Taking a twisted turn. Netflix’s You offered a series shakeup when Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) decided to move back to New York after unleashing a murder spree in London — but the story might be just getting started.
During season 4, Joe initially seemed to have his darker tendencies under control as he started over yet again. The second half of the season, however, introduced a plot twist with Joe actually being responsible for the deaths he was trying to investigate.
“It has to go to this place for five episodes where it’s like, ‘Is he going to become a hero as we’ve all wanted him to?’ It doesn’t make any sense when Joe becomes a hero,” Badgley explained to British GQ in March 2023 about his character’s initial arc. “This is the only place the show could have ever gone and remain relevant, remain responsible, remain intelligent, remain sensitive, but true.”
The Gossip Girl alum noted that You “has been building” toward the audience seeing Joe “in a different” light. Meanwhile, showrunner Sera Gamble hinted that the narrative shift would continue to play a big role in Joe’s evolution if the show is renewed for a fifth season.
“We have spent four seasons constructing these characters who are violently wealthy, but not all of them are that smart or that ruthless,” she told E! News that same month. “If Joe is all of the things that he is and now has unlimited resources and access, he’s become the thing that he envied and judged from afar. It gives us a lot of new opportunities.”
At the time, Badgley clarified that he still expects to see a specific ending for the main character.
“Joe is a perfect device because you can delve into something, but you always have the safety cord or the safety net of, ‘Yeah, but he’s a hypocrite.’ We are all exploring something earnestly, I think. But of course nobody has a perfect perspective, so if there’s any place where it’s really got some blind spots, well, that’s Joe, frankly. That’s OK. So, in a way, I really like that,” the actor detailed to Salon in February 2023. “So, just because he’s thinking it and saying it, doesn’t mean that we think it’s right. But he is getting at something, and of course people can identify with that. So to me, Joe is like, he’s a many-sided die. He’s got too many sides, and he needs to die.”
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