Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 came for our throats with family feels, honest moments full of love, and incredible story building we can’t stop thinking about. Were the two episodes a bit long? Absolutely. But were they worth it? Without a doubt. Every moment over 4 seasons has come to this point and I’m happy to be on this incredible journey of a young superpowered woman and the family that has grown around her.
The Good Family Feels
No matter where you turned when it comes to Stranger Things season 4 volume 2, the family feels were there. Some were obvious like Eleven and Hopper or Steve and Robin. But there were some that really surprised me and showed how well this show does at creating new units or emphasizing ones already there. I’m talking about Dustin and Eddie’s brother bonding moments or Max and Dustin finding their way back to each other. Each was proof that love is the strongest weapon of all.
Steve and his found family feels got me in particular, which isn’t surprising because I’m a Steve girl. And I’m not just talking about Steve and Nancy. That’s too obvious even though I loved how open he was about who he sees his future with. I’m talking about the way he looked at Dustin and then at Eddie as if to say, “You protect my little brother.” And especially how he looked at Robin when she was afraid things would go south. He’s grown, changed so much, and found a family with this Party.
The same thing goes for Eleven or maybe, especially for Eleven. Season 4 saw her pulled away from her family and trying to figure things out by herself. And she did find herself and where she stands in this world alone. But she knows she doesn’t have to do this alone. She has a family. And they will never leave her in the same way that she will never leave them, no matter what Vecna throws her way. That’s strength, resilience, and the power of good writing on Stranger Things.
The Bad(ass) Women
Coming into Stranger Things season 4 volume 2, I already knew that women were going to get shit done. They’ve always managed to save the day and the lead is a superpowered young woman. It was basically a given that Joyce, Robin, Nancy, Max, and Erica were going to bring their A-game and come for Vecna and everything he’s got. But I didn’t expect how hard these women came for Vecna to save their family, the town of Hawkins, and the world.
Eleven in particular really went through the hardest journey on Stranger Things. Stripped away from everything she had built for herself, she uncovered truths about herself and drew a line in the sand regarding her Papa. And even when she couldn’t reach her friends physically, she found a way to be there telepathically. Because she cares and she knows that she is loved; a stark contrast to the brave and scared young woman we met in season 1.
Then there’s Nancy. Girl. Mad respect. I personally thought nothing of you in previous seasons, thinking I had you pegged. Oh, how wrong I was and season 4 volume 2 proved that. You are a singular talent who will plan, work hard, and come together with your loved ones to do what must be done. And by the end of this second volume I was screaming at my TV, “YOU BETTER NOT KILL NANCY! OR WE WILL HAVE PROBLEMS!” Her baddie growing relationship with Robin is a plus too.
I can’t do a badass women section for Stranger Things without talking about Max. She…is a singular character who has burrowed herself into my heart with her honesty and pain. Seeing her take those steps forward into the darkness was hard. But her bravery shined from the very first second we saw her to the very last. And even though she’s not in her body, I don’t think she’s completely gone. She’s out there, fighting for her family. And I can’t wait until she comes back swinging.
Ultimately, Stranger Things did a phenomenal job at making me fall harder for these women and the paths they have taken. I’m proud of Robin for stepping it up, even when she was scared to lose the ones she loved. I’m over the moon that Joyce fought for Hopper and the future they can have together. And I love that Erica didn’t let a hateful young man stop her from kicking his ass and fighting to get to her brother. These are the stories we want to see more of. And I can’t wait for season 5.
The Ugly Crying
Like many of you reading this, I got up to watch Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 at 3 a.m. ET. And I expected the action, the monsters, the fight for survival, and everything that comes with fighting someone like Vecna. And I expected some tears. What I didn’t expect was the ugly crying as volume 2 progressed and the birds started chirping outside because that’s how early it was. But oh boy, I cried and don’t regret a bit of it. If anything, I applaud the actors for making me ugly cry.
The first one that comes to mind is Will. He made me cry twice. Once when he was in the car and having that conversation with Mike and the other when he was talking to Jonathan. Both are conversations with people he loves. But they couldn’t be any more different. Will was trying to comfort Mike in the first conversation and Jonathan was trying to comfort Will in the second. And each time it broke my heart to watch a young man so lost and yet so loved by those around him.
Then there’s Eddie. I knew from the very moment he talked about how he always runs away, that he was going to break my heart. And he did. He stood his ground when the final moments came. And he protected his friends, newfound family, and a town that thought he was a murderer. It doesn’t feel fair that no one will know about his sacrifice and that he won’t graduate. But we know. And we’re not going to let his memory fade. In fact, I bet there are fanfictions right now where he survives.
Finally, but most importantly, the reunion between Eleven and Hopper on Stranger Things. Personally, I didn’t think it would happen. It was taking too long and they were so far apart. But from the moment I heard that vehicle approaching…I knew. And it was worth it. The way they looked at each other, held each other, and just breathed each other in…that’s family. That’s love. That’s something worth fighting for. And they will win, especially because they’re at each other’s side.
Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 is available now on Netflix.