Review: Was 'You' Season 4 Part 2 Worth Netflix Making Us Wait?

You Penn Badgley Joe Goldberg Jonathan Moore Netflix

Where do I begin? “You” Season 4 is now out in its entirety, and it is time to (honestly) tackle if it was worth the wait Netflix made fans endure. The answer is complicated. More than any other season, the thriller struggled to find its footing before finishing up with two standout episodes. Do not get me wrong. Season 4 Part 2 was leagues better than Part 1.

Spoilers for Season 4 of “You” are discussed beyond this point.

Every season of “You” tends to strike out in a different direction, and Season 4 was no exception. The game of murder mystery in a Clue-inspired manor did not inspire the tension that Joe’s jaunt to Peach’s palatial abode did in Season 1, Episode 6. Back then, you could cut the tension with a knife.

Overall, “You” Season 4 was ambitious and maneuvered Joe Goldberg into new territory that proved narratively rewarding. It established Joe as a figure very much in the wheelhouse of “Bates Motel’s” rendering of Norman Bates—a serial with severe mental health issues that have caused him to be torn in two. Unlike Norman, Joe cannot stay in one place.

Joe made his way through some tight pickles after faking his death at the end of Season 3. The native New Yorker pulled up stakes from California and set off for Europe, eventually settling in London, England. The location change caused a significant tonal shift in the series.

When a TV show moves its base overseas, it tends to be a sign that it is on its last leg. There is a sense that a series has run out of ideas, especially when it makes a leap as large as leaving the USA for London. Look at “Gossip Girl.” It never regained momentum before Serena and Blair’s European vacation.

To its credit, “You” previously managed a seamless transition to the west coast following its freshman run in New York City. California’s hazy energy and the backdrop and personalities it presented for Joe provided great material. Most importantly, however, it gave Joe – Love Quinn.

“You” had some turbulent moments in Season 3, and Love managed to even out the ride -- every time. Without her, “You” and Joe have lost much of their life force. Joe’s London love interest, Kate, is not on Love’s level, or Beck’s for that matter. If anyone new should have caught Joe’s obsessive eye, Lady Phoebe should have drawn it. (Not that I would wish that on her.)

Lady Phoebe was sweet and needed to be protected from a jerk boyfriend, yet Joe did not even look at her twice in a romantic manner. Viewers were left with Kate, her Dad (the amazing Greg Kinnear), and her easily solvable problems that she kept whining about needing to solve. All of Joe’s past love interests made sense, and Kate -- does not.

Joe gives Kate all this credit for helping people when she barely lifts a finger. Her ambitions to find the person who killed her boyfriend are non-existent. Regardless, Joe has stars in his eyes. The way Season 4 ends makes it clear that Kate is on “You” for the long haul—or at least, Season 5 if it happens. Netflix would be crazy to pull the plug now, and it has not! Get the inside track on the Season 5 renewal here.