We're blown away by Netflix's latest and expensive Stranger Things season.
It's always a bit tricky to rate series that have yet to finish, hence our scoring on the first volume (here), but now the end has finally come: the second volume of the fourth season of Stranger Things recently landed on Netflix and it's every bit as spectacular as you'd expect. The first volume, as we said, was already impressive with its feature-length budget and strong 80s flare, but the two-hour finale only seals the fact that season four is an equally brilliant and ambitious comeback after two long years.
Most of it has already been said in our last review: the story is fantastic and the characters are more charming than ever, with the last two episodes able to provide a fitting, rounded off conclusion. Moreover, now that the story is complete and you can watch the season in its entirety, we've taken a greater liking to the little things that annoyed us a bit in the first volume. Sure, we can still feel that the story threads in Russia have mostly dulled a season that has already consisted of feature-length episodes. The same went for the Californian detour, which didn't seem to have much effect on the main plot. At the same time, it's actually exciting to see how everything comes together once the final battle against Vecna begins - a mental Stephen King-inspired battle from different dimensions that starts with Metallica's Master of Puppets and ends with a bloodbath.
Watching the finale is like seeing the last domino fall and we think the balance between comedy and horror works much better here, where everything is brought to a head and brings all the youthful emotions together. Not only is the season finale nicely put together, the show's creators also manage to tie together threads from previous seasons and viewers also get answers to some Stranger Things mysteries. Season 4 has proven to be a powerhouse in which the characters' reunion is not without consequences: without spoiling too much, the fourth season is not the end of Strangers Things, even if much of the season perhaps pointed to a grand finale.
In fact, a fifth season is in the works, which the Duffer brothers believe will be the final chapter of this remarkable saga, and this feels like the strongest reason yet to keep your Netflix subscription for a little while longer. The question is how long you'll have to wait for new episodes, but if it's at least as passionate, thoughtful, energetic and purposeful as this season has been, we don't mind if it takes a little while to come together. Stranger Things Season 4 is, taken as a whole, one of the best TV experiences of the year.