'Stranger things' review: Fitting finale to the best season to date

Just about a month ago, we reviewed the first volume of Stranger Things Season 4 and we now have volume two. The first volume had seven episodes.

Published: 04th July 2022 09:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th July 2022 09:40 AM   |  A+A-

A still from ‘Stranger  Things’ Season  4 Volume 2

A still from ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 Volume 2

Express News Service

Just about a month ago, we reviewed the first volume of Stranger Things Season 4 and we now have volume two. The first volume had seven episodes. While for those unaccustomed to the ‘strange things’ that transpire in one of Netflix’s biggest shows, this might look like a big deal. But given the number of characters it features and the stakes that have exponentially increased over the previous seasons, volume two does a splendid job of tying the loose ends and even leaves you wishing there was more.

Stranger Things Season 4 Volume 2 sticks to the age-old trope of intentionally tearing up the team and reuniting them for the final shot of them staring into oblivion. But what The Duffer Brothers do with the template is make the complex plot more twisted; when the sub-plots finally converge, the final showdown makes for a splendid experience.

Another difference Volume 2 creates is how it gives ample screen space and arcs to characters that had little to do in the previous one. It is as if they had used the first volume to establish Vecna and this one is for the good guys. The series has already given career-defining roles to actors like Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, and Sadie Sink, and the way their arcs evolve in the final two episodes in regards to emotions make far more intriguing than what they were already.

Given the number of characters, without spoiling it for those who haven’t seen the episodes, not everyone walks away alive and given how many near-death encounters the gang has had, this feels inevitable and only adds to the drama. It’s not often we see younger stars steal the show when they are surrounded by talents like David Harbour and veterans like Winona Ryder and Matthew Modine.

I had mentioned in my review of Volume one about the fantastic set work, props, and costumes that bring in the 80s vibe - walkmans, Hulk Hogan t-shirts, and references galore. The CG in the limited time in ‘upside down’ is probably the best we have seen in the web-series format.

Given how the final two episodes spend considerably more time in the other world, the effects are once again on point, if not better. What sets Stranger Things apart from other high-budget magnum opuses is how despite the grand scale, there’s a lot of love and warmth the characters exude, making it grounded and relevant, and that is not something we often expect from a fantasy series on monsters. But let that not make you ignore the fact that the series has moved slowly but surely from fantasy thriller into horror territory and that is not a bad thing at all. 

Given how the first volume ends with a big reveal, the final two episodes do take their time to get back to the pace they left at. Also, as expected, Hopper and co, reach Hawkins in one piece, but we don’t know if they had gone with the original plan of using the almost-dead helicopter to reach American shores.

What happened to the fellow Russians Yuri and Antonov who came to the US with Hopper, Joyce, and Murray? We will probably get answers to them in the next season.

For now, season four has proved to be the best in the series thanks to some heart-warming moments and brilliant performances, and anchors the reason why it’s one of Netflix’s flagship shows. Given how this season has not only satisfied expectations but has also surpassed them, the Duffer Brothers have left us scratching our heads on what could possibly be happening in season five. While the stakes are only going to get higher, fans can breathe a sigh of relief given how Eleven has gotten back her powers and our favourite characters are finally together. After all, if this gang cannot defeat monsters, which one can?

Created by: The Duffer Brothers
Cast: Millie Bobby Brown, Winona Ryder, David Harbour
Streaming on: Netflix 
Rating: 4/5


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