'You' Season 4: Penn Badgley Promises Part 2 Will Bring 'Rewarding' Answers (Exclusive)

The actor discusses the climactic finale of Part 1 and teases what's ahead in the last five episodes of the season.

Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you have not watched season 4, Part 1 of You.

Penn Badgley is back as Joe Goldberg on Netflix's You, but the tables have turned this time and he's the one being hunted.

The first five episodes of the anticipated fourth season dropped Thursday, and saw Joe assuming a new identity in London as a literature professor named Jonathan Moore. After faking his death in the season 3 finale and crossing the pond in search of Marienne (Tati Gabrielle), whom he deemed "the one," Joe, er, "Jonathan," ingratiated himself among London's elite -- befriending members of the wealthy, entitled class. Among them: gallery director Kate (Charlotte Ritchie), whom Joe begins to see, and the well-read writer Rhys (Ed Speleers), who -- shocker! -- isn't who he says he is.

But unlike past seasons of You, where Joe zeroed in on his choice obsession and they died as a result (see: Beck in season 1, Love in season 3), Joe found himself the subject of a stalker who was seemingly aware of his secret extracurricular activities, threatening the "reformed" killer with ominous text messages throughout the season. There was also the issue of the Eat the Rich Killer, who was targeting members of Joe's new friend circle, as several began winding up dead. Naturally, many speculated the Eat the Rich Killer was Joe, but it actually wasn't him. Determined to find out who the copycat killer was, Joe finally discovered the identity of the culprit in the climactic finale of Part 1.

Turns out it was Rhys who pulls a very Joe Goldberg move and locks Joe up in the dungeon, along with Roald (Ben Wiggins), who moments earlier had accused Joe of being the killer. During the tense finale confrontation, Rhys comes clean about being both the Eat the Rich Killer and Joe's stalker. As Rhys revealed, his grand plan involved Joe doing the dirty work and removing Roald from the picture, which Joe wasn't keen on doing. Once Rhys realized that oversight, he tried to leave Joe and Roald locked in the dungeon as flames erupted around them while he fled. Fortunately, both Joe and Roald were spared -- thanks in large part to Kate. 


Later on, once they returned to London, Kate attempts to ask Joe out. But Joe turns down her proposal for a date, knowing if he said "yes," it would, well, end quite badly for her. Moments later, Joe learns that Rhys has officially announced plans to run for mayor of London, accelerating Joe's mission to bring Rhys (and his serial killing secret) down once and for all. With Joe aware of Rhys' secret, what is his next move?

"Part 2 is probably different from Part 1," Badgley told ET's Brice Sander of where things go from here in Part 2, acknowledging that the fifth episode leaves viewers asking a lot of questions. 

"If you have questions, there will be answers," he promised. "They are probably wondering, 'What the hell? What is going on?' Trust me, just a few episodes more it really does what the show does best. I think in episode 8 you actually see a different side to Joe that you’ve never seen. The show does something that it's never done before and I think it's really rewarding."

Badgley shared a message to fans who may be reeling from the emotional roller-coaster after binge-watching the first five episodes: "Are you OK? How do you feel? Do you need some time?" 

The 36-year-old actor noted that the two halves of season 4 feel like two parts of a whole, with Part 1 being a slight departure in genre with Joe operating two steps behind instead of two steps ahead.

"It's not only a different city, it's a different genre, so it feels very fish-out-of-water. I think people will find that very different but of course he's always Joe. In Part 2, it's sort of coming home to what the show does best after having doing the murder mystery detour," Badgley teased.


Badgley addressed whether season 4 could mark the end of Joe's journey as the first half of the season saw him attempting to keep his past tendencies at bay -- ultimately unsuccessfully in the end. 

"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 said. "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."

Outspoken since the beginning of You about people's fascination with serial killers, especially amid recent movies and shows focused on Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer, Badgley said that's a question you need to ask yourself.

"We need to look inside," he said with a laugh. "Now, to be fair, with our show we created something where you’re meant to fall in love with him, so that's on us. Ted Bundy, that's on you. Jeffrey Dahmer, that is on you... It's weird, man. That's what our show is exploring."

Part 1 of You season 4 is streaming now on Netflix. Part 2 begins streaming March 9.


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