ATTENTION: spoilers for Stranger Things 4, part 1
The 4th season of “Very Strange Cases” turned out to be one of the most popular in the series, but if the 5th season is successful, the Netflix series needs to solve the problem of death. Since its inception in 2016, “Very Strange Things” has dominated popular culture thanks to its nostalgic sensuality and charming cast. Season 4 was no exception: it repeatedly used Kate Bush’s 1985 song “Running Up That Hill”, which was enough to revive the artist all over the world: the track took first place in the charts and became one of the most popular Spotify tracks. -streaming songs.
Before the fifth and final season of the show, the 4th season of “Very Strange Things” was divided into two chapters: the first seven episodes were released immediately, and the last two full-length episodes were released more than a month later. The ending of Season 4, Part 1, was the culmination for a number of Hawkins residents. Since Nancy was stuck in the Upside Down, and the “friendly porter” of Eleven turned out to be number one/Forever, the last two episodes promise to be one of the best in the series.
However, despite the apparent success of “Very Strange Cases,” the season 4 finale will have to solve the show’s biggest problem if it wants its final season to work. This problem is rooted in how the series dealt with the deaths at the end of the season, primarily in the fact that it constantly avoided them for its main cast. With this trend defining the central group as untouchable, there was no sense of danger in the previous finales, as viewers used to expect the almost guaranteed safety of the characters. A well-written and meaningful death in “Very Strange Cases 4, Part 2” will ideally raise the stakes for the final season of the show, creating a genuine threat level at which no one will be truly safe.
There is no danger in the endings of “Very strange Cases”
Despite all the horror scenes of the show and convincing villains, there is always no danger in the finales of “Very Strange Cases”. This is the result of the series’ unwillingness to put its main characters in a situation where they risk dying, instead of replacing the victim with a minor character in the place of someone who will leave a stronger influence. This was the case with Bob in the second season and Billy in the third season, both characters undoubtedly had a lasting impact on the respective seasons, but were sufficiently removed from the central group to ensure their death without serious emotional consequences for the viewer.
This was confirmed by the season 3 finale with Hopper’s fake death. When Hopper was locked inside an exploding Russian reactor, “Very Strange Cases” had the opportunity to show that its main characters were in danger and could indeed be killed. Unable to end the season on such a gloomy note, the series finale revealed that Hopper was still alive, which once again confirmed the main problem of the series. Because viewers are safe in the knowledge that no important people die in “Very Strange Cases,” the series has created an unfortunate precedent in which there is no genuine sense of danger in the finales, no matter how high the stakes.
Season 4, Part 2, Could Change That
The ending of the 4th season of “Very Strange Things”, part 1, left the show a chance to move away from this trend. It still seems unlikely that Mike, Dustin, Lucas, Will or Eleven will be the first main characters to leave the series forever, but the thrilling ending of the first part left many characters in a suitable position to become the first major death in the series. Attacked by Vecna’s bats upon first entering the Underside, Steve suffered several serious wounds, and his blood loss could prove fatal if left untreated. Like the unexpected deaths of the “Walking Dead” characters, previous seasons have turned Steve into a clear fan favorite, making his death one of the ways to add a real sense of danger to the last season.
An alternative way would be to see Max as the first protagonist of “Very Strange Cases”, who was officially killed. As the star of one of the episodes of the fourth season with the highest rating “Dear Billy”, Max is another character to whom fans are clearly attached. Max’s previous interactions with Vecna have put her in a position where she understands the main villain of “Very Strange Affairs” better than any other central cast, potentially indicating a step toward the ultimate sacrifice in the season finale.
At the same time, several characters appeared in season 4 who seem to accept the usual choice for death at the end of the “Very Strange Things” season. As with Bob and Billy in previous seasons, in season 4, both Robin and Murray became close to Hawkins’ inner circle, the former with Steve and Nancy, and the latter with Joyce.