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Love Quinn Might Not Be the Only Figment of Joe’s Overheated Imagination


Love Quinn You season 4

Image via Netflix/Remix via Apeksha Bagchi

Netflix’s You angered many fans by seemingly killing off everyone’s beloved Love Quinn, and the beginning of season four, part one with Joe (ahem, correction — the handsome Professor Jonathan Moore, thank you very much) focused on not one but two obsessions. Even though the trailer for the second half of the season teases it will be bringing back Love, her re-entering Joe’s life in the flesh doesn’t seem likely as she is very, very dead. The only way her re-appearance would be possible in part two would single-handedly dismantle the very core of season four, part one.

What did we see in You season four, part one? Joe tries (and eventually spectacularly fails) to reconstruct his life in London as Professor Jonathan Moore and becomes an unwilling participant in the glittery lives of the shallow elites he meets. Once again, murder follows him everywhere he goes, but this time, he is not the one racking up the body count. 

Turns out he isn’t the only one harboring a deadly disdain for the rich as renowned author and upcoming politician Rhys Montrose is revealed to be the Eat the Rich killer. He has been the one targeting his so-called friends and ending their lease on life on his own terms. And when he tries to pin one murder on Joe and the latter actually deals with the body like a pro, Rhys becomes obsessed, starts having a conversation via messages with Joe, and eventually reveals his face, sharing that he saw a kindred spirit in the pseudo professor. 

So, season four dares to break character and actually makes Joe take a sabbatical from killing, after carrying on the theme of him being the unhinged murderer for three seasons, even at the risk of being repetitive and losing viewers?

Does it feel like something is off here? 

Well, as we said above, the appearance of Love Quinn in the trailer for part two certainly solidifies the suspicion. Why, you ask? Well, Love can’t possibly be alive — if the fire didn’t kill her, the lethal dose of aconite certainly did. So, the only way Love can be back is if poor Joe, extremely overwhelmed by everything that has been happening, has cooked her up in his imagination. 

And that leads to the crux of this article — what if she is not the only mirage Joe’s imagination conjures? What if his brain has already been dissociating? What if…

…Rhys Montrose doesn’t even exist?

Joe and Rhys in You Season 4
Image via Netflix

Sounds bonkers, right? Rhys was there, we saw the book he wrote — Good Man in a Cruel World, which was suggested to Joe by his student Nadia, and saw other people other than Joe interacting with him. How can he not be there? Why on Earth are we challenging his existence?

Hear us out, will ya?

Yes, the Rhys who led a life of poverty, wrote a book about it, got into Oxford, became rich, joined the society of elites, and is on his way to a successful political career does exist. But the one Joe keeps talking to, the one that seemingly killed his wealthy friend ruthlessly and is obsessed with Joe, is nothing but a figment of our beloved stalker’s imagination. Joe is experiencing a split personality, a dissociated mind that can’t accept he isn’t the force of good he sees himself to be.

So, he is unknowingly projecting that unhinged part of himself as Rhys as he resonated with his life’s story. Remember how “relatable” he found the future mayor’s story? How Rhys is literally mirroring Joe’s thoughts when it comes to the obnoxiously rich?

And, oh, there are plenty of points supporting this theory and making it very plausible. 

  • For starters, whenever Joe has a full-blown conversation with Rhys, there is no one else present with them or even acknowledging they are chatting. 
  • The app through which Rhys sends Joe messages — they disappear the second they are read — seems to be for Joe’s eyes only, just like his version of Rhys is.
  • Every time someone is killed — Malcolm, Gemma, and Simon — Joe is in some state of supposed unconsciousness. What could actually be happening is Joe slipping into his Rhys personality, committing the murders, and blocking out the memories. 
  • Even in the finale, Roald is conveniently unconscious when Rhys shows his face and confirms he is the killer.
  • Remember, in episode one, when Rhys chatted with Joe, the latter never introduced himself, but while parting, the author called him “Jonathan.” Now, anyone at the party could have told him about Joe, but in light of the points above, him knowing Joe’s “name” beforehand does sound suspicious. 
  • Then there is the one scene in episode four where everyone is having dinner and Joe, who is lost in his own thoughts while trying to deduce the real killer, answers a concerned Rhys’ question of whether he is feeling fine. But for some reason, Adam reacts as if Joe’s answer came out of nowhere and no one spoke to him in the first place.

Honestly, just watch the whole first part again and see for yourself how disconnected and isolated Joe’s interactions with Rhys are. Oh, and how can we forget — their digital conversation started with Rhys messaging Joe, “Hello, you. That is a typical Joe line we have been hearing since season one. 

Don’t forget what Nadia said: “There are no coincidences.”

Joe has been the killer all along, but now, after killing Love and losing Marienne, his overburdened and twisted psyche has finally taken a deeper nosedive as he unknowingly experiences dissociation. Chances are, he will end up hunting down the real Rhys in an attempt to be the good guy by “ending” his murdering spree, then discover the truth that he has been the killer the whole time. This will completely break him, and if season four isn’t the last, it will probably set the stage for the fifth season that will show us the horrors Joe is truly capable of. 

You season four, part two is all set to debut on Netflix on March 9.

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