You’s Shocking Season 4 Finale Left Us With Some Serious Questions


Major spoilers ahead.

The fourth season of You kept us guessing thanks to its twisty murder mystery plot, which was deftly split into two parts. Joe Goldberg’s unexpected foray into London life saw him mixing with high society and getting embroiled in some sordid rich people drama. In the end, though, Joe’s primal urges got the better of him, and left him grappling with his inner demons more publicly than ever before.

Executive producer and showrunner Sera Gamble breaks down the wild season 4 finale with, and reveals whether Joe Goldberg will be back for a fifth outing.

you l r charlotte ritchie as kate, penn badgley as joe goldberg in episode 409 of you cr courtesy of netflix © 2023


How is Joe able to get away free and start a new life with Kate?

Thanks to Kate’s riches, her cybersecurity team, and squadron of publicists, including the tough-as-nails Cynthia, Joe is able to return to New York and live under his real name, no longer on the run. How? With his and Kate’s resources, they were able to, as he says in the finale, “scrub search results, hack news archives, bribe the Madre Linda chief of police all to support the simple true story of Joe Goldberg.” That story is one that paints him as a survivor of a violent partner.

“He is, in certain ways, more at ease than he’s ever been at the end of the season,” Gamble tells

Part of that ease comes from Joe’s (private) acceptance that he likely will kill again. “Rhys pitches to him what life would be like if Joe stops rejecting this part of himself. How much easier it would be, how much less likely he would be to end up in prison or dead,” Gamble explains. “And so that’s the fun of it—we have kind of removed some of the hesitation and ambivalence that tends to get Joe in a lot of trouble.”

Does Kate have any idea that Joe killed her dad?

After being rescued from the river, Joe confesses his sins to Kate, and the pair begin an “honest” relationship with one another. However, Joe has also just killed Kate’s father, Tom Lockwood (Greg Kinnear). Is she aware?

“We talked a lot about how thoroughly Joe confesses,” Gamble says. “There was literally no one in the writers’ room, no one who read the script who was like, ‘So, he told her absolutely everything.’” She continues, “He told her a lot. But there are definitely areas that he might have felt were less important than other areas.”

While it’s unclear if Kate knows the truth about her father’s death, Joe’s real identity as a killer doesn’t scare her. “This is sort of built to be part of the story that is carried into season 5, the idea that, fundamentally, Kate isn’t terrified by the idea that Joe has committed murder in his past.” Because of the family she was born into, Kate has experience with people doing dark deeds. “That’s something that is within her realm of experience, having grown up her father’s daughter. So that’s not an automatic deal breaker for her,” Gamble says.

Casting Kinnear as Kate’s father only added to the show’s habit of defying expectations. “I think of him as a good guy,” Gamble explains. “So that’s perfect for a villain. It’s sort of like the same MO we used when we cast Penn Badgley as Joe. You don’t think of Penn as a terrible serial killer. You think of him as the perfect boyfriend.”

Will we ever see Rhys again?

In the finale, Joe throws Rhys (not the real author Rhys Montrose, but Joe’s projections of him, who represents his dark side and murderous intentions) into the River Thames in London, and then jumps in himself. In that moment, Joe seems to want to put an end to his killer urges, and the devastation they cause, by killing Rhys and himself at the same time. Narrating the scene, Joe explains, “One thing we can do is decide whether we’re going to continue the cycle or break it.”

Joe was surprised to wake up in hospital, having been rescued from the water. And while it seems as though Joe has excised Rhys for good, it’s clear that his mental state had been deteriorating long before season 4. “We started talking about it a couple of seasons ago,” Gamble tells “In a certain way, we see the arc of the series as Joe getting a little bit more unhinged as each season goes along. It’s one way that he’s accumulating consequences. And also he’s been hit in the head a couple of times. He’s spiked a high fever and hallucinated. He has a propensity to do this.”

you l to r ed speleers as rhys, penn badgley as joe in episode 402 of you cr courtesy of netflix © 2022


While season 4 marks the first time that Joe has visualized his dark side as another person, he’s regularly wrestled with the dichotomy within himself. “We’ve always seen him as somebody who walks around…arguing with himself, agreeing with himself a lot,” Gamble explains. “So we knew this was something we were leading up to. … And we wanted to wait until it really felt like Joe was all the way cooked and ready to do this.”

As for whether Joe has a medical condition or is simply compartmentalizing the difficult aspects of his life, Gamble reveals, “Joe is one of one and we’re telling the story of his particular psyche.” In the final moments of the finale, Joe sees Rhys in his own reflection, suggesting that his other half isn’t gone for good, after all.

Are Marienne and Nadia safe?

One of season 4’s most shocking reveals was that Marienne hadn’t returned to Paris, and instead had been held captive in London in one of Joe’s creepy glass cages. To make matters worse, Joe didn’t even realize he’d kidnapped Marienne, instead believing that Rhys was the one who’d locked her up.

After Nadia discovered Marienne in the cage, she helped her escape with a risky plan. Plan A involved drugging Joe with ketamine, sourced by her boyfriend Edward, and providing Marienne with a knife to kill Joe. However, they are forced to go with Plan B, which involves faking Marienne’s death. Nadia sends texts pretending to be Juliette’s nanny, claiming that Marienne would never see her daughter again, so Joe would know that she’s in a bad mental state. Marienne writes a suicide note and then takes beta blockers to slow her heart rate down enough to appear dead. (Nadia notes how dangerous this plan is, as taking too many pills could be fatal.) After finding her body in the cage, Joe leaves his victim on a park bench in London to avoid being associated with her death. Luckily, Nadia follows him and revives Marienne, and helps her get back home. In the finale, viewers get a glimpse of Marienne in Paris, safely reunited with her daughter.

