After Stranger Things 4 volume one concluded, I speculated that Netflix made a huge mistake with The Upside Down. Now that part two is here and its epic two-and-a-half-hour finale revealed some more details about Vecna, I’m disappointed that I wasn’t proven wrong.
*Warning Spoilers Ahead*
Stranger Things Finale
The final two hours of Stranger Things 4 are pretty incredible. Overall, this season was fantastic, and by no means should we be disappointed in the direction Netflix and The Duffer Brothers are taking this show. But my nitpicky complaints about volume one weren’t fixed in volume two and that is a major flaw.
Vecna vs. Eleven
The big reveal comes when Vecna and Eleven finally fight as she tries to save Max from becoming the fourth victim. When they battle, Vecna reveals that after Eleven banished him to The Upside Down, he discovered a new world. But he also discovered a new entity.
Vecna found The Mind Flayer in an ethereal form. It was nothing more than a mystical force with no sense of purpose. When Vecna entered The Upside Down, he wasn’t attacked by this force. He was manipulated by his surroundings and was injured. But Vecna created The Mind Flayer as we know him.
We see Vecna create the spider-like form that The Mind Flayer is most well known for. Using his childhood fascination with spiders, Vecna created his “abomination” and essentially, has been pulling the strings this entire time.
Why Vecna’s Big Reveal Is A Problem
Throughout four seasons of Stranger Things, we’ve been led to believe that whatever is in The Upside Down was trying to take over our world. This entire time we thought The Mind Flayer was this ravaging and evil being. While that’s true, we now know that he’s only a pawn.
Vecna is the real big bad of Stranger Things now. But why is this a problem?
Essentially, a fantastic science fiction/horror show has become a pissed-off, regular human being with some supernatural powers trying to get back at the people who mistreated him. Why? Was that really necessary?
So four seasons of battling the supernatural are down the drain because the “message” behind Stranger Things is now:
Humanity is the cause of its own demise.
Dear Netflix, please stop. We don’t need a humanitarian crisis overshadowing what was once some of the most incredible writing in science fiction that we’ve ever seen. We don’t need a political reminder of how we need to be nicer to each other.
Some of us escape the crap we see on the news with our television shows and this blatant deviation from what has been so incredibly successful over the last few years, feels like a piss-poor attempt at trying to get a relevant message across to a massive audience.
Stranger Things Messages Upon Messages
As much as I absolutely loved Eddie Munson shredding to Metallica, the song choice here was a peculiar message as well. Master of Puppets is literally about those in control pulling the strings. Coinciding with the big reveal that Vecna is the true villain, Eddie playing along to Master of Puppets feels like another cheap shot from Netflix.
They even cut the song up and butchered it. They used hard cuts in the audio, clipping out certain parts of the unmistakable guitar work on Master of Puppets. The guitar solo was chopped up and the verse wasn’t right. Anyone who knows that song or plays guitar themselves, was probably air-guitaring during that scene just like I was. But when they cut it at the absolute wrong spot, it made you think wtf?
Stranger Things Conclusion
Overall, Stranger Things 4 was great. I loved nearly everything about it except for my aforementioned complaints. Season five will be an incredible conclusion to this epic series. The season will undoubtedly be centered around “Hell on Earth” and finally ridding the town of Hawkins, Indiana, from The Upside Down and Vecna for good.
Dear Netflix, again, please don’t nerf this show any more than you already have.
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