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Penn Badgley Wants Season 5 to be You’s Last

The star of the Netflix thriller has some ideas for what’s next for Joe Goldberg.
  • Joe (Penn Badgley) ends Season 4 of You with a fresh shave and a fresh start. (Photo: Courtesy of Netflix © 2023)
    Joe (Penn Badgley) ends Season 4 of You with a fresh shave and a fresh start. (Photo: Courtesy of Netflix © 2023)

    Netflix hasn’t yet announced Season 5 of You, but already series lead Penn Badgley has some ideas for what’s next for Joe Goldberg. On a recent episode of Podcrushed, a podcast that Badgley hosts alongside Nava Kavelin and Sophie Ansari, Badgley breaks down Season 4, Part II, spilling all the details of what it was like to finally direct an episode, speculating on what this new lease on life means for Joe’s future, and talking about why Season 5 should be the show’s last.

    Speculation is the key word here, because Badgley reveals that when it comes to what the writers of the show have in mind, he really doesn’t even know much more than the audience (or at the very least, is putting on an incredible performance pretending he doesn’t). Even as Kavelin and Ansari highlight the clues to the season’s big twist that were hidden in plain sight, Badgley seems to be realizing the importance of each in real time. So what really happened between Kate (Charlotte Ritchie) and Joe at the end of Season 4 remains a mystery even to him. And as we now well know, even Joe’s own recollection of how something may or may not have played out isn’t to be trusted. Did Joe really tell Kate everything from his hospital bed?

    “That is something that writers are going to have to specifically decide, because it really changes the trajectory of the next season,” Badgley says. “I think he withholds as much as possible unless he’s asked directly, because every bit of information revealed gives more time and story to use. But I don’t know. Sometimes as an actor you really don’t need to know these things, you really just have to be playing in the moment.”

    Without knowing what will come next, Badgley does have some ideas for Joe’s future. This new version of Joe, who doesn’t have to worry about some of the literal skeletons in his closet because of friends in high places, seems poised to enter politics. He spent the entirety of Season 4 obsessed with Rhys Montrose’s (Ed Speeler) run for mayor, and in that obsessive study surely picked up on a few pointers on running for office along the way.

    Badgley also reminds us of a possible Chekov’s gun: Joe’s half brother. In a Season 3 flashback, we saw that Joe’s mother started a new life without him and at that point, had a son named Jacob. Fans were going wild at the revelation then, wondering if Love’s (Victoria Pedretti) teenage sidepiece, Theo (Dylan Arnold), was actually Joe’s half brother. Then in Season 4, fans quickly speculated that the Eat the Rich killer was Joe’s half brother. Now that we know neither theory turned out to be true, Badgley is wondering if we’ll see Jacob in Season 5.

    No matter how he gets there, Badgley hopes for a resolution — not necessarily a nicely wrapped-up conclusion — for his character in Season 5, which he also thinks should be the series’s last.

    “All of the arenas that Joe was sort of barred from which gave him the ability to justify all of his hatred, like, ‘oh, I’m not allowed in this space, or this space,’ basically all those barriers are going to fall down, I think,” Badgley says. “So then you have a person who can no longer justify the way he was justifying his violence, and so then you have somebody who’s forced to confront themselves in a different way than they ever had before. I’m really looking forward to it.”

    You Season 4, Parts 1 and 2 are streaming now on Netflix. Join the discussion about the show in our forums.

    Brianna Wellen is a TV Reporter at Primetimer who became obsessed with television when her parents let her stay up late to watch E.R. 

    TOPICS: You (Netflix series), Netflix, Charlotte Ritchie, Ed Speleers, Penn Badgley, Victoria Pedretti