You Season 4 Episode 2 Recap

February 9, 2023
Lori C. 0
Netflix, Streaming Service, TV Recaps
View all


“Portrait of the Artist” makes it painfully clear that Joe’s hopes for a quiet life in London were as unrealistic as Love’s hopes to grow old with him (or grow old at all).

We recap the Netflix series You Season 4 Episode 2, “Portrait of the Artist,” which contains spoilers.

Season 4 Episode 2 makes it painfully clear that Joe’s (played by Penn Badgley) hopes for a quiet life in London were as unrealistic as Love’s hopes to grow old with him (or grow old at all). The killer is dead set on discovering professor Moore’s true identity, Joe’s investigation into Malcolm’s (Stephen Hagan) group of friends leads to some shocking conclusions, yet he’s no closer to uncovering which one is the actual killer.

Despite Joe’s best efforts to be friendly towards Kate, she couldn’t show him more contempt if she tried. After the strong season opener, episode two does a great job of keeping the memento going and increasing the stakes for our anti-hero. 

You Season 4 Episode 2 recap

The second episode starts where the previous one left off – With Joe hating every moment of the dinner party where he’s sure one of the attendants murdered Malcolm. Disappointed to realize he’s in the middle of a whodunit, Joe learns about the genre’s tropes with a little help from Nadia. Speaking of Malcolm, his disappearance has yet to cause much concern in Kate, who seems convinced her party-loving boyfriend has just taken off. 

Joe investigates his new friends

At first, Joe tries to figure out who the murderer is by getting his new friends to open up about their relationships with Malcolm. While he gets little snippets of information and concludes that most members of the group hated the dearly departed, they’re all hesitant to open up to someone they perceive as a poor professor “adopted” by Lady Pheobe.

Complicating things further, most members of the group don’t like Joe, while Kate flat-out despises him. But after an enlightening conversation with Rhys, Joe puts his most endearing talent to good use and starts stalking them. Adam seems the most likely suspect, as it appeared Malcolm was blackmailing him for something. But it turns out that all Adam had to hide was a bizarre yet ultimately harmless kink: Lady Pheobe’s boyfriend likes receiving golden showers from busboys.

Unfortunately for Joe, while he was following Adam, Lady Pheobe’s bodyguard, Vic (Sean Pertwee), was following him. And it seems that Vic has a nagging suspicion Professor Moore might be up to something.

“The first suspect is usually the second victim”

Next on the list of potential suspects is Simon, who just so happens to have a big art exhibit at Kate’s gallery. As black-out-drunk Jonathan seemed to have said something life-changing to Lady Pheobe in the first episode, our Joe was also invited to the big event. At the exhibit, Joe gets to spend some time discussing Simon’s art with Rhys, before an angry girl shows up out of nowhere and splashes paint all over the exhibits. 

When Joe and Kate go to find the girl, she explains that Simons claims art pieces she created as his own. And Simon also had this habit of offering drugs to his assistants so they can become addicts and have zero credibility if they were to try and expose them. Malcolm knew the pretend artist was a fraud and was engaging in a little game of blackmail, which, in Joe’s eyes, was definite proof incriminating Simon of the murder. Unfortunately, before Joe could get to him, the real killer stabbed poor Simon in his art studio and pulled a Van Goth on his ear. 

In the aftermath of Simon’s untimely death, Joe is shocked at how little care his so-called friends show. Aside from Lady Pheobe and Joe’s only friend in the group, Rhys, none of the other aristocrats seem too bothered about their friend getting murdered. Joe is also surprised to learn (via stalking) that despite her outward coldness, Kate is helping the girl whose art Simon stole by paying for her rehab and offering to launch her career. 

You Season 4 Episode 2 Ending Explained

At the university, Nadia opens up to Joe about a book she’s writing and she seems a little too disappointed that Malcolm supposedly ghosted her. Professor Moore thinks there was an inappropriate affair going on between the deceased and his 19-year-old student. Feeling bad for her, he offers to kindly read her manuscript. 

Throughout this episode, the secret app texts from the real killer are becoming more and more threatening. Specifically, the unknown texter is threatening to find out Jonathan Moore’s true identity. The thought of being stalked himself appalls Joe, and all his voiceover is directed at the new You, who just so happens to have turned the table on our protagonist.

At the end of You Season 4 Episode 2, Joe gets home only to find printed news articles detailing his past sins, including Love’s supposed murder-suicide and, of course, Guinevere Beck’s murder and the innocent therapist who’s doing life for it. The episode ends with one final text from the stalker: “Hello, Joe.”

What did you think of You Season 4 Episode 2? Comment below.

More Stories

Find where to watch this and more with our Discovery Tool

Explore Now
View all

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.