Stranger Things has been a show that has captured hearts since the first episode of season one. They know precisely how to mix that level of 80s fun with horror and sci-fi, so that you’re on the edge of your seat not only because of the terrifying monsters, but also because you love these characters so much you cannot bear to watch them get hurt. Season four is certainly not different, whilst it took some time to wrap my head around the various timelines and settings, the show has come back stronger than ever.
The upside-down seems to have nothing short of surprises as it conjures this new demon which we come to call Vecna, named after the DND character from the Hellfire Night Games. Let me just say that Vecna’s harming techniques, although we have seen some pretty messy stuff in the past, in this season is just next level with the bones bending and eyes bleeding. I definitely had to look around and breathe for a second whilst binging this at 1am last Saturday night. It was definitely a change with the gang all split up (and growing up) with Dustin, Mike, Max, Lucas, Nancy, Steve and Robyn still in Hawkins and the Byers brothers (Will, Joyce and Jonathan) and Eleven [now going by Jane] in California, and Hopper alive but not well in Russia. However, there were some awesome dynamics that we gained, with Nancy and Robyn slowly but surely finding some common ground, El and Will sharing a sibling-like bond and Murray and Joyce’s hilarious chemistry as they go to save Hopper. Another intriguing part was the further exploration of the past and how things came to be. We learn about some other children and the history of El’s power and the traumatic influences on her psyche as she tries to regain her powers again. They also do not fail to relate it accurately to the time period, with a visit to a psychiatric ward where patients were more kept as prisoners, in which they find a helpful discovery in a musical cure that comes in handy, as Max is almost captured by Vecna’s curse.
I am so excited and nervous to see what comes next. As the ending of the season comes out on the 1st of July, I think keeping us waiting for the last two episodes was an annoyingly smart move, because now I will be thinking about this for the entire month of June just wondering what the heck is going to happen next. Even more so with the news of the show slowly yet surely coming to a close after the fifth season. I believe it is for the best, keeping this story linked to the children we have come to love, instead of having it drained out by trying to keep the story interesting. The Duffer Brothers had a storyline in mind and this particular season feels like a good setup for the ‘beginning of the end’.
Article written by Nishtha Sharma
Image courtesy of Netflix.
Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!