And we got our first Joe kill of the season!
Shockingly, it took until YOU Season 4 Episode 3 for Joe to officially murder someone himself. But he hated it the whole time, you guys. He swears!
Rest in peace, Vic. Unfortunately, that hasn’t prevented Joe from getting everyone’s attention, including the cops. That cliffhanger is nerve-wracking.
We got sex, murder, solid characterization, and a self-aware, vulnerable Joe. It made Eat the Rich the strongest hour of the season thus far.
Joe is such a fun character because he makes it far too easy to believe him and buy into the delusions that he’ll ever be a good person, and that’s because he genuinely believes these things himself.
The thing about being in Joe’s head with him as he reasons through everything is that we get sucked into his rationale even when his actions suggest something else entirely.
Joe believes that his time in London was a fresh start and that it would be different this time. It doesn’t matter that the whole premise is rooted in his obsession with Marienne and his attempts to prove her wrong somehow.
But as long as someone else is doing the killing and maiming, and he’s the one falling victim to their mechanizations, he can honestly believe that if not for this stalker, he would’ve gone about his life without falling into his old habits.
Even when repeatedly proven that it’s never the case, his connection to Kate is a perfect example of this. He could believe that he’s focused exclusively on keeping her alive and that his fixation is only borne out of Malcolm’s untimely death.
But we also know he was subconsciously watching her when Malcolm was still alive. It would’ve only been a matter of time before he found some way to obsess over her, likely because of Malcolm’s infidelity and Kate’s apparent loneliness that she hides behind stoicism.
All the stalker has done is give Joe an excuse to hide behind and a way to rationalize his actions now, which is so classic Joe.
You’re wrong. You are wrong! My dick’s never been softer. I hated that. I’m nothing like you. You don’t know me as well as you think.
The hour, falling in line with the season strongly pulls from classic mysteries and tropes. I love how often they tie in the literary elements and references, from Holmes to Agatha Christie and beyond, when all of it is precisely what they’re displaying this season, from our unreliable narrator in Joe to so many other elements along the way.
Joe has had to play his entire experience out like that of a whodunnit novel, and it’s not his genre, which makes all his mishaps along the way hilarious.
The situation with the stalker is particularly amusing. Whoever the person is — they’re so great at trolling him and getting under his skin that he’s become obsessive about it.
It’s a most spectacular game of cat and mouse, and Joe has been behind most of the time. But his new plan of not getting emotional and playing into the stalker’s game by seemingly giving the impression that they’re the same, and he gets the person could be a step in the right direction.
Although, it also could be another thing that backfires for him since the stalker killer is very smart and could see through what Joe’s attempting to do.
They have plans to meet each other now that Joe has killed Vic, hidden his body, covered his tracks, and admitted that he got off on the whole affair.
But the off-the-cuff, out-of-the-blue socialite intervention with the authorities may have thrown a wrench in that plan or maybe been partially what the stalker wanted the entire time. It’s hard to say.
At some point, it had to start catching up to Joe that people in this circle were dying and disappearing, and he was the newest, most mysterious one out of the bunch. His behavior, especially with Kate, didn’t lend itself to not being suspicious either.
I would rather be cut up into a thousand tiny pieces than spend another second with you. Get out.
He cared enough about her not to want the killer to go after her too, but part of “protecting” her meant creeping her out, and Kate is a very savvy woman who sees through Joe’s bullshit rather well and isn’t afraid to say as much.
It’s partially why the two of them sleeping together in the garden, and somehow Joe ending up at her place for a snooze felt like such a contrivance to align specific plot points.
It’s hard to believe that Kate would sleep with a man she professes to loathe because she had such moments of vulnerability with Joe.
Although, that bar scene was great because it felt like Joe was speaking from a sincere place, revealing how he burns things to cope with all those emotions and encouraging her to find her own way through it all.
They make an interesting dynamic, factoring in so many things, Joe as a more emotional American versus Kate’s stiff upper lip Brit. Joe is an emotional man who can be that way, versus Kate, who, as a woman, must contain her emotions to be seen as strong.
Her confession about her childhood and how her mother wouldn’t look at her if she displayed any emotion provided much insight into this hardened character. It was a great scene for her and handled beautifully by Charlotte Richie.
It made you feel for Kate. It was the first time she was at her most accessible. Even at Malcolm’s grave, her frustration over not being able to conjure up tears or emote the feelings she’s obviously feeling was palpable.
We’ve seen many instances of how emotional repression impacts her, but it was most pronounced during this hour and, thus, the most compelling.
When I was a child, my mother forbade me from crying. If I skinned my knee, fuck, when my grandparents died. She wouldn’t look at me unless I was perfectly stoic, hid all feelings, and it just became default. I’m supposed to be the grieving girlfriend.
Joe’s connection with both of these women attached to Malcolm is interesting, as the dynamic with Nadia remains fascinating too. It’s not often you have a student connecting with a professor that way.
And that can be problematic in its own right, which resulted in the affair she had with Malcolm. But Nadia is a captivating character for the role she continues to play in Joe’s new life. She’s always there, around, providing him with advice and ideas on navigating the mystery he’s working on without really questioning what he’s doing at all.
Is there more to the note that Joe retrieved for her since he never read it? She’s visibly passionate about Malcolm and his death. She’s a fantastic writer and tends to troll Joe when she’s with him.
Is it possible that she’s a potential suspect, too? She’s intelligent and capable enough to pull things off. She’s a prominent enough secondary character who still manages to fly under the radar.
Joe Voiceover: Shit. no. Not doing this. Things are complicated enough.
Kate: I can say something romantic if you like.
Joe VO: On the other hand, this keeps her in my sight, right? What am I thinking? No, fuck.
Kate: Don’t kiss me. We might fall in love.
Joe VO: This is staying close. A little distraction for her. No harm in this.
Nadia is definitely lonely. That much is clear. And the tenderness that Joe showed her when comforting her could have also contributed to the stalker agreeing to meet Joe in the end. Hell, it may explain the fixation the stalker has on Kate, too.
The person is someone Joe would least expect, and the elite crew isn’t capable of flying under the radar. For example, who else would’ve succeeded in slipping Joe that ring?
It put Joe in a near-impossible position, in his mind, of needing to kill Vic to avoid him telling the authorities since Vic refused to believe that Joe was framed.
What’s worth appreciating about this season is how most of the characters see right through Joe and aren’t pulling any punches about it. We see it most with Kate and Vic, but the same goes for Rhys and Nadia.
It makes him especially vulnerable, and it’s probably why the notion of him having a stalker ten steps ahead of him works out so well.
Joe’s at the mercy of this person, but what is the point of the game?
Kate sent the authorities over, and Joe did a good job spinning the tale about Blue and Simon ripping off artists. But now he’s stuck at Sundry with all these people, and the cops have more questions for him.
Did the stalker spill some tidbits about his background to make him the primary suspect? Did Kate say something incriminating after her experiences with him?
Ironically, we’re as blindsided by this as Joe right now, so it’s a hell of a cliffhanger to end the best episode of the season yet.
Over to YOU! What are your latest theories? Does Nadia seem suspicious to you? Were you surprised by Kate and Joe sleeping together? Sound off below.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.