'You': Penn Badgley Breaks Down Season 4 Finale Twists and Why Season 5 May Be the End (Exclusive)
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Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you have not watched Part 2 of Netflix's You season 4.
Joe Goldberg is back where it all began.
Netflix's You dropped Part 2 of season 4 on Thursday, and by the end of the season, Joe (Penn Badgley) found himself reintegrating himself in New York City, swimming in resources he never had access to before -- thanks to Kate's (Charlotte Ritchie) inheritance following her father's death (at Joe's hand, of course) -- and turning over a new-ish leaf as he says he's ready for a second chance at life.
Of course, it's a bit of a ruse. Following his failed suicide attempt in London, Joe comes clean to Kate about who he actually is (bye, Jonathan Moore!) and all the terrible murders he's committed. But Joe's truth doesn't faze her. Instead, she and Joe come to the understanding that they must stick together and keep each other "good." Her acceptance of his truth stuns Joe. Is this the love he's been looking for all this time?
The couple returns to New York where they're in the middle of a sit-down interview with a journalist, their surely highly paid publicist shutting down any hint of a leading question, where they're crafting their new narrative. Unfortunately for Joe, he's not fully in control of the situation as it's revealed that Rhys Montrose (Ed Speleers), the purported Eat the Rich killer and Joe's stalker, has actually been a manifestation of Joe's dark side this entire time and still very much firmly ingrained in his mind by season's end.
Plus, there's the not-so-small fact that Marienne (Tati Gabrielle), who's since reunited with her daughter Juliette after being stuck in the cage all this time, is still alive after she successfully faked her own death -- unbeknownst to Joe -- and Nadia (Amy-Leigh Hickman), whom Joe framed for Edward's murder, is locked up behind bars, but well aware of who he is and what he's done.
Badgley broke down Joe's homecoming at the end of season 4, hinting that the bevy of monetary and logistical resources he finds himself with is only going to make his next quest even easier to accomplish.
"Well, clearly he's back home in New York... But now he's sort of got unlimited resources. He actually has the power he's not had," Badgley told ET's Brice Sander of Joe's latest chapter. "With Love and the Quinn family, he had power but he didn't want it. He didn't want to take it. He didn't want -- the family didn't really want to give it to him. I think now, he's really embracing his lower nature. He's letting the animal take over the human basically. He's letting the predator take over his... heart."
The 36-year-old actor theorized just what this might mean for Joe moving forward. "He's probably going to be just quite unhinged, I guess," he speculated. "I don't know though, I really don't know."
There's also a hint of danger surrounding Joe, now that his (fabricated) narrative is in the public consciousness. Badgley acknowledged that Nadia and Marienne still being out there in the world and knowing what he's done is a bit worrisome for the now-former professor.
"That's true, that's true. And one of them is in prison and one of them is in hiding," the actor said of Nadia and Marienne, before acknowledging that season 5 -- if Netflix formally renews You -- could be a season of revenge.
"It's true, yeah. I mean, honestly it's a question for the writers," Badgley said, before adding that a potential fifth season could be the end of Joe's story. "Now, I will say [executive producer] Greg Berlanti pitched me on an end and I thought it was brilliant. I can't tell you what it is. He pitched it to me like a year and a half ago before I knew it was happening, season 4. He also told me how he thought it would end in season 5 and I thought, 'Yeah, that's great.'"
"I certainly can't spoil it but I would think that if we don't get another season, this could be a somewhat satisfying end," he added. "Joe, at this point, he's like a post-modern icon. He's such a popular dude but... there’s gotta be, to me, a more thorough, satisfying conclusion."
As for the Kate of it all, Badgley believes "she's the last meaningful relationship he'll be in." "I don’t think there’s another one coming down the pike," he said, before proposing, "Yeah, I think she's his endgame."
Does that mean she'll actually survive their relationship and make it out alive? Badgley isn't so sure.
"Together forever? Well, no I don't think that," he said with a laugh. After all, Joe still has a killer's mindset, especially with Rhys still spinning in his mind. "No, I don't think that relationship's going to last but it's the last for Joe. That's not even a spoiler, I don't know," Badgley theorized.
If Joe really actually is in love as he seems to think he is, he was confronted with his two past romances in the penultimate episode through his Valium-induced hallucinations. Badgley made his directorial debut in the hour where Victoria Pedretti's Love Quinn and Elizabeth Lail's Guinevere Beck both appear and reflected on reuniting with the pair.
"It was nice," he said. "I was also directing that episode so it was poignant. It was really lovely to have them back. They're both You icons, you know, so I really appreciated being able to direct them as well."
As this was his first time stepping behind the camera, Badgley shared the one challenge he learned from putting on the director's hat: "Time, more than anything. Time because you're in front of the camera, you can't be behind it [at the same time]. It is a phenomenal challenge, but I did love it."
You is streaming now on Netflix.
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