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The Ending Of Netflix's You Season 4 Part 2 Explained

Netflix's "You" Season 4, Part 2, is a radical departure from the events of Part 1, especially when it comes to the character of Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley). Part 1 saw Joe, operating under the alias of professor Jonathan Moore, enjoying an incognito life across the pond in the United Kingdom. 

However, death has a funny way of finding Joe, and he soon finds himself caught up in a sinister killer's crosshairs. Now Joe, having been accepted amongst a group of vapid elitists and snobs, must put on his detective hat and sniff out the killer. Along the way, he finds a new love interest in the form of Kate Galvin, formerly Kate Lockwood (Charlotte Ritchie), an ice queen with a heart of gold. Once Joe eventually discovers that his supposed friend, mayoral candidate Rhys Montrose (Ed Speleers), is the killer, things definitely go sideways. 

However, Part 2 goes in a direction that very few people could have predicted. With that in mind, let's review the crazy sequence of events to help explain the ending of Netflix's "You" Season 4, Part 2.

Who is Tom Lockwood?

Teased throughout Part 1 of Season 4, Kate's infamous father, Tom Lockwood (Greg Kinnear), finally makes an onscreen appearance. Prior to a sit-down lunch, Joe does his typical online digging into Tom's background but only finds examples of Tom's noble ventures and his generally admirable accomplishments. Despite the horror stories Kate has told Joe about her father when he first meets Tom he doesn't quite seem like the controlling monster she has promised.

Introductions start off pleasant enough, despite Kate still clearly being uncomfortable sitting near her father. However, things soon take a turn for the sinister when, upon leaning in for a greeting, Tom uses Joe's real name. After Kate leaves for the bathroom, Tom proceeds to get down to "brass tacks" with Joe and asks him about Love Quinn. Joe attempts to reroute the conversation, but Tom quickly grabs the reins and asks about Rhys Montrose.

Tom notes that Rhys' mayoral campaign would be detrimental to his business and wonders if Joe could possibly help him out. Given his growing frustrations with Rhys, Joe isn't at all repelled by the idea and begins to shift gears. Despite his dislike of Tom and Rhys' insistence on murdering him, it becomes clear to Joe that Tom might just be the advantage he's been looking for.

Rhys isn't real and Joe is crazier than we thought

To further his control over Joe, Rhys reveals that he's kidnapped Marienne (Tati Gabrielle) and stashed her somewhere, much to Joe's shock and horror. This makes Tom Lockwood's previous directive to kill Rhys all the more appealing for Joe, who is now more vengeful than ever. 

Upon tracking Rhys to his rural estate, Joe immediately straps his murderous rival to a chair and goes to work. However, much like his greeting at the door would indicate, Rhys truthfully doesn't seem to know who Joe even is. As he is one to do, Joe flies off the handle and strangles Rhys to death in his blind fury.

However, another version of Rhys suddenly materializes next to the dead body, very much alive, much to Joe's confusion. This version of Rhys is the one Joe has been communicating with and is revealed to be nothing more than a figment of Joe's unstable mind. At the same time, Nadia (Amy-Leigh Hickman), one of Joe's students, has located the dilapidated building that Joe has been frequenting. She heads into the lower levels, where she discovers an emaciated Marienne in yet another glass prison of Joe's making.

Joe's dangerous dissociations

Following the reveal that the Rhys Montrose he's been talking to has all been in his head, Joe is hit with another disturbing revelation. We, much like Joe, had accepted the "fact" that Rhys was the Eat The Rich killer and that he'd simply been eluding Joe. However, as Joe begins to put the pieces together, it becomes clear just how unreliable a narrator he's become.

We then cut back to all the key murders from Part 1 and are shown that it was indeed Joe who committed every single one of them. It seems every time Joe blacked out — at his own apartment, at the art gallery, or after being thrown out the window — a different, much darker personality would kick in. That personality has seemingly taken the form of Rhys Montrose, who Joe is eventually revealed to be obsessed with. 

As we later see in his disturbing interactions with Marienne, Joe seems to take solace in Rhys' real-life story of redemption. It's also shown that whenever Joe was supposedly talking to Rhys, it was always away from the main group. This means Joe was always having a one-sided conversation with himself — similar to how Eddie Brock chats with Venom.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Joe kidnaps Marienne

To complete his horrific hat trick of reveals, the Rhys in Joe's mind discloses one final shocking truth to Joe: Marienne never got on the train. As Nadia discovers in an all too horrifying fashion, Joe realizes that he has Marienne locked away in one of his glass prisons — the same type of glass prison that has been Joe's main tool of choice when dealing with the ramifications of his murderous ways.

After a recap of her kidnapping, we are shown just what a dire situation poor Marienne is in. Joe has completely cracked and attempts in vain to romance Marienne, who is visibly terrified the entire time. It becomes immediately clear to Marienne that there is no reasoning with Joe, who seems to have developed a split personality. Not only has Joe's eroding mental state convinced him that Marienne was safe this entire time, but it kept him totally unaware of the fact that he'd kidnapped her at all!

Following this, we are shown a disturbing montage of Marienne withering away in her prison, imagining that she's talking to her young daughter. However, a glimmer of hope arrives in the former of Joe's student Nadia, who discovers the location of Marienne's prison.

What led to Adam's demise?

One of Season 4's most significant side plots follows the decaying romance between Lady Phoebe (Tilly Keeper) and her toxic boyfriend, Adam Pratt (Lukas Gage). It's honestly amazing that even in a season that shows Joe at his most loathsome and unhinged, Adam is still somehow the most repugnant character. At first, Adam is more or less window dressing amongst the other side characters introduced in Season 4, Part 1. Through his relationship with Lady Phoebe, we see he's really nothing more than a rich boy with financial struggles and a bizarre sexual proclivity for humiliation.

