‘You’ Recap: Season 4, Episode 2 “Portrait of the Artist”

Hannah  - Editor/Instagram Manager
11 Min Read
You. (L to R) Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg, Ed Speleers as Rhys in episode 402 of You. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

Hello … you.

We left Joe at the end of the season premiere with the realization that he has his very own stalker after pursuing Marienne to London. Mixed up with a group of the country’s wealthiest and most elite, Joe finds himself at the center of a murder he genuinely did not commit, though he is framed for Malcolm’s murder committed by his stalker by the body being left on his kitchen table.

This article containers spoilers for You season 4, episode 2 “Portrait of the Artist.”

You. Amy-Leigh Hickman as Nadia Farran in episode 402 of You. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

Joe continues to see the group of friends, because one of them is framing him for the murder of Malcolm. At dinner before Simon’s art gallery opening, the anxiety is obviously overflowing from Joe because oh how the tables have turned … his withdrawn behavior and expression lead to comfort from Rhys Montrose and a joking (?) threat from Adam.

Joe does not like being the one to be stalked and quickly becomes incredibly paranoid, searching his flat for cameras, listening devices … absolutely anything that could serve as a clue. The paranoia only increases when he receives an official, ominous invitation to the gallery opening.

At the university, Kate is trying to find Malcolm (to no avail … obviously) and is leaving him a rather worry-laced, ticked-off voicemail. Joe begins his research on his least favorite, and in his opinion the lowest, form of literature — whodunnits. Nadia, who really needs to stay away from that man, lectures him on the true nature of the genre while calling him a snob, ultimately giving him a lesson on the tropes.

“Numer one … there are no coincidences.
And two … all motives always boil down to sex, money or revenge.
And three … the first suspect is usually the second victim.”

The rules change a bit, of course, when he makes a correction … he’s envisioning only a single, violent murder — not multiple. The problem is, of course, Joe isn’t the one in charge of this game. He accuses Elliot on video chat, who really seems unlikely as he’s enjoying the bribe money he took.

More texts from his stalker reveal an insistence to taunt our lead.

“Hello again.
Nice jacket. Brown’s your color.
I’m learning a lot about you.
Loner by nature.
Absolutely not a real professor.”

“Why did you kill Malcolm?”

“Your name isn’t Jonathan Moore.
I’ll figure you out soon enough.”

Jonathan visits Lady Phoebe and bursts down a door armed with a statue to rescue her when he hears screaming … only to discover her undergoing laser hair removal. Her escort/security guard/driver steps in, thankfully (for Joe) stopped by Phoebe. She is enamored with “Jonathan” and feels their friendship is fate … and is absolutely flirting with him right in front of her boyfriend, Adam.

It’s Phoebe who sent him the invitation to the gallery, and she’s also more than willing to offer some additional insights into their friends and particularly Malcolm. Apparently Malcolm is a bit controversial in the friend group. Adam insists that “Jonathan” visit the gallery to be gifted a suit to wear to the event.

The friend group are mostly at the gallery already and continue to be unwelcoming to the newest member, though hearing it’s Phoebe who has included them quickly brings silence … she carries weight, and being “adopted by her” is a privilege.

You. (L to R) Lukas Gage as Adam, Tilly Keeper as Lady Phoebe in episode 402 of You. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

Joe searches through Malcolm’s apartment to get to know the deceased better, and finds a little black book in his office indicating he was involved in horse gambling and was due for a meeting with a coded individual — “Louis the Sun King” and “Dagger.” Outside of the apartment, Joe runs into Nadia, who is disappointed when the man has a key because it would be more interesting if he were breaking in.

Again. Someone get her away from him.

Joe continues his internet research on members of the friend group. It’s through his reading he deduces Adam is the person Malcolm is meant to be meeting with. Joe follows Adam only to see him kneeling on the floor and receiving a … golden shower … from one of the waiters. Joe is discovered by Phoebe’s escort — Vic — who takes the cash he has on hand as a bribe to keep silent about him “writing a book about the rich.”

