You Season 4: A Risky, Rewarding Reinvention
The latest instalment of the hit psychological thriller series, You, has returned with a fourth season, but this time it comes in two parts. The decision to divide the season seems more of a creative choice as there is a clear difference in the tone of the story in Part 2. With its intricate level of storytelling becoming even tighter, You Season 4 is an exhilarating roller-coaster ride through the mind of a psychopath that will have viewers on the edge of their seats until the very end.
In Season 4, You introduces viewers to a new set of characters, all of whom have their own unique quirks and eccentricities. Each season of You up to this point has been set in a different city, each with its own unique cast of characters who border on caricatures. Season 4 is no different. Just as Season 2 captured the stereotype of the granola LA hipsters and Season 3 showcased the toxic wasteland of momfluencers, Season 4 delves into the world of the rich and royal.
Penn Badgley is back as the central character, and he maintains that attractive creepiness in how he presents the character. Even though the voiceovers help him in conveying the emotions, it is a very tricky space as the expressions are mainly on the minimal side.
There are certainly some standouts in You’s new supporting cast – Charlotte Ritchie gives a beautiful depth to her character Kate, who may be a member of the elite, but has an emotional backstory that balances out her initial “ice queen” act. Tilly Keeper is an absolute delight as Lady Phoebe, who may be royalty but lacks the cruelty and inhumanity of her wealthy peers. Keeper’s comedic timing is perfect, but like Ritchie, she brings a distinctive emotional touch as a woman who, underneath all the wealth, feels truly alone and misunderstood.
As always, the writing in You is exceptional, and what makes each season in the series unique is the evolution of the central character. The challenges that Joe Goldberg faces continue to get more complex, and just when you think it can’t get any bigger, Sera Gamble and her brilliant writers put Joe in the middle of a group of sociopaths.
The pattern of killing and its frequency is still a signature element of the show, but what feels more solid is the emotional angle. While Joe Goldberg acted more like a person who justified his acts in the previous seasons, there is a sense of realization about his dark side in how he behaves in season 4. The hallucination angle to the second part of the season brings the audience closer to him, and the writers were able to give space to almost all the other characters adequately so that they get registered in our minds.
This season of You took a risk by moving its tried-and-true narrative in a new direction – and it works. Season 4 of You is bold and unexpected with twists and turns that are simply wicked. Joe Goldberg has managed to conquer an ever-increasingly challenging feat in Season 4 – he finds a way to shock us once again. The new characters are memorable, and the story feels fresh and intriguing. If you’re a fan of the series, this latest season is a must-watch.