It’s been a week since “Stranger Things: Season 4 Volume 2” came out and we still haven’t gone through all the stages of grief. While the show’s fourth season started out on a high note with all those fun horror references and the Vecna/One/Henry reveal, the last two episodes left us frustrated and angry on behalf of some of its best characters.
The Duffer brothers have announced that they’re working on a “Stranger Things” spin-off series and stage play, among other projects under the newly launched Upside Down Pictures. But, honestly, what fans want more than that is justice for characters already on the show.
RIP, Mike Wheeler. He’s not dead, he’s just a victim of character assasination. As a teenage boy, it’s fine for Mike to be a little dense about Will’s crush on him. But could he really be dense enough to ignore his best friend getting super emotional talking about how much he means to his “sister” and crying hard beside him in the car? In the first few seasons, Mike seems to have a bit of sensitivity in him and he’s the closest to Will in the friend group. Isn’t it uncharacteristic that he didn’t even ask Will if he was okay?
It was also pretty corny how his big “I love you” speech for Eleven was used to suddenly power her up enough to overcome Vecna. There are ways to show how much they still value each other aside from Mike saying sweet things to El when she’s in the Upside Down or holding her body when she’s about to pass out. Give Finn Wolfhard something to work with.
Following in Mike’s heels are Steve and Eleven whose character arcs in the previous season were made pointless. Steve moving on from Nancy? Eleven finding her own voice and style with Max? Both kaput.
4. Will Byers
As mentioned earlier, Will is down bad for Mike. It’s sad enough that he has a crush on his sister’s boyfriend, but it’s extra sad how Mike and El aren’t able to show him the same support he gives them.
Mike could have at least complimented the cool painting where Will depicted him as the protagonist. When Will tearily told Mike that he could still feel Vecna’s presence at the end of the final episode, Mike could have shown worry over how it’s affecting Will specifically. The guy needs a new BFF, TBH. Plot-wise, we can’t really call this queerbaiting. But hyping up Byler on official “Stranger Things” accounts just to end up with this? Leave Will with a bit of dignity if he can’t have a better haircut.
3. Lucas and Erica Sinclair
Here’s what happened at the Creel house: Lucas and Erica, two Black teens living in Indiana in the ’80s, were attacked by two white jocks. Erica was tackled onto the ground by a guy who threatened to break her arms if she didn’t stop trying to escape. Lucas was badly beaten up by basketball captain Jason Carver, and after that he held Max’s lifeless broken body before she got revived.
Both incidents might have been traumatic for them, but we don’t get to see them unpack that. We weren’t even given a scene where they reunite with their parents, who were very much aware that there was a witch hunt against a club their kids hung out with.
2. Max Mayfield
Max really had it rough this season. She endured a lot only to have bones still crushed and her “soul” taken because a lot of the characters just didn’t have enough sense of urgency to finish their tasks faster. If she ever does recover, she might not be able to skate anymore and living at the trailer park would be even more difficult for her and her mom.
It wouldn’t be fair to put all of the blame on her friends for not being by her side since she started pushing them away. It would’ve been nice, though, to see more empathy—other than from her ex—for the girl whose abusive brother got killed by protecting her. Now she’s in a “coma,” and El won’t even tell their friends what really happened to her.
1. Eddie Munson
Oh, Eddie, you really didn’t have to run back to the horde of flesh-eating demobats. He seems like a sensible guy who wouldn’t risk his life with no immediate reason to do so. Nobody asked him to and he didn’t know how the others were doing. In the end, it was a sacrifice he didn’t even have to make. All Eleven apparently needed was Mike’s speech and for Jim Hopper to kill a demogorgon with…a sword.
Sure, Eddie feels guilty over not being able to help Chrissy. Not that he did anything wrong—anyone would’ve run in that situation. The worst part about it is how only two people mourned him and he didn’t get to clear his name. So, here’s a toast to another lovable side character killed off for a tearjerker scene.