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You’s New Whodunit Plot Distracts from its Original Suspense  

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UMKC chapter.

**Spoilers Ahead

When season four of You aired on Netflix, I was itching to get through the rest of my Thursday. I needed to watch the show, preferably finish it in a sitting or two. Since season one, You has become more dynamic with toxic girlfriends and the increasing risk of Joe Goldberg being caught for his crimes. After season three – which I loved – I had high hopes that season four would be spectacular. However, I’m sad to say I’m disappointed, at least with part one. 

Our main character Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) said it himself in episode two: “I’m in a whodunit, the lowest form of literature.” This is not to say all whodunit mysteries make poor forms of entertainment, but as an audience member, it looks like the show has shifted to a new genre and plot.

Joe’s character and the whodunit story gave away part one’s plot. Joe is not one to like people, and his admiration for Rhys (Ed Speleers) in the first episode signified his involvement in the crime. This aspect was hinted at too much, and with the plotline, there wasn’t a shock value at the end. You has always been thought provoking and includes enticing the themes of moral conflict, but this new format is minimizing its spark.  

The previous seasons of You flow through intense relationships. Seasons one and two involve Candace (Amber Childyrs), Joe’s ex-girlfriend, and season three settles down into suburban life and navigating marriage. Because of season four’s plot, it seems that Joe’s story is required to stay within the assigned characters leaving little room for suspense. 

Every season of You includes a different setting, and so far, we’ve watched Joe in New York, Los Angeles and the suburbs of California. Each time, the show has been successful in changing itslocation and spicing up the story with new characters and conflicts. As a fan and avid viewer, I’m not sure why it was needed to alter the show’s theme. It’s still categorized as a dark drama and psychological thriller, but if You’s central aspect was murder mystery since season one, I wouldn’t have continued watching the show. Now, I’m afraid it might be taking a direction that deters from what original audience members appreciated in the past seasons. 

The trailer for part two of season four was released on February 15. I’m impressed with the surprise that Love (Victoria Pedretti) is returning and Rhys claims to be searching for a friend in Joe. Though I’m not one for a murder mystery, but if the new genre is effectively incorporated and connected with a previous season’s character, I’ll be impressed. 

I look forward to season four’s second half. However, I wish there were more surprises to keep me engaged throughout part one. Rather than binge watching out of pleasure, I kept viewing to confirm my suspicion of the killer. I hope the rest of the season veers away from the formulaic whodunit plot and returns to the storyline that picked at my brain. After the part two trailer, I’m still hoping that its appeal will return. 

Belle Yennie (she/they) is from Independence, Missouri. They are currently majoring in English and minoring in communications at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Belle was named Outstanding Mass Media Journalist in 2021 at Fort Osage High School and is continuing their passion through Her Campus and RooNews, UMKC's student media platform. They enjoy writing about anything, but their favorite topics to cover include wellness and trends. Living in the KC Metro has allowed Belle to go on mini adventures, such as browsing antique stores or trying out new restaurants.