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*Spoilers* Stranger Things Season 4 Discussion

Plasma

Be excellent to each other, and party on dudes! ❤️
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@thrasherpix that last bit is a really good point.

There’s a lot that isn’t really explained at this point in regards to Vecna, and with two two hour long episodes on the way July 1st, I think we’ll get a lot of answers. I do think that the therapist character was set up to be something further on, and I’d be fascinated to see what exactly comes from that. It’s noteworthy that Vecna can see other people (he sees an elderly woman thinking about her daughter putting her in a nursing home), yet constantly chooses to only go after teenagers from Hawkins High.

Could it be that she’s a leftover Flayed somehow? Or is she some acolyte of the Flayer, since Vecna is the Flayer’s “top general”? Very curious to see how this pans out, considering she has been very heavily pushed this season and the Flayer itself has been almost entirely absent (despite being the main villain and reason for Vecna’s physical transformation).
 

thrasherpix

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I've been rewatching parts, looking for bits I didn't remember that others talked about (though I can see why I overlooked it).

I also caught another detail. Eddie is wearing a DIO jacket when he jumps (dives) into the lake to enter the Upside Down. Not a coincidence, from the 80s:

 

Mr Trick

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Really enjoyable start to Vol2. I won't go into any real spoilers, but there was some good character moments and some good set up stuff for a big final battle. I popped at the Michael Myers mask scene it was a nice callback to that Halloween episode in S2:D

Also Natalia Dyer had her best ever episode. Her peformance was a real standout of episode 8. Not only in the opening scene but a certain scene later at that weapon store. I do wonder if they wrote that scene in thinking of current events?
 

WillowsFaith

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Stranger things is so good at doing callbacks and references to early seasons. This was a good season finale, and a great season. You can tell the budget was insane. Glad Lucas and Max got pushed to the front and delivered great scenes. Now if only season 5 gives will and Mike better moments. As kids they were amazing actors, but they seem to get overshadowed by the other kids.
 
Bop
Bop
Will and Mike deserve better parts in the story considering they were very important in season 1.

Hunga Munga

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Not so sure I was into the finale . Thought the writing was on the nose , the direction was ponderous and self indulgent and a bit of editing could have improved the final product .

The first part really impressed though , so it sort of evens out :) . My enthusiasm for the series remains ...but if it goes beyond 5 , I will personally descend into the Upsidedown and stab everything that squirms.
 
Bop
Bop
Season 5 is confirmed to be the final season

Plasma

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Not so sure I was into the finale . Thought the writing was on the nose , the direction was ponderous and self indulgent and a bit of editing could have improved the final product .

I agree. I think the biggest issue I noticed was Vecna’s ultimate plan.

He wants to combine the two dimensions, which is fine and all, but is killing four people seriously all that needs to happen? It felt like a really convenient number to up the stakes, and the whole “four bongs” thing felt really hokey.

Kinda got the impression that they had different ideas at the start of the season but either weren’t ready or weren’t confident with what they had.
 
Bop
Bop
They never answered why it had to be those 4 kids either, I saw a lot of theories about the counsellor maybe being associated with Vecna but that never came to pass
Mr Trick
Mr Trick
That doesn't bother me, you need some clear rules to be outlined. Such a sitution raises stakes.

Hunga Munga

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It's almost like they ran out of money in post to realize their actual vision for the ep . It felt decidedly un-Stranger Things to me . I think a bit of graphics tying the story threads to one tight tightline might have worked . The action felt 'set piecey' in the finale , like a turn based role playing game rather than a fight rooted in realism .

They could have cut the Will unrequited love , Argyle, and most the vigilante basketball team and little would change. Lots of setup ...for a marginal payoff .

Don't want to be too critical though , overall it's still a good season , just felt they fumbled the ending .
 
Bop
Bop
I was thinking that they were cost cutting when they kept going back to the school hall set from season 2 and the set from when Vecna tried to kill Max the first time

Bop

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Sineya
This is how I would rank the characters in season 4:

1. Max
2. Dustin
3. Steve
4. Eddie
5. Robin
6. Eleven
7. Erica
8. Lucas
9. Nancy
10. Joyce
11. Hopper
12. Will
13. Papa/Dr. Brenner
14. Yuri
15. Enzo
16. Murray
17. Jason
18. Vecna
19. Mike
20. Jonathan
21. Argyle
 
Plasma
Plasma
Eddie respect ❤️

Yeah Argyle kinda…sucks? I dunno. He felt pointless as a character and way too tryhard-y with the humor.
T
thrasherpix
I disliked Eddie at first, but he was one of my favorites by the end. Maybe I'll do my own list later, though it's hard for me to quantify it that precisely in numerical order.

Plasma

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@Bop They never answered why it had to be those 4 kids either, I saw a lot of theories about the counsellor maybe being associated with Vecna but that never came to pass

I have no clue to that whatsoever. Max mentions that the final attack won’t be random, since she’s been “marked” or whatever, but why didn’t Vecna just choose some random person who would have been way easier to kill?

