I’ve just finished watching Season 4 of Stranger Things, and oh boy was it something else.
It’s the best season we’ve had in years, and all the moving pieces come together to create some truly masterful television. How would I rank all nine episodes? Warning – there will be SPOILERS ahead.
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9 – Chapter Two: Vecna’s Curse
Season 4 gets off to a slow start, more so than usual for a methodical show like this, and “Vecna’s Curse” was where I felt it drag the most.
Seeing Vecna again was cool, but it’s nothing we haven’t experienced already in Chapter One. Add to that the terrible bullying scene and you get easily the worst episode of the season.
8 – Chapter One: The Hellfire Club
A decent start to the show, but “The Hellfire Club” hardly did anything to blow my socks off.
The new characters are introduced fairly well, the threat of Vecna is established brilliantly, and the final scene where Chrissy gets horribly mutilated was one of the biggest shocks of the season.
7 – Chapter Three: The Monster and the Superhero
“The Monster and the Superhero” continues Season 4’s slow start, but this is where I felt like we were finally getting somewhere.
The pieces start to come together a little better, and the ending where Vecna called to Max indicated that the next episode was going to be a wild ride.
6 – Chapter Five: The Nina Project
A bit of a cool-down after the crazy events of Chapter Four, but I really liked how “The Nina Project” set up the Henry / One chapter of Eleven’s life.
It’s fascinating to see Dr. Brenner’s experiments and tests in full flow, and the rest of the plot lines elevate the tension too.
5 – Chapter Six: The Dive
Jason leading the mob against the Hellfire Club is a bit of a stretch, but it does lead to some fantastic interactions and moments.
The ending where everyone is dragged to the Upside-Down set up the Volume One finale brilliantly, and another Vecna kill was always welcome.
4 – Chapter Eight: Papa
Volume Two came back with a bang, and the final scenes of the Nina Project getting ransacked by the government was some of the heaviest action all season.
The Hawkins plot starts to come together as well, and while we haven’t reached the good bit just yet it’s a perfect setup to the finale.
3 – Chapter Nine: The Piggyback
“The Piggyback” was an amazing finale with some incredible visuals, and if it wasn’t for a few minor gripes it could have been top of the season.
Some of the dialogue was a bit cringey, and Eddie’s death / Max’s fake-out don’t sit right with me. Eddie’s demise felt wholly unnecessary, and Max’s story was at a natural conclusion yet they weren’t brave enough to kill her off. Despite the episode’s flaws, I’m hyped for the final season.
2 – Chapter Four: Dear Billy
I had a tough time picking my favourite out of the top two, but there was no doubt in my mind that these were two of the best episodes of television I’ve seen in a long while.
Sadie Sink absolutely kills her role as Max in “Dear Billy”, and the final scene of her escaping Vecna is probably the best scene of the season. I’m not surprised “Running Up That Hill” has seen a resurgence after this.
1 – Chapter Seven: The Massacre at Hawkins Lab
There are so many moving parts in “The Massacre at Hawkins Lab”, with a trio of twists that blew my mind – the Henry / One / Vecna reveal is a legendary moment that I’ll remember forever.
Jamie Campbell Bower gave one of the best acting performances I’ve ever seen, and the titular massacre was harrowing. Add to that the best Demogorgon scene we’ve ever had, and you’ve got one of the greatest Stranger Things episodes ever.
Season Rating: A-
This is easily my favourite season of the show since the very first – if it wasn’t for that snail-paced start, this could have surpassed it and been one of my favourite seasons of ANY television show.
Aaand that’s my list! You can check out some of my latest blog posts below:
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