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8 Things That Could Have Saved ‘You’ Season 4 Part 2

The problem is You, Joe.

Rhys, looming over Joe, is labeled "You season 4 part 2." Joe, shrugging, looking beleaguered, is labeled "me."

The polarizing responses to Netflix’s You season 4 shouldn’t be cast off as fans being picky. It’s safe to say that, essentially, You season 4 part 2 is a trainwreck for the most part. It’s almost as if the writers thought they were being clever with the twists. Meanwhile, the reality is that if fans can guess all of your twists before the season is over, you aren’t being that creative. Sometimes it’s a matter of fans knowing and understanding a series, but in this case, most of the twists were too obvious (literally, folks on social media figured them out).

Previous seasons managed to shock us (season 2’s major twist is still top notch) and entertain us even if events went to cringe places. It’s unfortunate to say that most of season 4 was wasted on certain characters and side plots. Here is what would’ve saved the season (at least to me)!

Note: Major spoilers ahead, so turn around now if you don’t want to be spoiled.

1. Less time on pointless side characters

The rich friend group in You season 4 is mostly forgettable (aside from a few characters that we aren’t allowed to forget), and they aren’t entirely needed. In previous seasons, we got a range of characters that were rich and still likable in some aspects. Rich and complex characters like Peach (Shay Mitchell), Love (Victoria Pedretti), Forty (James Scully), and even Cary (Travis Van Winkle) and Sherry (Shalita Grant) all added something to their respective seasons. Meanwhile, most of the rich friends in season 4 aren’t going to be remembered fondly, not to mention that we spend way too much time on them throughout part 2.

2. Marienne not being in the cage

Marienne turning to look at Joe in You Season 4

Everyone who has survived meeting and knowing Joe Goldberg should all get shirts, but Marienne (Tati Gabrielle) should especially get a shirt because she survived the glass cage. The problem is that Marienne didn’t deserve to lose practically everything in the process of getting out, not to mention that her being kidnapped added nothing but shock to part 2. Joe gave up trying to pursue her because of reasons (I’ll get to how mental health was handled this season) and eventually assumed she died after her and Nadia (Amy-Leigh Hickman)’s plan worked. Ultimately, she shouldn’t have been in the cage in the first place.

3. The photographer being an actual threat

It turns that the photographer who was taking pictures of Joe wasn’t tied into any bigger plot thread and was just doing it because of Phoebe. Dawn, Phoebe’s stalker, had imagined a whole friendship with her, despite Phoebe not knowing her all that deeply. It would’ve been more interesting if the woman had been linked to the Quinn family or anyone else that Joe had impacted in his past, continuing storylines from previous seasons. At the end of the day, the woman just served as a scapegoat for the Eat the Rich killings.

4. Love having a longer dream appearance

The chances of Love being alive after the You season 3 finale were always slim. Obviously, having hope and wishing for her return was never stupid. However, it was obvious from the trailer that she wasn’t alive and that the marketing team was just trying to pull in viewers. Regardless, Love stole those few minutes she appeared on our screens again, and personally, I think she should’ve been the only person in Joe’s trippy dream.

5. No Adam and Phoebe drama

Both actors did the best they could with the material they were given, but ultimately, too much time was wasted on these characters. We didn’t need to watch Phoebe (Tilly Keeper) and Adam’s (Lukas Gage) incredibly toxic (and borderline abusive) relationship take up so much screen time. There was nothing wrong with touching upon the desperate measures people will take to stay rich, and how maintaining wealth/status was always Adam’s motivation, but it all led up to nothing, and Adam ended up being killed off anyways.

6. Nadia succeeding in building a case against Joe

Poor Nadia tried to do a good and heroic thing by risking her life to save Marienne. She succeeded in aiding Marienne in escaping Joe, finally, after a terrible ordeal. Unfortunately, that was the only thing she was able to do in the end. Once she realized who Joe really was, she took it a step further by trying to gather information about Joe’s obsessions (finding Joe’s box for Rhys in particular) alongside her boyfriend Edward (Brad Alexander). Naturally, Joe caught wind of what was happening, killed Edward, framed Nadia, and left her in shambles. It would’ve been better if she somehow got away with finding evidence.

7. Joe giving up on pursuing Kate

Kate talking to Joe in You Season 4 Part 1

Sorry not sorry, but I still stand behind not seeing believable romantic chemistry between Joe and Kate (Charlotte Ritchie). And I don’t just say that as someone who exists in the Goldrose fandom (or as a person that’s not a fan of Kate). There’s something about their relationship that’s just so boring and not believable. It would’ve been better if Joe lost interest or Kate decided Joe wasn’t worth the trouble. Now that would’ve been an unpredictable route for the show to take.

8. Joe and Rhys together

The potential was right there, and what’s interesting is how Rhys (Ed Speleers) was positioned as Joe’s “You” from the beginning. Imagine if Rhys had really been the killer and Joe finally embraced how horrible he is alongside him? It would’ve been a twist of events to have Joe be with Rhys and watch the obsession play out like it always does. I mean, the box alone cemented that Rhys was just like the others, especially given the hallucinatory moments—Joe was imagining the flirtation and connection. Say what you want, but the bridge scene would’ve been even more intense if murderous Rhys were real.

(featured image: Netflix)

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Vanessa Maki (she/her) is a blerd writer and visual artist who loves horror, anime and all things strange. Her writing has appeared in Pink Advocate, Dread Central and more. For more, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @theblackbuffy.