It feels like his plan was intelligent and really well-conceived before Part 2, but after Part 2 I have no idea how this man has failed to take over the world in an afternoon. He could have killed everyone the night after he stole Eleven’s powers and won the day pretty swiftly.

I guess in the end he still won…? But it’s like he went the most convoluted route about doing it. Like if instead of playing a simple game of checkers like normal, he decided to use forgotten rules from ancient Tibetan monks that made things way harder than they should have been
 
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Bop

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Sineya
I have no clue to that whatsoever. Max mentions that the final attack won’t be random, since she’s been “marked” or whatever, but why didn’t Vecna just choose some random person who would have been way easier to kill?

It feels like his plan was intelligent and really well-conceived before Part 2, but after Part 2 I have no idea how this man has failed to take over the world in an afternoon. He could have killed everyone the night after he stole Eleven’s powers and won the day pretty swiftly.

I guess in the end he still won…? But it’s like he went the most convoluted route about doing it. Like if instead of playing a simple game of checkers like normal, he decided to use forgotten rules from ancient Tibetan monks that made things way harder than they should have been

Exactly he really wasted his time if all he needed was to kill 4 people. I think it's also a bit confusing because Max really had to bare her soul to persuade Vecna to come after her again even though she was already right there for him to take lol so it suggests that even though Max was marked Vecna didn't have to kill particular people for it to work- just any 4 people.
 

Mr Trick

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Can't agree with this negativity. The editing and pacing of those Vecna scenes was so good. The show is so good in giving everybody a role and using that to create drama between characters. The money has been very well spent this season and has given it that epic movie feel. The stakes were so high in the finale. It was really emotional, with great storytelling.

@Bop I don't think it was ever implied than Max had to be the 4th kill. Its just she volunteered to go in and draw him out. I think partly because she didn't want a random innocent to be taken.

Oh and "I piggybacked from a Pizza Dough freezer" such a great line! :D
 
Plasma
Plasma
Fair points. I think this was definitely the second best season so far! The ending just deflated a little of what worked about it for me. To each their own though!

thrasherpix

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I want to mentally digest what I saw more (and I'm debating on whether or not to recommend the series to another who normally hates scifi/fantasy).

For now, I'll say that it surprised me by making it compatible with previous seasons. (I'll say right now that as someone who has experienced mental trauma amnesia that was very specific and yet also very powerful for a time, I probably find a bit of El's partial amnesia more believable than many others do.) It ALSO answered questions I had from the previous seasons. I love it for that.

HOWEVER, it raised NEW questions. It could be answered (in theory) by the counselor. For example, maybe only those who took the pills the counselor gave them were subject to his manipulations/"curse" (while Nancy was enthralled by his power without the pills for a time, she was also in the UD which may have made her accessible to him when she was technically safe in her native world, and it could be Vecna/One didn't do more than terrify because even in the UD he was limited, but right now that's just head canon). That's part of why I'm having a hard time in figuring out how exactly to rank this season.

Though I think it will stay my favorite after the first. But given what happens to series that go on for too long in addition to the financial troubles of Netflix, I'd have really preferred that we got another movie length ep to wrap up the loose ends (and explain the new lore better) than tease us for one more season. I'm also worried about one actress in particular, but I don't want to say who or why (and by extension, how that risks a future season).
 
Mr Trick
Mr Trick
Interesting point about the pills.

Bop

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Sineya
I don't think it was ever implied than Max had to be the 4th kill. Its just she volunteered to go in and draw him out. I think partly because she didn't want a random innocent to be taken.

That's the issue though because if it did have to be Max or those kids in particular that could explain what took Vecna so long because maybe he'd have to target them specifically and serenade them. But Vecna not jumping on Max immediately when he could, and instead having to be persuaded by her, kind of proves differently. The killing of Jason's friend by Vecna was also random though.

I do think there were some dead weight characters this season so I can't completely commend the writers for making each character useful. And Vecna isn't interesting to me.

But other than that I did love this season for the storylines they gave some of the characters.
 
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Black Thorn
This is how I would rank the characters in season 4:

1. Max
2. Dustin
3. Steve
4. Eddie
5. Robin
6. Eleven
7. Erica
8. Lucas
9. Nancy
10. Joyce
11. Hopper
12. Will
13. Papa/Dr. Brenner
14. Yuri
15. Enzo
16. Murray
17. Jason
18. Vecna
19. Mike
20. Jonathan
21. Argyle

Glad Eddie is in the top 5!
 
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Mr Trick

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That's the issue though because if it did have to be Max or those kids in particular that could explain what took Vecna so long because maybe he'd have to target them specifically and serenade them. But Vecna not jumping on Max immediately when he could, and instead having to be persuaded by her, kind of proves differently. The killing of Jason's friend by Vecna was also random though.

I do think there were some dead weight characters this season so I can't completely commend the writers for making each character useful. And Vecna isn't interesting to me.

But other than that I did love this season for the storylines they gave some of the characters.

