You Season 4 Star Tati Gabrielle on Marienne’s Fate, Joe’s Plot Twist, and Revenge
Spoilers ahead for You season 4 part 2.
For the last 3 seasons of Netflix’s You, we’ve had a front row seat to Joe’s infatuation, turned “love,” turned violent obsession with various women. Although You season 4 part 1, takes us on a whodunit journey with Joe as Jonathan Moore (Penn Badgley), part 2 is a reminder that things in the world of Joe Goldberg are rarely as they seem.
In the new episodes, out March 9, we’re taken deep into his troubled psyche, only to find that he hasn’t let go of old habits — in fact, he’s spiraled into a whole new realm of problematic behavior. One of the characters on the receiving end of his obsessive behavior is Marienne, the reason for Joe’s voyage across the Atlantic in the first place. We saw him let Marienne, played by Tati Gabrielle, go during the first half of the season, only to find that he’s actually done to her what he’s done to countless people before — held her captive.
“I was really thrilled that they made this shift in Joe's arc in such a practical but unexpected way,” Tati tells Teen Vogue. “The de-evolution of his mind is to be expected. He has mental issues. Very serious ones, and it doesn't just stop. He kills people, stalks people, kills people, stalks people.”
Through the expansion of Joe’s arc, viewers are introduced to a different side of Joe and those around him, Marienne included. When we first met her in season 3, she was a librarian recovering from substance abuse, living in an affluent suburb, and fighting for custody of her daughter. In this season, Marienne’s fight against her circumstances has changed. “I was very excited for the second half of the season and the opportunity to explore new parts of her that we hadn't been able to see,” Tati says. “Though it's such a high stakes situation, I knew it was going to be fun for both me and the audience to be able to meet Marienne in this very raw and vulnerable way.”
She knew she’d have to stretch her own emotional capacity, and she put in work to understand what Marienne goes through when she’s trapped in Joe’s glass box. “I did a lot of research into solitary confinement victims and what happens to the human psyche in solitary confinement, because I wanted to make that as real and as tangible as possible,” she says.
Spoiler alert: Marienne is the only woman on the receiving end of Joe’s obsession to survive so far. “Whenever you watch a horror film and you see the Black person's the first person to die — in real life, that would never happen. We are not the ones to go check out the spooky sound in the dark corner. No, we're out. That's it,” she says. “With Black people, as a product of our generational trauma or product of our experience in the world, we’re often hyper aware, and have a very strong survival instinct.”
Marienne’s storyline and how she shows up in the series was top of mind for Tati since the moment she signed on for the role. “I knew there were things that had to happen to move the story along, and that Joe had to have some form of secrecy. But I wanted to make sure Marienne is not oblivious because that's not realistic,” she says. “If she's going to not notice something, it should be because she's sufficiently distracted elsewhere. That showed up with her focus on getting her child back. There was nothing else that was more important to her and nothing could get in the way of that.”
As a former HBCU student, Tati says that experience and education is what has empowered and encouraged her to speak up and to advocate for her characters.
“My time at Spelman very much made me heed a call to action, and I hope it continues to grow as I learn more,” she says. “Had I not taken that into my work and learned how to speak up for not only myself, but those who came before me, and those that are coming after me, then I would feel ashamed of myself. If we know that change is needed somewhere and we have a platform or some type of power that allows us to inch that needle even a little bit, it is our absolute duty to do so.”
Before You, Tati had her big breaks in The 100 and in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina as the iconic Prudence Night. She has since acted in the blockbuster Uncharted and the mini series Kaleidoscope, with more projects on the horizon. In every role, Tati brings her full self as she shapes each character. For the half Black and half Korean actress, one way of doing so is through her hair.
“I want to show the diversity of people of color through all of my characters, and I want their hair to reflect them. As women of color, I feel like our hair is a bit of our power and it contributes a lot to who we are, our confidence, our own personal self-expression,” Tati says. Everything is intentional. “With Marienne, going from the short cut to the Bohemian braids, that was her expressing her freedom.”
She and showrunner Sera Gamble brainstormed the color change to bleach blonde together. “Marienne wanted to disguise herself because she peaced out, her ex-husband's dead, there was a lot happening in Madre Linda — she didn't necessarily want to be found,” Tati says. “Then, the braids were my idea. I wanted to do braids because I wanted the Bohemian vibe and for her artistry to be able to really flow and be a part of her.”
The season concludes with Marienne tricking Joe into thinking she’s dead and making her way back to her daughter. Meanwhile, her collaborator Nadia, a student in Joe’s class, takes the fall for some of his crimes. As the only living victim of Joe’s obsessions, what’s next for Marienne?
“I really want Marienne to get her revenge, although I don't think she’s a vengeful person,” Tati says. “I think she's very oriented towards justice, so I would like her to be able to see justice. Whether that means taking part in a piece of Joe's end, or if it's just being able to live happily and peacefully with her daughter — to live the life that she has worked so hard to have, whichever way that swings. I think she's been through enough.”
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue
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