You season 4 theory suggests Joe is 'imagining' Rhys

15 February 2023, 12:22

Watch the You season 4 part 1 trailer

Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

"The theory doesn't insinuate that Rhys isn't real or that he isn't friends with the group. It says that Joe's version of Rhys may not be real." [Spoilers ahead!]

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The first five episodes of You season 4 have finally landed on Netflix, but thanks to Joe Goldberg's latest antics, viewers aren't convinced that what we're seeing is as simple as it seems.

From the murder mystery at large and the big reveal of the Eat The Rich killer, to Love Quinn's shock appearance in the Part 2 trailer, fans have been going into overdrive with their theories for what's set to happen in the next five episodes.

The biggest theory? Well, fans are convinced that Joe is imagining Rhys, or at least imagining his relationship with Rhys. Rhys being revealed as the killer in episode 5 of a 10-part murder mystery? That's way too easy.

Over on the You subreddit, viewers have come up with an elaborate theory and have pointed out all the details in Part 1 that they think are pointing to a huge reveal in Part 2. See what you make of it...

READ MORE: Who is the suspicious photographer in You season 4? Fans have several theories

You fans are convinced Joe is imagining his relationship with Rhys
You fans are convinced Joe is imagining his relationship with Rhys. Picture: Netflix

Is Joe imagining Rhys in You season 4?

Well, we know for sure that Rhys does actually exist, because the other members of the friendship group have referenced him.

He's seen speaking to other characters at Simon's funeral, and he's also mentioned by Gemma during dinner at Hampsie, where she explains that Rhys skipped out on the weekend. Her comments also suggest that the group do share a fairly friendly relationship with him too. His book is also real, as Nadia gives it to Joe.

However, the theories that have popped up on Reddit and on social media suggest that Joe might be either imagining his conversations with Rhys, projecting onto Rhys and/or is an "unreliable narrator," who "is paranoid, and hallucinating" Rhys' involvement in the murders.

Wild, right?! Fans are convinced that a big Fight Club-esque reveal is on the cards, where it's revealed that 'Rhys the Eat The Rich Killer' is actually a figment of Joe's imagination, and he's doing the killings himself.

Fans are convinced that Joe is imagining Rhys because he's always alone when he has conversations with him.

Given that Rhys is clearly distant from the group, it doesn't seem too suspicious that he and Joe often share one-on-one conversations away from the crowd. But both Joe and Rhys also only ever seek each other out when they're alone – something that viewers have clocked.

"The theory doesn't insinuate that Rhys isn't real or that he isn't friends with the group," one Reddit post reads. "It says that Joe's version of Rhys may not be real. His interactions with Joe only seem to be... with Joe. No one else acknowledges Rhys when he's supposedly interacting with Joe."

Another Redditor elaborated on that thread, theorising that Joe conjured up his entire relationship with Rhys after reading his book: "I think Rhys is real, as a writer and a candidate for mayor. I think Joe read his book and resonated a lot with it, and projected himself onto Rhys during a psychotic break."

TikTok user @nerdyblonde12 also explained the whole theory in a TikTok, adding: "I think the next five episodes [are] going to be Joe trying to get to Rhys, the real Rhys, and slowly we’ll figure out that it’s not the guy Joe’s been talking to. It’s been himself."

Additionally, other fans have also clocked another suspicious scene in episode 1 where the group sit down at Sundry House. Viewers see Joe talking to Rhys but Adam's confused response made it seem like Joe was interrupting what he was saying to the group.

The appearance of Love in the Part 2 trailer has also sparked theories that Joe is experiencing hallucinations again. Because as Victoria Pedretti and showrunner Sera Gamble have explained... Love is really, truly, dead.

Is Rhys real is You season 4? Fans think Joe is imagining him
Is Rhys real is You season 4? Fans think Joe is imagining him. Picture: Netflix

Joe is also unconscious or asleep when the murders take place.

When Malcolm is killed, Joe is asleep on his couch. When Simon is killed, Joe is asleep on the bench outside. When Gemma is killed, Joe is laying unconscious on the ground after falling out the window.

Fans have theorised that Joe could be committing these murders and then completely blacking out and projecting the whole thing onto the version of Rhys he's imagining. Almost like Joe's alter ego, or split personality, takes over in those moments.

"My prediction for #YouNetflix Season 4 is that Rhys is a figment of Joe’s imagination and he actually committed all the murders (Joe was “blacked out” when they all took place) . Joe just can’t accept the person he is so he created Rhys as a way to mirror his actions," one Twitter user wrote.

Is Rhys Montrose a figment of Joe Goldberg's imagination?
Is Rhys Montrose a figment of Joe Goldberg's imagination? Picture: Netflix

Adding fuel to the theory, Penn Badgley and his Podcrushed co-hosts Nava and Sophie have teased that Part 2 is "juicy" and "much better" than Part 1.

"It gets better when you watch part 2, because there might be certain things that you're like, 'I think this doesn't make sense, or there are plot holes' and they're all addressed in part 2," Nava explained.

Penn then added: "My one concern when I found out that they were releasing it in two parts was: ‘Does Part 1 make sense without Part 2?’ Like, it’ll make sense but is it going to be as 'ahhh!' as people typically find the show? You know, is it like, 'It did the thing'.”

"You have to be patient, you'll be rewarded when you watch Part 2."

Penn Badgley interviews Joe from You

Penn's TikToks have even been dragged into the theory too. One TikTok user commented: "I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Penn’s TikToks have just been him talking to himself."

We'll have to wait until March 9th to see if everyone is right about this completely wild theory...

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