Courtesy of Netflix Studios
Stranger Things 4 Volume I was the best the show has ever been. After a month long break, Volume II has been finally released. Volume II only consists of two episodes but those two episodes fee like movies. The runtime for episode 8 was 1 hour and 40 minutes. The runtime for episode 9 was 2 hours and 20 minutes. The whole season has felt like one long movie. The story has been great, the cinematography is breathtaking, the CGI is incredible, and the acting is great. With the success of Volume I, does Volume II live up to the hype? Let's break it down.
Volume II continues immediately from the end of Volume I. Nancy is stuck in the Upside Down and now knows Vecna is Henry Creel. Fortunately for Nancy, Vecna spares her life. Vecna tells Nancy to tell Eleven everything she has seen. Vecna doesn't know that Eleven has seen her memories and knows he's 001 and Henry Creel. Eleven is still stuck in the facility in Nevada. After seeing her memory with 001, Eleven has regained her full powers. Eleven demands to go back to Hawkins to help her friends. Dr. Owens is on board with the idea, but Brenner has different plans. He says she needs to stay here because 001 is too powerful. Owens fights for Eleven to help her leave and tells Brenner it should be her decision. Eleven desperately wants to leave and a plan is in motion to leave that night.
As Eleven leaves, Brenner injects her with something that immediately knocks her out. Brenner also has Owens locked up by his guards. As this is all happening, Agent Wallace and his men approach the facility looking to capture Eleven. They enter the facility killing everyone in sight. Brenner sees this and tries to escape with Eleven. As they leave the facility, they are surrounded by a military helicopter. The helicopter shoots Brenner multiple times. Eleven finally wakes up and uses her regained powers to destroy the helicopter and the facility. Eleven realizes Papa is dying and has an emotional moment. Eleven is finally ready to move on. Eleven sees the Surfer Boy Pizza van with Mike, Will, Jonathan, and Argyle. Mike and Eleven have an emotional reunion and realize they need to get to Hawkins.
Hopper, Joyce, Murray, Enzo, and Yuri are still in the Russian prison. They hatch a plan to escape using an underground system. They escape the prison and arrive at the same church Hopper was at in Volume I. They find Yuri's helicopter which will take them to America. The problem is the helicopter is not working. Joyce and Hopper realize they need to go back to the prison because parts of the Mindflayer are there. They have to destroy these parts to help Eleven. Enzo stays behind to make sure Yuri is actually fixing the helicopter.
Dustin, Max, Lucas, Erica, Steve, Nancy, Robin, and Eddie devise a plan to kill Vecna. They will use Max as bait. They split up into three groups. The groups are: Max, Lucas, and Erica, Steve, Nancy, and Robin, Dustin and Eddie. Each group has a job they need to perform.
Eleven realizes she doesn't have to be in Hawkins to help. She realizes she can go into Max's mind to fight Vecna. They stop at another Surfer Boy Pizza shop because there will be enough salt there to fill the tub. While they are setting up, Will and Jonathan have an emotional talk. Jonathan tells Will he loves him no matter what sensing that Will is probably gay. Will says he is there for Jonathan as well and they have an emotional hug.
Hopper, Joyce, and Murray go back to the Russian prison. They realize the other demogorgons have escaped. Hopper summons them into the courtyard by firing his gun. The demogorgons meet Hopper in the courtyard when Murray uses a flamethrower to kill them. Murray was a badass this season. Hopper realizes there is one demogorgon still alive. He uses a sword to cut off its hands, legs, and head. Yuri arrives with the helicopter with the plan to go back to Hawkins.
Max is summoned by Vecna again. This time he is showing some happy memories to Max. Each phase of their plan is being completed. Eddie performs an epic solo of Metallica's "Master of Puppets" to draw the demibats to him and Dustin. Eddie rocking that solo was one of the best scenes of Volume II. Eddie and Dustin go back to the gate to get out of the Upside Down but Eddie realizes he needs to create more time for his friends. He stays in the Upside Down while Dustin is begging him to come with him. This results in the death of Eddie Munson from the demibats. Eddie and Dustin have an emotional goodbye. Eddie tells Dustin he didn't run away this time. This is one of the two emotional scenes from Volume II that was well acted and made you want to cry. Joseph Quinn and Gaten Matarazzo did a fantastic job in this scene. But that's not the only emotional scene that was well acted.
Vecna seems to have Max under his control again when suddenly Eleven appears to help.
Eleven fights off Vecna but is still struggling against him. Vecna gains the upper hand on both Max and Eleven. This leads to Vecna snapping Max's legs, arms, and eyes. Lucas is distraught by what is happening to Max. Lucas begs Erica to get help. Max and Lucas have an emotional scene with some of the best acting in the series. Vecna seems to kill Max and opens the 4th gate. This sends a ripple effect into Hawkins that creates mass destruction. The Upside Down is officially a part of Hawkins now.
Eleven vows to keep Max alive. She uses her powers to bring Max back from the dead. Two days have passed and Hawkins is a mess. The California crew arrives in Hawkins and reunites with their loved ones. There's more reunions as Joyce reunites with Will, Jonathan, and Eleven. Hopper also reunites with Eleven and Mike. They visit Max in the hospital. She is alive but is in a coma. At Hopper's cabin, Will feels the presence of Vecna. They look up and see the sky turning into a dark color. They see particles from the Upside Down floating into Hawkins. They realize the Upside Down is in Hawkins and that is the end of Volume II.
Stranger Things 4 was the best season of the show. This season was the scariest, funniest, best acted, best story, and best looking season of the series. This show can make you laugh and cry in a matter of 10 minutes. Some things were just okay. There would have been more of a impact in the show if both Eddie and Max died. I believe that would have solidified Vecna as a dude you don't want to mess with. Vecna is still the best villain in the series. He is cold and calculating. He feeds on his victim's trauma to lure them into his world. He seems like he can't be killed normally either. Steve, Nancy, and Robin burned him alive and shot him and he still didn't die. It reminded me of Michael Myers in Halloween Kills. The ending of this season seems to set up that there is only one way the Upside Down can be destroyed. Will might have to sacrifice himself for the greater good. Of course, there will be plenty of theories of how the show will end from now to the release of Season 5. But with the success of Stranger Things 4, the show keeps solidifying itself as one of the best shows on television today.
What are your thoughts on Stranger Things 4 Volume II? Leave it in the comments below.