Creators: Greg Berlanti, Sera Gamble
Cast: Penn Badgley, Tati Gabrielle, Charlotte Richie, Tilly Keeper, Amy Leigh-Hickman, Ed Speleers, Lukas Gage, Adam James, Stephen Hagan
Genre: Psychological mystery
Release: March 9, 2023
5 episodes, 1h each
Joe (Penn Badgley) may face his biggest nemesis yet in the form of political candidate Rhys Montrose (Ed Speleers). The corrupt Rhys knows everything about Joe’s past and will blackmail Joe to do every evil deed on his quest to be London’s mayor.
Once again, everything happens conveniently for Joe and falls in the favour of one character or another. Too many simple/random things happen in just the right time to push the narrative forward or save a character’s life/situation. Sometimes, big mistakes are easily swept under the carpet and barely given a second thought as everybody moves on like they didn’t just witness the most terrifying crimes. It has always been a common occurrence in ‘You’’s writing, but I still can’t get used to it. It remains a glaring writing choice.
While Part 1 was mostly a slog to get through, Part 2 fares far better. The tension is nerve-racking and the stakes finally feel high as we finally begin rooting for a character who isn’t Joe (as impressive as the supporting cast was in Part 1, the characters were mostly intolerable unlike the two women in Part 2).
The twist will throw everyone off and certainly lead to some internet wars. It is polarising, to say the least. You will either love it or hate it, but it is definitely an extreme twist that falls into an almost ‘absurdist’ territory. The ending is even more menacing, and almost like a melodrama/fantasy/slick high crime show. It’s hard to take this show seriously but this point. But, to be fair, ‘You’ was always an absurd mess since the suburban nightmare fuel that Season 3 was.
Both Gabrielle Tati as Marienne and Amy Leigh-Hickman as Nadia shine brightly. This is good news because the two women didn’t have much to do in Part 1. This time, they are involved in scenes, which are some of the most exciting parts of the season. Marienne and Nadia are truly the heroines we need but don’t deserve.
Actor Greg Kinnear, as Kate’s billionaire dad, is an odd choice at first (because Kinnear is mostly known for playing wholesome dads). But it somehow works and he plays him well. His entry into Part 2 and into Kate and Joe’s lives turn things up a notch, but as soon as he entered, he leaves and we feel a black hole that is left unfulfilled after the evil dad’s exit.
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The resolution is heartbreaking and comes as a shock. Without revealing too much, let’s just say that we the audience are given the cruel reminder that at the end of the day, Joe is a serial killer. He has done bad things and redemption isn’t as easy as one would hope. Sometimes, evil is a point of no return.
While it is definitely a polarising, melodramatic mess, Part 2 is far more fun and engaging, and even has some truly scary parts, than Part 1. It is worth the watch if melodramatic potboilers are your thing and you don’t mind a large dose of unreality and wish fulfillment.
Also Read | ‘YOU’ Season 4, Part 1: A psychological thriller with constant twists
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