Movie Reviews

TV Review: Stranger Things Season 4 (2022)

Summary: A continuation of the previous seasons. A mysterious being from the Upside Down is targeting teens in Hawkins and our heroes must figure out why and stop them. Joyce and Murray follow up on a mysterious lead she received from Russia. Mike visits Eleven and Will in California during Spring Break and it turns into a cat and mouse situation with Mike searching for Eleven while she faces her past to regain her powers.

There will be spoilers because I cannot lol. You have been warned.

This is my first ST review, I will be doing and posting the previous seasons reviews later.

Pros:

Cast and Characters. This is a big cast and I will try my best to talk about them in this season only. I’ll also try to keep any rants to a minimum. You can follow me on tumblr for that lol.

The Kids.

  • Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler. Mike is a Freshman in high school and alongside Dustin and Lucas, he’s part of the Dungeons and Dragons, Hellfire club ran by Eddie Munson. I sometimes have issues with the writing for Mike, only because I feel like, while he’s the Duffer brothers favorite character (from what I’ve heard), they often seem to forget about him or don’t give him quality writing consistently. There are a lot of characters so some characters get shafted, but it sucks that Mike, who is supposed to be their lead boy, is the one it’s happening to. But anyway, during Spring Break, he goes on vacation to visit Eleven and Will. The first day is a mess and the rest of the trip is basically stress inducing. These kids really can’t catch a break lol. Mike in the beginning, is in the dark about the bullying Eleven is experiencing and they get into argument about their relationship. He also has a minor argument with Will about their friendship. While he and Will are able to work it out, Mike spends the season, chasing after Eleven when she’s arrested, stressed because he’s worried that she’ll no longer need him, he’s worried that because he hasn’t told her the truth about his feelings, that he might have missed his chance. Personally, I think it’s clear that he loves her and that he’s loved her since they were kids but he has a hard time getting his emotions out, that was clear to me in Season 3 when he couldn’t tell her to her face lol. Not to mention, he babbles, which is evident in every season except maybe S2. Plus, have you SEEN his parents and how they interact? Phew lol. However, while being on the C squad, he remains pretty level headed, as he generally does and is able to think clearly to figure things out. He was the one who figured out the pen held coordinates, he was the one who thought of going to see Suzie to find out the information from those numbers. He was the one with the map while they were driving. He spotted Eleven in the desert and confessed to her in her one of her darkest moments to reaffirm his love for her and gives her the push she needed. I like Mike a lot and I see a lot of myself in him, which is probably why I get irritated with all the hate. You don’t have to LIKE him but to hate him when he hasn’t really done anything to receive hate (but people LOVE Billy) is weird to me. I promised I wouldn’t rant lol… I like Finn Wolfhard, I think he’s a very good young actor and I think he does a lot of subtle things with Mike to show his emotions because no one ever asks Mike how he’s doing. When he finds Eleven in the desert, they hug and the boy whimpers when he hugs her. He never touches her face even though she always touches his face (I feel like that has to do with how Dr. Brenner is literally always touching her face). The way he was level-headed the entire time but when he was reunited with Eleven in the desert, his entire face shifts through emotions. Mike is the straight man and the one that his friends seem to draw strength and support from. There’s nothing wrong with that. Plus, I liked that he got to explain his insecurities and emotions for once.
  • Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven / Jane Hopper (“El”). Eleven has moved with the Byers to California and has finally made it into a school setting, she is a Freshman alongside Will. We know that her development is behind as she spent her younger years being abused and trained in a facility. After being attacked by the Mind Flayer in S3, she’s lost her powers and in a way, she’s lost a bit of herself because she doesn’t know who she is without them. We see that she’s being bullied in school but she continues to tell Mike that she’s fine and making a lot of friends. It’s actually kind of sad to see what’s happening but hearing her chipper voice over. When Mike comes, she tries to keep up the charade but that quickly falls apart after a particular brutal attack with a skate (which.. I don’t condone violence but that girl deserved a punch at least) after being bullied in front of everyone and her charade falling apart. She questions her importance, if she’s monster, if she’s loved since because Mike doesn’t verbally say it (great scene with them where they talk about that). She ends up arrested for assault but then is accosted by Dr. Owens who tells her she has the chance to get her powers back so she goes. She ends up being back with Dr. Brenner, who puts her through traumatic events again trying to unlock her powers once again. They did not have to cut that girl’s hair. But anyway, she spends most of the season in her memories, prior to S1, where we learn so much information about her and her past. Once she gets her powers back, she makes the choice to try and return to Hawkins to help her friends since Max is in danger. But she hasn’t quite gotten all of her strength back so while fighting and losing, she is reminded and reaffirmed by Mike’s confession which gives her the extra push she needed. She also seemed to be able to maybe heal now? Not sure what’s going on there. MBB is a really great actress and she continues to impress me every time I see her. The amount of screaming this child has to do every season, my gosh. She has so many standout moments this season as well. For El to be this teenage girl who is experiencing the world for the first time, romance, love and so many other things, she really knows how to handle those emotional moments. Eleven IS the lead of the show and MBB truly carries the show on her back (not that everyone is bad) but without her, there isn’t a show. I hope in S5, she doesn’t die because I’d be very upset, Eleven deserves happiness.
  • Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson. Dustin is the MVP of the party, truly. I think he’s the most well rounded nerd lol, he’s the smartest fundamentally. I think they all have their strengths, but he has a lot of knowledge in various topics. Particularly science seems to be his thing. But anyway, Dustin has always been on the end that figures things out, and in this season, he’s in Hawkins with the Vecna victims and he was able to figure out how the older teens could communicate with them through the lights. He also figured out how to travel between the gates in Eddie’s trailer even though they were literally upside down. He always his theories and it’s important to him to be right at all times, especially because most of the time, he is lol. Similarly to him and Steve in previous seasons, he’s very close to Eddie and wants to help him as much as he can, same with Max. While he’s heavily involved, it does seem like he had “more to do” in previous seasons, there’s just a lot of people on the Hawkins side of things that that’s expected lol. Gaten Matarazzo is extremely likable as Dustin, he’s funny, and charming. I think he has great chemistry with everyone he’s in contact with, which is useful for his character since he can be the mouthpiece a lot.
  • Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Charles Sinclair. Lucas is the only one of our party who is currently worried about his image and role in high school. He has joined the basketball team which puts him at odds with his friends. He wants them to come to his championship game which is the same night as their Hellfire club, D&D campaign, which he is also a part of. He’s going through an identity crisis which I think tracts. I feel like he would be the one of the group who’d actually want to be popular. But he still cares for his friends and he’s worried for Max. He ends up spending a lot of time with Jason and the other players after finding out about Chrissy’s death because he partly believed that Eddie killed her, due to Jason’s influence but also wanting to protect his friends. I mean, he does turn on Jason and give them a bad lead for his friends. He really comes through in “Dear Billy”, I will mention this episode a lot, when he knows Max’s favorite song and saved her from Vecna. He pretty much is in for the long haul after this. Every choice he’s made now, has been to protect his loved ones, but especially Max since she’s literally in danger. The finale episode, where he’s with her while she talks to Vecna was so good, I have a lot feelings about him and Erica’s treatment in this episode, but I’ll talk about that later. But him fighting Jason to save Max, and then never leaving Max’s side while she dies… and then same in the hospital. Lucas became a standout this season as well. Caleb was so good in that finale episode. In Max’s hallucination, Vecna uses Lucas to taunt Max and Caleb acts that so well! I was so impressed with him! Get that young man his Emmy!
  • Noah Schnapp as Will Byers. In this season, Will has moved to California with his family after the events of S3. He and Eleven have gotten close and are basically brother and sister which I love. This was the first season of the two of them really interacting and they have such good chemistry, which can probably be attributed to MBB and Noah being best friends in real life. But Will is struggling, I mean he kind of always is lol, but he’s struggling with trying to be there for Eleven, being that this is her first time in school and she’s being bullied, but also trying to figure himself out. He and Jonathan might have drifted apart a little and so he probably feels like he doesn’t have any to talk to. When Mike comes to visit Eleven, things get a little worse because it seems that Will is closeted and has feelings for Mike, who doesn’t reciprocate. He even has a painting he carries around but doesn’t show Mike until later, and he only does it to help Mike’s confidence. The van scene is probably one of his most notable scenes this season, it’s a really sad scene because we know that what he’s saying to Mike is stemmed from his own, adoration and love (even outside of his romantic feelings, Mike is one of his best friends) he can’t bring himself to just say it without hiding his true emotions behind his interpretation of what Eleven is feeling and going through. I really hope that in S5, they allow Will to fully come into his own. I have no idea what they plan to do for S5, if there’s gonna be a time jump or what but either way, I want Will to have matured a little and to confirm things with himself and maybe even to Jonathan. I think Noah Schnapp is a good actor, I like him as Will and he does a great job in making you sympathize with Will (I still think he was at his best in S2 though lol).
  • Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield. If there is anyone in this season, who I feel like has been an extreme standout, who isn’t a new character, is Max. I like Max and I probably liked her the most in this season. She’s still grieving Billy’s death, she’s also conflicted because of how he treated people and her so she has pulled away from everyone. She and Lucas broke up and she keeps him at arm’s length. She still seems to talk with Dustin and Mike, but we don’t know what the extent is. Because of her grief and guilt, she is targeted by Vecna. “Dear Billy” is the best episode in the season, and Max really got to explore her feelings. I really want to know what her letters to all of her friends said lol. Once they find out what the deal is with Vecna, she doesn’t hide, she refuses to be ran off by fear, but she’s cautious. I loved that she was willing to be bait in the end and refused to put someone else in danger. The finale episode was really strong for her as well, her learning how to use her mindscape to ward of Vecna just a little longer was really smart on her part. I think Sadie Sink was so good this season, her subtle emotional moments and her big moments were such stand out moments. “Dear Billy” alone and her running through Vecna’s twisted house to escape back to her friends, ugh so good! I love that love is a strong factor in this season. All of her scenes with Caleb McLaughlin were cute moments as well.

