Beware: we’re officially two days away from the premiere of You Season Four. This go-round, Joe Goldberg is going from the stalker to the stalked—but before we dig into that, let’s backtrack a bit.
You follows the tumultuous life of Joe Goldberg, a disturbed romantic who happens to have a nasty habit of stalking women. The series has been running on Netflix for five years, and reportedly amassed nearly 40 million views in its first month on the platform. You, based on Caroline Kepnes’ novel of the same name, asks: What would you do for love? According to Joe (played by Penn Badgely), the answer is just about anything. For the past three seasons he’s stalked, courted, and murdered nearly all of his love interests, before becoming infatuated with someone new. In Season Four, it seems karma has finally caught up to him. The next season of You has been broken up into two parts, which makes sense, since Joe ditched his life in Los Angeles for a fresh start in London. But with a new setting comes new characters—and, of course, more trouble for him to get wrapped into.
Take a look at the trailer below.
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While we wait to see the drama unfold, the Instagram page for You has been dropping hints. The account’s latest post features pictures of a woman and man covered in bloody-looking red paint. The caption? “I’m no detective but something’s telling me Joe’s been here.” Yikes.
According to Sera Gamble, the series show-runner, Penn’s performance will keep us on the edge of our seats. “It’s been thrilling to watch Penn bring Joe to creepy yet compelling life,” she told Deadline. “We’re deeply grateful that Netflix has shown You such monumental support, and that people around the world have enjoyed Joe get it all very wrong over the past three seasons. The whole You team is excited to explore new, dark facets of love in Season Four.”
Ahead of the premiere, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about the next chapter of You.
Where Did Things End off in Season Three?
Season Three ended with a literal explosion when Joe killed a jealous Love, set their house (containing her body) on fire, and framed the crime as a murder-suicide. Leaving their young son with a loving couple, Joe high-tailed it to Paris, determined to find his new obsession Marienne abroad and build a life with her.
What Will You Season Four Be About?
You tradition dictates that Season Four will see Joe pick up a new city with a new cast of characters. A new teaser from Netflix, streaming above, confirms as much. This time around, Joe is living in London, with a new identity as Professor Jonathan Moore. “Gone are the days of unrequited love and longing,” Joe narrates. “This time around, I’m focusing on academia and instruction while keeping my typical extracurricular activities strictly professional. I made time to exchange ideas with like-minded colleagues. Unfortunately, with friends in high places, then usually come others attempting to climb that social ladder. So, they end up falling or shall I say, pushed, to their social death. The question, by who?”
Of course, a new country and a new identity don’t mean a new Joe. “I think if Joe finds Marienne, he’ll live happily ever after and have beautiful babies. He’ll learn to speak French, he’ll become a writer, they’ll spend a lot of time along the Seine, and they’ll send their kids to school in Sweden,” Badgley joked. “No, I think Joe will remain the same. Someone this profoundly ill, disturbed, traumatized and violent has a serious hurdle before them if they’re ever going to heal and change. I don’t know if it’s possible for someone who’s that far gone.”
Will There Be New Characters?
Netflix has released a bushel of character descriptions about all the new faces we can expect to see in Season Four, many of whom make their first appearances in the teaser streaming above. By the looks of it, they’ll be Joe’s compatriots on the London literary scene. Below, you’ll find Netflix’s official character descriptions for the three new series regulars:
Tilly Keeper as Lady Phoebe: As sweet and kind as she is rich, famous, and chaotic, Phoebe’s every bikini wax has been documented by the tabloids since she was 15 years old. An aristocratic socialite with an avid fan base, Phoebe’s true colors show when she’s alone with her friends. She’s a steadfast cheerleader, especially to American entrepreneur boyfriend Adam. She’s also a wild card: When misfortune strikes, will she rise to the occasion, or shatter?
Amy Leigh Hickman as Nadia: A literature major with a love of genre storytelling and the aspiration to be a serious author, Nadia’s outspokenness and intensity are a perfect cover for the insecurities carried by a young woman who’s never been accepted by her peer group. She’s made some big mistakes; now, they threaten to destroy her life. She’ll need help, even if it’s from the wrong people.
Ed Speleers as Rhys: Dry, irreverent Rhys is an author whose memoir garnered him acclaim and pressure to launch a political career. Born into poverty, Rhys lived a traumatic early life before he came into money, going to Oxford and making all the right friends. Now, he moves easily in any social circle, while also seeing through those around him. He doesn’t have much time for partying, though he enjoys staying in touch with his eccentric circle of friends. After all, they were there for him in his troubled youth.
