In ‘You’ Season 4, Joe Goldberg Is No Longer in Control

In ‘You’ Season 4, Joe Goldberg Is No Longer in Control


The Netflix thriller’s latest episodes have its antihero, played by Penn Badgley, on the back foot as he navigates the world of London’s ultrarich.

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By Desiree Ibekwe

Desiree Ibekwe visited the set of “You” in London to report this piece.

On a sound stage on the outskirts of London, Joe Goldberg, played by Penn Badgley, wound his way through a private club, deep in thought.

As in past seasons of the Netflix drama “You,” while the actors performed, Joe’s internal monologue was rendered in a voice-over by a crew member, who declared the club, with its moody lighting and dark furnishings, “a perfect place for a frame job.” This time, the stand-in had a British accent (the monologue is rerecorded by Badgley later).

For the last three seasons, there’s been a familiar formula to “You.” Joe, a well-read man with a tragic past and a proclivity for homicide, becomes obsessed with a woman, stalks her before they become romantically involved, and then Joe goes to great — and bloody — lengths — to try and ensure the success of their relationship.

The latest installment of the thriller — the first five episodes of which are now on Netflix — is a departure from what came before. Not only is it set in London, but we soon find Joe on the back foot, being manipulated by a mysterious enemy who may be an even more accomplished killer.

“From the beginning, we’ve known we can’t really repeat ourselves from season to season,” said Sera Gamble, the series’s co-creator, writer and executive producer in a recent video interview.

Ahead of each new season, the production team ask themselves, “what kind of thriller we’re going to put him in,” Gamble said. In Season 4, the answer to that question was a murder mystery set in London, a nod to Britain’s rich history with the genre and to writers like Agatha Christie.

When the audience last saw Joe, he’d just extracted himself from a dysfunctional marriage by killing his wife, Love (Victoria Pedretti), who had told his love interest, Marienne (Tati Gabrielle), of his murderous past. Marienne fled to Paris with her daughter — and Joe vowed to find her.

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