season 4 stranger things finale

Strangest Things

Stranger Things Season 5: How the Season 4 finale sets up the darkest chapter yet

Here’s what’s (probably) going to happen.

Netflix

Stranger Things is a fantastical show. Its supernatural elements make it a true science-fiction escapist adventure. But one of the least believable elements of the show is how oblivious the parents are to all the trials and tribulations their children experience. Sure, the Sinclairs, the Wheelers, and Mrs. Henderson worry about their kids. But Stranger Things is set in the 1980s, when your kids disappearing with no contact until dinnertime was the norm.

But the blissful ignorance had to come to an end, thanks to the final moments of Stranger Things Season 4. Here’s what the final episode of Season 4 means for the series and what you can expect in its fifth and final season.

WARNING! Major spoilers for Episodes 8 and 9 of Stranger Things! Turn back now if you haven’t seen the episodes!

In the last scene of the 2.5-hour-long Season 4 finale, life seems to be getting back to normal for the Hawkins gang. Jonathan, Mike, Will, Eleven, and new buddy Argyle make it back to Hawkins. Joyce, Murray, and Hopper return home from the Soviet gulags. Eleven pulls off a miracle to help Max survive an attack by the monster Vecna that left her seemingly dead for over a minute. The only one who didn’t make it was Eddie, who gives his life defending his new friends from the demon bats.

Eddie, thank you for your sacrifice. Netflix

But for the people of the small midwestern town of Hawkins, life will never be quite the same. Vecna’s fury has forced its way out of the Upside Down and presents itself in the real world in the form of a massive earthquake that leaves dozens dead and hundreds injured.

For the people not in the know, the catastrophe is understood as a natural disaster. But a storm’s a-brewing that could shatter that illusion.

The last moments of Stranger Things Season 4, Episode 9 reveal a supernatural tempest that appears to be killing the lush Indiana countryside. Even the Hawkins gang’s typically oblivious parents and siblings realize something is wrong: Holly, the younger sister of Nancy and Mike, reports that “it’s snowing!”

Really, there’s ash falling from the sky.

How Season 4 sets up Stranger Things Season 5

Hawkins’ most oblivious dad is about to realize just what is going on. Netflix

What does this mean for Season 5? Well, the battle these kids have fought for the last few years will no longer be a private war. The entire world is about to learn the truth behind Hawkins’ “curse” and what it means for the fate of the Earth as they know it.

Saving the world solo is old-hat for the Hawkins gang by now, but saving the world while the world watches? That is an entirely new kind of challenge.

To top it all, the fate of countless Hawkins residents is in the balance. A few murders may be written off as “ritualistic killings,” but the events to come appear to have the potential to wipe out all of Hawkins’ residents.

Will the town’s leaders allow a bunch of teenagers to lead the charge? They might not believe in their abilities, but this ragtag group of kids is the most equipped to fight what’s coming their way.

Stranger Things Season 4 pt. 2 is now streaming on Netflix.