Who killed Malcolm in 'You' season 4? Is Joe up to his old tricks?

Given the circumstances, the answer seems obvious, but 'who killed Malcolm in You?' isn't so easy to pinpoint

Who killed Malcolm in 'You'? Pictured: Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg, Stephen Hagan as Malcolm in episode 401 of You
(Image credit: Netflix)

Things are already off to a murderous start, as "Who killed Malcolm in You?" is the main question in season 4—at least, thus far. 

The first part of You season 4 premiered on Netflix on Thursday, February 9, and it quickly gets viewers all caught up with the infamous Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley). Only now, he goes by Professor Jonathan Moore. Since things went up in flames back in the states—literally and figuratively—Joe decided to move on and pursue a new life, sans wife and baby.

Higher education doesn't necessarily seem to suit him well, as Joe's disgusted by the "privileged douchebags" of his inner circle...which leads us to Malcolm (Stephen Hagan). He's a fellow literary colleague with a knack for wild partying, which doesn't sit right with Joe. Nevertheless, Joe is trying to move forward and put the past behind him, so even if he's not terribly keen on someone, that doesn't mean he's going to kill them...right?

Joe seems in Malcolm's good graces when he defends his girlfriend, Kate, from a mugger in London. This act of bravery even earns Joe a spot at a prestigious, swanky club in London. It's not really his scene, but our new literature professor ventures there anyway...and the next day Malcom's dead body is discovered on his kitchen table.

So is Joe back to his murderous ways? And if not, who killed Malcolm in You season 4? Here's what to know

*Warning: spoilers ahead*

Who killed Malcolm in 'You' season 4?

Considering Malcolm ends up dead in Joe's home—and we have a fairly substantial list of people Joe Goldberg killed—all signs point to the literary monster returning to his old ways. But we learn fairly quickly that there might be another culprit entirely when a third party chimes in with praise for the way in which Joe disposes of Malcolm's corpse. 

It turns out the professor's life was taken by the Eat the Rich Killer...who just so happens to be Rhys Montrose (Ed Speleers). Joe seems to feel fairly comfortable around Rhys, as they both had a difficult upbringing and aren't completely taken with the wealth surrounding them (as the nickname shows). Rhys writes a memoir about overcoming poverty and eventually attending Oxford, a very prestigious feat. He's even interested in running for mayor of London. 

But, it's probably best that political hopefuls aren't murderers. Come episode five, we learn a bit more about Rhys, and he's apparently onto Joe and his crime-filled past. (Guess that's why they seemed to have such a strong connection.) 

Who else has Rhys set his sights on, and what will happen when he tries to get involved in the British government? 

"Whatever your big plans are, I need to stop you before you can hurt another soul and drag mine down with you," Joe said to Rhys at the end of the mid-season finale. Well, we were warned that things were going to be different on this side of the pond!

There's still more chaos (and likely murders) to come in the second half of the fourth season and likely You season 5, should the show get renewed.

You season 4 part 1 is streaming on Netflix as of Thursday, February 9. Part 2 will follow on Thursday, March 9. 

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.