Stranger Things 4 has come and gone, but there’s still plenty to mull over and debate. Overall, I think Season 4 was the best since the first (and best) season, fixing many of the problems that Season 2 and 3 created.
That’s a rare turnaround and I’m mostly impressed. But I definitely still had issues with the way things concluded in the final two episodes, which felt less polished than the first seven, with bad pacing and lots of plot holes.
I also have an issue with both the storylines outside of Hawkins. I’ll write about these in two other posts, but the short version is that the Russian plot was too ludicrous and went on for much too long, and the California story really wasted several of the core characters.
I’d say that Will, Mike and Jonathan were terribly underutilized in Stranger Things 4, and that’s a real shame given how important Will and Mike are to the overall story. Will’s weepy schtick felt forced, and the show’s insistence on baiting viewers with the “Is he gay?” question (but never answering it) was irritating.
This is especially unfortunate because Season 3 also dropped the ball with Will and Mike. Will felt left out by all his girl-obsessed friends and Mike spent the entire season snogging Eleven.
I have high hopes that Season 5 will turn things around, however, and a recent Instagram post from Will actor Noah Schapp makes me think that his character will play a much more central role.
Schnapp posted the below fan poster to his Instagram story. It shows Will in the clutches of Vecna, a trickle of blood under his right nostril. The words “Hawkins Will Fall” sit beneath Stranger Things 5. It’s really a great poster, evocative and ominous.
The artist behind the poster is Axel Almirón who has some other cool artwork on his Instagram page.
Of course, Schnapp may have reposted this simply because he thought it was cool artwork that he’s featured in, but I like the idea that it’s a hint for fans that Will and Vecna/One have unfinished business. Since we know now that Vecna was behind all the events in Hawkins, that means he was the one who sent the Demogorgon to take Will—meaning that Will was the first to escape his clutches.
If the story is to come full circle, back to its original victim of the Upside Down, than Will needs to play a much larger, more integral role in Season 5. Here’s to hoping that’s the case.