Season 5 of Stranger Things will be the show’s last — and it sounds like it’s going to be the craziest yet, too. The show’s writers’ unusual description of the final season suggests as much.
Season 4 of “Stranger Things” ended on a mixed note — the long-awaited reunion between the show’s main characters and Max’s resurrection was dealt a blow by the last-minute revelation that Vecner wasn’t stopping and the Upside Down was starting to overtake Hawkins. While Hawkins has had mishaps since season one, the situation has never been more dire. As they enter the final season, the characters will have to fight for the survival of their town.
In a Twitter thread, the “Stranger Things” writer gave an ominous hint at what’s to come. ‘Season 5 is like seasons 1 and 4 had a baby. And then that baby was injected with steroids,” they wrote. While comments could be made in a variety of ways, they could refer to the emotional impact of season 1 combined with the stakes and dangers of season 4. Also, series creation Authors Matt and Ross Duffer talked about fans’ love for season five.
In a November 2022 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, they said, “We do have a lot more to go into. But as important as the supernatural is, we have so many characters now – most of them alive – and It’s important to wrap up those arcs. Many of these characters have grown since season one, so it’s a balance between giving them time to work through their character arcs and wrapping up and finishing our final reveal. Mark Duffer added that the promotion of Stranger Things season 5 alone had an emotional response. “We did have our execs cry, and I think that’s a good sign for those execs to cry. The only time I’ve ever seen them cry was like at a budget meeting.
While this may be the final season of Stranger Things, it seems the Duffer brothers are far from finished with the world they’ve created. A spinoff titled Stranger Things: Tokyo is reportedly in the works, set in 1980s Japan. The show won’t be live-action like the original series, but will be an animated feature, another addition to Netflix’s ever-growing catalog of original animation. No plot details have been released for the spinoff, and a release date remains a mystery. Speaking of having at least one spinoff in the future, one can’t help but wonder if Stranger Things season 5 will set the stage for upcoming content. Perhaps Vecna will stop by Hawkins, but escape to another part of the Upside Down, wreaking havoc elsewhere. Or, maybe this season will introduce a new antagonist to look out for in future spinoffs.
This strategy has certainly worked for the MCU, which has been using cameos and credits scenes to lay the groundwork for future projects since the release of Iron Man in 2008, kickstarting what would become known as MCU Phase One. While Stranger Things might not reach the same scope as the MCU, it might be a wise decision to draw inspiration from the narrative devices that have worked so well for Marvel Studios over the past few years.
Seasons 1-4 of Stranger Things are now on Netflix.