Stranger Things 4 Review

While season three was a step in the wrong direction, season four of “Stranger Things” is a huge step in the right direction, and is possibly the best season since the start of the show in 2016.

The whole season was split into four parts: the Hawkins storyline, El’s storyline, California storyline and the Russia storyline. It consisted of the longest length of episodes for the whole show, and consisted of a total runtime of around 13 hours of content, with an honorable mention to the finale for being two and a half hours long.

The Hawkins storyline is by far the most interesting of the season. The characters consist of newcomer Eddie, Dustin, Steve, Nancy, Max and Lucas. The only character in this storyline I have a problem with is Eddie; it felt like he was made as just a stereotypical metal loving teenager and doesn’t have any development until the finale which eventually leads to his death in the upside down. Otherwise, I feel like the Hawkins storyline is near perfect “Stranger Things” and is always a joy to watch.

The Russia storyline is definitely the weakest of the storylines, and almost all of my problems stem from the finale episode. The entire time, Hopper’s story was built to be a huge and epic storyline, even bringing in Joyce and Murray, along with newcomers Yuri and Dmitri. It is also revealed in this storyline that Hopper didn’t actually die in the season three finale, which isn’t shocking if you watched the season three end credits scene. While I am glad to see that Hopper is alive, I do think that it takes away a lot from the good parts of season three, and shows that the writers are mostly scared to kill characters and create drama. I think it would have worked better if Hopper was just captured at the end and not believed to have died. My other problem is during the huge finale episode, Hopper and the other characters have absolutely nothing to do, and just end up killing the demogorgons at the prison to have the illusion of actually contributing to the plot. This is definitely my least favorite part of the entire season, and it’s a shame that they had a fan favorite character delegated to just boring filler. The reunion with Hopper and the kids at the very end was amazing though, so the storyline was not all bad.

El’s storyline is really good overall. This storyline follows El, Papa and a group of scientists trying to give El her powers back. It is revealed that she never lost them, but just forgot how to use them after season three. We get some amazing backstory for El, and the reveal of One actually being Vecna was incredible. This storyline gives us some of the best scenes and is a huge focus of the best episode in the whole series for me, Papa. The scene with El taking down the military and a whole helicopter was a thrilling scene. The death of Papa was a great scene too, and we see El showing love and hate for a character that has been both a hero and a villain for the whole show up to that point. My only real complaint with this storyline is that I wish that more characters were involved, like Mike coming with El or something similar. This and the Hawkins storyline are the absolute best parts of season four and are near perfect for me.

The California storyline as a whole was middle of the road. Some of it was amazing, and some of it was boring. It started out great in the first couple episodes, seeing Mike and El together again was enjoyable, and the newcomer Argyle was a great character which serves for some needed comic relief. The shootout in the Byers house was also an incredible scene with great camera work. However the storyline falls apart when El leaves it. The rest of the runtime they’re just basically looking for El and finding out where she might be. It can be a fun adventure at times, like with the cameo from Suzie, but mostly it’s just boring. My other main problem with this storyline is Mike as a whole. He has absolutely nothing to do throughout the whole season, and it’s really sad to see a fan favorite character have nothing to do. It just feels like he’s there for the adventure, and not leading it.

Even with problems, season 4 is still a great watch and an easy recommendation for fans of sci-fi or horror in general. The characters are amazing, and the plot this season was excellent. I can overlook my problems with this season for a great watch and to enjoy the amazing parts that this season did have. Overall, I’d give this season an 8/10. I think that it is tied for the best season of the show, and a personal favorite of mine.