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Joe Goldberg is Back | YOU, Season 1, Part 1 | Review

EP01

Here we are again, welcome back Joe. Season four of Netflix’s hit thriller, YOU is back and more thrilling than ever. Here’s a quick recap for those catching up, Joe our protagonist is living in London in search for his lost love, Marianne. Joe is working at an English college in the hopes of blending in and harnessing his love of books. Joe states if Los Angeles was purgatory, suburbia was hell then maybe London is his chance at the good place. It’s refreshing to see Joe as an individual in the beginning episode one, he isn’t strictly living for his obsession… until he takes a look through his neighbours window.


‘Joe Takes a Holiday’ shows us the comical comparison between the British and the Americans, it’s a really fun juxaposition and adds some easy humour into the somewhat dark narrative. Episode one catapults us into the usual antics very quickly, by the half way mark Joe already finds himself making mistakes and giving in to temptation. By the end of episode one Joe adds a murder to his ever growing list, covers up said murder and discovers he has a secret blackmailer and fellow murderer amongst his new found friends, giving us an old fashion murder mystery!


EP02

Joe’s real life Agatha Christie novel slowly unfolds more with each moment, placing himself in the central character of detective. Episode two expands on the mysterious messages Joe has been receiving, the blackmailing texts are a unique way to turn Joe’s ‘YOU’ complex on its head. Distracting him from any potential love interests and stealing all of his time and effort. Playing and toying with him about Malcolm’s murder, making him go insane trying to figure out the truth behind his pretentious group of rich snobs. Finishing the second instalment with another murder to add to the list.


Episode two peels away the layers of each new character, as Joe starts to investigate and obverse his new found friendships, we learn that each of them could easily have a motive. Picking off each person one by one until ultimately and inevitably he finds his match. Each new addition to season four is truly unique and likeable, each character is well written as a worthy match for Joe and they don’t let him in or lower their guard quite as quickly as his previous rivals. Joe has finally found a group who are just as unhinged at him and it is highly entertaining.


EP03

Starting off with a truly unimaginable discovery, Joe’s blackmailer finally knows his true identity and will stop at nothing to coheres him to commit more crimes and take the fall for Malcom. This episode sets up more backstory for Kate’s character and leaves us longer for a little more, episode three primarily concentrates on Joe’s relationship with Kate and his attempts befriend her which quickly lead to more.


Joe’s suspect list is growing and the series flips our point of view to side with Joe, it’s a strangely intelligent spin on the usual narrative. Joe takes on the role of ‘protector’, trying to save Kate without her knowing. Although, Kate is far more intelligent than he thinks. Episode three takes its foot off the gas slightly but by the end it leaves us another murder deep and finishes on a major cliff hanger.


EP04

Joe, or should I say Jonathan, has perfectly placed himself in the middle of the drama by helping the police to distract from himself. Phoebe is the glue to keeping Joe within the group of rich kids, he finds himself unable to say no as he is getting one step closer to uncovering the truth behind his blackmailer.


Episode four places all of our suspects in one location out in the country. Set up like ‘And Then There Were None’ written by Agatha Christie, a murder mystery setting with plenty of potential victims and rivals. This episode sets up the cherry on top of the cake, every episode up to this point has been shaping our judgement of Joe’s new friendship group. This episode shows us their true nature and only motivates Joe to commit another crime. With an iconic dinner party setting and a predictably ironic murder mystery game, episode four is highly engaging and definitely the best episode after the first- ending on yet another major cliff hanger and addition to the kill list but this time… it isn’t by Joe’s hand.


EP05

Joe finds himself in the centre of another murder, being threatened and forced to help hide evidence for a crime he surprisingly didn’t commit. With some brilliant references to Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope and a few more scattered throughout the series, episode five truly embodies the chaos of Joe’s life and the unpredictability of where the narrative can go.


Joe has caused quite the stir, all the members of the group start to turn on him, some for payback and some because they want him out of the picture. Let the hunt commence, episode five grand finale delivers in every possible way- shocking, thrilling and positively sick! This season has outdone itself, although the big reveal of Joe’s blackmailer wasn’t strictly shocking… I still found it to be utterly compelling and unforgettable. Bring on part two, what will Joe do next, he could have had the girl but he is far too distracted by… YOU. Joe isn’t safe and he needs to stop the real killer. March 9th.

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Welcome to Film Probe, a platform where I have dedicated my time and energies to reviewing films, tv and more. I pride myself on offering more than just an opinion, but rather a carefully crafted insight into the film's themes, characters, and overall production.

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