Warning: This post contains big spoilers for the season finale of Stranger Things
Break out your D20 dice and crank up the Kate Bush: Stranger Things is back to monopolize your mind over the long July 4 weekend. The second half of the Netflix blockbuster's fourth season premiered just dropped on the streaming service, and fans are having all the feels about the finale's biggest revelations, including a few deaths and one major emotional confession.
The confession in question came from Will Byers (Noah Schnapp), who has spent much of the season trying to get the attention of his childhood best friend, Mike (Finn Wolfhard), who now only has eyes for Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown). Stranger Things creators, the Duffer Brothers, seemed to be laying the groundwork for Will to become the show's second out gay character after Maya Hawke's Robin, even as Schnapp struck an ambiguous note in interviews.
"I feel like they never really address it or blatantly say how Will is," the actor told Variety recently. "I think that’s the beauty of it, that it's just up to the audience’s interpretation, if it's Will kind of just refusing to grow up and growing up slower than his friends, or if he is really gay."
But fans are taking a key sequence in Season 4's penultimate episode as confirmation of Will's true feelings. While driving to locate the missing Eleven, Mike opens up to Will about his fears that she might leave him one day when she figures out he's just some "random nerd." Will comforts his friend by showing him a picture he painted of the group in full fantasy mode that depicts Mike as the leader of their group, and the one with the most heart.
"These past few months, she's been so lost without you," Will continues. "She's so different from other people, and when you're different sometimes you feel like a mistake. But you make her feel like she's not a mistake at all ... and that gives her the courage to fight on ... So yeah, El needs you Mike: and she always will."
Even though Will seems to be talking about Eleven, the tears that follow when he turns away from Mike suggest that he's actually describing himself. And that's certainly how fans are reading that scene on Twitter.
I'm so sorry but Mike has got to be the most stupidest white boy ever like does he not realize will was talking about himself even Jonathan noticed tf? 😭😭 pic.twitter.com/kiDaB5xkIY
— nicky (@itgirInicole) July 1, 2022
// stranger things spoilers
just saw the will and mike car scene sobbing and throwing up i love will omg screaming
— sam | seventeen brainrot (@luvgvf) July 1, 2022
— KDQ | BBG 🏝 (@bbg00se) July 1, 2022
— fandomsforlife !retired (@Fandoommss) July 1, 2022
stranger things spoilers // st spoilers // st4 spoilers
listen i know ok i know but that will and mike scene in the car literally had me in tears i had to pause like three times to collect myself
— ludo⭐ amphibia brainrot (@catchradora) July 1, 2022
But some are also accusing the Duffer Brothers of queerbaiting audiences by ending the season with Will's true feelings for Mike still bottled up.
#StrangerThings Will is so gay and in love with Mike. It’s finally confirmed… and that sucks from his POV.
Spoiler ? C’mon ! We all knew it.
Noah Schnapp had a great speech / performance in that scene in the car.
Anyways, Will deserves and can find a better dude. If he lives
— Jon Z (@JonZarlengz) July 1, 2022
1) People are talking about how Stranger Things is queerbaiting, but you all forget that the show is back in the 1980's. I believe that the whole reason Mike was distant with Will is because he realized that he doesn't just like girls and that scared him, he wasn't scared about..
— Kit || ST season 4 spoilers (@simpsection) July 1, 2022
POV: The stranger things cast & writers after queerbaiting us, pushing aside will’s personal struggles for being queer to fix Mike & Eleven’s relationship, and not confirming will’s sexuality at all in volume 2, only hinting/ implying at it. #StrangerThings #SPOILER pic.twitter.com/FwxQeG6ORb
— Will Byers deserves better than what he got. (@jayplects) July 1, 2022
I HAVE A COMPLAINT.
stranger things 4 volume 2 spoilers!!!!!
