“You” Season 4 has a “Gossip Girl” nod and it’s not just Penn Badgley

Spoiler alert: The following post discusses important plot points about “You” Season 4  (and the “Gossip Girl” finale) so beware if you haven’t seen it yet.

Joe Goldberg can’t seem to escape his past in Season 4 of “You,” and neither can Penn Badgley.

Badgley, 36, skyrocketed to stardom playing Dan Humphrey in “Gossip Girl” from 2007 to 2012. The CW drama, based on Cecily von Ziegesar’s book, revolved around a group of elite Upper East Side teenagers tormented by texts from a mysterious “Gossip Girl” who knows all their dirty secrets.

“You” also draws from another teen drama: “Pretty Little Liars.” The series on ABC Family (now Freeform), based on Sara Shepard’s novels, aired from 2010-17 and centered on a group of teenage girls who receive text messages from someone alleging to be their dead friend Alison (Sasha Pieterse).

It’s hard to imagine Badgley played both Humphrey and serial killer Goldberg in the Netflix series. However, in the fourth season of “You” (first five episodes now streaming), the two worlds collide.

‘I would hug him’: ‘You’ star Penn Badgley reveals what he would do if he could meet Joe Goldberg

“You” Season 4 sees Goldberg escape to London as a literature professor under the alias Jonathan Moore. Despite being an outsider, he ends up falling in with an elite group of socialites.

When members of the group are murdered, Goldberg receives text messages threatening to expose his past. Sound familiar? In “Gossip Girl,” Humphrey was also an outcast as a middle-class aspiring writer from Brooklyn.

In the end, Humphrey was revealed as Gossip Girl, but does that mean he’s the murderer in “You” Season 4, as he was in previous seasons

Oddly enough, you can’t help but root for him despite oh, you know, murdering Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail), Peach Salinger (Shay Mitchell), Candace Stone (Ambyr Childers) and Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti), among others. 

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