Netflix’s YOU: The Tables Turn On Joe Goldberg

You. Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg in episode 401 of You. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
You. Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg in episode 401 of You. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

Joe Goldberg is the villain on YOU. At least, most of the time, he is. Joe stalks, murders, and kidnaps people to keep them in large transparent boxes. In season one, Joe was clearly the bad guy, obsessing over and stalking Beck while hiding a dangerous backstory with his ex-girlfriend, Candace.

Season two sees Joe try to live out his life on the opposite side of the country, starting over with his new obsession, Love. However, a massive plot twist revealed that Love was secretly just like Joe, and announcing her pregnancy allowed the stakes of season three to rise as Joe and Love, without trust in each other, try to represent themselves as normal parents in a new town. At the same time, Joe stalks the local librarian, Marienne.

But, in season four, Joe is taking up a new identity in a new country, presenting himself as Jonathan Moore, a college professor in London.

Although Joe’s search for Marienne is explained, YOU Part 1 quickly moves past it to focus on its new array of characters and central conflict.

While Joe wants to enjoy his time out of the United States, quickly after starting his life as Jonathan Moore, Joe finds himself once again at the center of dangerous circumstances, but this time, he is not the main villain.

Joe is used to being the stalker and murderer in the equation, even if he tries to justify those behaviors to himself. But, he is not used to being on the opposite end, especially with the added bonus of being informed that he is being watched.

YOU’s fourth season turns the tables on Joe, having him experience something similar to the behavior he has given others previously, with an added element that allows the series to feel slightly more like Gossip Girl’s awareness of the student body or “A” stalking the main characters on Pretty Little Liars.

Joe’s new supporting characters consist of wealthy people who tend to look out for themselves. But, a new killer targeting that group of people makes Joe concerned, considering he is the central person being framed.

Joe Goldberg continues to be the life of the series as the character’s complexities continue to be broadened. He is not the hero of the story, nor is Joe a good person. However, YOU is consistent in some aspects of his character, such as looking out for children.

Part 1 ends on a massive cliffhanger, leaving questions wondering what will happen next and how Joe will handle this new dangerous addition to his life. Will the new people in Joe’s life learn his true identity?

YOU capitalize on what makes Joe Goldberg an interesting character while trying to add a new layer to him when he finds himself under attack.

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