After three long years, season four of Stranger Things has dropped on Netflix. It landed on the streaming service May 27th, but fans will notice only half of the episodes for this season are present. While the first seven episodes of the season are available to stream, the final two episodes will not be available until July 1st.
That means anyone who binged the show on the release day has to wait another 35 days to finish the season. Why do viewers need to wait an extra month to finish this new season?
Every season up until this current one released every episode simultaneously. Viewers could watch the previous seasons of Stranger Things all in one sitting, should they so choose. According to the Duffer Brothers, the co-creators of the show, it’s a matter of episode length.
Episode Length Is Much Bigger For Season 4The average episode length for season one is 49 minutes. Season two has an average episode length of 52 minutes, and season three averages 55 minutes an episode. All of those are considered long for any television show, considering most shows on regular TV run for an hour but have commercials. Thus, runtime is usually around 40 minutes.
Stranger Things in season four averages 86 minutes an episode (or 1 hour and 26 minutes) including the two upcoming episodes. Additionally, the final two episodes will run almost four hours long total. Altogether, season four has a runtime of 13 hours (compared to season one’s 6.5-hour runtime).
Season four is two seasons-worth of content. This is why there is a month gap between volumes one and two of this season.
Despite this delay, season four is tied with season one as the highest-rated season of Stranger Things. According to IMDb, seasons one and four both have an average user rating of 8.8 as of last check. Season two has an 8.4 user rating, and season three has an 8.5 user rating.
Once the final episodes are released, season four will likely surpass season one in user ratings. The final two episodes of each season tend to rate higher than the rest of the episodes in a season.
Record Breaking SeasonSeason four, volume one has already broken records with Netflix. It is the biggest debut ever for a Netflix English-speaking show, with 286.7 million hours viewed in the first four days. The debut also reached number 1 in 83 countries and the top 10 of 93 countries. This is a stark contrast to the season one debut, which had 14.07 viewers in the first 35 days (though it grew quickly).
Viewers will see many familiar faces returning for the show. Millie Bobby Brown returns to her Emmy & SAG nominated role as Eleven. Winona Ryder (Joyce), Finn Wolfhard (Mike), and the rest of the gang are all back too. This season also introduces several new characters, including Eddie Munson, played by Joseph Quinn.
Munson has quickly become a fan favorite, spawning a handful of memes in a short amount of time. Eduardo Franco’s character Argyle is another newcomer that fans love.
Long Wait Might Be Worth ItWe still have almost a full month before the conclusion of season four is released on Netflix. This may not seem like a long time in general. However, volume one left viewers with many cliff-hangars. For fans of Stranger Things, this wait is agonizing to say the least.
There is already speculation and fan theories concerning the end of season four. It remains to be seen how accurate these theories are. However, these ideas may help to fill the void leading up to the release of volume two.
Season five of Stranger Things is in the works, however.
According to the Duffer Brothers, season five will be the end of the show. The release date for this final season has not been announced at this time. There are also talks of a spin-off series, although that has yet to be confirmed or denied by either Netflix or the Duffer Brothers.