Stranger Things season 4 ended earlier this month, with an epic two-part finale. While one may have some reservations about season 4 in its entirety – the epic scale and finesse of the finale remains undeniable. With his true origins revealed, the threat of Vecna and the Upside Down was ready to engulf Hawkins, Eleven and her crew at the start of the finale. With Hopper on the other side of the world, Eleven without her powers and Nancy trapped with Vecna in the Upside-Down, the Hawkins crew had a lot to deal with, including the possible end of the world. Here are the 5 best moments from Stranger Things Season 4.
This one is the most obvious as a crowd favourite. As a set-up, it sounds ridiculous – Dustin and Eddie distracting a legion of Bat Monsters in the Upside Down with Metallica on guitars. However, this is peak Duffer Brothers. They use their love for music and their grand cinematic vision to deliver with what is arguably the most epic scene in Season 4, if not the entire series. This scene is what makes Stranger Things so good, in a nutshell.
Season 4 gave us the first fight between Vecna (Number One) and Eleven – and showed us how he was created. In the finale, we find him precariously close to achieving his objective, as he is about to 'devour' Max and open the gates to the Upside Down in Hawkins. Until of course, a last moment rescue by Eleven. The fight that ensues is kinetic, high stakes and surprisingly engaging for what is basically people doing 'hand wavy things'.
It's hard to pinpoint at exactly moment Kate Bush's 'Running up That Hill' transcended its status as an 80's New Wave pop song to an epic Gen Z anthem. Was it when the Hawkins crew put the earphones on Max to bring her back home? Or was it when Hopper charged at the Demogorgon, sword in hand, and the subtitles said "[epic synth arrangement of Running up that Hill playing]"? Whatever that moment was, it doesn't matter. To quote Jake Peralata from Brooklyn 99, listening to Running up that Hill is forever going to be [Literal chills].
Season 4 of Stranger Things truly kicks off in this moment – with the gruesome, painful and ultimately sad death of Chrissy as she seeks help from Eddie Munson to deal with her mental health issues. The sequence establishes the stakes, gives us a glimpse of Vecna's true powers and honestly, even from a body horror point of view, pushes the boundaries quite hard in terms of the shows' ratings and genre.
I know this may seem like an outlier, but I have forever been a fan of "casual villain deaths", those without grandstanding or any focused comeuppance. Death is just death; at best a small insignificant moment of karma, if you will. Season 4 focuses on Vecna as the core villain, leaving little room for other side villians to truly shine. Between the Russians and the US Army Generals, Jason stands out as the grieving, but unreasonable jock. He's given pivotal moments to be truly threatening and derail well-laid-out plans. Therefore, when he is casually split in two, after the Upside Down opens underneath him, as he is lying there knocked out by Lucas, I couldn't help but smile. It's an unglorified, casual and a 'blink-and-you-miss it' moment. It stands out as one of my favourite moments in Season 4.