You season 4 part 2 ending explained: what happened to Joe?

Joe Goldberg
You season 4 part 2 ending explained: what happened to Joe? (Image credit: Netflix)

*Warning! Containes spoilers for You season 4 part 2*

We wish we could tell you that You season 4 part 2 ends with Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) finally getting justice for his catalog of crimes and being sent to prison for the rest of his life — but this didn't happen. 

Throughout the series, we saw Joe (sorry, Jonathan Moore) desperately trying to put his murderous past behind him as he tried to uncover the mysterious 'Eat The Rich Killer' who was stalking Joe and murdering through his friend group of rich English socialites in London. 

So when Joe discovered that the 'Eat The Rich Killer' was in fact mayoral candidate Rhys Montrose (Ed Speelers), we thought that this was nearly the end of the violent whodunnit. But once Joe became hellbent on taking Rhys down, things took a very unexpected turn.

So what happened to Joe at the end of You season 4 part 2?

You season 4 part 2 ending explained: what happened to Joe?

In a major plot twist, it turned out that Rhys wasn't the killer at all and it was actually Joe himself.

While a part of us believed that Joe may have reformed his killer ways, we were exposed to the dark obsessive realities of his mind when it was revealed that Joe had been disassociating during the murders so had no memory of committing the crimes. 

In a bombshell reveal, almost everything that had happened to Joe — including his feud with Rhys — were all a figment of his imagination.

Joe had become obsessed with Rhys as he saw him as a kindred spirit due to their similar trouble backgrounds. But in reality, Rhys was a man Joe barely knew and he became an amalgamation of all of Joe’s most violent impulses and darkest behaviors (if you think of Fight Club, Rhys is Joe’s Tyler Durden).

As Joe realized who he had become, he sought out to right his wrongdoings by freeing his ex lover Marienne Bellamy (Tati Gabrielle) from the glass cage he unknowingly put her in. However, Joe was devastated when he saw her lifeless body next to an empty pill bottle and left her on a park bench.

Marienne locked in Joe's glass cage.

Marienne Bellamy was imprisoned in Joe's glass cage. (Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

Luckily, we learned that Marienne's supposed death was a plan concocted by her and Joe's student Nadia (Amy-Leigh Hickman), who became suspicious of Joe and exposed his antics. Once Joe dumped Marienne's body, Nadia saved her and gave her a drug to reverse the effects of the pills she took to wake her up. Marienne fled London to reunite with her daughter in Paris.

Joe then killed his girlfriend Kate Galvin's (Charlotte Ritchie) father, billionaire Tom Lockwood (Greg Kinnear) in revenge for being setup to kill Rhys and for controlling every element of Kate's life. He also killed Tom’s bodyguard Hugo and framed him for the murder, who Joe buried to make it look as if he had disappeared.

A devastating reality then dawned on Joe — that in order to end his never ending cycle of violence, he must end his life. The apparitional Rhys pleaded with Joe not to end it all as they stood on a bridge together.

As the pair had an emotional heart-to-heart, Joe unexpectedly threw Rhys over the bridge, before diving in himself.

Fortunately for Joe, he survived the ordeal after being rescued by police and woke up in hospital.

Joe Goldberg and Rhys Montrose

Rhys Montrose was just a figment of Joe's imagination. (Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

Meanwhile as Joe recovered in hospital, Nadia and her boyfriend Edward (Brad Alexander) tried to bring Joe to justice and search for solid evidence in his apartment. 

Kate paid Joe a visit in hospital, who revealed that she inherited her father's wealth and business empire, to which Joe then confessed everything to her, including killing Rhys. 

In a surprising turn of events, Kate didn't run at the mention of murder and instead stayed with him, telling him that he made her believe in herself and that she wasn't a bad person for her past accidents.

"In my soul, I know you are good," she reassured him, before the pair agreed to "keep each other good" and help each other through the hard times.

Kate confessed her love for him and Joe then went on to tell her everything about his turbulent past.

Kate Galvin

Kate Galvin gave the love Joe so desperately wanted in his life. (Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

Elsewhere, Edward kept watch as Nadia searched through Joe's apartment and just as it looked like Joe may actually pay for his crimes, things took a turn for the worst.

As Nadia made her way to the getaway car, she noticed that Edward wasn't there and she soon realized that Joe had intercepted their mission, who had snuck up behind her.

Joe deleted pictures of the evidence she had discovered in his flat and a terrified Nadia begged him not to hurt her. And just as Joe told Nadia that he now had the chance to redeem himself and make up for what he'd done, she stumbled across Edward's dead body.

His sinister plan was then exposed as he framed Nadia for the murder of Rhys and Edward and she went to prison for the crimes.

The end of the episode saw Kate and Joe now living in New York as they were being interviewed by a journalist. Joe revealed that, thanks to Kate's security team, his past could be scrubbed out as if it never existed to make way for his new life.

Kate then shared that Joe had spontaneously bought a bookshop that was closing down. Sound familiar? Overall, the series ended where the whole series started, finishing as a full-circle moment for Joe.

You season 4 part 2 is available to watch on Netflix now.

Grace Morris
Staff Writer

Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides, recaps and features for must-watch shows and delivers all the latest soap news and reactions. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.


You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series or much-loved UK soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). She's an expert in EastEnders, Emmerdale, Coronation Street and everything reality-related from Selling Sunset and Married At First Sight UK to 90 Day Fiancé UK. Plus Netflix megahit Virgin River!


Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.