Who Is the ‘Eat the Rich’ Killer in ‘You’ Season 4? Only 2 Actors Knew Who the Real Murderer Was

"You" Netflix
Photo: Netflix.

Warning: You season 4 spoilers ahead. If you’ve started the new season, you may have one question on your mind: Who is the killer in You season 4 and who murdered Malcolm, Simon and more characters?

You season 4, which premiered on Netflix on February 9, 2023, follows serial killer Joe Goldberg as he moves to London, England, and take on the identity of university professor Jonathan Moore after the events of season 3. While working at the university, Joe meets a circle of wealthy friends: Malcolm, a literature professor; Simon, an up-and-coming artist and the son of a Chinese tech mogul; Gemma, an eccentric socialite; Kate, an ice-cold gallery manager; Lady Phoebe, a rich and famous daughter from aristocratic family; and Adam, an American playboy son of a prominent East Coast family.

One by one, the members of the friend group are murdered by a mysterious serial killer known by them as the “Eat the Rich” killer. As his new friends die around him, Joe also learns that the “Eat the Rich” killer isn’t just a murderer, but a stalker who knows his true identity and is dead-set on framing him for the murders around him if he doesn’t do what the killer wants. So…who is the killer in You season 4? Read on for who the killer is in You season 4 and the twist around the “Eat the Rich” murderer in the end.

Who is the killer in You season 4?

"You" Netflix

Image: Netflix.

Who is the killer in You season 4? Rhys Montrose is the “Eat the Rich” killer in You season 4, who killed Malcolm, Simon and Gemma. Rhys is an author and aspiring politician who Joe forms a friendship with. Rhys reveals he was the “Eat the Rich” killer in episode 5 of You season 4 when he finds Joe and Roald in the woods outside of Phoebe’s Hampsbridge House and kidnaps both of them. Rhys takes Joe and Roald to the secret bowels of Hamsbridge House, where he chains them. While Roald, who supected Joe was the “Eat the Rich” killer, is knocked out, Rhys tells Joe that he plans to pin the “Eat the Rich” murders on Roald to save both of them. “He’s our plan, mate. We’re going to pin all the murders on him,” Rhys says. “I’ve studied you, Joe. The way you’ve been able to escape scrutiny. Truly, you’ve been inspiring me so much along the way in my little project. And in light of what’s worked so well for you, it seems the best option that doesn’t involve lock, involves framing a dead person so they can’t protest their innocence.”

Rhys tells Joe that he wants him to kill Roald, and he will take care of everything else to frame Roald as the “Eat the Rich” killer. Joe, wanting to make Rhys believe he’s on his side, agrees to his plan.  When Joe struggles to kill Roald, Rhys sets the room on fire and tells Joe that he plans to frame him instead for the “Eat the Rich” murders while leaving him and Roald to die. In the end, Joe frees himself from his chains and escapes with Roald with the help of Kate, who finds them in the fire.

Ed Speleers, who plays Rhys, told TV Insider in February 2023 about what it was like to learn about Rhys’ true identity. “Rhys is another very complex human,” he said. “The opportunity to be a part of a show like You was a huge drawing card, but it had to be decided by the part,” Speleers explains. “And I feel that what I got to embody with Rhys, or got to try and take on, was the idea of someone balancing himself between two walks of society, two walks of life, and actually as a result struggling with what his existence was growing up. But then owning who he was, owning his mixed upbringing and his sense of not really knowing where he belonged, and then being able to confront his demons and handle that and push forward. That was sort of the early stages of understanding Rhys.”

He continued, “Then to go further and really uncover what he’s all about in relation to the show, and that actually is much beyond how we first see him and even how he unravels later on,” he continues. “He’s almost like a puppeteer pulling strings, but he does it in — well, I hope he does it, he did it on the page — in such a way that is almost like a lightness of touch sometimes and just trying to find humor in things. I suppose he’s almost nonchalant to the situation, or maybe not nonchalant, but definitely no fear in what he says and what he stands for.”

"You" Rhys Montrose

Image: Netflix.

Speleers also told TV Insider about how Joe and Rhys are similar to each other. “He’s the other side to Joe, I suppose,” he said. “He tries to open up Joe’s eyes to another way of thinking and understanding, and he’s very persuasive.” He continued, “It was one of the big things I talked through with [creator and showrunner] Sera Gamble before starting. I knew that we were going to be creating something that was going to be refreshing for the series, and it was going have an interesting take on it, which I think Penn actually was enjoying, because although people love him for being that character, I think it’s a lot for him to take on mentally and emotionally.”

Speleers also confirmed to TV Insider that he and Penn Badgley, who plays Joe in You, had to keep their “Eat the Rich” killer twist a secret on set from other cast members, which became “quite funny.” “You’d be talking to cast members, saying, ‘Do you know what’s going on…?’ Some people did, some people didn’t. I’d be like, ‘OK, I’m just keeping very quiet about it,’” he said. “I couldn’t have taken on this part if I didn’t know what was in store.”

Speleers also told People that Rhys “has his own justification” for why he did what he did. “But it’s trying to understand why he would operate like that, I feel,” he said. “And I think for me, it’s not necessarily going against type, but I feel it’s important for me to always take myself out of my comfort zone when taking on a part or trying to understand someone else and trying to get in their way of thinking and how they operate.” He continued, “I find it fascinating. His [approach], it’s not run-of-the-mill, but then You’s not a run-of-the-mill show. Think about how much sympathy fans of the show seem to have towards Joe.”

Speleers confirmed to People that, while he didn’t know Rhys’ full arc in You season 5, he “knew certain elements” of what Rhys “was up to.” “I feel also to take on a part like that, I would need to know a fair amount of information,” he explains. “I had a long chat with the showrunner Sera Gamble before deciding on the part completely. But it is funny, these days you don’t get as much information for roles as you used to,” he said. “That’s quite often, it’s just sides and you don’t always have a full scripts because they haven’t been written so it takes a bit of time. I needed a bit more information for sure.”

Speleers also told People that, while playing Rhys was “not easy,” he enjoyed the challenge of the character. “I don’t like things to be easy,” he said. “Some of these characters can sometimes come across quite heightened, which actually allows a lot of room to play and a lot of freedom,” he explains. “And the more you get your head around these sorts of people, the more you can actually just start flexing around and actually really relish all their mannerisms and their characteristics.” He continued, “Sometimes it’s actually really harder to play the guys that are very grounded all the time. Very understated. That’s the real challenge, I feel. I think when these guys start becoming bigger and more gregarious, then there’s something to hold onto and push even firmer.”

Speleers also told Collider about what it was like to get into the mindset of the “Eat the Rich” killer. “I feel that playing these people that we don’t really know where they sit, you have to find a justification. You’ve got to understand them because he’s obviously operating on a different platform,” he said. “What he’s doing, what he’s encouraging Joe is not normal, and he is pushing the darker sides through. As an actor, I relish that. Whether it ends up being like that, I don’t know, but you set out to try and make this as well-rounded as possible.”

He continued, “But in order to do that, you have to understand their mindset, and you have to get on board with the idea that they’re making decisions because they think this is the best thing. I feel that Rhys is like, ‘Well, these people that we are talking about here are not good people to be having around, and they’re getting in your way of being the best version of yourself. So let’s eradicate them.’ I love the fact that he does some very broad, bold, bold suggestions. He does that in order to bring out a side to Joe that Joe’s probably trying to push away. And that’s what I love. He’s the devil on the shoulder, isn’t he?”

You is available to stream on Netflix.

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