You Season 4 Will Be 'Quite Different,' According To Star Penn Badgley

After three years starring in the Netflix "romantic" thriller "You," Penn Badgley has become very comfortable with his character. Or at the very least, comfortable with his crazy. 

When we first met series lead Joe Goldberg (Badgley), he was a bookish nice guy, a hopeless romantic ... and a budding psychopath. Three seasons later, he is no stranger to the detailed process of murdering those who get in his way, disposing of their bodies, and skirting past lawful repercussions. Everything Joe does is, apparently, in the name of love; an insane plan always in pursuit of the latest woman he's latched onto. And sadly, it never ends well for her. So it's getting harder not to wonder... How will it end for him?

What's Next For Joe Goldberg?

Fans of the series are very familiar with Joe's cycle by now — getting obsessed, stalking the woman of the season, somehow starting a relationship with her and eventually, burning her life to the ground. So as "You" goes into its fourth season, will the cycle continue? Or might there be something new in the cards for the serial killing lunatic? For Badgley, this has been the source of much consideration. In an interview with Collider, he gave voice to the big question — what comes next? Badgley said:

"In the real world — so that we're in a real emotional universe and can relate to this happening — where does a person like Joe go? Where is justice for him and for us? Does that mean happiness? I mean, it's like, does a person like Joe deserve to die? Yes. But does anyone deserve to kill him? I really think this is [the] question."

Surely fans can agree on one thing: Joe is well beyond redemption. His lack of self awareness means that though he may regret his actions on occasion, he often dismisses them as necessary — or worse, justified. As for the matter of happiness, the man never manages to stay pleased for very long. The latest season of the series sees Joe finally getting what he always wanted: a wife and child. His new wife by his side, Joe heads to the suburbs to raise his newborn son, Henry and get his much-anticipated happily ever after. But ... let's just say things don't go as expected.

Season 4 of You

You'll have to experience the third season of "You" to understand how impossible Joe's happiness truly is. His relationship with his wife, Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti) has the potential to last forever. Do they both have a bad habit of committing murder? Yes. But were they both initially enamored by the other? Yes! Who else could love a serial killer but another serial killer? If Joe can't make a psychotic relationship work, then what chance does he have with a normal, sane woman?! This is where the fourth season has the potential to be much more interesting. Badgley added:

"The next season could be quite different. It really could be quite different... I think it might be more about Joe's relationship with himself. Because this isn't really a show about a murderer, this is a show about ... I think it's taking the mistakes that we make in relationships to the extreme for the sake of a good story. Like, we really need to lay down our swords and stop being competitive in relationships, but that's very hard to do."

Death would be an easy way out for Joe. Though it would be poetic to see him killed by his latest beloved, would it be the proper punishment? As Badgley alluded, would it be fair to her? In which case, where else could Joe's story lead? Badgley hints that understanding the character will be a key part of finding this ending but for viewers, how much more is there to unpack? Prior season of "You" have brought us closer to understanding Joe's childhood and upbringing. Flashbacks have given us a peek at the serial killer's first murder and insight into the abandonment issues that continue to plague him through adulthood. And thanks to his inner monologue, Joe's thoughts has been laid bare each episode. We've known Joe's problem for years (i.e. he's crazy), but maybe season 4 is where he finally comes to the same conclusion.