The Older Teens/Young Adults.

  • Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler. Nancy in this season is preparing to go off to college, she works for her school newspaper and she ends up involved because she and Fred go off to investigate the mysterious death. Nancy is very stubborn and similar to Joyce, has good hunches and always manages to figure out a lot out. In this season, just like in a lot of other seasons, Nancy is pretty awesome. I think she’s at her most awesome in this season. Her scene with Jason in that war zone store was a great scene and show how fearless she can be. Not to mention, her immediately jumping into the lake after Steve. You can always depend on her to handle a gun too. I kind of wish she’d put her hair in a ponytail since it got in her face a lot but I guess it looked cool lol. I didn’t care that it seemed like she was considering Steve again, I think that relationship has run it’s course. With Jonathan being distant, I can understand the questioning but they were really laying it on thick with Stancy (Steve/Nancy), I’m not a fan lol. I also think because Nancy still feels extremely guilty about Barb, that she was extra protective of Max and later Robin. If Steve is the big brother, she is definitely the big sister, being Mike’s sister she’s been in their lives way more anyway. Her shooting Vecna, good stuff lol. I think Natalia Dyer is good as Nancy, I never find myself having a problem with her acting. I just wish her hair was consistent too sometimes, it looks really bad lol.
  • Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers. Jonathan is Will’s older brother and is often paired off with Nancy with things go down, but this season, he’s moved away to California, and has met a new friend in Argyle as he taken up smoking the devil’s plant lol. He spends a lot of the earlier episodes high and almost checked out. When Joyce leaves, he’s a bit more attentive, especially Eleven is in trouble. It was nice to see Jonathan with his brother and their team since he’s never with them. A lot of his issues this season stems from the long distance issue with Nancy though I wish they would have explored the fact that Jonathan and Nancy come from two different backgrounds and maybe the college she wants to go to, he can’t afford or something. They talked about this a little in S3 but it’s still a problem. One of the best scenes though is the one he has with Will in the pizza place, it was such an emotional brotherly scene and I loved it. I think Jonathan is really great when he’s with Will and interacting with him, you can tell he loves his brother and may feel like they’re slipping away from each other and he doesn’t want that to happen. I would like to see him interact with Eleven more since he’s basically her big brother now. But in the end, I feel the same about Jonathan as I do about Steve, he’s fine lol. I think Charlie Heaton is fine, I just wish his hair was better.
  • Joe Keery as Steve Harrington. Steve is basically the older brother to everyone in the show, I like Steve fine but I definitely don’t like him the way that other people do. I think this season, they worry too much about his relationship with Nancy that some of his other relationships suffer. I actually think he’s a little mean to Dustin lol and the way he and Nancy didn’t say anything when Robin just ran off in the woods by herself. “She’ll be fine…” I was like what?? But I always appreciate how Steve just manages to be gung-ho even if he’s always asking questions because he’s not a nerd, they actually made it clear early on, that he may not be the brightest bulb. I think Joe Keery is fine, I think because he’s a likable guy, who has the ability to also be a jerk, that it manages to keep Steve in the likable territory because I feel like he could be easily unlikable… and I guess if that was the case, then he would have actually been a villain in S1 and been killed like they originally planned.
  • Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley. So I like Robin, but I think she was much better in S3. There was a major difference to me from S3 Robin to S4 Robin. She was quirky in S3 but she still had this coolness about her. It could be that she now has friends and can relax a bit, but I feel like all of her motor-mouth moments of sharing her insecurities felt a little out of character. I know she made a comment about her mom saying something about her tendencies but I don’t remember which season she said that in. But I still like her a lot and I want her to get a win when it comes to her love interests. I enjoy her friendship with Steve and the one that grows between her and Nancy. I would have loved to see her and Eddie interact more, both being on the “weird” end of the high school spectrum. But I like that she’s always gung-ho to help, can sometimes be a voice of reason and just altogether mostly pleasant. I like Maya Hawke, she fits in with our kids well, I like her raspy voice and I hope for good things for Robin in S5!
  • Priah Ferguson as Erica Sinclair. Erica returns and her introduction for the season was a great one, she is Lucas’s 11 year-old sister who ends up subbing for Lucas in Hellfire’s D&D ‘Vecna’s Curse’ campaign. We don’t see much of her again until later when Lucas and Dustin catch her up on everything and she becomes integral to their plan. I like Erica, I get that she can be a lot but I’ve known kids like her and it’s annoying and funny. I think Priah does a great job, she seems so quiet in interviews that Erica is a complete 180. I hope to see more of her next season and that she’s involved from the beginning.
  • Joseph Quinn as Eddie Munson. In the beginning, I was a little unsure about Eddie. Outside of maybe two trailers, I didn’t see much about him going into the show so I had no idea what to expect from him. His introduction was funny but I also wasn’t immediately drawn to him even though I found him to be extremely cute lol. However, when he met Chrissy in the woods, that was the moment that I started to like him. I thought he and Chrissy had amazing chemistry (missed opportunity) and I liked how easy it was for him to make her feel comfortable around him. People think he’s strange and all this stuff because he’s a Metalhead and likes Dungeons and Dragons but he has an amazing ability to disarm people in a friendly way. He tries to help Chrissy and because of this, he’s a witness to her murder by a mysterious entity causing him to become the number one suspect in her murder and the other two murders. He’s on the run and the gang ends up having to explain everything to him because whether or not he likes it, he’s involved now. Throughout the season, we see Eddie talk about being a coward, even though he tells his Hellfire club, there’s no shame in running away during their campaign. But even though his instincts may be to run away, he still pushes past that to help. He may have been the last one to jump, but he still jumped in after Steve with the girls. He also didn’t have to stay and help them, he could have ran and hid… I thought that was very heroic of him. I will get to some issues I have with him in the cons but I ended up really loving Eddie and I was very upset and sad about his death. I think Joe Quinn was a great addition to this cast. He was likable, quirky and clearly had major fun as Eddie. I really wish we got to see him in the last season.

The Adults.

  • Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers. Joyce returns, she is living in California with her sons, Will and Jonathan and Eleven, now Jane Hopper. She is trying to live her new life but when she receives a mysterious package from Russia, she and Murray get caught up in trying to save Hopper. While we know that Joyce’s hunches are usually right and that she’ll do whatever it takes to save those she loves, I found it wild that she didn’t tell her kids what she was doing. She just left without telling them the truth lol. But she’s the same, stubborn and determined. Her reunion with Hopper was sweet because we know at this point she loves him, even if it had to grow over the seasons. I’ve always liked Winona Rider, she’s an 80s icon. I think having her in this show was a great choice, to have her be a fierce mother who will do anything for those she loves, is such a strong influence when sometimes in shows with kids leading, the adults are useless. We can argue all day about who the “Heart of the party” is… but I think Joyce is the heart of the show.
  • David Harbour as Jim Hopper. He is the former Chief of Police after he was thought to have died. Hopper has been a MVP of the show a few times but this time he’s the one who has to be rescued, which is fine lol, he still manages to cause some issues while in prison lockup. While I thought Hopper was really mean and yelly a lot in S3, he’s very subdued in this season. Being in an Russian prison would do that to you, but I think this also affects the acting, I feel like David Harbour phoned it in a few times BUT I liked seeing him still have his badass moments as well as his sweet moments. His reunion with Joyce and Eleven were beautiful, I teared up with the Eleven reunion.
  • Brett Gelman as Murray Bauman. I like Murray, he’s funny and I think he’s a good addition to the Jopper pair up since he’s a unbiased third party. I don’t have a ton to say because he’s just a good addition to our adult team. I’m looking forward to the other parents finally knowing what’s going, particularly Mrs. Wheeler, Ms. Henderson and Lucas’ parents. We all know that Mr. Wheeler is useless lol.
  • Jamie Campbell Bower as One/Henry/Vecna. I knew he was in the show as an orderly but I didn’t know what his importance was going to be. I actually figured out early that he was One, but I didn’t put the Henry/Vecna thing together until he was explaining it. Especially when it came to his fascination with spiders. But I think JCB does unsettling and creepy very well. When he’s talking to Eleven as an Orderly, I didn’t trust him even if he helped her unlock her strength then. But when he’s revealed to be One, he’s appealing to her, she’s so young and he manipulates that to try and get her on his side… but then he goes to far by killing all of the kids in the facility. He and Eleven fight and she uses his advice (which was a memory of her mother saying she loved her) to overpower him and send him to the upside down where he basically waited till she opened the gate again just before S1 happened. It was great having a villain who talks and has motives and isn’t just this creature that is CGI and eating people. The way he kills his victims too was so creepy and unsettling, the noises! I know that his look was practical effects, so the fact that he could act past all of that and once I knew it was JCB, I could see him behind the makeup. He does such a good job. He was a true threat and while he was beaten in the end, he still won this battle by splitting open Hawkins with four gates. Very curious to see what’s happening in S5.

Supporting Characters. Mason Dye as Jason Carver was really good, I mean he was clearly a poser but he loses his mind because of Chrissy’s death and he really knows how to work a room. He stirs people up many times in the show just from talking. I kind of liked him lol until the finale episode when he and his friend brutalized Erica and Lucas. Eduardo Franco as Argyle really grew on me. I was a little unsure about him at first, I was worried that he was just going to be “Jonathan’s high friend” and while that was true, he came through towards the end when he helped them find a place for Eleven to do her “sensory deprivation bath”. I liked that Jonathan had a friend who he could relax with and who after a moment of freak out, just fell in line with the group of understanding. Grace Van Dien as Chrissy Cunningham was a very short lived character but I think she had made such an impact, especially on Eddie’s story, to include her. I felt for her character and I loved the forest scene with her and Eddie. I thought Grace played Chrissy with a sweetness that could have easily have been played as mean and shallow.

The Stakes. I’ll have to talk about this a little in the cons as well but the stakes in this season are so high. This time we have a villain who talks and is smart, he is calculated in going after his victims. He was aptly scary. Once you’ve seen a demogorgon, you’ve seen them all. Vecna was proper scary and how he killed his victims too, whew. Not to mention, the stakes of Eddie being hunted by the cops, Jason and then later the town, and then the Hellfire kids (including Mike, Dustin and Lucas) being hunted. Scary. Then Max being one of Vecna’s targets. It was all very tense and I loved it. I hope season 5 does the same.

Best Sequences.

