This article contains spoilers for stranger things season 4

stranger things It took three years for Season 4 to hit Netflix — but was it worth the wait? It’s hard to believe that the Duffer brothers originally intended stranger things to run for a single series. “Maybe I shouldn’t say that because I like to pretend it’s all planned‘ admitted Ross Duffer in an interview CinemaBlend back 2017,”[but] Eleven would sacrifice herself and save the world, and then that was it because there was a moment when limited series was a big deal.

Luckily, Netflix had other ideas and asked the Duffer brothers for ideas for season 2. The rest is history, as Netflix’s hit sci-fi/horror is finally releasing its fourth season in May 2022. It has been confirmed stranger things will end with season 5, although it seems there will be spin-offs of it. Despite these plans to hold stranger things alive in the long term, the time between seasons increases; There was only a year between seasons 1 and 2, but season 3 didn’t come out until 2019. That’s partly because the Duffer brothers are becoming increasingly ambitious, aiming to make each season more spectacular than the last. The gap between seasons 3 and 4 has of course widened due to the inevitable disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.


See also: Every song in Season 4 of Stranger Things

That’s why we’ve been waiting for this for a long time stranger things Season 4. The new season Stranger Things continues the dramatic ending of season 3 – in which the Russians captured Hopper, Eleven lost her powers and left Hawkins with the Byers family. Fortunately, the return of stranger things It was definitely worth the wait – here’s why.

Stranger Things season 4 delivers on the scale, season 2 couldn’t

Stranger Things Season 4 David Harbor as a Russian prisoner directed by Jim Hopper

It had long been clear that the Duffers brothers wanted to push beyond Hawkins’ narrative boundaries. stranger things In the most controversial episode of season two, “The Lost Sister,” Eleven went to Chicago to learn from her how to control her powers.Sister,“Eight, another fugitive from Hawkins Lab. However, viewers weren’t ready to leave Hawkins just yet and the bottle sequence felt harrowing. stranger things Season 4 finally fulfills the Duffers’ desire to expand the show, but in a much more organic way, scattering the characters across the globe and weaving their individual stories through each episode. This approach was effectively mapped out by the end of the year stranger things Season 3, which meant viewers were far more ready for it.

This enlarged scale meant stranger things moved beyond its traditional home in Atlanta, Georgia. filming locations for stranger things Season 4 included New Mexico and Lithuania, allowing the Duffer brothers to create very different environments than Hawkins for the first time. This is actually one of the main reasons the production took so long, because the Duffers control the show tightly. As producer Shawn Levy explained Comicbook.comIf you watch the show, there aren’t 12 executive producers. It’s still a very small group and controls are tight on each episode.“That care and attention are assured stranger things feels like it belongs together and that everything still feels like it’s set in the same world. It does stranger things unique in that it is still made by a tight-knit group despite expanding so dramatically in scope. However, the price is that it can take a long time to manufacture stranger things.

Stranger Things Season 4 continues massive character arcs

Stranger Things Max Season 4

stranger thingsIts greatest strength, however, does not lie in its spectacle; Rather, it’s in the character arcs and tremendous dynamic between the show’s stars. The Duffer brothers have traditionally tended to pair their stars, allowing them to focus on just two characters at a time — and though there are occasions when that’s the case stranger things Season 4 follows this approach, using larger groups for the most part. Mike and Will share some great moments together and then end up on a cross-country adventure with Jonathan and his best friend, while Robin and Nancy bond while visiting Pennhurst Asylum but are otherwise part of a larger group. Only the Russian subplots really follow the typical formula, with Hopper paired with a Russian guard named Dmitri and Joyce with Murray.

See also: Where was Season 4 of Stranger Things filmed? Locations explained

That’s pretty remarkable considering this big change stranger things Season 4 shows such confidence in his character arcs. It helps the main villain Vecna ​​tap into his target’s hidden and buried emotions; and there’s a particularly strong arc for Max as she struggles to deal with the guilt and grief she feels following the death of her stepbrother Billy in season 3. The dialogue continues to suggest that Will is gay, an idea that’s been around since the series’ Bible, but it’s interesting to note that it’s not explicitly handled in favor of a nuanced will-they-will-not-they approach. And the sparks that continue to fly between Nancy and Steve as they work together again are perfectly made.

In the meantime, stranger things Season 4 continues to expand her cast. Few TV shows manage to balance a growing cast so well stranger thingsand it tells one of the most interesting stories in this stranger things Season 4 revolves around Joe Quinn’s Eddie Munson, the leader of Hawkins’ Hellfire Club, who ends up being blamed for a series of murders in the Hawkins area. Eddie is the perfect match too stranger things Season 4, an ordinary guy who suddenly finds himself in all the weirdness of Upside Down. He holds up a mirror to the other characters, comments on Dustin’s hero worship of Steve, and pushes Steve and Nancy back together. While he insists he’s no hero – he admits he only dived into Watergate because he didn’t want to look bad compared to the girls – he’s clearly working on his fears.

Stranger Things season 4 transforms its own story

Stranger Things Eleven Eyes Closed Nina

Finally, stranger things Season 4 is also notable for transforming its own lore. New villain Vecna ​​is a compelling antagonist who becomes a twisted reflection of Eleven, who poses as Dr. Turns out to be Brenner’s first test subject and the inspiration for all of Brenner’s experiments. Jamie Campbell Bower’s performance is electrifying in the flashbacks while making the 1986 version of Vecna ​​seem downright terrifying. The backstory is presented reasonably effectively, although there is a bit too much information overload in Episode 7.

The retcons aren’t perfect, but as mentioned, that’s what the Duffer brothers originally intended stranger things be a limited series. They work because the Duffer brothers understand that changes in lore only matter if they have an emotional impact on the main characters; Eleven’s journey through her own origins will surely redefine her sense of self. Strangely, Eleven’s entire bow is in there stranger things Season 4 is similar to the much-criticized bottle sequence from Season 2, The Lost Sister, and reiterates that the Duffer brothers have learned from their previous pitfalls. “I didn’t want her to magically save the day‘ Ross Duffer explained in an interview EW. “Just like Luke Skywalker, she had to go out on her own and learn about herself.“That’s why Eleven went to Chicago in season 2, and that’s why she’s leaving for the Nina project in season 4; the main difference being that this time her Yoda character is the most unlikely mentor of all, Dr. Brenner himself.

Also see: How old are the characters of Stranger Things in Season 4

No doubt some viewers will feel the wait stranger things Season 4 was too long. But while the season isn’t perfect, it’s hard not to conclude it was worth the wait. stranger things Season 4 works on a larger scale than ever, taking viewers a far cry from Hawkins and yet somehow not missing their character arcs at all. Even more impressive is that it causes a radical change stranger things‘Tradition while anticipating it in its long-established, well-liked characters stranger things Season 4 Volume 2.

More: Why Eleven doesn’t have her powers in Season 4 of Stranger Things

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