You season 4 part 2 review: "Ever-ludicrous, but it's only what we've come to expect"

Ed Speleers and Penn Badgley in You season 4 part 2
(Image: © Netflix)

GamesRadar+ Verdict

If there's more to be had of You, it definitely has a shelf life. But, for now, we're still hoping to go back for another round.

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You has never taken itself too seriously. The Netflix show has had a tongue-in-cheek quality to it that it's sustained into its fourth season, split into two parts this time around. But with a month-long wait between part 1 and part 2, were the final five episodes worth the wait? Warning: major spoilers for the new episodes ahead!

Penn Badgley in You season 4 part 2

(Image credit: Netflix)

The big reveal at the end of part 1 saw Rhys (Ed Speleers) make himself known as the Eat the Rich killer, but part 2's twist takes things up a notch – Rhys is actually a figment of Joe's imagination, a hallucination that embodies the darkest parts of him, so it was Joe doing the killing after all. The show's plot develops into ever-ludicrous territory, but it's only what we've come to expect from the series. 

Did season 4 benefit from the two-part approach that's becoming a regular feature of Netflix programming, following the lead of Stranger Things and Ozark? It certainly does the plot a favor by spacing out the two big reveals – in the age of the binge watch, it makes a change to have some time to sit with a big twist. It allows Badgley to excel, too, showing us a different side to Joe, who's grappling with a darkness that we haven't seen before (which is really saying something, given, you know, all the murdering).

There are a few holes in this elaborate twist (if Joe and Rhys were always the same person, how, and why, did Joe set the basement of the country house on fire while he was chained up at the end of part 1?) and a truly eye-rolling moment when a key plot point comes courtesy of a copy of Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but You is not the sort of show where suspending your disbelief feels like a prerequisite.  

With several people biting the dust in part 1, there's also a narrower cast of characters in part 2, which works to its advantage – for the most part, those who are left are the most interesting and fleshed out (although a couple of the season's minor players, like influencer Sophie and Nigerian princess Blessing, still feel undercooked).

The ending of part 2 feels a little frustrating, with Joe and his girlfriend Kate (Charlotte Ritchie) starting a new life in New York City and Joe exonerated thanks to Kate's money and power. However, You has taught us over these past four seasons that two things are inevitable: firstly, that Joe cannot, and will not, change and, secondly, that the rich and powerful can get away with anything. 

Movies and TV shows satirizing the rich are hardly in short supply these days, with The White Lotus, Triangle of Sadness, and The Menu all giving it a go in the past twelve months. You, however, has been doing it ever since season 1 dropped in 2018, and it's continued to keep that element of itself fresh and inventive. You excels when it gets us to laugh at the caricatures it creates – what other show has you forgetting that it's the serial stalker and murderer who's the bad guy, not the obnoxious, ostentatious man with the Ferrari? 

You has, somehow, done it again. Against our better judgment, it's reeled us in once again and left us wanting more. Has Joe finally met his match in Kate? Or will she meet the same bloody fate as Love (Victoria Pedretti), the wife he killed and framed for his own murder in season 3? The danger is, of course, that history may repeat itself – Joe bit off more than he could chew with Love, and he may have done the same with Kate. If there's more to be had of You, it definitely has a shelf life. But, for now, we're still hoping to go back for another round.

You season 4 part 2 is streaming now on Netflix. If you've got questions about the finale, check out our guide to the You season 4 part 2 ending explained as well as our breakdown of everything we know about You season 5. We also spoke to Penn Badgley and Rhys Speleers about the season's big twist and Charlotte Ritchie, Lukas Gage, and Tilly Keeper also broke down their characters' fates.

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Entertainment Writer

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.