...the queerbaiting?? ugH....the whole season i was waiting for will to tell mike....and then they just didn't ??? ugh
— nenz is sobbing over volume 2 (@mvrdockspidey) July 1, 2022
idk im not calling will not coming out by saying the words "im gay" queerbaiting like,,,, its very Obvious he is struggling with his sexuality and still hasn't fully accepted himself?? so it makes sense for him to just be saying it in code as it were?? #StrangerThings
— amara ST4 VOL 2 SPOILERS (@lesbianamara) July 1, 2022
Schnapp also stirred the pot when he told Jimmy Fallon during a Tonight Show appearance that "some deaths" were coming in the season finale. But when the Upside Down dust settled, the body count of beloved major characters stood at one ... OK, one-and-a-half. Hellfire Club founder, Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn), went down fighting and promptly entered the Dungeons & Dragons Hall of Legends.
EDDIE MUNSON YOU WILL ALWAYS BE MY HERO FUCK I CRIED LIKE TWICE FOR HIM
— minnie has seen st4 volume 2 (@kyriesflower) July 1, 2022
— kellaxx (@kellasty) July 1, 2022
— Steve and Eddie Supremacy (@yikesbroskiii) July 1, 2022
— Sshivam (@lol_shivam) July 1, 2022
Unlike poor Eddie, Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink) gets an asterisk placed on her tombstone. The Kate Bush stan was mortally wounded in her second encounter with Vecna and died in the arms of her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin). But a grieving Eleven couldn't let her friend go gracefully into that good night, restarting her heart a full minute after it stopped.
That's enough to save Max from the graveyard, but not enough to bring her fully back to the land of the living. In the season's final moments, we see her lying comatose in a hospital bed while Lucas reads to her from Stephen King's latest tome.
My heart stopped for a bit when max "went up the hill"👀😭
— DRAMA QUEEN (@thugglife92) July 1, 2022
// stranger things 4 vol 2 spoilers
lucas reading to max in the hospital literally broke my heart i love them so much
— liz♡ | will byers protector (@lizskenobi) July 1, 2022
— GEORGIEPIE (@meleodavidson) July 1, 2022
— alyson (@alywowza) July 1, 2022
stranger things spoilers
if the first scene of s5 isn't max waking up from the coma im gonna be knocking on the duffer brothers' door with a lawyer by my side
— robin (@nblmparker) July 1, 2022
Max's minute-long death was permanent enough for Vecna to achieve his master plan of opening permanent gates to Hawkins, causing earthquake-level devastation. In the final shot of the finale, the surviving heroes see the Upside Down invading their hometown, setting the stage for an all-or-nothing battle in the fifth and final season.
As of now, there's no information on when we'll be seeing that battle. Season 4 was famously delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, which also pushed back the start date for Season 5. While the Duffer Brothers have previously teased the possibility of a time jump to account for the fact that the young cast has noticeably aged, the stakes seem a little high for the show to leap too far ahead into the future. That hasn't stopped fans from sharing their theories about what's going to happen next.
So stranger things 4 is like their infinity war and season 5 is gonna be the endgame
— PILL COSBY (@dezloves49ers) July 1, 2022
— !!stranger things spoilers!! (@Awwbhishek_) July 1, 2022
stranger things season 4 vol 2 spoilers / theory for season 5
i feel like max & her memories etc are with vecna and el is gonna have to go all warrior bitch to get them back because we know vecna consumes those he kills, and el brung her body back to life not her mind??
— villanelle enjoyer 🍂 (@clairh0es) July 1, 2022
I have a theory for season 5 of #StrangerThings imagine #Eddie didn't die and that in reality, he was saved by #Vecna to become her lieutenant. It would be possible that Eddie turned into a Vampire "Kas, who is a character from D&D". What do you say ?
— Jønås.Ekb (@jonas_ekoue) July 1, 2022
so i have a theory for stranger things season 5
max is really truly gone and vecna will be using her body for his evil plans huhu
— august (@jameele_0) July 1, 2022
NO ONE TALK TO ME UNTIL SEASON 5 IS OUT, I WILL BE HIBERNATING UNTIL THEN BC NOTHING ELSS MATTERS. #StrangerThings
— iris west-allen • ليلى 🧜🏽♀️ (@queersiren) July 1, 2022
Stranger Things is currently streaming on Netflix