You season 4's huge Joe plot twist was foreshadowed in season 1

15 March 2023, 14:19

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By Katie Louise Smith

"So many missed easter eggs."

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After a slow start, You season 4 ended on an absolutely wild note with a huge plot twist, a horrifying reveal and an ending that sets up what's sure to be a brutal fifth (and potentially final?) season.

By the end of season 4, Penn Badgley's Joe Goldberg is the most menacing and least remorseful we've ever seen him. You season 5 will no doubt be even more bloody and horrifying than season 4 (which has the series' biggest body count so far).

But before that, fans have been revisiting some of the earlier seasons in preparation, and to see if there were any clues that hinted at Joe's big season 4 reveal.

One particular season 1 scene that appears to foreshadow exactly what happened to Joe has now gone viral – and you'll kick yourself for not remembering it while watching the first five episodes of season 4.

WARNING: Spoilers ahead for You season 4's big plot twist!

You fans spot season 1 scene that foreshadows Joe's season 4 twist
You fans spot season 1 scene that foreshadows Joe's season 4 twist. Picture: Netflix

Alright, if you've read this far into the article, then you've probably either finished You season 4 or just don't care about spoilers at this point.

In season 4 episode 7, viewers find out that Joe has been imagining his entire relationship with Rhys. On top of that, it's revealed that Joe was the real killer the whole time. During dissociative blackout episodes, Joe murdered Malcolm, Simon and Gemma and projected it all onto his imaginary version of Rhys to absolve himself of the crimes.

Imaginary Rhys, created by Joe, then becomes part of his psyche and acts as a voice inside his head. There's basically two different versions of Joe now living within him. While the "Jonathan Moore" part of Joe was actively trying to move away from his murderous past, the real Joe Goldberg was still killing people and locking people up in his glass cage.

Turns out, all of this was foreshadowed back in season 1...

In season 1, Joe books a therapy session with Beck's therapist Dr. Nicky (John Stamos) after becoming suspicious that Beck is sleeping with him. He conjures up another fake alias and introduces himself as Paul Brown. Throughout the session, Joe discusses his relationship with Beck and at the end, Dr. Nicky gives him a diagnosis.

"I think there's two of you," Dr. Nicky says. "Two Paul Browns, one has been hurt in the past, felt betrayed and helpless. But the other one has faith, in spite of the evidence to the contrary. He believes true love exists."

Now we've all seen the plot twist from season 4, people are realising that the clues where there the entire time. As the seasons have gone on, we've seen Dr. Nicky's diagnosis play out: There is one version of Joe who actually just wants to find love and be loved in return. And then there's another version of Joe, who murders and commits awful crimes often to obtain that love.

"Omg never thought of this!!" one user wrote. Another added: "So many missed easter eggs."

Someone else even pointed out that there may be even more foreshadowing moments hinting at Joe's alter ego. "It was also foreshadowed through the chessboard in his apt. Both sides were white as he was playing himself," one user shared.

You season 4's Joe plot twist was foreshadowed back in season 1
You season 4's Joe plot twist was foreshadowed back in season 1. Picture: Netflix

In an interview with, showrunner Sera Gamble confirmed that the idea of Joe being split into two people popped up a few seasons ago, and they've been building to it ever since.

"We started talking about it a couple of seasons ago. In a certain way, we see the arc of the series as Joe getting a little bit more unhinged as each season goes along. It’s one way that he’s accumulating consequences," she said.

Calling back to season 1, she then added: "In the first frames of the series in the pilot, his inner monologue is really distinct. So we’ve always seen him as somebody who walks around arguing with himself, agreeing with himself a lot. So we knew this was something we were leading up to.”

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