Discussing whether Marienne is really free from Joe’s clutches, Gamble tells us, “All the characters should be concerned. Marienne should be concerned, but Joe should be concerned too, that someone is out there who knows him so well.” As for whether Tati Gabrielle might be back for future seasons of the show, Gamble says, “Marienne is the one who understands best how dangerous it is to go after Joe. By the time she runs off and returns to her daughter at the end of season 4, she’s not concerning herself with bringing this particular terrible man to justice. She really just wants to be free and for her daughter to be safe.”

you l to r penn badgley as joe, tati gabrielle as marienne in episode 401 of you cr courtesy of netflix © 2022


In fact, when Marienne isn’t trying to escape from Joe herself, she’s attempting to make sure he can’t hurt anyone else. “She’s discouraging Nadia from doing anything but the safest version of helping her escape,” Gamble says. “So that’s not to say she won’t change her mind when she’s been walking around the lavender fields of France for awhile. But also, this is a woman who does not have a privileged expectation of safety anyway. And this has only become worse. She has a history of bad relationships with dangerous men. And Joe is the worst of all.”

Sadly, Nadia’s fate is less hopeful than Marienne’s. After she finds evidence that Joe is the real Eat the Rich Killer, Joe frames Nadia for the murder of her boyfriend, Edward. Scared for her life, Nadia stays silent about Joe’s crimes, and accepts her prison sentence. “In this case, part of the challenge of the second half of the season is that we wanted Marienne to win and we needed to do it in a way that felt fair and plausible,” Gamble explains. “We needed it to be really hard and we needed to be a very high cost. And of course the highest part of the cost is that Edward is dead. But Nadia’s also very, very, very imprisoned.”

What happens to Lady Phoebe?

Not many characters make it out of season 4 alive, apart from fan favorite Lady Phoebe (Tilly Keeper), that is. “Phoebe gets the happy ending this season,” Gamble reveals. “All of the pain and the trauma that she went through this season and all of the people that she lost up to and including Adam, they allowed her to see what is true for her about her life, the role that money plays, the role that fame plays. And so she made another choice. And my hope is that she gets to continue to just be abroad teaching English to school children because it seems like she’s well suited to it.”

Is Ellie coming back?

There’s been much discussion regarding the fact that Jenna Ortega was meant to return as Ellie in future seasons of You. She was last seen in season 2, when Joe gave Ellie money to flee to Florida following the murder of her sister, Delilah. In season 3, Joe is still sending Ellie money, so it’s clear that she’s very much alive.

jenna ortega you season 2


As for whether Ortega might return to the show, Gamble says, “After season 2, we had a bit of an idea for season 3 to bring her back for a while. But at that point, Jenna became famously very busy, so we just weren’t able to schedule it. But we still love her. I miss her. And if there’s a chance to do some of the stories we were thinking of, we would love to.”

Importantly, all of the people that Joe hasn’t killed are still out there in the You universe, and they could potentially cause trouble for him in the future. “Most of the loose threads are where he’s let somebody slip away, in the case of Marienne, or he’s let them go, in the case of Ellie, or in a certain way in the case of Nadia,” Gamble explains. “All of those people are potential threats.”

Could we see Cardi B in a future season?

As everyone knows, Cardi B is a You superfan, and she’s made it clear she’d love to appear on her favorite show. If Gamble has anything to do with it, then the “Bodack Yellow” rapper could be coming face to face with Joe Goldberg in the near future. “That would be amazing, wouldn’t it? I was so thrilled that we could put her song in the season,” Gamble says. “I find her friendship with Penn on Twitter to be so charming and sweet and it gives me faith in social media. It’s one of the more positive, sweet things I’ve ever seen on social media. So I mean, that would be very cool if we could figure it out and pull it off and she were amenable.” Someone start a petition, stat!

What’s next for Joe if You returns for season 5?

In the final moments of season 4, Joe alludes to the fact that he now has unlimited financial resources, which will only make killing even easier. As for what that means for Joe’s future, Gamble says, “In many ways, when you’re not in denial about your intentions, you can plan better. So it’s less that we think he’s going to cut a bloody swathe in New York City, although we also wouldn’t put it past him. It’s more that he is just more conscious of this side of himself and he’s less likely to be like, ‘Oops, I totally didn’t think I was going to shove that guy down the stairs. Now what am I going to do?’”

As fans eagerly await a season 5 renewal of You, Gamble suggests that the bulk of the action would take place in Joe’s hometown of New York. The showrunner calls Joe’s return to the city a “full circle” moment. “He looks and sounds like Joe Classic,” she says. “He has regained his name and now he is much more in the circles that he used to watch from afar and just judge. He can have all of that access, all of those resources, and none of the anonymity that he used to have in New York.”

When asked if we any of our favorite characters—such as Marienne and Nadia—might return for future seasons, Gamble says, “Honestly, the real answer is that we haven’t gotten in the room yet to really hammer it out. If we get to make another season, that’s what we’ll do.”

Headshot of Amy Mackelden

Amy Mackelden is a freelance writer, editor, and disability activist. Her bylines include Harper’s BAZAAR, Nicki Swift, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, ELLE, The Independent, Bustle, Healthline, and HelloGiggles. She co-edited The Emma Press Anthology of Illness, and previously spent all of her money on Kylie Cosmetics.

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