country you go, Joe Goldberg that you find. Well he’s back ladies and gentlemen and, honestly, I don’t know how happy you are considering the problems it brings every time. That crush that took possession of Joe in the third season carries its aftermath in these first five episodes, however leaving room for yet another, inexorable and tiring new obsession.
You 4 part 1: where were we
Attention, if you have not seen THE FIRST THREE seasons from here on there will be inevitable spoilers necessary to review the 4th season.
We had left Joe (Penn Badgley) in a panic after his darling wife Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti) he had planted the idea of Joe as an assassin on Marianne’s mind (Tati Gabrielle). As soon as he got rid of the immobilizing poison administered to him by Love, Joe kills her, causes a fire and leaves little Henry on the doorstep of a new house, to go look for Marianne in Paris, aware that everyone believes him dead in the pyrotechnic accident.
We are now in London and Joe Goldberg, or rather Jonathan Moore, is a university literature teacher who tries unsuccessfully to avoid his colleague Malcolm (Stephen Hagan)as well as the man who lives in the opposite window (how sorry we are!), stereotype of the English aristocrat full of himself and engaged to Kate (Charlotte Ritchie). It’s when Kate meets Joe/Jonathan that this story begins. It’s a moment for the stalker to find himself at a party full of new aristocrats who would kill for a like, become their “friend” and, immediately after, find Malcolm’s corpse on the kitchen table.
You 4 part 1: cast and characters
As with every season of the thriller series of Gamble, Berlanti, Kepnes e Blair, we get to know a whole new wave of characters. We just need to understand if these are compelling, well written and useful to the plot. Let’s start with Joe/Jonathan’s colleague’s girlfriend.
Kate: Played by Charlotte Ritchie. She’s literally a bitch, cold, a snotty entrepreneur, the kind that wouldn’t look anyone in the face to get ahead. She is the director of an art gallery, Malcolm’s dissatisfied girlfriend (which we well understand thanks to the monologues at the window of our Joe, who heads straight towards the couple’s window). Kate from the first meeting does not seem to trust Joe / Jonathan. So she has all the credentials to become his next obsession.
Adam Pratt: interpreted by Lukas Cage it represents what is most vicious in society. The classic son of a father who tries to make his own way by opening elite clubs where the group of friends loves to party. He is the boyfriend of Lady Phoebe and immediately makes friends with Joe, but this is not enough to prevent the madman from discovering some of the boy’s shady secrets.
Lady Phoebe: Tilly Keeper plays the “socialite” always chased by the paparazzi who, unlike Anna Delvey, he actually has a disgustingly rich family behind him. With Adam she represents the “perfect couple” to which all followers aspire. Too bad you can see very little from behind a phone.
This small group of privileged friends also consists of Rhys Montrose (Ed Speleers), author and political aspirant, Malcolm (Stephen Hagan), Roald Walker-Burton (Ben Wiggins) Kate’s longtime friend, loyal but with a dark side that is hard to hide; Simon Soo (Adam Cheng), the son of a tech entrepreneur who is now working with Kate to launch her new exhibition, Sophie Soo (Niccy Lin) Simon’s sister, an influencer with ten million followers who constantly tries to take care of her image and protect her brother, who is decidedly more introverted. Then there’s Gemma, the out of tune note of the group. She has been banned countless times on social media because of her thoughts that defining a mixture of homophobe and racism is an understatement. The typical spoiled girl convinced that employees are professional, sexual, or inferior slaves because they are poor.
You 4 part 1: when stalking meets murder mystery
We can’t say exactly whether we liked these first five episodes or not because there are five more missing which, we promise, we will review as soon as we get our hands on them. It’s not easy to say if this fourth season has changed in tone and structure or if it’s just a simple appearance. After making a decision about Marianne, Joe finds Malcolm lifeless on his table, starting a kind of mouse hunt that seems to have no end. It is from there that our serial killer must review some priorities, such as starting to read those mystery novels that he despises so much under the advice of his student Nadia, unless he wants to get framed for murder. But by whom? Who killed Malcolm? And so our thriller series becomes a classic “whudunit” where the goal is to understand the killer, the motive and the opportunity. Does it remind you of anything? A classic mystery by Agatha Cristhie for example, also mentioned in the series, or a typical murder mystery. It remains to be seen if it works, if it is an innovation (for the series to be clear) or a simple kneeling to the mainstream. But we will understand this as soon as the fourth season is over.
For now we can say that it seems to work for Joe’s dark humor monologues that always draw a laugh (bitter to be clear, but black humor never hurts let’s face it) and for the skill of some actors, as well as Penn Badgley. It also works, simply by the fact that Penn fascinates us with a character that we really should literally suck. The problem is a bit the story that always seems to be the same heated soup; Aren’t you tired of continually seeing a circle of Elite kids, who aren’t so young after all, get stoned like hell and fall into traumatizing consequences?
Analyzing it from this point of view, it’s really too much, a good actor and a beautiful photograph are not enough to bring a TV series to the top, you need a story capable of surprising, which does not fall into the obvious and which grabs you from the beginning.
For these 5 episodes we remain of the opinion that YOU could have ended with the 3rd season in a more dramatic way perhaps, even if someone argues with the first.
Nothing is as it seems but isn’t it? Let’s see if the next 5 episodes will be able to raise the bar again, maybe Marianne will give us satisfaction or, even better even if it’s crazy to think about it now, Guinevere Beck.