You season 4 recap guide: All 10 episodes explained

You. Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg in episode 408 of You. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023
You. Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg in episode 408 of You. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023 /
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You season 4 - Marienne
You. Tati Gabrielle as Marienne in episode 401 of You. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

Netflix’s hit thriller series You has finally returned, and not only are we meeting a whole new batch of characters this time around, but we’re also in a new location! As you might remember, Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) faked his own death after murdering his wife Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti) in the season 3 finale. In the final moments of the season, we saw Joe jetting off to Paris, France to find the new object of his affection, Marienne (Tati Gabrielle).

Joe’s now living in London, England by the start of You season 4, posing as a professor. Though he’s ready to start over and begin a new life with a new identity, it’s difficult for him to shake his old habits. Especially when there’s a murderer on the loose that isn’t him.

You season 4 part 1 was released on Netflix on Thursday, Feb. 9, and part 2 has just been added on Thursday, March 10. We’re breaking down every episode below in case you missed something!

You season 4 episode 1 recap: “Joe Takes a Holiday”

The first episode of the season opens with a college student walking to her class. Once she arrives in the classroom, we find out that Joe is the professor. While Joe teaches the course, he calls out the student by her name, Nadia. Once the class ends, Nadia stays after to talk to Joe, who now goes by the name of Jonathan Moore (I’m going to keep referring to him as Joe, though). Their conversation ends with Nadia giving Joe a book for him to read. The book is by an author named Rhys Montrose. Nadia explains to Joe that everyone in England wants Rhys to run for mayor, but she disagrees with him running.

As Joe walks around the university, his voiceover plays in the background. We find out he still misses Marienne, but he’s trying to lay low and stay out of trouble in London. Then, a person approaches him, who Joe describes as a “douchebag.” Joe greets the person by calling him Professor Harding, but the guy insists that Joe call him by his first name, which is Malcolm. Through their brief conversation, we learn that Joe met Malcolm after his job interview, and Malcolm’s been trying to get Joe to go out for drinks ever since. Malcolm also helped Joe get his flat.

Later, we see Joe at his flat, watching his neighbors through a window. Joe’s neighbors are Malcolm and his girlfriend. He watches them for a little bit before he realizes that he’s slipping into his old ways. So, Joe immediately stops people-watching. However, the next day comes along, and Joe goes back to watching his neighbors while also searching up everything he can about them. Joe finds out that Malcolm comes from money, and his girlfriend Kate Galvin is an art gallery director. Later that night, Joe catches Kate pleasuring herself from his window, but he tries to ignore it.

However, it makes him think about Marienne, so he takes out a locket that is most likely hers and messes with it. Then, there’s a cut to a flashback of Joe in Paris searching for Marienne. After a long time passes, Joe finally finds a painting of Marienne’s on display outside. He asks an artist nearby how he can contact Marienne, and the artist tells him that she’s currently in London for an art fair. So, Joe leaves Paris for London because he had hoped to find Marienne there.

Then, we cut back to the present time. Joe leaves his office and sees Kate being robbed outside the university. He helps her out, but Kate doesn’t seem appreciative. She starts calling the police, and Joe asks her not to tell them that he was there to help. Remember, Joe is believed to be dead, so if the cops get involved, they’ll know something fishy is going on. Kate drives Joe home, but he still doesn’t know if she mentioned his name to the police. So, he vows to stay away from Kate and Malcolm. But Joe’s plan goes out the window when Malcolm shows up at his door to thank him for helping Kate and to invite him out for drinks at his friend’s club called the Sundry House.

At Sundry House, Joe meets all of Kate and Malcolm’s wealthy friend group, which includes Adam, Phoebe, Rhys, Sophie, Simon, Roald, Gemma, Blessing, and Connie. However, Joe had already researched the friend group before coming to the club. Through Joe’s voiceover, we learn about each person. While Joe waits for Malcolm to take him home, he meets Rhys in person. If you recall, Rhys was the author of the book Nadia gave him. They bond over their horrible childhoods and shared views on the “rich” before Rhys tells Joe he has to go because he has a flight to catch.

With no one to talk to and Malcolm taking forever to find him, Joe decides it’s time for him to leave and go home. But he’s stopped by Phoebe, who forces him to drink absinthe, a highly alcoholic drink that can make people severely intoxicated. Then, there’s a cut to a flashback of when Joe first arrived in London. He attends the art fair where Marienne is said to be and finds her. They make eye contact, and then Marienne starts running away from him. The flashback then ends.

After taking more shots of absinthe, Joe eventually knocks out and wakes up in his flat. He realizes that Malcolm helped him get there. As he gets ready in the morning, Joe notices Malcolm’s dead body laid out on his table with a knife sticking out of his chest. He immediately thinks he killed Malcolm because he was talking badly about Marienne the night before. As Joe cleans up the crime scene and gets ready to dispose of the body, he notices that one of Malcolm’s fingers is cut off. But he couldn’t figure out why he would do such a thing. He takes Malcolm’s body to a warehouse, cuts it into pieces, places them in bags, and dumps them in sewage pipes and the River Thames.

Then, there’s a cut back to the flashback of Joe chasing after Marienne through the London streets. Joe eventually catches up to her, and they have an intense conversation. The conversation ends with Joe telling Marienne that he’ll prove to her he’s not a murderer anymore, and then he lets her go.

As Joe walks out the door, a mysterious man watches him from afar. The man even tracks him to a restaurant. While Joe drowns his sorrows by drinking alcohol, the mysterious man approaches him and introduces himself as Elliot Tannenberg. He works for Ray Quinn, who is Love Quinn’s father. He tells Joe he was sent to kill him, but he’s tired of hurting people.

Elliot then offers Joe a deal. The deal would give Joe a chance at a new life in London with a new identity, but only if he gives Elliot all the money he stole from Love’s account. Joe accepts the deal but hesitates after Elliot tells him that before he can start his new life, he needs to kill Marienne. In the end, Joe decides to spare Marienne’s life, but he makes sure to steal her necklace to show Elliot that he completed the job even though he didn’t.

Back in the present time, Joe talks to Kate outside the university. She invites him to dinner with her friends because Phoebe asked her to. Kate also tells Joe that she didn’t tell the police about him helping her the other night.

Later that night, Joe arrives at Sundry House for dinner with Kate’s friends. As he’s about to walk through the door, he receives random texts through an app called “Evanesce” from an unknown person. The texts basically lets Joe know that someone is watching him and knows what he did with Malcolm’s body. Joe instantly thinks it’s someone in the friend group whose behind the texts, so he makes it his mission to find out which person it is.

Written by Crystal George