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    Stranger Things: Season 4 Part 2, Review – The End Is the Beginning

    The review of Stranger Things Season 4, Part 2: let’s find out how the season ends with two adrenaline and very long episodes.

    We waited the first two years and it passes, then another month, but in the end, we also left behind the fourth season of Stranger Things. And now the Duffer Brothers series, practically the spearhead of Netflix, enters its final phase: its creators have in fact declared, a few weeks ago, that the fifth season will also be the last, net of a mysterious spin-off that would be in the works but on which only rumors are circulating all to be confirmed. One thing is certain: as Part 2 of Stranger Things 4 ended, the next season will be very different, and there is already talk of a time jump that can better justify the growth of the actors, for whom years have passed since the third season, while in the television world it has been only eight months.

    We wouldn’t want to anticipate anything about the grand finale in this Stranger Things Season 4 Part 2 review, and for this reason, we’ll limit spoilers to a minimum, but we’ll have to mention a few salient junctions to make sense of our analysis. If you really don’t want to know anything about anything, come back only after watching the last two episodes!

    Two very long episodes

    Stranger Things Season 4, Wynona Rider and David Harbour in a scene from Part 2

    Let’s start from a premise: the two final episodes of Stranger Things 4 are very long. Episode 8, “Daddy,” lasts about 1 hour and 20 minutes, while the final season, “The Plan,” exceeds 2 and a quarter hours. Cinematic times, in short, but in the end, the production values of Stranger Things have become stellar, both in terms of special effects – even if computer graphics are not always at the top, as demonstrated by the transformation of Uno into Vecna that we saw in the finale of Volume 1 – and in everything else. It could be argued that the Duffers – not only to the writing but also to the direction of both episodes – could have obtained the third episode from all these hours of shooting, but the tight space of the finale justifies their decision, since halving it would have deeply unbalanced its components: for this reason, we advise you to carve out the two hours necessary to look at it all at once because otherwise, you would sacrifice its very strong emotional impact.

    Stranger Things 4, Sadie Sink offers an amazing interpretation of Max Mayfield
    Stranger Things 4, Sadie Sink offers an amazing interpretation of Max Mayfield

    Of the two episodes, the ending is certainly the most compelling. “Dad” suffers from the syndrome of the penultimate episode: it serves, that is, to prepare the scene for the grand finale, giving much more space to introspection. And precisely for this reason, it gives us some of the best moments not so much of the fourth season, but of the franchise in its entirety. The poignant monologue of Will – now an open book for viewers – and Hopper who finds Joyce, Steve and Robin, Eddie and Justin, but above all Eleven who finally sings them to Dr. Brenner, coming out of the torpor that for too long has distinguished his character and that Part 1 had shaken but not completely in the first episodes.

    The secret laboratory subplot occupies much of the penultimate episode, being practically a fundamental step in the development of Eleven as a “superheroine”. This aspect of the series is occasionally recalled in the dialogues, but it becomes more and more forced: it is clear that Stranger Things has moved a long way from the superhero imaginary, if ever it had approached, to trespass into a story with tones reminiscent of Stephen King’s novels about extrasensory powers.

    Stranger Things 4, Eddie was the best surprise of this season

    With Part 2 of Stranger Things 4, we finally leave behind the conflict with Matthew Modine’s Dr. Brenner. The last minutes of episode 8 is explosive in this sense, and offer a sensible closure, but perhaps not 100% satisfactory. We had the impression that Millie Bobby Brown wasn’t really comfortable with the scenes where she had to express emotions other than anger or confusion, perhaps because she spent far too much time playing this side of Eleven. In this sense, the fourth season of Stranger Things had to limit to a minimum the scenes in which Eleven and Hopper share the screen, and it’s a shame because Brown and David Harbour have extraordinary alchemy, especially in the face of the subplot that the Duffers have basted for them over the years.

    Stranger Things 4, Nancy has become one of our favorite characters

    Stranger Things 4, however, seems to focus mainly on what we have called Team Hawkins, that is, the heterogeneous team formed by the characters left in the disturbing town. Volume 2, if possible, further confirms the weakness of the Californian subplot, with a character, Argyle, increasingly irritating; a Jonathan who practically does nothing concrete, except support his little brother in a particularly complicated moment of his life; and a Mike who essentially serves to make a motivational speech of dubious usefulness. Team California is the deus ex machina of this season: it is in the right place at the right time and serves to act as a bridge between Eleven and Hawkins with a tub for improvised sensory deprivation in one of the most far-fetched and forced gimmicks of the series. The weak point of season 4, without a doubt, for a host of characters that perhaps not even the Duffers knew how to integrate into the story anymore.

