Stranger Things just wrapped up its fourth season on Netflix and though the wait was long, the returns more than paid it off. We finally caught back up with The Party who now weren’t all residing in Hawkins, Indiana, but were still dealing with the problems going on in The Upside Down. It was a story that answered a number of different questions about the series and set the stage for something much bigger as well. So even though we are through the fourth season, there are already questions around Stranger Things Season 5. Unlike last time, we (hopefully) aren’t going to have to wait years and years before catching up with Eleven, Mike, and the rest of the gang.
Let’s take a look at everything we know about Stranger Things Season 5 and what’s to come with this Netflix blockbuster series.
WARNING: There are spoilers for Stranger Things Season 4 coming up here.
WHAT HAPPENED WITH STRANGER THINGS SEASON 4?
It took nearly three years between the end of the third season and the beginning of the fourth season of the show, a timeline replete with a global pandemic, massive delays, scheduling conflicts with the stars, and much more. When it was all said and done, the main cast of youth had aged significantly, giving the fourth season a weird feel to it, especially if you were binging the show right from the beginning. Though the narrative was set only a few months apart, the actual aging by the characters was stark. We should have no such issues with Stranger Things Season 5 if all goes well.
In the fourth season, The Party was separated with the Byers crew and Eleven residing in sunny California and the rest of the group dealing with mounting issues in Hawkins. The latter was smack dab in the spate of seemingly random murders of high school students all brought on by Vecna, a dude clearly more powerful than anything they’d faced yet. But we were introduced to the Hellfire Club, Eddie, and some of the history around why things in Hawkins had been bad for so long. The way things left off, much of this is still unresolved heading into Stranger Things Season 5.
Meanwhile, in Cali, Will, Eleven, and Jonathan are settled into a “normal” high school life before Mike Wheeler shows up and everything starts going to pot (of which Jonathan has smoked plenty). Before they know it Eleven is headed back to the lab with Joyce on her way to Russia to reduce Hopper while Mike and Will try to outrun the military and find where they’ve stashed their superhero. It was all a frantic pace, especially by the end. But with the way things wrapped up, Stranger Things Season 5 could pick up relatively close to where we saw the group, standing on a demolished Hawkins while Mad Max and others had suffered brutal fates.
When it was all said and done, Stranger Things Season 4 became the second-most watched offering ever on Netflix and it came darn close to taking the top spot. Netflix reported that users have streamed 1.4 billion hours of the show, falling 300 million hours short of Squid Game’s 1.7 billion hours. That’s some feat.
Of course, Netflix strategically broke up the season into two parts, airing them about a month-plus apart. This was to build suspense, but it was also likely to have users stick around for three months on the platform rather than just one when it came to streaming the series. It’s unclear if Stranger Things Season 5 will be structured in the same way, but I think it’s a pretty safe bet.
WHO WILL BE BACK FOR STRANGER THINGS SEASON 5?
This series has been consistent throughout out its run with the main cast and we are going to get back Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven, Finn Wolfhard as Mike, Noah Schnapp as Will, Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin, and Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas. When we last left her, Sadie Sink’s Mad Max was in a coma, having not ultimately been able to escape the clutches of Vecna as planned. As with any series, if they didn’t attend the funeral then the character is still alive and that would appear to be the case with Max. But how or if she snaps to remains to be seen. (Prediction: She absorbed some of Eleven’s and Vecna’s powers in the exchange and she’ll become a hero here in the end. Just my two cents).
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And because everyone had finally converged by the end in the final scene, it stands to reason we’ll get Winona Judd’s Joyce, David Harbour’s Hopper, plus Natalie Dyer as Nancy, Joe Keery as Steve, Maya Hawke as Robin, and many of the other side characters.
Who likely won’t be returning for Stranger Things Season 5 will be Joseph Quinn as Eddie Munson and Matthew Modine as Doctor Martin Brenner / Papa, both of whom very much seemed to be dead by the end of things.
And of course, what would Stranger Things Season 5 be without Jamie Campbell Bower as Henry Creel/ One/ Vecna. The big bad in Season 4 was nearly dispatched, but not completely. We didn’t see a body there at all and Will definitely still felt Vecna was out there. They are all headed for a final clash in this last season.
HAS FILMING STARTED?
The easy answer to this one is, no. But, it doesn’t mean things aren’t underway. Far from it. The Twitter account for the writer’s room, @strangerwriters, shared an update that this group was underway crafting the final story. Check it out:
Now, while a blank whiteboard might not inspire a ton of confidence about a Stranger Things Season 5 coming anytime soon, it’s good to know that things are at least underway.
STRANGER THINGS SEASON 5 RELEASE DATE
This is the big question right now, isn’t it? Without any firm news and knowing that the story isn’t yet sorted out, even the best guess would put the timeline into late 2023 or even 2024. It wouldn’t be the same delay as last time, but it isn’t like Stranger Things Season 5 is right around the corner.
We will keep things updated as we get more word about Stranger Things Season 5 and there should be plenty coming over the next year or so which will lay the groundwork for the final battle in Hawkins.