How Stranger Things 4 Sets Up the Series End

TThe final episode Stranger Things’ fourth season turned the whole world of the show upside-down, literally: the Upside Down has officially come to Hawkins. The series is ending with its fifth and last season, even though Netflix plans to make spinoffs.

Original creators of the series, the Duffer Brothers, stated previously that they required four to five seasons in order to complete the story. Netflix provided five. While there are few details about what the final season will entail, the end of season 4 certainly left a lot of plot threads dangling, and there’s a lot of wrapping up that needs doing. Here’s a look at how the end of season 4 could set up the events ofSeason 5.

What we know—so far—about Stranger Things season 5

Stranger Things Season 5 is still unknown. The show was officially renewed by Netflix in February. However, neither the date nor the length of the next season were revealed. It’s likely that the next season has yet to be written—Ross Duffer told Collider that the writing staff was “going to take a little vacation in July … And then we’re going to come back. I know that the writer’s room is going to start in that first week of August.” Filming will begin at some point after the scripts are written, though there’s no clue as to when that will be.

Talk to Entertainment Weekly, Duffer said that while the fifth season’s exact storyline is not yet mapped out, the team knows how the series will end. “While a lot of season 5 is actually pretty blurry, the last 30 minutes of it are pretty clear in our heads,” he said. “So if we can make the journey entertaining, I think that we have an end that will hopefully satisfy. You can’t satisfy everyone, but the hope is that it’s something that feels right for this story.”

In that same interview, Matt Duffer said the season will take place entirely in Hawkins, in contrast to the fourth season’s trips to California and the U.S.S.R., and that the cast breakdown would resemble that of season 1. “We wanna go back to a lot of the things we did in season 1,” he said. “There’s something nice about coming full circle.”

Eduardo Franco plays Argyle; Noah Schnapp portrays Will Byers; Finn Wolfhard portrays Mike Wheeler and Charlie Heaton portrays Jonathan Byers in Stranger Things’

Netflix – Courtesy

Is there a time jump? Stranger ThingsSeason 5.

Previous teasers by the Duffer Brothers suggested that there might be a time jump at the beginning of the fifth season. “I’m sure we will do a time jump,” Ross Duffer told TVLine in June. While months had passed between previous seasons, the creators were reportedly looking at a larger gap in part because the actors playing 15-year-old high schoolers are increasingly in their early 20s and don’t really look the part anymore.

The ending of Season 5 means that the possibility of a major time jump seems less probable. As Hawkins is contacted by the Upside Down, season 5 ends. It would be a mistake to skip forward a few years.

When speaking with EWMatt Duffer said the same thing in July. While previous seasons had a slower build—the start of season 4 began with Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) looking for a Dungeons & Dragons playmate and Lucas’ (Caleb McLaughlin) big basketball game—the main plot will already be in motion when season 5 starts.

“For the first time ever, we don’t wrap things up at the end of [season] 4, so it’s going to be moving,” Duffer said. “I don’t know that it’s going to be going 100 miles an hour at the start of 5, but it’s going to be moving pretty fast. Already, characters will be active. They’re already going to have a goal and a drive, and I think that’s going to carve out at least a couple hours and make this season feel really different.”

Millie Bobby Brown plays Eleven on ‘Stranger Things.

Netflix – Courtesy

Vecna, the Upside Down Invasion and Eleven will require the assistance of the gang.

The big reason why there probably won’t be a big time jump after all is also the single biggest season 4 plot development that sets up the show’s endgame in season 5. Our heroes fought valiantly, Vecna, Jamie Campbell Bower, seems to have achieved his goal to unleash the Upside Down onto the world and open the door for him to change reality in the manner he chooses.

Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), and his friends had previously fought the Upside Down secretly. When they weren’t fighting Demogorgons, they were normal high schoolers. With the exception Joyce (Winona Ryder), and Hopper (David Harbour), their parents didn’t know that their children were under severe threat from a supernatural threat. Now, though, it’s going to be hard to pretend otherwise. The Upside Down has invaded Hawkins, and that’s going to have to be dealt with out in the open.

And, for the first time, our heroes have a full understanding of just what sort of villain they’re facing. Robin (Maya Hawke), Steve and Nancy (Natalia Dyer), might have badly injured Vecna. Eleven may have been able beat him in psychic battles, but he was not destroyed. He’s still out there—and Wlil (Noah Schnapp) still has some sort of connection to him, a lingering effect of his possession by the Mind Flayer in season 2. Although Eleven may be the strongest person to stop Vecna’s plans, is that enough? Or does she have to continue learning, like Doctor Brenner (Matthew Modine), insisted prior to his death.

