new friend group is the one sending him ominous texts. It’s You, with an Agatha Christie twist.
Here’s everything you need to know about the events of season four of You’s fourth season—and how part one ends.
What happens in part one of You season 4?
Joe is hiding in plain sight as a literature professor at a university in London. Now going by Jonathan, he befriends a rich and well-connected professor named Malcolm, whom he lives next door to—so close, in fact, that he can see into Malcolm’s living room in the flat that he lives in with his girlfriend, Kate, through his kitchen window. In the first episode of the season, Malcolm invites Joe to an exclusive party, where he meets all the characters who will populate his new world—one of whom is most certainly stalking him.
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There’s Lady Phoebe Borehall-Braxworth, a Paris Hilton-esque socialite, who is in a very public relationship with Adam Pratt (Lukas Gage). He is also introduced to Blessing Bosede, a Nigerian princess; Simon and Sophie Soo, a popular artist and his influencer sister; Roald Walker-Burton; Gemma Graham-Greene, Connie (they don’t say his last name); and writer Rhys Montrose. At the party, Malcolm urges Joe to let loose and try to enjoy the night. Joe ends up getting too drunk (or perhaps someone tampered with his drink) and wakes up to find Malcolm’s dead body on his kitchen table. Joe can’t remember killing Malcolm, but he does have experience in this field and decides to clean the mess up while the police question Kate across the way.
Joe manages to dispose of Malcolm’s body without raising any alarms and later finds Marienne, who is understandably frightened by him, and goes back to Paris to be with her daughter. After he gets rejected by Marienne, he closes in on Kate and builds a relationship with her throughout the first part of the season, which causes more than a few complications. Joe joins this new circle of ultra-rich friends, and over the next few episodes, various members of the group end up dead, thought to be the targets of someone nicknamed the “Eat the Rich Killer.” Though they naturally suspect him, this time, the killer really isn’t Joe. The real murderer begins a series of mind games, taunting Joe through text messages that disappear after a certain amount of time. After Simon is killed during an art show that was produced by Kate, Joe returns to his flat to find the killer has stapled clippings of articles about all the other people Joe has murdered.
By the third episode of season four, Joe is back to his old habits: he fights with Adam’s bodyguard, Vic, kills him, later burying him while the police seem to be on his tail. He evades them successfully—in episode four, the police sit Joe down to tell him that a tip he gave them who the killer might be had legs, and they were pursuing it.
Joe, determined to figure out who is trying to frame him, stays embedded among his new friends. Phoebe decides the group should take a trip to her family’s Downton Abbey-esque house in Hampsbridge where everyone engages in debauchery to take their mind off the “Eat the Rich killer.” Joe uses the opportunity to snoop and see if he can figure out who the killer is, all while he and Kate deal with the tension (in all its forms) between them. Roald catches Joe looking around his room and pushes him out the second-floor window. Joe hobbles back into Kate’s room to find her staring at Gemma dead on the floor.
Part one ends on a tense note. In the fifth episode, Roald openly accuses Joe of being the killer and presents the evidence to the group while pointing a gun in his face. Joe manages to run away, but Roald catches up to him, and they fight. Out of nowhere, Rhys appears—he kidnaps them both, and chains them in a dungeon under the house.
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Who is the Eat the Rich killer?
Rhys Montrose, one of friends among the elite group, reveals he is the killer and Joe’s stalker. Rhys tells Joe he planned to pin all the murders on Roald and kill him to make it look like a suicide so he can’t protest his innocence. While this seems like a win-win for Joe, given that Roald has a long-standing crush on Kate, whom Joe really wants to be with now. But the catch is that Rhys wants Joe to kill Roald and handle all the dirty work. Joe has some reservations about doing so and tries to get away from Rhys by breaking free of the chains. When Rhys discovers that Joe lied to him about wanting to be a part of the plan, he tips over a lantern, lighting the dungeon where Joe and Roald are trapped on fire.
Kate rescues them, and the love between her and Joe only deepens. The group returns to London, and Kate tries to ask Joe on a date. But knowing his own past, Joe holds back, so he doesn’t put her in any further danger. He is more focused on exposing Rhys as a murderer than he is on his feelings for Kate. The season ends with Rhys announcing that he plans to run for Mayor of London. Joe, the only one who knows the truth about Rhys, decides he’s the only one who can stop him.
Does anyone besides Rhys know Joe’s real identity?
From the first five episodes, it’s not clear that anyone knows that “Jonathan” is actually Joe Goldberg.
When does You Season 4 Part Two come out?
The second part of season four is going to be released on Netflix on March 9.
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