10 Times Stranger Things 4 Proved It Is The Best Season So Far

Before Stranger Things 4 dropped on Netflix, series creators the Duffer Brothers, along with the cast, promised that Season 4 would be full of more high stakes, heartbreaking moments, and nail-biting situations than ever before — and they delivered.

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With Vol. 2 being released on July 1, 2022 Season 4 cemented itself as Stranger Things’ darkest, scariest, and, in many ways, most harrowing season yet. While fans have their loyalties to the original season and enjoyed the Halloween vibes of Season 2 and the summertime aesthetic of Season 3, the fourth season of Stranger Things proved many times that it may just be the best of the brilliant bunch.

This article contains spoilers for Stranger Things 4 Vol. 2.

10 The Story Was Bigger Than Ever

In previous seasons of Stranger Things, Hawkins, Indiana has proven to be the hub of strange occurrences, the gateway to the Upside Down, and where the majority of the show’s narrative takes place. While this is still true in Season 4, the story extends out of Hawkins to California and as far as Russia.

Not only did this change of setting make Stranger Things feel so much grander, but it also told audiences that, no matter where they go in the world, the characters are not safe. With the way Season 4 ended, it appears that Upside Down is about to become a huge problem for more people than just the beloved main characters.

9 Joyce & Hopper Finally Had Their Moment

A romance between Joyce Byers and Hopper was brewing under the surface since the beginning of Stranger Things until, in Season 3, the two agreed to go on a date after they saved the world. However, with Hopper sacrificing himself in the Battle of Starcourt, they were separated.

Meeting again when Joyce tracked Hopper down in Russia, the two couldn’t stay apart any longer and finally kiss, following their escape from the Russian prison. Unfortunately, the duo can’t bask at the moment for long and have to break back into the prison to take down the Demogorgon.

8 The Show Began Exploring Robin & Will’s Sexualities

With Robin’s coming out scene in Season 3 meaning so much to fans, it was nice to see her be openly attracted to another girl and supported in this attraction by Steve. Although Robin and Vickie, the girl she pines after during Season 4, don’t have a lot of screen time, the season finale saw the two have a genuine conversation and left it open to explore their dynamic going into the final season.

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Similarly, while some fans were disappointed that Will didn’t have an explicit coming out scene, the implication in his heartwarming scene with Jonathan was that the two boys understood and loved each other no matter what.

7 The Season Set Up For An Epic Finale

In previous seasons of Stranger Things, the final episode of the season brought a sense of calm and a new equilibrium where, despite the traumatic events of the season, everyone is back in a safe place. However, in Season 4, the final episode proves that the harrowing events of the season were just the beginning of the ensemble’s biggest fight ever.

The finale of Season 4 of Stranger Things saw Hawkin’s crumbling, Vecna’s imminent return, and Max fighting for her life in the hospital. It is safe to say that the characters will have to tackle horrors they have never faced before in the next season.

6 The Stakes Were Higher Than Ever

Four seasons into Stranger Things, the main characters are more beloved than ever before. Therefore, seeing them in danger has been incredibly hard for audiences to watch. From the moment it became clear that Max was cursed, the stakes have been higher and more personal to the characters than before.

Similarly, the villain’s vendetta against Eleven was clearer and described in more detail than in previous seasons. Putting the characters in more personal danger than ever while also showing that the Upside Down is about to affect the entire world had audiences on the edge of their seats all season.

5 Vecna Is The Best Villain So Far

The Demogorgons, Demodogs, and The Mindflayer have been brilliant villains in previous seasons of Stranger Things. Not only were they visually stunning, but they posed a real threat and were deeply connected to the main characters.

However, introducing Vecna, and his background, provided so many answers as to why Hawkins has been terrorized by creatures from the parallel dimension. Vecna was explored in great detail, with his motivations clear and his character fleshed out. Giving Vecna a personal connection to Eleven explained so much about the events of previous seasons.

4 Eleven & Hopper Reunited

One of the best relationships in Stranger Things that has developed throughout the seasons is between Eleven and Hopper. Hopper became a father figure to Eleven, who never had a real family, and the two developed a strong bond.

Seeing Eleven grieving her father months after his “death” and being mocked by bullies at school was a heartbreaking thing for fans to see. However, their reunion almost made it all worth it. The heartfelt moment and Eleven telling Hopper, “I kept the door open three inches,” something he always told her in Season 3, was one of the best scenes in the entire series.

3 The Older Teens’ Dynamic Was Brilliant

In every season of Stranger Things, the gang finds themselves in different groups, dealing with their missions to help the overall situation in Hawkins. In Season 4, fans loved the dynamic between Nancy Wheeler, Robin Buckley, Steve Harrington, and Eddie Munson, the older teens in the Hawkins storyline.

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Nancy and Steve were brought back together, with the two getting to see how much they have grown as people. Eddie Munson brought his outlandish personality to the group. Robin got to befriend people other than Steve, forming a great relationship with Nancy and giving her her first female friend since Barb’s death.

2 The New Characters Were The Best Yet

Stranger Things has introduced minor and major characters to the ensemble each season. While Max and Robin, introduced in Seasons 2 and 3, have joined the main cast, the likes of Barb, Bob, and Alexei stayed just one season.

Season 4 introduced audiences to characters Argyle, Eddie Munson, and Chrissy Cunnigham who, despite their fates, have all become beloved by viewers. More than ever, the new additions to the cast have been enjoyable to watch and have given Stranger Things some more huge personalities to explore. Season 4’s characters have proven themselves relatable and easily loveable to fans.

1 The Scene Everyone Has Been Talking About

Propelling Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” to the top of the charts, Max’s initial escape from Vecna is one of the most memorable scenes in television from recent years. It will surely be remembered as an iconic moment in Stranger Things.

Led by Sadie Sink’s incredible performance, the scene brings together all the best parts of Stranger Things,suspense, terror, a brilliant villain, a beloved character, and a great soundtrack. This scene proved just how high the stakes are for the main characters this season.

NEXT: 10 Worst Episodes Of Stranger Things, Ranked According To IMDb

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