‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 Vol. 2 Review: The End Of The Beginning Is Here For Eleven And Friends

Stranger Things

A month ago, Netflix released the first seven episodes of the fourth season of Stranger Things, their flagship series, and the reception was universally positive. The Duffer Brothers and their team of filmmakers were able to achieve something that eludes many TV shows, even in the Golden Age of Streaming. To deliver a movie-quality experience on television. The quality of the production was overwhelming in every single aspect, and the last two episodes of season two, under the Volume 2 title, bring more of it.

However, the ending of the season is not what we expected. Not in a bad way, far from it, but it certainly raises the stakes even higher than before. As we were watching Volume 1 of season 4, it was often hard to see how Stranger Things could top or even surpass themselves in the upcoming fifth and final season. And yet, they have done with two final episodes that close the season in a gargantuan fashion. The two episodes amount to four hours of epicness in every single way, and we wouldn’t want it in any other way.

Episodes 8, and 9 titled “Papa” and “The Piggyback” respectively are everything that the Stranger Things audience has always wanted from a season finale. The revelations from episode 7 of Volume 1 basically explode in our heroes’ faces and the consequences are difficult to grasp, but they can be felt right in the feelings. You will cheer and cry, but most of all, you will bite your nails throughout the entire four hours, as these episodes are a magnificent example of how to create tension.

Stranger Things

The Duffer Brothers, who write and direct both episodes, use every trick in the book. The filmmakers are adamant to make you feel something as you watch the characters that you know and love, put their lives at risk for the sole purpose of saving their friends, their town, and the world. This is the material heroes are made, and the word “hero” will resound in the mind of viewers way after the credits roll.

The cast does an amazing job. Millie Bobby Brown and Sadie Sink keep stealing the show, as in previous episodes, and the resolution of their storylines clashes in a meaningful and powerful way. Is it the ending we wanted for these two characters? Some people will say that it wasn’t but no matter what the two actresses really know how to push the right buttons to make your throat clench from pain and anxiety.

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Other characters that felt a bit behind the curve in the first seven episodes receive their well deserve payoff in these two final episodes. Especially, Caleb McLaughlin, who plays Lucas. His character was sitting on the sidelines in the first episodes, but here it shines completely. Actually, it can be proven that every character that is close to Sadie Sink’s Max shines more than ever in these final episodes.

On a technical level, this second volume is just as impressive as the first, and the series has really pushed the standard of visual quality that can be delivered on a TV show. The visual effects are quite impressive, and the sets are just as incredible. The final sequence of episode 9 shines as one of the most epic in any TV show in the past decade. The Duffer Brothers prove time and time again that they are some of the best directors working right now in the industry. Once the show ends, the offers will be raining on their desks.

Stranger Things

If there is something to complain about volume 2, and the overall season in general, is that Hopper’s storyline never really felt too much in line with what the rest of the characters were going through. It is a good storyline, and it serves a purpose, but when looking from afar it feels like it was a giant detour to fix something that shouldn’t have happened at the end of season 3. The writers manage to blend the other two storylines into one, but this one remains too detached, even when they are trying to connect it with the other two.

Yes, some characters die, and some others are left in a state that might change them forever. The entirety of this ending has a very apocalyptic flavor, that, if followed the right way could make the next and final season, one of the biggest events in streaming history. We can only hope that The Duffer Brothers and their team can stick the landing, but so far, we have very little doubt that they will not manage to do it.

A giant shoutout must be made to Michael Stein, and Kyle Dixon, who serves as composers on the show. The music has always been a very important part of the show. It serves to place the story in a very specific moment in time. But in season 4, the music was used to do much more than that, and it is in big part the responsible that this season feels as big as it is. The score is bombastic, and epic, and knows when to pull on the string to make the audience cry and cheer. It is fantastic.

Stranger Things season 4 ends with a big bang, and it opens a myriad of possibilities for season 5. Right now, how that season will go on, and how it will look, remain a mystery. But if Netflix manages to give the same amount of time and money to the Duffer Brothers, so they can accomplish their vision. Then will be in for some truly awesome end to a show that has marked and changed the way we watch television.

SCORE: 10/10