With their story unfolding in multiple locations, the series’ creators, the Duffer Brothers, have opened up the special effects piggy bank, while giving their characters room to breathe, exploring older teen issues through the prism of the small town. of Indiana in the middle. -1980.
Still, the show never strays too far from its deep pop culture roots and homages, whether it’s a nod to “Halloween” or someone saying “I have a bad feeling about this” to seduce the “Star Wars” faithful. “. .
Without giving anything away, this season also seems to have come to grips with the fact that the extraordinary threat will not be overcome without cost, adding a deeper level of resonance and more stakes to the narrative.
That said, season four has felt lacking on a few levels, starting with the main villain, Vecna, bearing an uninspired resemblance to the Crypt Keeper from the Tales From the Crypt comics. The third-season cliffhanger that sent Hopper (David Harbour) behind the Iron Curtain also dragged on too long, even if revisiting the Cold War turned out to be unexpectedly timely.
Where does that leave the show? At its best where it started, with Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown, who would win the Emmy for “intense concentration appearance” if she existed) bravely standing between humanity and potential destruction, flanked by sweet nerd Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Will (Noah Schnapp).
Flashbacks to Eleven’s backstory have been among the strongest elements of the current season, offering more evidence of her tortured youth and the burdens placed on her.
“She’s special. She was born special,” Mike says, wondering how long Eleven will need an ordinary guy like him, to which Will replies that Mike is the heart of their group, perhaps a bit of an exaggeration, but as observations. wow, she’s not wrong either.
“Stranger Things” has become a major asset for Netflix, and the buzz and anticipation surrounding the final episodes is sure to be incredible.
In a way, though, Season 4 has played like a (very) extended preview for that, feeling too much like a big draw to come for what is hopefully the more satisfying payoff to come.
“Stranger Things” premieres the last two episodes of season 4 on July 1.