Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > Entertainment

My Opinions on Stranger Things 4

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

The long-awaited and heavily anticipated season 4 of Stranger Things has finally arrived on Netflix two years after Season 3 – in two volumes, released May 27th and July 1st, respectively and I have some thoughts. Here’s a breakdown of what happened and what I believe is to come in Season 5. (There are spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t watched the show yet, proceed with caution.)

Season 4 was a lot, from the various new characters (including this season’s extremely powerful villain known as Vecna) to the amazing performances by Caleb McLaughlin and Sadie Sink in the last episode. I believe the best part of the show was the constant switch of settings. One moment you’re on the west coast with the California Crew, then you’re in Russia with Joyce and Murray as they attempt to find Hopper. Of course, there are also the kids in Hawkins and their new Hellfire Club friends, in addition to the ruinous teens of the Hawkins basketball team. 

As we learned in previous seasons, the directors of Stranger Things know how to connect the music and the story to hook their audience and evoke powerful emotions. This season had the best music of all four, particularly because of the revival of popular hits that transformed viewers to 1986. Staples like “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush, “Pass the Dutchie” by Musical Youth, and “Master of Puppets” by Metallica have even returned to the charts because of their feature in the show. 

The opportunity for ‘big time’ performances by the actors has also grown as the show has continued; this season, it showed significantly. Sadie Sink’s character, Max Mayfield, was a large part of Season 4’s storyline. Specifically, Sadie gave her all during Episode 4, Dear Billy, and Episode 9, The Piggyback. Many of the actors even took matters into their own hands throughout the season, adding different touches to scenes that they felt were necessary. For example, the Joyce and Hopper kiss (which was long overdue), the “I love you, man” that was said to Dustin by Eddie, and Lucas’ heartbreaking cry for help when Max was on the verge of death was all improvised. These scenes made the show more personable and were some of my favorite scenes from the whole season.

However, I am critical of the two-day time skip after Eddie Munson’s death. Because of the skip, we didn’t see the emotions of his friends (other than Dustin) or the town; these emotions would’ve added to his character and revealed how people truly felt about him. As viewers, we knew he was innocent, so it was frustrating to watch his wrongful demise. Furthermore, if the Hawkins kids and the Hellfire Club had spoken up, there would’ve been a chance that Eddie would’ve still been alive and in the next season. Truly, actor Joseph Quinn’s character was given the short end of the stick. Eddie’s character development was limited, and he never got to graduate. This sad death left so many fans, and even Joseph himself, broken.

The end of Episode 9 left the world of the Upside Down seeping into the town of Hawkins, with viewers questioning what will come in the next and final season. Many theories have already surfaced, but with the creators of the show saying the script isn’t complete yet, we most likely won’t be seeing Season 5 until mid to late 2024.

Fans of the show tend to go out of the box with their predictions; here are a few that I think could happen in Season 5. I have seen a couple that relate to Will and the Upside Down, and his connections to Vecna and Hawkins Lab. The most striking prediction is that the Upside Down is just a large Dungeons and Dragons game and Will is the head dungeon master, which would inevitably mean that the whole show is just a game. People are also predicting that another villain is coming to Season 5: the red dragon that is in the painting Will gave to Mike. Many are also leaning on the fact that the Duffer Brothers said demo-bats don’t kill, which might mean that they turned Eddie into the vampire “Kas the Bloody Handed” from the game. There are so many possibilities, but we have to wait and see what will happen.

People ask if this season was worth the two-year wait. Overall, yes, I think the season was worth the wait. Even then, there were parts that left me wondering about the future of the show. The season did tend to sidetrack and definitely did not follow what we expected it to, but that brings the mystery we all love to the show. The unknown is yet to come, and I’m excited to see what happens and how the show concludes.

Campbell is a new member of HCMSU starting summer 2022. She just finished up freshman year and is excited to continue her education as a Journalism major with minors in Documentary Production and Media Photography. She enjoys spending her time listening to music, her favorite artists are Taylor Swift and Kacey Musgraves, watching movies and TV shows, and hanging out with friends. Campbell was in yearbook and high school journalism for all four years of high school and was even Editor-in-Chief of the yearbook her senior year. She can’t wait to work with HCMSU over the summer, as well as the next few years!