Stranger Things is back for season 4 and it has been a long time coming. Lockdown has delayed filming for many and in that time it is easy to forget how good a series is as it’s been too long since you last saw it. Well not only is Stranger Things one of the best series to ever grace Netflix, but Season 4 also won’t disappoint.
Warning: contains spoilers
I’m not going to talk about the whole of season 4 however, but just one episode in particular. In fact, just one scene. So, if you haven’t yet watched Season 4 Episode 4, then do yourself a favour and go watch it and stop reading here.
If you have watched it, then you’ll know exactly which scene I’m talking about when I mention the fabulous and perfectly chosen song, Running up that Hill by Kate Bush. The scene where Max is about to meet her doom at the hands of Vecna.
Her friends, desperate to save her, discover that music can unlock something in the brain that can in turn unlock an exit doorway from the Upside Down World. Cue Kate Bush and some rather dramatic running as Max attempts to run back to the friends she has been shutting out.
You see, this isn’t just a scene about escaping a monster; it’s a scene about escaping the demons we all have in our heads. It’s a scene about realising that you’re not alone in the world and people still care despite your best efforts to push them away. It’s a scene about realising you don’t have to fight alone. It’s a scene about realising we all have people who anchor us in this world even if you don’t realise it. It’s a scene about realising we just need someone to care to know we’ll be okay.
There are so many levels to this scene. Max was a loner before she joined the Mike et al gang. She despised her stepbrother Billy and felt guilty over his death. She shunned Lucas who is now her ex. She has kept all her turmoil inside, even keeping things from the school counsellor. Max is a troubled girl, trying to find a way forward after all the traumatic happenings in Hawkins. For Max to pull away from Vecna, it wasn’t just to escape the death she was secretly longing for, it was for her to realise she doesn’t have to battle her demons alone. She has friends and they care.
I found this scene insanely intense. I actually felt in need of a lie down after I watched it! I wasn’t even sure which way it was going to go – was Max going to make it or was she going to get agonisingly close only to not make it?
The scene was dramatic, powerful and perfect. And I now can’t get that song out of my head.