Finally, after a prolonged wait, we got our hands on the final two episodes of Stranger Things‘ fourth season. After ending its first part on quite the high note, we’ve only had two more episodes left that would wrap up the storyline around the latest threat to Hawkins in the form of Vecna, or the originator of eleven’s powers as we’ve gone on to learn. Could the final episodes provide that send-off ahead of the final season that we’ve been waiting for?
As I pointed out in my review of the first part, there’s a lot the first part did right but it also suffered ab it from juggling way too many subplots throughout the season. It mostly was the result of scattering its cast across the United States and Russia, but it still offered some memorable set pieces and moments throughout; there’s a reason Running Up That Hill is back in the charts. The highs were definitely high but it still stumbled at times. In a way, the final two episodes continue that trend but pull it all together with a strong emotional finale.
Vecna once again proves why he is the threat that he is, as the team tries to put together a plan to take him down before he can enact his plan. There are times when we’re playing catch up with the big reveal of what he’s up to, everyone preparing for thSurprisingly,fore we head into the Upside Down. It’s surprising they didn’t set up the final episode as its second part as a movie finale, a lot is going on in its two-hour-plus run time. Still, there’s a lot going on with many of the subplots “kind” of coming together.
The time spent in Russia with Hopper, Joyce, and Murray still feels disconnected from the rest. Though it ends up with one of the most visually stunning moments in the finale as Hoppeets that moment. So, it definitely delivers in the ways that you want it to. Also, Hopper and Joyce getting the moment everyone has been waiting for was the tip of the iceberg to make you forget that it’s just very loosely connected to the overarching storyline. Who knows if it feeds into the finale more. But I also won’t complain about more Brett Gelman‘s Murray in the Netflix series.
Millie Bobbie Brown once again gives it her all as Eleven, as she not only has to find a way to help her friends but also faces the consciences of her own actions. The biggest selling point of this season was the connection between her past and the events that continue to unfold throughout Hawkins. Vecna has a personal grudge after the reveal we got last time, and she gets her moments to shine. I still think her character going back a few steps to move forward was a bit of a shame.
Also, it should be once again highlighted how Jamie Campbell Bower continues to be a great antagonist in the series. The reveal from the last “finale” was a powerful one but I do continue to feel that the character is still a bit too “human” to compete with some of the iconic monsters that we’ve seen throughout past seasons. There’s an additional reveal in these moments that could’ve easily been kept in the actual reveal of this season, but I hope it gets further explored due to the implications for the final season moving forward.
There are a lot of standouts in this season, but Joseph Quinn‘s Eddie Munson swiftly became a fan favorite for a reason this season. Probably the fastest turnover for a character in the show with a beautiful arc that came together nicely towards the end. His rock-out moment that was teased in trailers made for a memorable moment and wished there was more of it. The same goes for Eduardo Franco‘s Argyle who probably had some of the funniest moments throughout.
Though, the season continues to belong to Sadie Sink and Natalia Dyer‘s Nancy Wheeler, who continue to pull some powerful performances. The latter gets a truly badass time to shine while Sink‘s Max Mayfield offers that emotional gut punch we got from her earlier in the season. It’s hard not to talk about who gives some of the strongest performances throughout without giving anything away, but the final moments definitely hit the right notes.
Overall, the season has been strong but with some bumps along the way. In a way, the same is true for the final two episodes. Its emotional moments are the ones that truly hit strong and will play with your heart. Parts of it definitely bank on the Netflix show’s strengths and also let the series breathe where it needs to. We’re definitely entering the final part of this journey and if this season is anything to go by, we’ll likely be fighting back tears as the final moments wrap up over an upside-down Hawkins. I for one cannot wait to see how they wrap up this story.