  • Eddie and Chrissy in the woods. This was one of the softer moments of the season. It really humanized both of them and it was in that moment that I decided I liked them both. Made losing them very sad. They had such good chemistry.
  • Mike and Eleven’s Argument. I thought this was a realistic conversation. I know that they’re young but their relationship and feelings are very real. Mike saying “I care about you so much” really makes Eleven question him loving her, even though Mike is an “act of service” person more than a “words of affirmation” person. In the past, he’s always there, that boy is a good boyfriend to be so young. He has a hard time expressing which has been shown to us in various scene between the two. When she accused him of “not saying it”, without hesitation he says “I say it”. Eleven’s “From Mike, From Mike… From! FROM!” was so good lol. What a good scene!
  • Max’s Running Up That Hill. Once again gotta mention the sequence with Max in “Dear Billy”, she gets taken by Vecna and while she’s fighting for her life, the boys are trying to find her favorite song. When Kate Bush’s “Running Up that Hill” starts playing and it cuts a hole back to reality for Max, ugh! It’s so good. The sequence of her running while the song is playing, while Vecna is trying to keep her from escaping, ugh so good. So tense! I’m pretty sure I tensed up. Then Lucas holding her while she says “I’m here… I’m here”, I teared up. Such a good sequence.
  • Jonathan and Will Talk. This was a great scene between the brothers. Jonathan knows that Will is hiding something and he tells him that he is there for him no matter what, basically saying that whenever Will decides to share what he’s discovering about himself, Jonathan will always be in his corner. I thought that was a very sweet and emotional scene.
  • Eddie’s Metallica solo. It was so good, they used music to distract the demobats so Robin, Steve and Nancy could get into Vecna’s house. The fact that Joseph Quinn also played most of the song too.
  • Inside The Vecna House. The sequence at the end where Max is caught up in Vecna’s grip again and Vecna uses a Lucas illusion to get to Max, Caleb’s acting was so good there, and then this continues while Max is hovering in the air and is breaking and Lucas is forced to watch this, afraid that she’s dying and his reaction. UGH! This is coupled with Mike’s confession to Eleven, she tried to save Max but was overpowered by Vecna, and with all of her insecurities about not being good enough, being a monster, not being worthy of love, Eleven is succumbing but Mike verbally tells her that she is enough, she’s worthy, she’s powerful, he loves her and it’s a cute confession and it reaffirms her and she does enough to keep Max from dying in that moment. It was all very emotional.

The Music. I think the music in Stranger Things is good anyway but I haven’t remembered it as much as I have this season. Obviously Kate Bush’s “Running Up that Hill” is attached to an iconic scene and they use it again but with a remix later. That was such an awesome way to use it. “Separate Ways” by Journey is remixed and amazing. Then of course Eddie playing “Master of Puppets” by Metallica was so good. The fact that Joseph Quinn played most of that, (not the solo) is so cool. I love when characters can do a thing because the actor can do that thing lol.

The Directing. There are so many good shots in this season. One of my favorites shots is the episode where Eddie, Nancy, Robin and Steve are in the Upside Down and they’re in the Wheeler’s house while Dustin, Erica, Lucas and Max are there in Hawkins. Both teams are riding to Eddie’s trailer on bikes and the camera shows us Hawkins as they ride their bikes and then goes upside down to show us the older teens riding their bikes. UGH! It was so good! In “Dear Billy”, the way Max’s running up that hill scene was filmed, was so good.

The Message. I love that fact that a big part of this season is love, support and just being there. Literally every storyline has some bit of love helping a character overcome something, or a character being supported by someone they love. This is pretty much the message of the show I think, but I think it really comes to head and is obvious in this season.

Cons:

The Different Subplots/The Russia Subplot. This has pretty much been a thing since the first season where there are different squad of characters off doing their own thing before everyone converges together by the end. I think it works sometimes but in this season, it doesn’t work as well because some squads don’t get as much attention as others. The Russia plot with Hopper, Joyce and Murray was boring. I always forgot about it when we jumped back to it. I mean, it had it’s moments for sure but I was way more invested in the stuff going on with the kids. Not to mention, Joyce left without telling her kids?? That’s wild. Then it was so drawn out and then they had to stay to try and wound the particles to maybe give them a chance? I don’t recall it really helping them in the long run. I mean, Hopper did have that awesome scene with the sword vs the demogorgon but it took so long to get there lol.

Too Many Characters/The Stakes. It really sucks with this point because I’ve enjoyed most of the new characters they’ve added to the show, even the ones who’ve only lasted one season. But because of this, some of our main characters get super sidelined and or their importance feels lessened because the attention is going to some of the new characters. Not to mention, them doing this keeps them from going for the big stakes and killing off main characters. I know this isn’t Game of Thrones, but if you only add new characters to kill them then there aren’t any stakes for the characters who have been here since the beginning. I’m not saying on a killing spree but Max could have easily died this season. Hopper could have stayed dead. Eddie’s death (*so upset*) could have been avoided and Steve could have been the one to sacrifice in his place, or they both could have died (Eddie’s death could have been different). I feel like they were setting Steve up to die and then didn’t. It feels like they added Eddie just so they wouldn’t have to kill Steve. I hear they’re not adding anymore new characters in season 5 which is cool… but does that mean anyone else will die? They can’t all just get out scot free lol.

