The fourth season of Netflix’s ‘You’ takes Joe Goldberg into uncharted waters. Previously, it was he who stalked people and killed them. This time, he is the one being stalked and is threatened with getting pinned for the murders he didn’t commit. At the end of the first half of Season 4, Joe discovers that Rhys Montrose is the culprit. He tried to frame Joe for the murder of his friend, Malcolm, but he didn’t realize that this wasn’t Joe’s first time covering up a murder.
Rhys turns Joe into his puppet and tries to use him to commit more murders. Joe tries to find something to get the upper hand on Rhys. By the end, however, the serial killer realizes that Rhys is not the villain of his story. It isn’t Rhys who has been killing people, but Joe. If you are wondering how that came to be and why Joe thought Rhys was the killer, we’ve got you covered.
Was Joe Hallucinating Rhys?
When Joe Goldberg takes the identity of Jonathan Moore, he tries to keep himself from getting obsessed with anyone and ending up with blood on his hands. For a while, he succeeds. But then, after getting blind drunk one night, he wakes up the next day to find a dead body on his table. The simplest explanation is that Joe killed this man, but then, he receives a text from someone. This person claims to have murdered Malcolm and confesses that they wanted to frame Joe for it. The stalker vows to find out precisely who Joe is, threatening to tear his world apart.
Halfway through the season, Rhys Montrose is revealed to be the killer and Joe’s stalker. Joe believes that killing Rhys is the only way to get rid of him, and he does so when he receives support from Kate’s father, Tom Lockwood. When Joe arrives at Rhys’ house to confront him, Rhys claims to have never met Joe. This confuses Joe, but he kills Rhys anyway, and that’s when the truth about his hallucinations comes to light.
Rhys appears to him and reveals that he is actually inside Joe’s mind. The real Rhys didn’t know who Joe was. As everything falls into perspective, Joe realizes that he is the one who has been killing people all this while. He killed Malcolm and the others and convinced himself it was someone else. The disappearing texts that he’d been receiving were not real. No one had been texting him.
All the times that Joe thought he’d met with Rhys or talked to him were happening in his head. Looking back at those times, Joe realizes that all of his conversations with Rhys took place when no one else was around, further proving that he had been talking to himself all this while. Whenever he had to murder people, Joe would slip into his other personality, whose presence he was unaware of. This is why Joe doesn’t remember killing people and cooks up the narrative of Rhys being the killer to keep his conscience clean.
Why Did Joe Hallucinate Rhys?
Joe’s hallucination isn’t happening for the first time on ‘You.’ Previously, he had hallucinated Beck after he killed her and tried to move on with his life when he found Love. It would make sense if he hallucinated Beck, Love, or any other victim or important person in his life. Why would he hallucinate Rhys, the person he had never even met? Why did his other personality manifest as Rhys in his mind?
Joe’s personality split into two when he tried to separate his evil and good sides. He wanted to let go of Marienne and be the good person he wanted her to think he was. However, there was another side to him, the one that controlled his obsessions and the one that made him kill people. When Joe tried to free himself of it, that side turned into a different personality and only came out when bad things needed to be done. Joe remained unaware of this bad side until Malcolm’s murder. With a dead body in his apartment, Joe’s bad side had done something he couldn’t ignore. An explanation was needed to keep Joe from unraveling, and that’s where the secret stalker, who eventually showed up as Rhys, came in.
Joe chose Rhys to be the face of his alter-ego because he related with him. When Nadia told Joe about Rhys Montrose and his book, Joe revealed that he knew nothing about him. In truth, he had not only read Rhys’ book but he was also obsessed with the man. Joe believed Rhys was just like him. Rhys, too, had made some mistakes but turned things around. He cleaned the slate, and now everybody liked him. Joe wanted the same for himself. He wanted to be cleansed of his past and be loved by Marienne.
When the time came for Joe’s darker side to explain every bad thing happening around them, it chose Rhys because it was convenient and tarnished the image of the man that Joe had looked up to. It was also an intelligent move because had it been someone like Love or Beck, Joe would have instantly known it wasn’t real. He would have immediately deduced what was happening to him. With Rhys, his dark side bought time, pushing Joe to do worse things while keeping his conscience clean.
Read More: Does Joe Kill Nadia in You Season 4? Spoiler