A fourth season had characters living in California, but one was in Soviet prison. The season’s final episode will see all main actors in Hawkins.

Max might or may not awaken from her coma

Although Eleven was able to bring Max (Sadie Sink) back to life after she died as a result of Vecna’s possession, her friend is still in bad shape. While Eleven stopped Vecna’s attempts to make Max (Sadie Sink) explode as he did with his other victims, her limbs and eyes were still bloody and mangled. Max ends the season alive, again, but she’s in the hospital and the doctors aren’t sure if she’ll ever wake up. Eleven can’t even find her when she uses her powers to reach out into Max’s mind. The final season will need to address Max’s fate, one way or another. (If possible) isn’t a time jump, don’t expect to see Max up and about even if she does wake up. Max’s arms and legs look pretty broken.

Millie Bobby Brown portrays Eleven while Matthew Modine plays Dr. Martin Brenner.

Tina Rowden—Netflix

It is possible that Eleven might be still being pursued by the military

We learned early in season 4 that there were two distinct governmental factions who have different opinions on Eleven and how they should deal with it. Doctor Owens (Paul Reiser), and Doctor Brenner are the leaders of the one who believe Eleven is the only way to stop the Upside Down. Another, led by Lt. Colonel Jack Sullivan (Sherman Augustus), believes Eleven is responsible for all the chaos. In season 4’s penultimate episode, Sullivan attacked his rivals and killed Brenner. Owens was taken prisoner. Eleven was able to flee. Now that the Upside Down has come to the real world, it remains to be seen what the army will do next—and whether or not they still view Eleven as a threat to be eliminated or an asset to use in the fight against the supernatural unknown.

Some love triangles need closure

Popular sci-fi movies and big scares are just a part of what people love. Stranger ThingsSo much. The characters and relationships that they share with one another are loved by the fans. Season 4 was a great finale, which sets the stage for some interesting interpersonal dynamics.

Joyce and Hopper have been reunited and finally kissed, so hopefully, the season will have a chance to let them just be happy, even if it’s only for a little bit. Lucas and Max have reconciled, but their future is in doubt due to Max’s injuries. Robin appears to have hit it off with her bandmate/crush Vickie (Amybeth Mcnulty), and there’s hope that Vickie might be into her, too, despite the risks of being a lesbian in 1980s Indiana.

As the last episodes progressed, Will’s plot became more clear. First, there was the moment where Will gets unexpectedly emotional after telling his longtime friend Mike that he’s the heart of their group and that Eleven needs him. Will Will still have feelings for Mike? Or is something going on elsewhere? In the final scene, Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), senses Will is struggling and decides to be a bigger brother, who will listen to him always.

Season 4 has set up some drama for Jonathan. Jonathan lived in California for months, far from Nancy Hawkins. Though the two had plans to attend Emerson College in Massachusetts together, Jonathan’s not sure he wants to put his family in debt to go, nor does he want Nancy to give up on her dreams and follow him to a community college instead. It’s a valid concern, but rather than communicate any of this to Nancy, Jonathan just lies to her and gets high instead. Meanwhile, Nancy and Steve—who she was dating back in season 1—have some seriously renewed chemistry, and they get very close to one another while battling Vecna. Steve is clearly into Nancy, but he isn’t about to directly get between her and Jonathan. Both Nancy and Jonathan don’t seem very secure in their relationships. Season 5 seems like it’s going to have a good ol’ fashioned love triangle.

Maya Hawke portrays Robin Buckley. Joe Keery portrays Steve Harrington. Priah Fergusson plays Erica Sinclair. Natalia Dyer plays Nancy Wheeler. Sadie Sink plays Max Mayfield.

Netflix – Courtesy

I’m sure some Stranger Things characters will die.

Finally, the season 4 finale doesn’t directly mark any characters for death in the fifth and final season—save perhaps for Doctor Owens, who might already be dead, and Max, who is in a state of limbo. That said, it certainly feels like there’s going to be a body count in the final season. Although Brenner and Eddie (Joseph Quinn), have died, all the main characters are still there from season 1. It seems unlikely that all our heroes will survive if the Upside Down proves to be stronger and more dangerous than it ever was going into season 5.

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