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‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 Volume 2 Finally Gave Us the Emotional Reunion We’ve Been Waiting For

Mike Wheeler, Eleven, and Will Byers look surprised in a shot from Stranger Things Season 4

Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 is here, and there is a lot to unpack about the ending to the fourth season. While there are plenty of highs, there are also emotional lows, and it’s an epic four-hour conclusion that has turned out to be, frankly, worth the month-long wait between volume 1 and volume 2. But while there are fights and moments where you feel like you want to sit on the edge of your seat, there are also quiet moments that will probably mean a lot to fans.

There’s one specific moment for Eleven that really hits home and reminds me what her entire journey has been about, outside of protecting Hawkins. So, let’s get into it.

**Spoilers for Stranger Things 4 Vol. 2 lie ahead.**

eleven crying in stranger things 4

From season 1 on, El was seen as a superhero or someone everyone could count on, but she was just a kid. And that’s why Hopper meant so much to her. He was the person who treated her like a kid, took care of her as his own, and was her dad. When she thought he died, it clearly affected her, and she wasn’t okay through the first part of season 4, but we get to finally have the two back together by the end of Stranger Things 4, and it’s well worth the wait for the emotional weight the scene holds.

There’s something so emotional about Eleven getting to see Hopper again. And sure, part of it comes from my own wish that I could someday see my dad walking back up to my house and know that his death was some horrible nightmare that’s over now, but the moment that El gets to see Hopper when he enters her old room just hit me like a ton of bricks. She’s so afraid that the military has come to find her again and that she’ll be taken away, and instead she hears a “Hi, kid” and sees her dad back home with her.

It’s a moment that could have been so quick or left for season 5, but instead, the series lets the two sit together and just talk for a minute, and it’s one of the more fascinating parts about Stranger Things 4. In the midst of everyone rushing to try to stop Vecna, we still have these moments where the characters stop and have a heart-to-heart and make sure they’re all okay.

Pair this with Eleven watching as “Papa” dies and finally escaping his grasp, and it just feels like she is finally going to have a chance to feel loved and cherished in the way that she never felt with “Papa” and when she was being used as a number.

Having your dad back

It can seem silly to look so deeply into this, but for me, it just feels like a beautiful nod to so many of us who wish for this. I’d give anything to be able to walk into my old room and see my dad again, sit with him and just have a conversation. And so to see Eleven holding onto Hopper even after they go back outside to see Joyce? It means a lot. She thought her dad, who was a hero to her, was dead, and it’s clear that that pain was still weighing on her.

In the season’s first part, she gives a whole speech to her class about her hero and tells them all that it’s Hopper, so whatever time has passed hasn’t been enough to move on from the loss of her dad. Sure, she’s back with “Papa” during this season, but that man was never her father. It’s clear that she’s always looked to Hopper for that role in her life, and just having the two of them together again feels like a perfect ending to the season.

(featured image: Netflix)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.