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‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 Volume 2 Will Leave You an Emotional Wreck

5/5 Kate Bush songs

Stranger Things 4 planning session

Stranger Things left us waiting for the conclusion to season 4, and now that the wait is over, I have one thing to say about it: emotionally prepare yourself. Multiple times throughout the last four hours of the season, I found myself tearing up and crying without expecting it and sat wishing that season 5 was coming next month just to help my Stranger Things fix.

The season pretty much had three different story branches, and that continued through the last two episodes, so let’s breakdown the rest of season 4 and why it is one of the best seasons of the series yet (and my own personal favorite).

**Slight spoilers for Stranger Things 4 lie ahead.**

eleven crying in stranger things 4


In Hawkins, we had the teens coming up with a plan to not only free Max from Vecna’s hold but to also kill him in the process. Much like all seasons of Stranger Things, the last act fell into the same patern of having everyone band together in their own ways to try to help each other. Because, at the end of the day, this is a show about friendship and no matter what is happening in Hawkins, everyone will find a way to fight back if one of their own is in the mix.

All of this leads to an emotional journey for our faves in Hawkins because we’ve been with them through this fight from season 1. They’ve been trying their hardest to fight back and save their town while no one wants to believe them about what’s happening, and to see them almost lose? It hurts in a way that’s surprisingly shocking. It just feels like more is lost than won in the final moments this time, even when the majority of them survive and are still there willing to help fix what was broken by Vecna (slash Henry slash number 001, thanks to Robin).


Eleven was trapped with Papa the last we saw her and in the second to last episode, we see her finally leave him behind once and for all. The issue with having Mike, Will, Jonathan, El, and Argyle in California is that they quickly realize Hawkins needs them without an easy way to get to Hawkins. Our teens want to help their friends back home, but it’s nearly impossible to get there, and their determination in making it happen anyway is what we love about these characters.

One of the aspects of the California/Nevada storyline that I really love is Will’s journey. There’s a lot he’s going through emotionally, and he’s trying to figure out himself, his relationship with his friends, and his future. And we get to see a lot of that journey in his conversations with his friends. He has a heart-to-heart with Mike, Jonathan gives him very honest advice, and his arc is one that will hopefully lead to a more honest and open future for Will Byers in season 5.


The Russia storyline was a bit different than Hawkins. They’re trying to get home and trying to figure out the best way out. While they’re waiting for the plane to get up and running and come to their rescue, we see Hopper, Joyce, and Murray back at the prison fighting against the Demogorgons that they had seen on their way out. Basically what we’re seeing in this storyline is just two parents trying to get home while trying to save the world at the same time so a truly special hero moment to see play out. Which falls into the theme of the entire season.

Being the hero

We see it point blank with Eddie’s arc, but it’s important to note that this season is just filled with everyone stepping up and being the hero that Hawkins needs. No matter where they are. El thinks she’s a monster given these memories she had only to see that she’s the hero Mike and his friends always thought she was. While Steve is typically the one to step up and do the heroic thing, he’s doing it with everyone else in tow. They all are willing to fight Vecna and do the right thing because they’re all heroes in their own ways.

The same is true for Hopper, Joyce, and Murray in Russia because they’re being the heroes the world needs by trying to stop what’s happening in Hawkins from spreading around the world. It’s not about being seen as a hero but doing the right and “heroic” thing in the end.

(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.