‘You’ Season 4 Part 2 Finally Gave Joe’s Victims the One Thing They’ve Lacked for Years
All my homies, dead or alive, hate Joe.
Netflix’s You Season 4 part one had audiences fooled into thinking Joe Goldberg, resident serial killer and master of the inner monologue, had taken a turn for a much-needed redemption arc. When faced with Marienne’s genuine (and well-placed) fear of him after his murder of Love at the end of Season 3, he let her go back to Paris unharmed. He was settling into his new life in the U.K. with ease and even stepped into the role of detective to find out who was hunting down his new friends. It seemed like Joe was shaping up to be our new hero, but as is common with this show, things were not as they appeared.
In a shocking twist of events, it turned out that Joe’s new enemy—the suave and calculating Rhys Montrose, who Joe thought was the Eat the Rich Killer—was nothing more than a psychological manifestation of Joe’s worst killer instincts, while the real Rhys was living his life with no knowledge of Joe’s existence. Joe was the real Eat the Rich Killer all along, and he didn’t let Marienne go back to Paris. Instead, he trapped her in his traveling glass cage for weeks on end.
And, to make matters worse (if that’s even possible), Marienne seems to go into anaphylaxis after drinking some coffee laced with peanut oil, and Joe has no way of getting into the cage to get to her. Thankfully, this turns out to be a in a dream-like hallucination after Joe takes tranquilizers to escape from Dream Rhys. Still, in a desperate attempt to save her life and assuage himself of the guilt he feels about kidnapping her, Joe goes on the hunt for the key to open the cage, but is unable to retrieve it because his worst nightmares are playing keep away with it.
In a terrifying sequence within the penultimate episode, Joe is confronted with three of his victims: Gemma, Beck, and Love. Notably, the only victims who his subconscious chooses to fixate on are some of the women he brutally wiped from Earth.
Joe’s internal monologue always gave us an insight into his twisted way of thinking, which sort of justified his monstrous actions because we got to see how he arrived at these conclusions. Even though we know murder is bad and no one deserved to be taken out by Joe, we still understand why Joe does what he does and even sympathize with him.
However, episode 9 lets his victims have a real, true voice for the very first time. Though they’re dead, Gemma, Beck, and Love all represent the true horrors Joe has committed and why his reasons for killing them are complete bullshit.
During his conversation with Gemma, she shuts down his excuses that he only murdered her due to self-preservation as Gemma was starting to suspect him as her friends’ killers. She explains to him that she could have never conceived of how much of a monster he truly is and hints that there’s only one way to save Marienne, but that he’s too much of a coward to “do what needs to be done.”
Next, Joe meets Beck at a book reading where the audience is filled with blonde women—and then peaches to represent Peach, who he also killed in season 1. Beck taunts him as she calls him pathetic and mocks the idea of him being able to save Marienne at all. When Joe starts to look hurt due to Beck’s words, she spits back, “Oh, did I hurt your feelings? Well I’m fucking dead, Joe.” She then tells him that he can’t save Marienne because that’s just not the type of person he is before swallowing the key he needs to unlock the cage.
Finally, and poetically, Joe is faced with who is arguably his most notable victim, Love, within the same kind of glass cage in which he now holds Marienne. He tries to assure her that he understands why she would be so angry with him, and she hits back, saying, “I can’t be angry, Joe, you made sure of that.” Joe then tries to push all of the blame for their crumbling marriage and Love’s murder onto her due to her being emotional, unfaithful, and lacking impulse control. Love then points out, though their love language was always violence, Joe was still pointing the finger of blame at her and not on his own pattern of behavior.
Joe is not the hero of any story. His actions are not justified, no matter how convincing his monologues are, and the people he killed, though fictional, still deserved the chance to live full lives. But Joe stole that from them, and no amount of disassociating or finger-pointing or sweeping under the rug can change that. It’s refreshing to hear from Joe’s victims, and I hope we get more of that energy going into the show’s fifth season.
(featured image: Netflix)
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