How Eddie Munson was Handled. First and foremost… Eddie’s death was unnecessary. I saw an article where the Duffer Brothers said that Eddie was always meant to be a tragic character and had to die and I don’t believe that. Tragic yes but death no. I feel like they could have written him out of that situation. I get that going back to Hawkins might not have been the move, but why couldn’t Owens help? Stuff has been covered up in the past, so why couldn’t this? Not to mention, at the end, the four gates split Hawkins like an earthquake… you mean to tell me these people wouldn’t believe that Eddie was innocent? I get the “Satanic Panic” thing and that Eddie might have still been a pariah but there could have handled this better. BUT if he did have to die, why was it like that? It wasn’t heroic. In the moment, I was like “you’re going to sacrifice yourself because you don’t want to run away… for a town who believes you’re a monster!” but in the beginning he said there was no shame in running away! I was sad and upset, I cried a little for him because it was a losing battle. He was a hero by even going BACK to the Upside Down that second time, that he was willing to be bait, that he even fought back the bats at all in the trailer. Him trying to lead the bats away was heroic but staying to fight a losing battle was not. Nancy, Robin and Steve made it into the house, they didn’t need to distract them anymore! It was stupid! Then him being like “I didn’t run away this time” and I’m like “but you should have…” I just really don’t like it. It was a copout. Also, what happened to his body? Did they leave it there?? There’s S5 potential there. Also also, why didn’t we get to see anyone but Dustin grieve about his death? Like Mike and Lucas were both in Hellfire and Mike clearly was influenced by Eddie, his hair is an indication to that! That also angered me.

Things I Just Didn’t Like.

  • I didn’t like that Erica was tackled by that basketball player kid. He could have chased her into the house and she hid in a room and then found another way out of it. Or he could have captured her and she talked/tricked her way out of the room. I didn’t like that at all.
  • I hated that Jason pulled a gun on Lucas and was threatening to shoot him. I know that Jason was unhinged at this point but that didn’t set right in my soul for many reasons. I kind of liked Jason up to this point.
  • I feel like Max should have died. This is a big one and may be controversial but having Eleven suddenly be able to “pseudo heal” her but her being left in a coma where Eleven couldn’t see her in her mindscape… what a copout. Lucas’s reaction to her breaking was so good and emotional that I feel like it’s no longer as weighted as it was initially. When I saw that she might live, I was like oh.
  • Dr. Brenner. How did this man survive? That Demogorgon jumped right on him in S1… no one explained a thing. I guess he’s dead dead now, but how did he live?? Why did he allow One/Henry to stay as an orderly? That seemed really stupid on his part. Sure, he put that chip in his neck to keep him in line, but he never thought One would try to manipulate one of these kids? Dumb.

Overall, I loved this season of Stranger Things. I’ve liked all the seasons but this season is the best one since S1, I think. The characters are still good, some with more development than others but still good. Great new additions particularly in Eddie’s character. The acting is always top notch, they have such a good group of actors, especially these kids, with Sadie Sink and Caleb McLaughlin being stand outs. Millie Bobby Brown too, but she always is lol. The villain is amazing, very threatening and scary. The directing is so good, with so many great shots. The music choices actually influence things in the show, which is great. There are so many great sequences in this season that have yet to leave me. The stakes are high! I love the message of the show as it’s always been… being love and friendship! On the other hand, I really feel like this show suffers from too many characters, not enough time to give everyone the development they deserve and just weird storytelling/character choices. I also didn’t care for the separate plots but mostly the Russia subplot. It was just a way to get Joyce away from the kids. I also feel like because they have so many characters, that certain stakes aren’t as big as they could be. While I loved his character and his addition, I don’t like how Eddie’s story ended, I feel like it was a copout, and I feel the same way with Max’s “death”. There were also just things I didn’t like in general but overall, this was a great season. It was scary, back to the horror elements that it had in season 1. I cannot wait to see what Stranger Things 5holds.

Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars.

What did you think of Stranger Things 4? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below! If you’d like to see more of my thoughts, you can follow me on Tumblr.

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