Ever since day one, Netflix knew what kind of show they had on their hands. Stranger Things has a worldwide fan base, the power was shown with the re-emergence of a song released 30 plus years ago in Kate Bushes "Running up that hill", and was heard around the world. This was just the start, the show is so popular that on the eve of Stranger Things 4 Vol II dropping, Netflix crashed. The characters are likeable, relatable, fans have grown to love them. They're thrown in amongst a convoluted storyline which keeps you guessing as to which direction it'll take, for the most part. This is where the appeal is.
Written by Elliot Lines / July 6, 2022
Season 4 was hugely anticipated, a season that was split into two parts. After the first 7 episodes aired, all at over 1 hour each, it's safe to say fans got their fix, although having to wait a month for the conclusion may of troubled some. Volume 1 left us on a speculative note, revealing the true identity of the shows main villain Vecna, leading to plenty of ideas as to what is to come. After that long month ran by, fans were treated to over 4 hours of finale over the final two episodes, which for me flew by, but for the common viewer it may have been a little too much. That said there were plenty of plot line that needed wrapping up, and a final battle where the Duffer brothers clearly wanted to eak out as much from all these characters as possible.
In previous seasons our characters have all been together, fighting the hell of the Upside Down in unison, but from the start we realise that this won't be the case this time out. There are a few different story paths throughout the show, the main reason for the run time, but all manage to serve a purpose to the outcome of the show (even if it ends in Hawkins being torn apart by a gate to the Upside Down).
Throughout all these plot lines we are witness to all different entities from the Upside Down. Whether it's Hopper (David Harbour) and Joyce (Winona Ryder) fighting against the Demogorgans/Demodogs, or Steve (Joe Keery), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) and the gang going up against Vecna himself, the hellish world is back in full force and it is down to them to save the world once again. Although this is far from the end, and the finale gives us plenty of inclination that the worst is yet to come for these characters that are so dear to our hearts.
The only storyline that lacks, is that of Will (Noah Schnapp) and Mike (Finn Wolfhard), which left a little wanting once Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) had left them, but we have since been told that Will especially will have a much larger role in the fifth season of the show.
You could spend all day speaking about the characters in this show, but I won't, a handful will do. Stranger Things always seems to throw a few new characters in the mix, and here was no different. Eddie Munson (Joe Quinn), a Dungeon and Dragons playing master had one of the biggest roles to play, and fans afar have warmed to his wild nature and relationship with Dustin. Other than Vecna, a villain came in the form of Jason Carver (Mason Dye), who brutally got ripped in half once the door to the upside down tore through Hawkins. Amongst the returning cast, Robin Buckley (Maya Hawke) provided us with some comic relief, but the stand out was Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink), who probably had the deepest of storylines which incorporated other characters within it. And a bit part of Stranger Things 4 was the growth of these characters, not only through the hell that Vecna brings, but the struggles of growing up.
With probably one of the most gruesome seasons, it immediately ramps up the brutality from the very first episode to 100. The Upside Down got a far bigger look at, really exploring this fairly unknown land. I think the runtime may be a problem for the casual viewer, but Stranger Things 4 provides a complex storyline that digs deeper into this world that will satisfy most, and fans will not complain about spending this amount of time with these characters.