The fourth season of Netflix’s ‘You’ gives Joe Goldberg his most challenging task yet. Trying to start a new life in London, he gets caught up in a series of murders that involves a couple of rich people from a friend group that Joe has become a part of. Joe is brought into the group via Malcolm, his colleague at the Darcy university where Joe has joined as a new professor of English literature. One night of partying and drinking takes a turn for the worse when Joe finds Malcolm’s dead body inside his flat the next day. If you are wondering who killed Malcolm, then here’s what you should know. SPOILERS AHEAD
Did Joe Kill Malcolm?
Considering that Malcolm’s dead body is found inside Joe’s flat and that Joe has previously killed many people, it isn’t difficult to believe that he has started on his killing spree once again. The first time Joe finds Malcolm, he blames no one but himself for the murder. He had been too drunk to remember what happened, but everything points towards him as the murderer. Accepting that he has, once again, messed up, he decides to clean up the mess and try to find a way to move on. He disposes of Malcolm’s body and cleans his hands of his new friend’s blood.
A twist arrives in the story when Joe receives a message from a mysterious person. It is sent on an app, which Joe doesn’t remember downloading on his phone, that deletes messages as soon as they are read. This stranger confesses to Malcolm’s murder and reveals that they had been planning to let Joe take the fall for it. But, they didn’t anticipate how resourceful he could be. The ease with which Joe disposed of the body confirms for the murderer that this isn’t his first rodeo. They become determined to find out about his shady past, and in the meantime, continue killing more people.
Who Killed Malcolm?
The message from the murderer is a huge relief to Joe. At least, he is not falling back into his patterns and the mess is not his fault. However, that doesn’t mean that his life still can’t fall apart. The murderer seems intent on pinning the murders on him, which means that Joe might also be a potential victim of the Eat the Rich Killer, as termed by the media. Before the murderer can claim more lives, including Joe’s, he has to figure out the identity of the killer.
Considering that the victims are all from Malcolm’s group Joe is convinced that the culprit is someone from within the group. The murderer would have to be in close vicinity of all of them to find their window of committing the crime. Additionally, the fact that this person is using a texting app that instantly deletes messages proves that this person is rich and paranoid. Joe starts to dig into the histories and the complicated relationships between everyone. He discovers that Rhys Montrose is the only one who doesn’t like the rich lifestyle shared by his friends.
Rhys grew up like every other person and it wasn’t until his teenage that he discovered that he belonged to a wealthy family. His father’s money paved the path which led him to become a bestselling author and a beloved candidate in the race of becoming mayor. By the end of ‘You’ ‘Season 4’ Part 1, he has declared his intention to officially stand for the elections. However, by this time, Joe has also discovered that it is Rhys who has been going around killing people and blackmailing Joe.
Why would Rhys want to kill his friends? While digging into Malcolm’s past, Joe discovers that he had been looking into his friends and had discovered their secrets. Malcolm’s diary reveals those secrets to Joe. It includes Adam’s fetish and Simon’s exploitation of assistants and using their art to make his own career. It was clear that Malcolm wasn’t digging out these secrets just for fun. He was going to or was already blackmailing his friends. It is possible that Malcolm had something on Rhys and was blackmailing him too. Rhys got tired of the blackmail and found it a liability for his political ambitions. His secret could undo the image that he had created for the public, and all of his hard work would be in vain.
Simon and Gemma may have posed similar threats to Rhys, or they somehow found out he had killed Malcolm. This is why he killed them too. Joe discovers Rhys’ identity as the murderer when he shows up at the Hampsbridge House, ties up Joe and Roald in the cellar, and forces Joe to kill Roald and pin the murders on him. Joe refuses to do it and both he and Roald succeed in escaping the fire. Even though Joe knows about Rhys now, it is still an impossible task to prove that he is the murderer. Joe might have to resort to unorthodox methods to prove his guilt, though it might become his undoing as well.
Read More: You Season 4 Part 1 Ending, Explained