Why couldn’t Mike say “I love you” at eleven?

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Warning: contains SPOILERS for “Very Strange Cases 4, Volume 1”.

In the fourth season of Very Strange Things, Mike struggled to say “I love you” to Eleven, but why? “Very Strange Cases 4” divided the Hawkins team around the world: Joyce took her children to California to start a new life, Hopper was stuck in a Russian prison, and the rest of the group stayed in Hawkins. The action of the last season of “Very Strange Things” takes place during spring break, when Mike is going to visit the Byers family in California.

Although Mike’s arrival has been greeted with great enthusiasm, there is also an underlying tension between Mike and the Eleven. It turns out that Eleven lied to Mike about how wonderful her life was in California, a lie that was dispelled as soon as Al’s bullies show up at the rink where they just arrived. Although the couple keeps in touch by texting each other, it is clear that the distance between them prevents them from being honest with each other. Eleven feels she has to lie to Mike to keep up appearances-one of the reasons some suggest Eleven should break up with Mike—and Mike has had a hard time expressing his feelings for her.

Related: Stranger Things 4 Fixes The Biggest Villain Issues in Season 3

Long-distance relationships can be difficult, especially for two teenagers who have been through difficulties and are used to spending so much time together. Although Mike’s actions in previous seasons of “Very Strange Cases” always indicated how much he cares about Eleven—he almost gave his life to protect her in the first season, he called her every day on the radio for a year in the second season—he always had more. having trouble telling Al exactly how he feels, instead usually showing it with his actions. Maybe that’s why Mike couldn’t say “I love you” to Eleven, despite the couple’s connection. It’s also often said that children learn by example, which explains why Mike can’t express his feelings directly when his own parents have set such a bad precedent.

Ted and Karen Wheeler may have a loveless marriage. Nancy even comments on this in the first season of “Very Strange Things” when talking to Jonathan, saying that her parents’ relationship was an easy and expected path for them. For four seasons, Ted and Karen show almost no affection for each other, and Ted often criticizes his wife and humiliates her for no reason. It was bad enough for Karen to briefly think about romance in the third season of “Very Strange Things.” Although Karen especially loves her children—Ted is a little more ambivalent in this regard — their love for each other does not seem to exist. Nancy was influenced by this example in the past as Nancy continued the relationship with Steve because it was easy to do, but Mike, although he was in a loving relationship all the time, never saw the couple talking to each other. the other is how they really feel. He is a child with a lot of emotions that he has never learned to express in words or say something as vulnerable as “I love you”, and therefore instead expresses his feelings with actions.

The difference between Eleven and Mike is obvious. Although Eleven grew up in a violent environment without any examples of true love, this only increased her desire for affection and love and an equal desire to give them in return. Mike, on the other hand, experienced the love of his parents, friends, brothers and sisters as a child. His problem is not that he can’t love, but that he doesn’t understand how important it is for some people to hear this statement, especially for someone with a story like Eleven. If his parents are still together after all these years, despite the fact that they’ve never really expressed their affection for each other, it makes sense that Mike doesn’t realize how much his inability to tell Eleven that he loves her hurts her feelings, and that it could hurt her feelings. be normal and healthy.

Saying “I love you” for the first time is a big deal, especially for a teenager who has never had a really healthy relationship to look up to. Mike’s parents don’t set the most loving example to him and his siblings. Let’s hope that when Mike and the Byers brothers manage to find Eleven and save her in the story of the 4th volume of the 2nd volume of the 4th season of “Very Strange Things”, he will finally be able to say the words she so longs to hear.