    There is no going back

    Stranger Things Season 4 Part 2, Team California is the weak point of the season

    In Volume 2, the Russian subplot also suffers a bit, which results in nothing. Or rather, Joyce and Murray’s journey brought hopper back to us – and a new ally, which we hope to see again next season – but it explored little or nothing one of the most intriguing aspects of history: the Russian experiments on the creatures of the Upside Down. It’s strange because episode 8 and episode 9 seem to prepare the ground for something important, also showing us the sentient particles in a containment tank, but the comings and goings from the Russian prison, are very unbelievable, in the end only serves as an indirect assist for Team Hawkins.

    The final episode, “The Plan”, is divided between the various subplots, but focuses mainly on the attack on Vecna, which reminded us so much, but just a lot, of the Losers of Derry who slip into the sewers to hunt down Pennywise. That the Duffer Brothers were inspired by It was obvious, but now we have confirmation.

    Stranger Things Seaon 4, Vecna's prosthetic costume is truly incredible

    The final season, as we said above, is a roller coaster ride of emotions. The Duffers set up a narrative made of sibylline dialogues that fill the cast with “red flags”: at a certain point it is difficult to find a Character of Hawkins who is not marked for a premature death within the credits. From Steve, the most loved by fans, to the increasingly gritty Nancy, passing through Robin, Eddie, and even Dustin, Lucas, or Erika, they all seem with one foot in the pit, and the directors play with the expectations of viewers until the last minutes, especially since we are talking about boys, little more than teenagers, whose death would have a considerable impact on the imagination of fans and on the Netflix audience.

    In this sense, the inevitable losses at the end of the season have affected us positively. One we expected, given the assumptions and the history of the series, while the other was a real punch in the stomach, or almost. And as much as it remains an ajar door, perhaps more than ten centimeters, we are curious to find out how the Duffers will handle it in the next season.

    Stranger Things 4, Maya Hawke's Robin has a little less to do this season

    Season 4, therefore, closes with a truly engaging and tense ending, with moments to say the least exciting thanks to the editing and the soundtrack – from Kate Bush to Metallica – but above all the interpretations. We found almost the entire cast up to the most intense scenes, but Sadie Sink, Joe Keery, and even Natalia Dyer dominate the shooting, especially the first one who, for her role as Max, is rightly receiving praise everywhere. Jamie Campbell Bower, the man under Vecna’s complicated but amazing make-up, also deserves praise, if only for the patience and imprint he gives to the character in the original language. We’re not sure if Vecna is still the successful antagonist the Duffers hoped for, but he’s certainly one of the most memorable in terms of look and charisma.

    Stranger Things 4, a scene from the fourth season

    After all, many mysteries still remain to be revealed. Contrary to what we thought, Stranger Things 4 raised even more questions about the nature of the Upside Down, and flashbacks and explanations were of little use. Now we know who maneuvered the Mindflayer and the Demogorgons, and for what purpose, but what this dimension is, and why it took on the form we know when Will disappeared at the beginning of the series, everything remains to be clarified. The Duffers have anticipated that the fifth and final season will focus on the secrets of the Upside Down, which seems very plausible to us given the conditions in which Hawkins finds himself at the end of this Volume 2. The new episodes, it is said, should arrive earlier than expected: we only hope that another pandemic will not get in the way of making us wait longer than we should.

    Our Opinion

    Part 2 of Stranger Things Season 4 closes, with an amazing ending, the great return of the series that we continue to love despite its edginess. Not everything worked out as we would have liked, but the Duffers managed to close the season with a shocking episode that runs as smooth as water despite its duration, and that lays the foundation for the grand finale next season. If you loved Stranger Things, or still love it as we do, Part 2 is everything you wanted after almost three years – and a month – of pause.


    • The cast is great to dust, but above all Sadie Sink
    • The ending is exciting and does not seem to last its two hours and passes


    • Team California’s subplot
    • Some forcing a bit too cloying in the narrative
    Video: STRANGER THINGS Season 4 Part 2, Ending Explained

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