Calling All “Stranger Things” Fans!


Hey Crusaders! In case you haven’t heard, I have some amazing news for everyone waiting to journey back into the upside down. We’ve been on the edge of our seats since we finished the final episode of Stranger Things Season 3 in the summer of 2019, which left us with so many questions, like “what happened to El’s powers?” and “how will Hopper weasel his way out of the Russian camp?” Thankfully, the wait is finally over! The Duffer Brothers officially announced the release dates of the fourth season, and I can’t wait to see it!

You may be wondering why I used the word ‘dates’, and I’m happy to report that Stranger Things Season 4 will have nine episodes as opposed to eight, as seen in previous seasons. Because of this, there will be two installments of episodes. The first half of the season will be released on May 27th, 2022 and the second half of the season will be released on July 1st, 2022! Many streaming platforms have been airing episodes of fan-favorites in installments or on a weekly/biweekly basis in order to keep audiences engaged, which might explain the reason for the split. Disney+, for example, has had fantastic viewer retention using this method, as seen in the successes of shows like Boba Fett and Hawkeye

So, why has it taken so long for the fourth season to be released? Well, there are a number of reasons, mostly centered around the pandemic. The production of the season was halted at the height of the pandemic in 2020. When they resumed filming in September that year, protocols used to prevent the spread of COVID-19 impeded the progress. Originally, it was planned that this season would take longer to produce, as it’ll be much darker and complex than its predecessors. However, this two year delay was unforeseen. In 2021, the Duffer Brothers hinted at a possible winter release date as a holiday gift to the fans, but this was never concretely established. With all this time on our hands, many fans developed theories about the plotline of the fourth season. For example, some wonder if our favorite baby-sitter, Steve Harrington, will be offed in this season, as his character arc has reached its peak and may not serve a purpose after this installment (I really hope this isn’t the case, he’s one of my favorites.) Once the cast list was released, acquainting us with some new faces we’ll see in the coming episodes, these theories tripled in number. Additionally, trailers fueled the flames as time went on, one of which centered on a grappled El coming face to face with the nefarious Dr. Brenner, who had long been presumed dead. 

Something that contributed to the popularity of Stranger Things was that many of its viewers, like myself, aged with the cast during the first three seasons, which helped us relate to the characters and feel as though they were real people. This phenomenon is seen with the fans of some other franchises, such as Harry Potter; these stories grew beloved as their fans grew up with their favorite characters. Due to the delay of Season 4, there will be an age gap between the actors and their characters, which might take away part of the magic. They have grown and flourished in different ways, but are no longer the kids they once were. Finn Wolfhard, who plays Mike Wheeler, has gone on tours in the past two years, producing his own music. Millie Bobby Brown, actress behind Eleven, has expanded her repertoire with roles in Enola Holmes and Godzilla v. Kong. Similarly, Sadie Sink, known to us as Max, has gone on to work with the Fear Street franchise and can be seen in the music video of Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well.” We are interested to see if and how these developments affect the way that the cast portrays our favorite demogorgon-hunting, mind flayer-exploding, bike-riding teens. 

I can’t wait to experience the new season of Stranger Things, and hope you enjoy it as much as I know I will. There will be a bittersweet ending to this season, however, as the Duffer Brothers have announced that the confirmed fifth season will be the show’s final installment. In fact, Season 4’s tagline has been “Every Ending Has A Beginning”, seen on each of the four main posters. For now, though, let’s enjoy what we can.


See you in Hawkins!