We’re also getting a bushel of recurring players—from cryptocurrency magnates to insufferable influencers, Joe really knows how to pick ’em. You’ll find their official character descriptions below:
Niccy Lin as Sophie: Sophie is an entrepreneur in the body of a pampered jet-setter. Sure, it looks like she’s lying around in a bikini on social media, but every aspect of her feed represents cannily negotiated high-end sponsorship deals. Underneath her whimsical exterior, Sophie is a watchful protector of her introverted artist brother, Simon.
Aidan Cheng as Simon: Simon is impossible to impress and abhors small talk and strangers. The Oxford-educated son of a Chinese technology magnate, Simon proved the world wrong when, despite his wealth and sheltered life, he proved himself an artist worthy of acclaim.
Stephen Hagan as Malcolm: Born to privilege, Malcolm is a literature professor who enjoys all the social perks of the job without working very hard. A drug-loving bon vivant, Malcolm’s friendliness can tip over into bullying if you resist. He’s dating brilliant, successful Kate, which speaks to his own intelligence and maturity. But he’s also seeing a few others on the side, which cancels out those bonus points.
Ben Wiggins as Roald: Roald hails from an old aristocratic family whose names are on many an important building around Europe. He is attractive, stylish, and possessed of perfect manners, but there’s a certain cold calculation to Roald, not to mention rumors of a hidden dark side.
Eve Austin as Gemma: A member of a privileged circle of friends who met at Oxford, Gemma has never given a day’s thought to life beyond the next VIP event, fashion show, or date. She’s a fun friend to party with, but her insular and privileged life has rendered her shockingly tone-deaf and startlingly lacking in empathy towards those with less.
Ozioma Whenu as Blessing: A Nigerian princess with several post-graduate degrees, Blessing is an investor with a passion for cryptocurrency. Wry, fun-loving, unapologetically cliquish with her university friends, her carefree risk-taking in life and business has paid off time and again. What’s her secret? She believes we’re all living in a simulation, so only fools would stop themselves from doing whatever they want.
Dario Coates as Connie: Connie attended Oxford with Kate and Phoebe’s friend group. He is upper-crust, posh, a sportsman gone soft. Loud, potty-mouthed, loves betting, horses, drinking, and cocaine. It’s safe to assume that Connie’s never had to face a negative consequence in his life.
Sean Pertwee as Vic: Adam’s personal driver/dealer/security, proud and impeccably dressed Vic is loyal and keeps many of Adam and his friends’ secrets. He’s not afraid to get his hands dirty to protect them — the job always comes first. Outsiders are treated with polite but utter suspicion.
Brad Alexander as Edward: University student Edward’s dad owns a powerful news outlet. Edward is popular and used to being the smartest student in the room. He has a fierce rivalry with fellow student Nadia.
Alison Pargeter as Dawn: Dawn is not someone you’d notice in a crowd, and that helps with her work as a paparazzi photographer. But if you’re someone determined to avoid being captured on camera, well, Dawn could pose a problem.
Adam James as Elliot: World-weary, calm, grounded, allergic to drama, Elliot has lived in California for decades, but his job requires him to travel throughout Europe. Elliot’s employer is powerful, and Elliot always delivers, no matter how challenging the task.
Which Cast Members Will Return?
Other than Badgley, the only confirmed returning cast member is Tati Gabrielle (who plays Marienne), but the possibilities don’t stop there. As viewers of You know, most of the show’s characters exit the picture very much dead, but Scott Speedman‘s Matthew Engler miraculously survived the season. Matthew, who blames Joe for his wife Natalie’s death, clearly isn’t done with Joe. Could we see Matthew return in Season Four, hell bent on hunting Joe down and making him pay?
“No one’s said anything to me,” Speedman divulged in an exclusive interview with Esquire. “My honest answer is that I really doubt it. I think they want to close that loop up, or they don’t want to lock themselves into other things. I think they’ve got a great show going, which really prides itself on having separate full seasons with new sets of characters. Though I agree that I don’t think the character is done with Joe. Matthew is a very rich man, so I can see him trying to track Joe down. I’d love to come back for that, but somehow I’m doubtful.”
When Will You Season Four Hit Netflix?
You officially has a release date. Part One of the season will stream on February 9th, while Part Two will hit Netflix on March 10. As for the split, Gamble teased, “Trust me, you’ll need the time to process… and maybe place a few friendly bets about where it’s all going.” Watch this space for updates as we continue to learn more.
Books and Fiction Editor
Adrienne Westenfeld is the Books and Fiction Editor at Esquire, where she oversees books coverage, edits fiction, and curates the Esquire Book Club.
Associate Staff Writer
Bria McNeal is a Manhattan based journalist who is patiently awaiting B5’s revival. When she’s not writing about all things entertainment, she can be found watching TV or trying to DIY something (likely, at the same time). Her work has appeared in NYLON, Refinery29, InStyle, and her personal newsletter, StirCrazy.