‘Stranger Things’ Volume 2 Season 4 Review
With their story set in multiple locations, the show’s creators, the Duffer Brothers, opened the special effects piggy bank, while giving their characters room to breathe – exploring more adult adolescent issues through the prism of small town Indiana in the mid-1980s.
Still, the show never strays too far from its deep pop culture roots and homages, whether it’s a nod to « Halloween » or someone saying « I have a bad feeling. » to seduce the faithful of « Star Wars ». .
Without giving anything away, this season also seems to have taken into account that the extraordinary threat will not be overcome without cost, adding a deeper level of resonance and higher stakes to the storytelling.
That said, the fourth season felt lacking on several levels, starting with the main villain, Vecna, who looks rather uninspired like the Crypt Keeper from the Tales From the Crypt comics. The third-season cliffhanger that sent Hopper (David Harbour) behind the Iron Curtain also dragged on too long, though revisiting the Cold War proved surprisingly timely.
Where does that leave the show? At its best where it started, with Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown, who would win the Emmy for « the appearance of intense focus » if that existed) bravely standing between humanity and potential destruction, flanked by the nice nerdy Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Will (Noah Schnapp).
The flashbacks to Eleven’s story have been some of the strongest elements of the current season, offering further proof of her tortured youth and the burdens placed upon her.
« She’s special. She was born special, » Mike says, wondering how much longer Eleven will need a regular guy like him, to which Will replies that Mike is the heart of their group — a little on the nose, maybe. be, but as observations go, not bad either.
« Stranger Things » has become a major draw for Netflix, and the hype and anticipation surrounding the final episodes is sure to be off the charts.
In a way, though, Season 4 played like a (very) extended preview for that, feeling too much like one big draw to come for what will hopefully be the most satisfying payoff to come.
« Stranger Things » premieres the final two episodes of Season 4 on July 1.