You season 4 episode 1 recap: What's Joe doing in London?

You season 4, episode 1: Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg / Jonathan Moore
Joe Goldberg has landed in London... but what is he up to? (Image credit: Netflix)

You season 4, episode 1 has arrived, where we catch up with Joe following the shocking season 3 finale in which his old life in the US was completely destroyed by his own hands.

Joe killed his wife Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti), abandoned their son, and baked his own toe into a pie in order to frame her for his murder, before disappearing off to Europe under a new identity. 

His first stop was Paris, and now he's in London working as a professor under the name of Jonathan Moore. But something tells us he won't be living a calm and peaceful life because let's face it, this is Joe we're talking about.

Episode one alone is packed with all sorts of drama, so here's everything you need to know about what went down...

Joe (sorry, Jonathan) in London

Joe and Malcolm sitting on a bench

(Image credit: Netflix)

Following the intense events of season 3, there was no way that Joe could continue living in California. With Love dead, his house burned down and his son Henry abandoned, Joe Goldberg was no more, and so he has taken on a new identity as Professor Jonathan Moore.

In the first episode, we see Joe at a university campus in London, where he's teaching literature. He already seems exasperated with certain characters there, including fellow professor Malcolm (Stephen Hagan) who tries to befriend him, but Joe's inner monologue shows he really isn't interested.

Living in London is a culture shock for Joe aka Jonathan, as episode one sees him describing the experience as "like living in a Hugh Grant movie", although he claims he's not after a Notting Hill-style romance in his new hometown of South Kensington, and that he's more interested in books than people. 

The woman in the window

Stephen Hagan and Charlotte Ritchie in You, drinking together

(Image credit: Netflix)

It doesn't take long for Joe to return to his spying ways, as he watches Malcolm through his window, since his apartment looks directly into his. There, he sees Kate (Charlotte Ritchie) with him, and wonders who she is, before deciding he "doesn't want to know". 

However, Joe soon returns to his obsessive ways and ends up profiling both Malcolm and Kate, but he finds the latter tricky to figure out as she "gives very little" and he realizes she has curated her social media presence to be work focused. She's an art lover, works in a gallery, and was never married, which causes Joe to make a fair amount of assumptions about them.

Joe tries to stop thinking about Kate, but after she forgets to close her curtains and he witnesses what was meant to be a private moment, he finds it hard to stop the temptation to watch her, claiming he wants to focus on his European holiday.

However, this proves difficult after he witnesses Kate getting mugged and intervenes, blasting his horn to cause them to run off. He speaks to her to check if she's okay and asks if she doesn't mention him in the police report. 

Now he's interacted with Kate he's angry about it because he apparently wanted to keep his distance, but now it's clear he's got her on his mind. 

Joe finds Marienne — but she's not happy about it

Tati Gabrielle as Marienne in You

(Image credit: Netflix)

As you might've guessed, Joe is definitely not over Marienne and in fact followed her to an art fair in London, as shown in a flashback scene while Joe is attending a party meeting some of the local crowd.

In the flashback, Joe reflected on the fact she had changed since they last saw each other and now has a very different style. Her hair has changed, so has her style, but Joe immediately knew it was her.

Unfortunately for Joe, Marienne spotted him and was definitely not pleased to see him, as her face sank and she quickly fled the scene away from him, but he manages to catch up to her.

Joe asks Marienne if she loved him, and she said that she did, before confronting him about murdering Ryan. She also works out that he must've killed Love, considering he's not dead and standing right in front of her. He lets her go, and his inner monologue says he's trying to prove he would never hurt her.

Back at the party, Joe tells Malcolm that Marienne "broke his heart" but also that they were perfect together but he responds by implying that she's a "whore" and that Joe should move on.

Goodbye Malcolm...

Joe wearing gloves starring into a car trunk

(Image credit: Netflix)

Turns out Malcolm really struck a nerve with Joe who was incredibly drunk on absinthe, and the next morning when Joe wakes up in his apartment, he finds Malcolm lying dead on a table with a knife through him. Not only that, but he discovers he's cut off his finger... but where is it?

Joe assumes Kate has already reported Malcolm missing, after he sees police officers across the street before he realizes that it might be about the mugging instead. However, he worries that Kate has told the police everything about him.

Acting quickly, Joe rolls Malcolm up into a carpet and takes his body to a sawmill where he dismembers the body after finding the worker there has snuck off to go watch a football match, then dumps the body parts in sewers and the Thames.

We then flash back to Joe in a pub, where a man named Elliot Tannenberg walks up to him addressing him as "Joe Quinn Goldberg", so he knows who he really is. He's an employee of Joe's former father in law, and he wants to help.

He tells Joe that he knows he stole Love's money, and hands him an envelope telling him "you look like a Jonathan". So we now know that Elliot helped him take on his new identity, and even said he'd tell Love's father that Joe is definitely dead.

A dinner party... and one huge bombshell

Tilly Keeper as Lady Phoebe holding a glass of wine

(Image credit: Netflix)

Finally, Joe is invited to dinner by Kate, who isn't best pleased about it but tells him that he was asked by Lady Phoebe (Tilly Keeper) who is "obsessed" with him following the party they met at.

Before he heads into the dinner, he gets a mysterious text that reads "hello, you. You surprised me handling Malcolm like that". The message adds that the sender put Malcolm's body on Joe's table, so he didn't actually kill him at all. 

But who was it, and why?

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Now she works for our sister site TechRadar in the same role. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress