Before I get started, I’m guessing from the fact you clicked on an article with "Stranger Things season 5" in the headline that you’ve already finished Stranger Things season 4. But if you haven’t, I’d suggest stopping here, as there will be spoilers.
Still with me? Good. Now that Stranger Things season 4 has hit our screens in its entirety, for those of us not in the Upside Down, our gaze has turned to season 5, where the ominous fate of Hawkins hangs in the balance. As the final series of this Netflix hit debuts we’re hoping Stranger Things season 5 answers these 13 questions, but personally, I have one big worry — that with all the loose ends that need to be tied up, we’re never going to find Steve his perfect girl.
One of my main problems with Stranger Things season 4 is that it was so damn scary. Yet part of the joy of creators Matt and Ross Duffer’s writing is that in between the torture, the monsters, and the kids flying in the air with bloody eyes and broken limbs, are the human stories that tie us to these characters.
Over the past six years, the kids have transformed from children playing Dungeons & Dragons to teenagers, with relationships, emotions, and that pure awkwardness we can all relate to so well. But will there still be time for character-driven storylines like Steve and Dustin’s brilliant bromance, or the Nancy-Jonathan-Steve love triangle that confused and entertained me between the moments of terrifying gore?
What about the Nancy-Jonathan-Steve love triangle?
I'm concerned because in an interview with Collider (opens in new tab), The Duffer Brothers said, “Season 5 is going to start pedal to the metal. We're not going to do the ramp-up. There's no time. There's no normalcy, obviously, once you've reached the end of four. That's not like there's going to be time to explore our characters' love life, and how is Steve’s dating going? There's going to be none of that, it's just going to be going 100 miles an hour from the beginning."
When we left the characters at the end of season 4, Steve’s feelings for Nancy were clear, with him telling her she was the girl he saw in his road trip-filled dreams of the future. With Jonathan in California, we had hours to watch the unresolved history of the high school sweethearts play out in a will-they-won’t-they drama.
Yet with Jonathan back in Hawkins, it seems even if Steve doesn’t go on any new dates in season 5, we’ll surely get to find out who lives happily ever after with who.
This is important because I’d argue it’s the relationships between the characters that are at the heart of this show. It’s love that keeps making the characters run into the Upside Down.
It’s also what makes viewers like me keep watching — the well-rounded, well-thought-out, complicated characters are this show’s best asset. So let’s hope for more heartfelt moments in the final season, even if we do get fewer shots of Steve’s fantastic hair.