Its the point that Max puts herself on the line because they know its a way to draw Vecna out before he goes after someone else. Part of what your talking about with the delay is just TV drama, which I'm not going to complain about when its that good. But also I think the idea is than Max has held Vecna off because she's turned the music off and hasn't allowed herself to be taken in. There might also be a loophole where because Vecna went after her once then he would need a reason to take her again. Another thing which needs to be praised is them doing with mental health in the show which is one reason the Max plot has been so important.

Oh I liked Vecna as a villain and his whole backstory. Oh there was dead weight his name was Argyle :D
 
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Bop

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Its the point that Max puts herself on the line because they know its a way to draw Vecna out before he goes after someone else. Part of what your talking about with the delay is just TV drama, which I'm not going to complain about when its that good. But also I think the idea is than Max has held Vecna off because she's turned the music off and hasn't allowed herself to be taken in. There might also be a loophole where because Vecna went after her once then he would need a reason to take her again. Another thing which needs to be praised is them doing with mental health in the show which is one reason the Max plot has been so important.

Oh I liked Vecna as a villain and his whole backstory. Oh there was dead weight his name was Argyle :D

I didn't care for Vecna's backstory because they seemed to be banking on the audience being invested in the twist but I didn't feel much towards it because I don't care about Henry and I didn't care for Eleven's relationship with One either so when he was revealed as Vecna I just thought okay that works. Vecna is a cool villain in the way that he kills his victims though, he's threatening but I don't think he's interesting.
 

Bop

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Sineya
What do you guys think of the metaphor about suicide with Max?

Considering that at the start of the season Max is dealing with trauma and suicidal thoughts her scene defeating/escaping Vecna plays as a metaphor for her overcoming her mental health problems and choosing to live again. Do you think that message is undermined because Max is essentially dead and was killed by Vecna. I've seen people say they see it that way but I think it's kind of tragically true that even if someone struggling wants to overcome their suicidal thoughts sometimes it gets them anyway. It's a sensitive topic.
 

thrasherpix

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What do you guys think of the metaphor about suicide with Max?

Considering that at the start of the season Max is dealing with trauma and suicidal thoughts her scene defeating/escaping Vecna plays as a metaphor for her overcoming her mental health problems and choosing to live again. Do you think that message is undermined because Max is essentially dead and was killed by Vecna. I've seen people say they see it that way but I think it's kind of tragically true that even if someone struggling wants to overcome their suicidal thoughts sometimes it gets them anyway. It's a sensitive topic.
Since this thread is defined as spoilers, I'm not going to use spoiler tags.

Simple answer: No.

Furthermore, she's a hero who overcame her darkness to fight for others, and don't consider it suicide, even if there was a suicidal COMPONENT to her behavior at first. I'm glad it portrayed grief, survivor's guilt, and post-traumatic stress (not to be confused with clinical depression). It also doesn't strike me as some show that's designed to end with "and they lived happily ever after."
 

Bop

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Sineya
Since this thread is defined as spoilers, I'm not going to use spoiler tags.

Simple answer: No.

Furthermore, she's a hero who overcame her darkness to fight for others, and don't consider it suicide, even if there was a suicidal COMPONENT to her behavior at first. I'm glad it portrayed grief, survivor's guilt, and post-traumatic stress (not to be confused with clinical depression). It also doesn't strike me as some show that's designed to end with "and they lived happily ever after."

I forgot that I put spoilers in the title 😄 In the show Max didn't commit suicide but in the metaphor that the show set up it's the equivalent of suicide because in episode 4 it was like Vecna was a symbol for her mental illnesses and her breaking free was her overcoming her mental illness so following that logic and metaphor Max ending up being killed by Vecna is translating to Max being killed by her mental illness.
 

thrasherpix

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I forgot that I put spoilers in the title 😄 In the show Max didn't commit suicide but in the metaphor that the show set up it's the equivalent of suicide because in episode 4 it was like Vecna was a symbol for her mental illnesses and her breaking free was her overcoming her mental illness so following that logic and metaphor Max ending up being killed by Vecna is translating to Max being killed by her mental illness.
I think I see what you mean. To me, anyway, it wouldn't undermine the metaphor you described. It would instead be taking it seriously rather than trivializing it.

One could use it to say that people wrestling with such thoughts need the help of their friends rather than retreating inside themselves, and that it's a condition that should cause concern rather than others just saying, "Think positive, that's all you need." That doesn't actually work, and pretending the pain is not there is not going to make it go away just as it did not protect Max from Vecna. Neither extreme of wallowing in misery to trying to force yourself to be happy is going to be helpful, and will likely make it worse, as both are essentially running from (or giving up) on the problem so that it gets worse.

If anything undermined what I think the standard view of mental illness and reaching out is, it would be showing that the counselor was useless at best (but then I personally have no problem with that message, a lot of counselors are incompetent, and I truly believe some become such to deliberately do harm and/or exploit vulnerable people).

As for "some people," many of those (especially if they love to twitter and such) have a flow chart in their heads that is never to the show's favor, so damned if you do or don't. Because it's not really about the issue (just exploiting it for trivial ends for brief, shallow personal rewards), but that's all I want to say on that here.
 
Bop
Bop
Yeah the counsellor still feels off to me I was sure she was going to be revealed as some type of antagonist
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