The fourth installment of “Stranger Things” has reached its end and is out there for the world to see.
Netflix set streaming records when its ultra-popular science fiction series racked up around 930 million hours worth of views in the first 28 days of the Season 4, Volume 1 premiere. Volume 2 of the season dropped on July 1, just in time for the holiday weekend in the United States. The long-awaited volume features two movie-length episodes — the first running 85 minutes, and the second about 150 minutes — that offer a new look and feel but holds the same addictive content.
Matt and Ross Duffer, twin writers, producers and directors of “Stranger Things,” have made it clear that viewers shouldn’t expect a straightforward conclusion to the season finale this time around, regardless of the change of format. While all prior seasons had major conflicts resolved and gave the Hawkins team years in between their next Upside Down-related incident, the characters will be confronted with plenty of loose ends this time around, ultimately setting the stage for a dramatic fifth and final season.
Noah Schnapp, who plays Will Byers, told viewers to expect the drama and violence to ramp up in Volume 2, or in other words, ‘streamers beware.’ Schnapp, appeared on The Jimmy Fallon Show recently and said “we got some deaths coming, some gore and a big bang.” He even confessed to posting unseen footage from said “big bang” on his Instagram page, only to quickly delete it after fans “freaked out.”
In an interview with Variety, the Duffers credited the almost three-year wait to COVID-19-and the “mega episodes” they had to shoot. Matt Duffer explained that a key factor in the seasonal split was that they were still filming the later episodes when the earlier ones dropped. When describing the circumstances behind splitting the season, Matt Duffer said “it’s kind of fun. It has kind of been like this forced experiment because of the results of the pandemic. I’m excited that we still have basically what is a massive movie to drop in July.”
The Duffers admitted that they had kept the fans waiting too long and decided to at least give fans the first seven episodes. When asked if audiences can expect another split in season five, Matt Duffer said “we’ll see how it goes, and whether we’ll do that again but a lot of it is going to be dictated by the story.”
The Duffer brothers’ vision for “Stranger Things” continues to expand with more time and funding from Netflix, and continues to set a standard for the streaming giant. The brothers continue to produce longer scripts and, in turn, longer episodes. While viewers adapt to that modality, they can expect another agonizing multi-year wait because of all of the elements that go into it.
The fifth season will be set in the early 1990s and as the show creeps closer to its conclusion, it is inevitable that some of the main cast will join the Upside Downs’ body count. Ross Duffer set the stage for that, saying “as we’re moving into end game territory with five being the last, a lot more is on the table than it has been in the past.”
For now, viewers have plenty of “Stranger Things” content to consume while that final season is ironed out. Just be prepared for that “big bang.”