Another unpredictable, bloody season of You has come to an end, which only means one thing: It’s time to start placing your bets on what Joe Goldberg will do next. Sadly, there’s usually quite a long wait between seasons of Netflix’s hit thriller series, but the good news is that Season 4 is officially confirmed, so fans can rest assured Joe’s story isn’t done just yet. While you wait for the next season to creep up, these You Season 4 theories will keep you wrapped up in all the wild drama.
Spoiler alert: Do not read on if you haven’t finished all of You Season 3. After the big-city messiness of Seasons 1 and 2, the third season of You took on an entirely new tone by transporting Joe and Love to a quaint little California suburb called Madre Linda. Well, at least it seemed quaint at first — the murderous newlyweds wasted no time in spilling blood all over town, leaving a pile of dead bodies in their wake as they concocted desperate schemes to cover up their crimes. But it turns out, there wasn’t enough room for two serial killers in one relationship. In the season finale, Joe and Love finally faced off against one another after learning of their respective affairs and marital discontent, ending in Joe killing Love with her own poison. To give himself a whole new lease on life, Joe blew up his Madre Linda home with Love inside, and framed his wife for killing both him and herself in a carefully worded suicide note.
With the world believing he’s dead, Joe started a new life in the final scene of Season 3, having moved to Paris and changed his name to Nick while searching for his latest “true love,” Marienne. The last moment seems like a clear set-up for Season 4, and has inspired quite a few plausible theories.
1. You Season 4 will be set in Paris.
This is definitely the most obvious theory given how Season 3 ended. Each season of You is always set in a completely different location, and it looks like Joe’s next adventure will be the first season set outside the United States. “I would be excited to do a European season. I think that would be so fun,” You showrunner Sera Gamble told TVLine about that final Parisian scene. “One of the questions we always ask on this show is: What pool of privileged douchebags do we want to throw Joe into next? And there are a lot of untapped pools around the world, if you just leave the borders of the United States.”
2. Joe will find Marienne, but she’ll reject him.
Joe has a clear motivation heading into Season 4: finding Marienne. The librarian disappeared without a trace at the end of Season 3, with Joe promising to search the whole world to find her. Since she mentioned her fantasy of a life in Paris, Joe’s intuition to search the City of Lights seems like a good start, but even if he does find Marienne, she might not be so happy to see him. Although Marienne was ready to run away from Madre Linda with Joe, she changed her tune when Love revealed to her that Joe murdered her ex, Ryan, and heavily implied things would only get worse if she stayed with him. There’s a reason Marienne left town without telling Joe where she was going.
3. Joe will fixate on a new woman in Paris.
Just like how each season of You introduces a new setting, they also always center on a new woman (or new women) Joe just can’t get out of his head. Although he has his heart set on Marienne now, it feels like almost a given that some new woman will take her place soon enough — especially if Marienne makes it clear she wants nothing to do with him.
4. You Season 4 will reference the coronavirus pandemic.
There was another notable moment in that final Season 3 scene aside from Joe’s new location. In the cafe where Joe awaited his coffee, some other customers can be overheard talking about people leaving New York in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. This isn’t the first mention of the pandemic on the show, but it feels important given its inclusion in the final scene. If you recall, Season 3 made a winking reference to coronavirus with a measles vaccination storyline in one episode; there was also a brief line in which Joe mentioned Sherry got backlash for hosting a party during the pandemic. But since the season was written months before lockdown was declared in the U.S. in March 2020, the pandemic was mostly ignored. Of course, tons of shows set in present time are choosing to not include the pandemic in their stories, but this brief mention in the finale confirms coronavirus does indeed exist in the world of You and could be a part of Season 4.
5. Matthew will find Joe and expose his murders.
Joe and Love were especially sloppy with their killings in Season 3. By the end of the season, a handful of people in Madre Linda found out the truth about them, but Joe was seemingly able to cover his tracks by faking his death and blaming everything on Love. That tactic may fool near-victims like Sherry, Cary, and Theo, but there’s a much more resourceful person who knows Joe’s secrets: Matthew. Not only is Matthew a tech mogul who specializes in surveillance, but he also hired a team of lawyers and investigators to keep a close eye on Joe and Love throughout Season 3 when he became convinced they were involved in his wife’s disappearance. Basically, if anyone has both the means and the motive to confirm Joe’s still alive and take him down next season, it’s Matthew.
6. Joe will find out his brother Jacob is also a murderer.
The Season 3 finale also dropped a pretty major bombshell in a quick flashback to Joe’s childhood. At some point in his adolescence, Joe managed to track down his mom, only to discover that she had begun raising another son. This is especially painful for Joe, given that his mom wanted absolutely nothing to do with him after he shot her abusive partner. The kid is named Jacob and appears to be about 10 years younger than Joe — he’s also likely Joe’s half-brother, since he almost definitely has a different father. The sibling reveal is bound to be setting up Joe reconnecting with Jacob as adults, and that reunion could lead to the brothers discovering they have a lot more in common than they initially think.
7. Ellie will finally get her revenge on Joe.
At the end of Season 2, Joe’s former L.A. neighbor Ellie was in a unique position to take Joe down. She knew Joe killed Henderson, and also that the Quinns were behind her sister’s murder, which Joe helped cover up. But instead of exposing Joe’s murders, Ellie took the backpack of cash Joe offered her and disappeared to Florida. Although Ellie didn’t return in Season 3, Joe still sent her money throughout the season, which could hint at a big twist in Season 4. Now that Joe has faked his own death, he risks being exposed if he continues sending Ellie money. This puts Ellie in a position where she can potentially learn of Joe faking his death and then finally bringing all his misdeeds to light.
8. Dottie will steal Henry, forcing Joe to return to California.
It may seem like Marienne is the only person left whom Joe loves, but there’s still a massive wildcard heading into Season 4: Henry. Joe tearfully left his baby with Dante and Lansing before leaving Madre Linda, and it’s revealed they won a long-fought custody battle with Love’s mother Dottie to be able to raise the boy themselves. But, as viewers saw in Season 3, Dottie does not give up easily... especially when it comes to her grandson. She’s kidnapped Henry before, and it’s not far-fetched to believe she’ll do it again, possibly in an alcohol-drenched rage after losing custody. You can bet if Joe somehow gets word that Henry is with Dottie, he’s going to hightail it back to Madre Linda or Los Angeles to free his son from his grandmother.
9. Joe’s next major victim will be Adam.
The first new character announced for Season 4 was Adam, a rich and careless party boy played by Euphoria and The White Lotus star Lukas Gage. In Deadline’s announcement, Adam is described as “famous for spectacularly failing to meet the standards of his successful, venerable family. An entrepreneur and a gambler, Adam is a warm and funny party host and fast friend. But underneath, Adam is hiding a trove of secrets and papering over problems with heavy self-medication.” Basically, he sounds like the exact type of person Joe hates, the same type of guy he’s killed in past seasons (think Benji, Henderson, and Ryan).
10. Love’s ghost will haunt Joe.
Love may have died in the Season 3 finale, but fans don’t think they’ve seen the last of her yet. The show has dipped its toe into hauntings and hallucinations bringing back dead characters in past seasons, but with someone as closely tied to Joe as Love dying, Season 4 could go full-tilt ghost story as Joe’s guilty conscience manifests as Love constantly haunting him. Plus, it’s not like Victoria Pedretti doesn’t have tons of experience with ghost stories.
You is so full of wild twists, it’s really anyone’s guess what might go down in Season 4. Keep an eye out for the new season to hopefully come to Netflix sometime in 2022.
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