‘Stranger Things’ Plotlines for the End
The end is near!….if you live in Hawkins, Indiana as Stranger Things has just ended season 4 with a bang leaving everything setup for the upcoming fifth and final season. This means we have plenty of cliffhangers that will inevitably be addressed as the D&D gang and their friends make one final stand against the monsters of the Upside Down. Needless to say SPOILERS abound.
Status of Hawkins: In 1962 a fire was ignited in the labyrinthian coal mines beneath Centralia, Pennsylvania. By the late 1970’s this had evolved into a disaster so grand an evacuation of the town’s citizens commenced leaving the formerly quaint village a ghost town. If something like this could happen in the real world, it is not hard to imagine that an earthquake ripping crevices between dimensions would not have the same effect in a fictional world. In fact when Mike, Will, Jonathan, and the magic bong granted a human form named Argyle make to Hawkins, we see the road clogged up with those on the way out. It may be safe to assume that once Stranger Things 5 begins many of our heroes may call somewhere else ‘home’.
Max: When we last saw the Kate Bush-listening teen she was in a coma following the climactic battle with Vecna. While she was technically killed by the telekinetic monster, a move by Eleven was able to revive her to some extent. Her new state hints strongly to the fact that she will play some major role in the coming finale. Thanks to a line from Vecna, when he was Henry, we know the consciousness of his victims are absorbed into his mind. One could assume the Max’s soul is now trapped with the monster in some form. Could she be the key to defeating Vecna once and for all or an obstacle to her friends?
What will Vecna do next? To take down arguably the greatest threat from the Upside Down to date, the scrappy gang of heroes had to launch a multi-pronged attack in 2 countries across 3 planes of existence. While they won the battle, the fact that the monster pulled a Michael Myers proves the overall war is far from over. Indeed this was pretty much confirmed by Will at the season’s end who says while hurt, Vecna is still out there and planning his revenge. So what is Martin Brenner’s first subject planning and will the kids be ready?
Will’s connection to the Upside Down: This whole epic saga kicked off when Will found himself trapped in the Upside Down. Since then he has had a psychic connection to his realm and the Mind Flayer that dwells there. While living in California he got reprieve from this but once he returned to Hawkins the connection with the forces of darkness reignited. With the forces of the Mind Flayer now set to invade our reality, Will could be vital to defeating it. However, this could come at this risk of being reclaimed by the Upside Down.
Dr. Owen’s fate: As government stormtroopers raided the secret lab of Dr. Brenner they successfully captured the more morally upright of the scientific duo, Dr. Sam Owens. While one might assume he is as good as dead his knowledge of Eleven and the experiments conducted in Hawkins are likely too valuable for the government who will keep him alive. Besides we all thought his colleague Martin Brenner was dead at one point and look where that led. If he is still alive what part will he play in things to come, will he continue to help Eleven or turn on her?
Who will survive?: Somehow despite having a massive ensemble, the Duffer Brothers have managed to endear each character to the audience in some way (except Jason). But as the fates of Barb, Bob, Dr. Alexei and most recently Eddie can attest, being a fan favorite will not always save you. Now with the stakes higher than ever before it is safe to assume not every character will make it to the end. In fact, maybe this time even the core characters may meet their maker or makeress.
Eleven’s role in the end: Whether it is the Mind Flayer or Vecna or some other monster from the Upside Down who ends up being the final boss, there is no doubt Eleven will be key in defeating them. Armed with her rediscovered superpowers, El may seem ready for whatever is thrown her way. But, is she right for it mentally? In the climax of Stranger Things 4 we saw while she defeated Vecna, she failed to save Max which undoubtedly has shaken her confidence. With this failure still fresh in her mind it is doubtful the super-powered teen is ready for what is to come meaning her friends will truly have to back her up like never before.