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Stranger Things Season 4 review: An edge-of-the-seat finale that goes beyond expectations

Stranger Things Season 4 review: Made at a grand scale and spread across several locations with some incredible visual effects, its finale episodes don't let you down. The show is a total roller coaster that'll leave you breathless.

stranger things 4 finale reviewStranger Things Season 4 Volume 2 is streaming on Netflix. (Photo: Screengrab/Netflix)

If you feel your heart racing, and a need for deep breaths, you know you’ve just come out of Stranger Things 4 finale. With the last two-episodes spread over four hours, it was easy for the plot to go haywire but creators Duffer Brothers took the challenge, and made it the best of all worlds, literally!

We were promised that the final two chapters of the supernatural-horror show’s fourth season will be movie-like. And as promised, it all felt like this was how it was supposed to be.

Actors Maya Hawke, Joe Keery and Natalia Dyer as Robin, Steve and Nancy in a still from Stranger Things 4. (Photo: Screengrab/Netflix)

Stranger Things 4 Volume 2 takes off after the cliffhanger ending of its first part. Vecna’s identity has been revealed, that he’s Henry Creel aka One. And Nancy is under his control. Hopper and Joyce have reunited in the Soviet jail. One would expect the show to increase the pace as it moves along but here, it’s on the fifth gear from the word go.

The three groups are spread across different locations, each one trying to take down the Upside Down. And they all are connected with the same heart that beats for Hawkins, enough reason for them to save it before it succumbs to Vecna’s curse. The previous seven episodes had their highs and lows, moments of fun and frustration but the last two episodes make up for everything. It all makes sense now.

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All the characters join forces, some in person, some in spirit, and some in the mind. But, the way the three parallel plots connect dots is what makes the finale satisfying. In the middle of all of this, there’s also emotional drama and reunions, all flavoured with fun, humour and the fact that the kids (now teenagers) are the real heroes here.

Sadie Sink projected the emotional turmoil of Max to perfection. (Photo: Screengrab/Netflix)

Several fan theories get squashed, and new heroes are born. Nancy leads the plan to return to Mind Lair with Max being the bait. Hopper, Joyce and others flee the jail but are forced to return to kill the captive Demogorgon(s) to weaken Vecna as all of them are connected. Eleven enters Max’s mind and fights Vecna. Things however don’t go as per plan and Vecna manages to overpower all of them.

But what is a finale without a big fight? The one we see here is what finales are made of. It’s adrenaline-rushing, dark, daring, scary, and everything in between. The high point being that each character gets their moments of action and a crucial role in the larger scheme of things.

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Noah Schnapp as Will has given a powerful performance in Stranger Things. (Photo: Screengrab/Netflix)

The show has so far delicately handled Robin’s identity. And we expected the same for Will, something that was teased in the previous part. He is yet to come out, but his heartbreaking moment with Mike, where he shares his feelings subtly, is tear-jerking. Kudos to actor Noah Schnapp for handling the scene so beautifully.

The season belongs to a few characters who managed to hold their own. In Nancy’s words, Steve has grown up and become a lovable guy. His chat with Nancy about having six kids will leave you rooting for him, wanting him to end up with the girl. Max gets to balance between her emotional turmoil and darkness. A great act by actor Sadie Sink. Eleven is the main girl yet again. Argyle is a scene-stealer. Extra marks to Dustin for that emotional outburst. He’ll make sure you feel a lump in the throat. I’d vote for Eddie and what he did. His Metallica atop a trailer is an absolute paisa-vasool moment!

Gaten Matarazzo and Joseph Quinn play Dustin and Eddie respectively. (Photo: Screengrab/Netflix)

We saw how “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush started trending post volume one. It returns, this time playing out in the crucial climax, along with several other 1980s tracks.

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Stranger Things 4 is obviously the biggest season of the show till date. With a huge canvas on a grand scale, spread across locations and some incredible visual effects, it doesn’t let you down. The makers don’t deviate from its core horror element.

David Harbour (Jim Hopper) and Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers) are among the senior cast members of Stranger Things. (Photo: Screengrab/Netflix)

A story about friendships, love, longing, reunions, finding your strength and coming of age has once again been dealt with near perfection by its writers. You’ll feel for every character, cheer for your favourites, shed tears for some too.

As for Vecna, is he gone? Maybe (not). Hold on, there’s season five on the cards too, that’ll mark the ultimate finale of Stranger Things.

Till then, just remember – there’s always a hero. There was one this time too!

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First published on: 02-07-2022 at 09:28:35 am
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