For this season, Eddie had most of the best lines, even more than Vecna himself. When he quoted LOTR at Skull Rock and referred to marching to Mordor, he set many nerdy hearts aflutter. When he dedicated his guitar solo to Chrissy, he made the scene as poignant as it was badas*. When he talked to Dustin about leading the Hellfire Club, there was sincerity in his words. When he made an epic final stand against the Demobats, it was glorious.

All in all, the back half of Season 4 was intense and suspenseful but it still felt like it was pulling back from going all out. There was a ton of foreshadowing that did not materialize yet so it felt sixth Harry Potter movie where it was so quiet before the battle, and them there were so much deaths in the final chapter. Stranger Things may be establishing these long goodbyes for the final season so even if the characters managed to survive this season, its not yet safe to say that they’re out of the woods. There’s a lot to unpack before the finale and I get the feeling that El would not win the fight if she doesn’t get everybody on board.

Stranger Things truly paid homage to the 80s classics and it was amazing. It was like a mashup of the best hits of Nightmare on Elm Street, the Wishmaster, the Poltergeist, the Exorcist, and even the Evil Dead. It was dark. It was gory. It was suspenseful and you can tell that the storytelling was growing with its audience. The first season had an ET and Stand by Me vibe to it but this season was so brutal. It amped up the horror a thousandfold and banked on everything that was good about the series all along.

Stranger Things experimented a lot in their storytelling approach this season and I felt like it still paid off in delivering a solid and entertaining installment to the franchise. Stranger Things  Season 3 was an exciting, emotional ride but it stuck true to its core at the end of the day — family, friendship and a common sense of heroism. This is why it is still familiar even though the show has already evolved in so many ways. I think I’ll stick around for a season or two more to see what happens next.