Joe realized after reaching London in the fourth season of the series “You” that the world was full of oddballs and that there were probably people doing things that were stranger than whatever he had done in the past. Joe tried to stay off the grid and lead a normal life which is when his neighbors caught his attention. No matter how much he tried, he couldn’t suppress his impulse to know more about their lives.
Kate and Malcolm stayed adjacent to Joe’s place, and he often noticed them in their unguarded moments from his window. Joe stopped himself from obsessing about them and their lives, but time and again, he saw something that pushed him into his familiar thinking pattern. Joe had a habit of seeing a person’s actions, gestures, and words and then analyzing what was going on inside their minds and the kind of person they were. It was addictive, and it had taken a great deal of effort for him to stop doing that. It was not that thinking about somebody was a problem, but with Joe, that thought was always followed by some actions that were not acceptable in the general sense.
One day Joe followed Kate, and he saw that two muggers attacked her on the pitch-dark street, and he found that no one was coming to help her. Joe knew that if he tried saving her, there was a possibility that his fake identity would be exposed, but he was not inhuman enough to let Kate get mugged in front of his eyes. There was a sense of moral masochism that prevailed inside him, and he made up his mind to sabotage his own safety because he felt ethically responsible for protecting Kate. Joe scared off the robbers, and then the inevitable happened, a possibility that he had entertained prior to jumping into this situation: Kate was calling the police, and Joe knew that his name could not pop up in front of law enforcement. Hesitatingly, he asked Kate not to bring up his name as he had a shaky work visa situation.
Kate had always looked at him with utter disgust, and after he told her about the work visa thing, it felt like she started loathing him even more. But fortunately for Joe, Kate didn’t bring up his name, though somehow, he felt that she had started despising him even more. Maybe she was this condescending towards every other person who didn’t belong to her preferred class of people, i.e., the snobbish and privileged ones who lived in a fantasy land and were least bothered about what happened in the real world. After the incident, Malcolm came to meet Joe, and he invited him to be a part of his exclusive group, where all the who’s who of London were present. Joe was reluctant to socialize with the entitled brats, but Malcolm didn’t give him much of a choice.
After Malcolm died, Kate met Joe once again and called him to a soiree that was being organized for Simon, as apparently, Phoebe had taken a liking to him, and she desperately wanted him there. Kate made it very clear that she didn’t like him even one bit, and had Phoebe not been insistent, she wouldn’t have bothered whether he lived or died. Even during Simon’s exhibition, Kate clearly stated in front of Roald that he was only Malcolm’s friend and not hers. Joe had, by this time, grown accustomed to her imperious nature and to her looking at him with disdainful eyes.
After the debacle at Simon’s exhibition, Joe went up to Kate and told her that he knew where the girl who threw paint lived. But even after such a huge favor, Kate didn’t approve of his presence and questioned his intentions and motives. She called him a liar and told him that just because he had saved her from a mugging didn’t mean he had a right to be in her life. Joe was worried about Kate because the anonymous man who had been texting him was after her and had already asked him to kill her. Joe knew himself very well, and that is why he was aware that he would follow Kate wherever she went—not because of his characteristic obsession but because he really wanted to protect her. But Kate’s attitude was making it very difficult for him to do that.
Even during Malcolm’s funeral, Kate ruthlessly told him that she didn’t want him to be there and had no interest in whatever he had to say. Kate considered Joe a faux-polite egoist, but he didn’t stop following her. He went after her to a bar and, taking his chances, sat just beside her. Kate couldn’t believe that Joe had the audacity to cross the line and be so obstinate even after she had stated very clearly what she wanted. The line that differentiated harassment from protectiveness was becoming blurry, and Joe knew that it could have gone either way. But miraculously, it worked in Joe’s favor as Kate, for the first time, opened up to him and spoke more than two lines without being self-assured and rude. Kate entertained the possibility that maybe, for some weird reason, Joe actually just wanted to protect her and nothing else.
The trick that worked for Joe was that he stopped being amenable for a moment, and he very politely looked through her intentions which hit the bullseye as he had made her vulnerable. Kate started opening up to him and told him that her mother always took crying for weakness, and she forbade her from shedding her tears no matter what the situation was. Kate had always been told to hide all her feelings, and over time, it became a habit that no matter what happened, she acted unbothered by it. Joe told her that the more a person ran from facing themselves, the messier it became for them. Joe said that he had a cathartic ritual whenever such things happened to him, where he liked burning something (and we all know what he meant by that, though Kate perceived it in the most non-hazardous manner). That day Kate took Joe to a closed park, which was apparently her and Malcolm’s secret spot, and they shared an intimate moment, which Joe tried to resist at first but then gave in to. But things went downhill once again when Kate realized that Joe was snooping around in her house, trying to find a letter that a student had written for Malcolm.
Kate and Joe went to the Blaxworths’ country house, and it was there that the latter learned something that Kate had been hiding all this time. Joe always thought Kate was a self-made woman, and he had reasons to believe that she was not royalty like her friends. Kate’s father was Tom Lockwood, who was one of the most renowned corporate raiders and probably the most influential person on the planet. Kate’s family was wealthier than any of them, and the guards, whom Joe had earlier thought were for Phoebe, were actually security personnel sent by Mr. Lockwood to look after his daughter. Kate had a problem with the manner in which he conducted his business and the kind of principles he abided by.
Tom Lockwood’s intentions were governed only by monetary gains, and he had no qualms accepting that his conscience belonged to the highest bidder. There were times when he vouched for a company by putting the lives of millions at stake. Kate considered all his wealth to be “blood money,” and that is why she wanted to establish herself on her own. She didn’t use his father’s surname on purpose because she knew that it had the potential of discrediting her efforts and making it look like she had everything served to her on a platter. Joe finally realized why she had been like that with him. She had a mother who asked her to conceal her emotions and be excruciatingly stoic in life, and then there was her father, who did things that gave her nightmares.
In the end, we see that Kate actually went out to search for Joe because she was worried about him. From being ruthless in showing contempt towards him to actually having his back and not being able to resist him, we saw Kate’s likings and desires changing entirely through the five episodes of the fourth season of the series “You.” It was highly unlikely that she would appear near the end of the first season and offer Malcolm’s unused clothes to Joe. Even Joe was getting attracted to her, and he knew that if he didn’t control his impulses, he would definitely fall into the pit and get distracted from his main agenda, i.e., to understand what Rhys was up to and stop him before he did any more damage. We would like to entertain the possibility that Joe moves on from Marienne and takes his relationship with Kate further.
It would be quite interesting to see what Kate thinks and how she reacts once she finds out that Professor Jonathan Moore is, in reality, a sociopath named Joe Goldberg. She had seen how efficiently he disposed of Gemma’s body, and she somehow knew that he was hiding a side of his personality that was not as clean and uncomplicated as the professor at Darcy College that he was pretending to be. But Joe had convinced her otherwise, as he knew that she was not ready to accept his past. Joe craved being with Kate, and the moment he set eyes on her, he knew that she was the kind of trouble he wouldn’t be able to resist. Both of them were contorted in their own different ways: on the one hand, he got obsessed after witnessing her condescending nature; on the other, she romanticized his persistent nature, which for a normal person would have felt like a gross violation of privacy.