It's during Part 2 of Season 4 that Adam really begins flexing his toxic and manipulative nature. Through a combination of substances, gaslighting, and isolation, Adam is able to convince Lady Phoebe to marry him, despite Kate's constant warnings. The wedding goes off without a hitch, which eventually leaves a mentally frayed Phoebe to wander off into the streets before later being committed for mental evaluations.

During a conversation with her father, Kate lets her latest frustration — Adam's mistreatment of Phoebe — slip out. In a morbid attempt at courting favor with his daughter, Tom hires some goons who, under the guise of sex workers, beat Adam to death.

Why does Joe kill Kate's father?

Amidst his sizable mental collapse, Joe still moves ahead with his plans to dispose of Kate's father, Tom Lockwood. Not only does Tom know Joe's true identity, but it's also revealed that he has had more control over Kate than she'd realized. Much more in line with Kate's previous horror stories about her father, we now have a clear picture of just how controlling and corrupt Tom really is.

However, en route to the season finale, Tom drops a sizable bomb that sends Kate into a tailspin. It's revealed that all of Kate's accomplishments after leaving her home — including her education and her various business ventures — were orchestrated by her father.

With some guidance from the imaginary Rhys, Joe sets off to dispose of Tom and finally free Kate from his iron grip. This results in Joe confronting Tom and, following a tense conversation, knocking him unconscious before strapping him to a special restraint chair. He follows this up by murdering one of Tom's security team, adding another victim to his ever-expanding body count. Despite Tom's best attempt to bribe him, Joe stays true to his murderous mission and slaps a plastic bag over Tom's head, suffocating him. In no time flat, Joe successfully stages a compelling narrative to justify Tom's murder, allowing him to get away with it scot-free.

What was Nadia's Plan?

Nadia is a character who initially seems quite minor in the grand scheme of the season, especially surrounded by Joe's increasingly insane life. However, partway through Season 4, she becomes a key player, especially when it comes to Marienne's ultimate fate. After finding a haggard Marienne hidden away in Joe's glass prison, Nadia immediately wants to help her escape and see Joe punished. Marienne maintains that going to the police isn't an option, as Joe has proven himself capable of evading the law many times before.

With that in mind, the two craft a clever — if slightly convoluted — plan to not only free Marienne but to get Joe to take his own life. The first step is to swap a number for one of Marienne's contact with Nadia's, meaning that she'll be texting Joe. Next, they make it seem as though Marienne's absence has resulted in her, once again, losing custody of her daughter. The final step, after pretending to be as emotionally broken as possible, is for Marienne to ingest enough ketamine to fake her own death. After Joe drops her lifeless body at the park for someone to stumble across, Nadia quickly makes the scene with some adrenaline to revive Marienne.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

My name is Joe Goldberg

The season finale, "The Death of Jonathan Moore," sees Joe attempting to break his murderous cycle by jumping off of a bridge. Despite the protests of the imaginary Rhys, Joe looks to finally interrupt the pattern of death and destruction he leaves behind everywhere he goes. In a very symbolic moment, he throws his hallucination of Rhys, the manifestation of his inner darkness, over the bridge. Joe then climbs up on the railing and steels himself before jumping off and plunging into the dark waters below.

Later on, he awakens in the hospital, very much alive and very much in trouble with a reasonably shocked Kate. Upon being confronted, Joe doesn't even attempt to lie to Kate and opts to come completely clean. He admits he tried to kill himself and that he's killed people, including Rhys Montrose — a fact Kate already seems well aware of.

However, it seems Kate has carried out a successful cover-up, as she has now inherited all of her father's assets, financial or otherwise. She tells Joe they can keep each other good, making sure neither of them awakens their inner darknesses. Joe jumps at the chance and Kate begins to inquire about his past, asking what there is to know. He reveals a major one right off the bat, admitting that his name isn't Jonathan Moore but rather Joe Goldberg, dropping his most recent alias once and for all.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Joe returns to New York City

Following a confrontation with Nadia outside his apartment, Joe quickly takes her phone and erases any evidence of his crimes. He explains that given his recent financial acquisitions, he now has a way that the entire situation can work out for all involved. We then jump ahead sometime later to an interview being conducted with Kate and a clean-shaven Joe in New York City. This is quite momentous, as this is the first time we've seen Joe in his original setting since brief flashbacks in Season 2.

Through Joe's narration, we learn that thanks to Kate's resources, his slate has been effectively wiped clean. It seems that honesty is the very best policy — at least when it comes to the tumultuous life of Joe Goldberg. Not only has Kate accepted him for who he is, but now Joe seems ready and willing to do some good in the world.

Joe finally accepts who he is

Or maybe he's not quite ready to start giving back. During the finale's closing scene, we get a much clearer picture of just how cold and calculated Joe can truly be. As the interview continues, Joe looks out the window overlooking New York before we flashback to his confrontation with Nadia. It's revealed that Joe has brutally murdered Nadia's friend Edward (Brad Alexander), leaving a bloody mess right out in the open. He then places the knife in a shocked Nadia's hands and explains that this, plus a box of evidence placed in her room, will be enough to frame her.

In his typically condescending way, Joe notes that this still lets her live and that he looks forward to whatever she does next. Joe's narration confirms that Nadia is still in prison and has still not exposed the truth about him. We then cut back to Joe starting out the window, where his reflection has been replaced by his hallucination of Rhys — confirming his darkness is now firmly in the driver's seat. 

Joe closes out the season by noting that killing will be much easier for him now that he's accepted who he is. If "You" returns for Season 5, we can only expect an even darker and more calculating Joe Goldberg.