Now that Stranger Things Season 4’s final two episodes have debuted, we can examine the season’s entire legacy. The season’s first seven episodes were a frightful but bloated return that did a good job of exploring the series’ mythology. A satisfactory ending is reached in the last episodes, which feature some outstanding emotional performances and exciting action scenes. It has a few oddly missed opportunities, but Season 5 will have lots of possibilities to make up for this since it has opened up the floodgates for a lot of rhetorical use. In the end, it’s a pleasant way to round off a solid season. When the action picks up again, the team is feverishly battling both human and ex-human adversaries. Nancy, Steve, and the rest of the gang plan to approach Vecna (using Dustin and Eddie as bait), divert his attention while he is in a trance, and then murder him. This plan is to ultimately beat Vecna. This complex, multi-layered plan will position many of our favorite characters to smack in the heart of peril. As Hopper, Joyce, and the rest of the crew attempt to flee Soviet Russia, numerous Upside Down creatures have made their way into the Russian prison compound. Finally, Eleven and her pals are forced to flee a military-infested research center, and Eleven manages to contribute to the battle against Vecna/One in the supernatural world. With some of the best action scenes in the history of the series, it’s a fantastically action-packed setup with actual implications at the end of the season. For instance, the scene starring Dustin and Eddie, a rookie, is hilarious and awesome. In a very killer episode, Eleven rediscovers her inner badass while facing off against a variety of foes. The final battle against Vecna is riveting and electric in a mind-hopping, multi-pronged attack that reveals quite a bit about his role in our history with the mysterious Upside-Down. Max embraces her inner boldness, Will comes perilously close to making an honest personal revelation, and Will embraces her inner boldness. This season, certain members of the cast receive some truly excellent material. Sadie Sink and Millie Bobby Brown delivered two of the best performances they have given in the season thus far. Brown’s battle through her tragic history is addressed with care and resolved satisfactorily. It is extremely stunning how Max accepted her fate and how Sadie portrayed the character’s fearful fortitude. Also noteworthy is Noah Schnapp’s Will, who after spending the majority of the season in the background, suddenly receives strong material (and is positioned for a more significant role in Season 5).
The series’ final two episodes partially resolve one of the series’ primary problems, in that the widely dispersed people and their tales are handled better the closer they are to coming together in purpose and location. Although the season has been long, the pace and focus feel more streamlined when the action truly starts. The eighth episode feels more like a protracted buildup to a clash than it does a fulfilling episode in and of itself, and the pacing in the final two feature-length episodes isn’t even. Even though it’s a little less dispersed, the season’s finale still contains too many characters to seem cohesive and focused, and the Duffers continue to exhibit some reluctance to permanently kill off significant legacy characters. Since they haven’t made a decision yet, it would be a heartbreaking surprise that would demonstrate how dangerous the situation is and how nobody is safe. As a result, a conclusion that would otherwise be powerful loses part of its impact. The conclusion of the season does, in a way that suggests a very perilous Season 5, bring danger right into Hawkins. Nevertheless, there are several threads where there are missed chances to build tension. The long-teased army of armed townie high schoolers, for instance, is used in the final episodes, and there is numerous potential for them to introduce risky elements to the battle against Vecna OR for the Upside Down to flow into our world and join the conflict. Both of these events mysteriously failed to occur, and the entire plotline sort of falls flat. The most pressing issue, which should be addressed in Season 5, is how limited our understanding of the Upside-ecosystem Down is. The Demogorgon, for example, is a fantastic and lethal creature, and the Mind Flayer is a terrifying cosmic terror. This season made extensive use of new flying monsters, but the Upside-Down offers a conceptual blank check for the development of a complete bestiary of nightmare-inducing creatures. That check is still mysteriously blank. S With the setup being an open way for the Upside-Down to infiltrate our domain, it appears improbable that we’ll achieve a greater development than we have. Let’s hope the floodgates open wider in the last season of the show. Stranger Things Season 4 concludes with a powerful, action-packed finale featuring some of the most unforgettable scenes since Season 1. It provides Brown, Sink, and others with series-best acting possibilities, and the weaving of the many plotlines and places is handled most successfully here. It’s a powerful conclusion. On the other side, several perplexing wasted opportunities dampen the film’s emotional potential and suspense. Nonetheless, it’s a fairly satisfying season finale that directly connects to what we can expect from Season 5, so there will be plenty of chances to cash in in the future.