Which brings us to the gallery opening.

You. (L to R) Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg, Ed Speleers as Rhys in episode 402 of You. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

At this point, Joe is fairly convinced that Adam is the murderer. Kate really seems to dislike Joe and insists they’re not friends to Roald and Blessing. Adam has been doing drugs so he’s in a talkative mood, and loves that “Jonathan” seems up for gossiping. Adam warns his “friend” not to do business with Malcolm, leading Joe to now have doubts about his number one suspect. Whodunnits are certainly not his genre.

Joe cries at art of cats, which … same, Joe. Rhys joins him for a conversation about the cat art and reveals his disapproval over the art practices of his friends. Rhys is the one person in the group, perhaps, the Joe feels he can be “himself” with … or rather, the new version of himself, so it’s not difficult for him to pry a bit.

“Why are you friends with these people? I know that none of this is exactly what you stand for.”

Rhys is friends with the group because they were kind to him when he needed it in college. Though Joe doesn’t understand how Rhys could continue the friendship if the others are not still kind, Rhys feels it would be hypocritical to abandon his friends after all this time.

“The longer you know somebody, the more cursed you are to see them as human.”

You. Aidan Cheng as Simon Soo in episode 402 of You. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

A woman throws paint on the cat masterpiece and is escorted out by Vic. Simon quickly throws more paint and puts a spin on the intrusion, making it seem like the attack was part of the show. Joe and Rhys know better though and exchange a knowing look, and Simon quickly becomes the new suspect number one.

Joe helps Kate find the woman who disrupted the show because he saw her, and the key to where she is currently staying, on his way into the building. The pair depart together and eventually question the woman, Blue, learning that she is the one who actually painted Simon’s masterpieces — all without proper credit or pay. Kate is quick to pay Blue off for her silence. Malcolm had also visited Blue, to say he was going to expose Simon as a fraud, once again solidifying Joe’s belief he’s the suspect.

Joe stakes out the afterparty for hours, only to fall asleep on a bench outside and wake up to sirens and more messages.

“I’m getting closer.
To finding out who you are.
On a related note…
You missed the best part of the night.”

Inside, Simon has been murdered, becoming victim number two.

You. Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg in episode 402 of You. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

“Jonathan” is invited over by Phoebe to be with the group as they mourn the loss of Simon. It’s revealed by the group that part of Simon’s ear was missing — an homage to Van Gogh but certainly a tool for Joe’s stalker for future leverage.

Joe joins Rhys on the balcony to get to know him better, because he can’t decide if Rhys is better than the rest of the group as he seems … or secretly perhaps much worse. Rhys reveals he wasn’t surprised that Simon was murdered and that he knew his deceased friend was a liar, and had always hoped that he would be a better person one day.

Joe listens to Kate leave yet another voicemail for Malcolm and have a phone conversation with Blue. Joe continues his whodunnit research only to run into Nadia again, who is upset because she also can’t locate Malcolm, and she is awaiting his feedback on the book she’s written. Joe agrees to read the book himself and give feedback.

Back in his own flat, Joe finds papers taped up indicating his stalker has discovered his true identity. The stalker gloats over messages once again.

“It was tough, but I did it.
Hello, Joe.”

If you need to catch up on recaps for the season, you’ll be able to find them here. You season 4 part 1 is available to stream now on Netflix.

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By Hannah Editor/Instagram Manager
Hannah joined the team in May 2021. If she's not typing away on her keyboard about 'Star Wars', Spider-Man, or horror you can probably find her with a PlayStation controller in her hand. Hasn't stopped crying about Arthur Morgan since 2018 with no plans to stop anytime soon and is convinced she could survive more than five nights at Freddy's. At her core, she's really just an aspiring vampire juice box. Based in Denver, CO.
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