The first half of the season, which aired back in February, was generally poorly received online immediately after it was released.
Many viewers commented that they found the highly-anticipated episodes unconvincing when they first watched them. However, this quickly changed when part 2 was released a month later.
As it turned out, season 4 of You made a lot more sense as its second part provided much-needed context to the first, revealing that suspected killer Rhys (Ed Speleers) was actually a figment of protagonist Joe Goldberg’s imagination all along.
And the actor who plays Joe himself, Penn Badgley, previously made it clear he was confused by Netflix’s decision to split the season into two parts, admitting on his podcast: Podcrushedthat he was worried that part 1 wouldn’t make as much sense without part 2.
“When I found out they were releasing it in two parts, my only concern was, ‘Does part 1 make sense without part 2?'” he said. “Like, it will make sense, but will it be so uhh how people usually find the show?
Penn sat down with the outlet as the latest cover star this week, stating that Season 4 of You was “never intended” to be split in two.
“It should never be published in two parts. I don’t know what the talks were about [the show’s creator] Sera Gamble and [cocreator] Greg Berlanti, for example,” he said.
“I think that’s just the economic reality of Netflix. And I think it generally makes sense to release things in installments,” he continued.
“When I found out about this, I was like, ‘We’re going to take a month off [episodes] 5 and 6? It’s a big old distraction.’ Because for me, everything doesn’t come home until you finally see the cage,” he added.
Penn also stated that he’s not sure how or when You will eventually end, he believes the next season – if there is one – would be its “grand finale.”
“I know what Greg suggested to me as the right ending a few years ago. If there’s another one, I think it’ll be a grand finale,” he said.
In case you missed it, Penn drew a mixed reaction last month when he revealed he asked creator Sera for little to no sex scenes in Season 4 out of respect for his marriage to Domino Kirke-Badgley.
“Fidelity in every relationship, including my marriage, is important to me,” he said on an episode of Podcrushed. “It’s gotten to a point where I don’t want that anymore,” he added, referring to the fact that seasons 1-3 of You featured intimate sex scenes between Penn and various other romantic leads.
Penn’s comments drew quite a bit of criticism from netizens, and now he’s admitted he feels the whole thing was “disproportionate”.
“What I was talking about wasn’t actually the end product,” he said. “It was kind of the culture that’s inherent in the production of all films, but especially these scenes. It’s like, look, we know Hollywood has a history of blatant exploitation and abuse.
Penn shed a little more light on what it was like when he initially voiced his concerns about Sera, revealing that he was “so nervous.”
“I was nervous to even have this conversation. It was’nt easy. It was easy because of Sera’s reaction and I felt relieved,” he said. “But technically I would have done it if I thought I could set that limit sooner.”
“We’ll see if setting that limit has any impact, of course. It just limits the number of projects you can participate in,” he added.
However, Penn made it clear that whatever his decision, changing the sex scenes had absolutely no effect on the trajectory of You.
“It didn’t change the course of the season at all,” he said. “I mean, Joe, of course, was willing to be out of that position.”