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
You. (L to R) Penn Badgley as Joe, Charlotte Ritchie as Kate in episode 402 of You. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

You season 4 episode 2 recap: “Portrait of the Artist”

The second episode picks up where the first episode left off. Joe sits at the dinner table at Sundry House, eyeing the friend group as he tries to figure out who the anonymous texter is. He believes that one of them killed Malcolm and is trying to frame him for it. After the dinner is over, Joe races home to find an invitation to Simon’s art show on the floor. He looks up where the art gallery is located and finds out that Kate works there. Then, Joe starts to believe that Kate may be behind the creepy texts, so he starts watching her closely.

Later, Joe begins to receive messages from the anonymous texter again. The anonymous texter lets Joe know they’ve been watching him and is learning more about who he really is. Joe then goes over to Phoebe and Adam’s flat. He meets Adam’s bodyguard, Vic, and finds out Phoebe is the one who sent him the invitation to Simon’s art show. Since Joe has nothing appropriate to wear to the art show, Phoebe and Adam ask Vic to bring Joe to the art gallery to find him a nice tux.

After Joe finds something to wear, he goes to the university and tries to find a way to get into Malcolm’s office. First, he searches through Kate’s purse and finds Malcolm’s office key. Next, he searches all over Malcolm’s office for any information on him and finds a stack of money and a pocketbook filled with weird names and numbers. Joe then realizes that Malcolm had a gambling problem. He takes the money and pocketbook and leaves Malcolm’s office.

Later, Joe follows different members of the friend group, trying to figure out who is more capable of murder, but can’t seem to pin anyone down. While following Adam, Joe discovers he has a pee fetish and realizes Malcolm knew about it. But then Joe is caught by Vic and questioned. Joe comes up with a lie to get Vic to let him go and it works. Joe now believes that Malcolm was blackmailing Adam to cover his gambling debts. This leads Joe also to believe that Adam killed Malcolm to stop the blackmail and is the anonymous texter.

Joe makes his way back to the art gallery and meets a young lady at the back door. He asks for entry, and she allows him in. In the art gallery, Joe speaks with Adam. But once their conversation ends, Joe is left wondering if Adam really did kill Malcolm.

Later, Joe talks to Rhys and finds out why he’s still friends with the friend group, even though they aren’t necessarily good people. Rhys tells Joe they were there for him when he needed them the most and that’s what counts. However, Rhys also mentions something about Roald that makes Joe believe he might be the killer. As Joe and Rhys continue to talk, the young woman who helped Joe get into the art gallery walks by yelling for Simon. Everyone gathers around the young woman as she throws red paint on Simon’s artwork. She starts calling Simon out for being a “fake” before she’s pulled away by Vic and thrown out of the gallery.

Then, Joe overhears Simon telling Kate to find the young woman or he’ll stop working with her. He walks over to Kate and tells her he knows where she can find the young woman, and they leave the art gallery together. They find the young girl in a rough part of town and question her about why she threw the paint on Simon’s artwork. The young woman explains to them that she was Simon’s assistant and is the person who actually painted the canvases, not Simon. She even reveals the inspiration behind one of the paintings was her cat, Isis. Joe suddenly remembers one of the weird names in Malcolm’s pocketbook was Isis, and realizes that he was talking about the young woman.

After Kate leaves, the young woman tells Joe that Malcolm told her he would expose Simon, but then he disappeared. Joe now believes Malcolm was blackmailing Simon, so Simon killed him for it. Joe thanks the young woman for the information and runs outside to talk to Kate. He tries to warn her about Simon, but she doesn’t listen and drives away.

Joe makes his way back to the art gallery and waits outside for Simon so he can follow him. Meanwhile, Simon takes drugs in an office in the art gallery. Then, the killer walks into the office and murders Simon while Joe is asleep on a bench outside. Joe wakes up once he hears sirens and sees two police cars. He also receives two text messages from the anonymous texter that basically lets him know that something bad just happened to Simon. Joe runs into the office and sees Simon’s dead body on a chair with a knife in his chest and his ear cut off. Joe now knows that Simon couldn’t have been the killer and anonymous texter.

Later, Joe goes to Phoebe and Adam’s flat to talk about what happened to Simon with the rest of the friend group. But no one from the circle of friends seems to really care besides Rhys. Joe eventually leaves Phoebe and Adam’s flat and sees Kate talking on the phone. He listens to her conversation and finds out that she’s secretly paying for the young artist’s rebab.

Then, we cut to Joe speaking to Nadia in the university library. Nadia talks about the relationship she had with Malcolm, which makes Joe question if she was just a student or something more. The conversation ends with Joe agreeing to read Nadia’s work later.

After leaving the university, Joe makes his way home. But when he walks through the door, he sees tons of news articles plastered on the wall of all the people he killed in the past. Then, the anonymous texter starts sending Joe messages, letting him know that they now know his real identity. Joe looks up from his phone in disbelief, and then it cuts to the credits.

Written by Crystal George