There will be spoilers ahead, consider yourself warned. I myself had to stay completely off the Internet for like four days to avoid getting spoiled after part 2 dropped. 😅
I was kinda over the whole Stranger Things show before season 4. Season 1 was fantastic, season 2 was ok, but by season 3 I felt the whole thing was starting to get old. Every season a new weird monster from the Upside Down showed up and everyone floundered around until Eleven got a clear shot and obliterated it. Same story every time. The only characters I found semi-interesting were Dustin and Steve.
When season 4 dropped I didn’t watch it until a few weeks had gone by because I just wasn’t that interested. 🤷♀️
At last, I did get around to starting Se04Ep01 and was met with Eddie. And finally there was a character I actually cared about!
Because Eddie was me, he was my husband, he was so many of my friends. A metalhead who couldn’t care less about conforming to mainstream culture. A true nerd who knew about Lord of the Rings long before the Peter Jackson movies. A freak with weird clothes and weird hair and tattoos. The main cast kids are portrayed as “freaks” but in reality come off as pretty normal. A bit nerdy and not part of the popular crowd, but normal. Eddie was the first true outcast of the show IMO.
Eddie also represented the 80s metal scene. Ever since season 1 I’ve been muttering that it’s supposed to be damn 80s, so where is the damn metal?! Eddie brought that representation I’ve been waiting for since the start. His whole archetype is one you rarely see onscreen, especially as a hero with considerable screentime and a compelling story arc.
As I didn’t care that much about any of the other characters, Eddie was the only one I was truly invested in.
And then they killed him.
Eddie’s death was telegraphed to high heaven and could be seen coming from a mile away. It felt lazy and downright insulting. There’s hinting and then there’s holding up bright neon signs with arrows saying THIS CHARACTER IS ABOUT TO DIE.
The actual death also seemed unnecessary.
He decides to jump on a bike and lead the bats away from the gate so they won’t get into real Hawkins and to Dustin. Very heroic, very fitting for his arc. But then he, for no apparent reason, decides to stop and face the bats. He doesn’t show signs of fatigue and the bats aren’t close enough to even properly attack him, but he still stops to make a stand in the middle of the street because… reasons? If he wanted to draw the bats away he should’ve kept pedalling for as long as possible.
To add insult to injury, if he had stayed on that bike for mere seconds longer he would’ve been safe as they all dropped dead as soon as 001/Henry/Vecna got fried.
It also bothers me that Eddie became another in the row of dead newcomers to the show. After so many times it feels repetitive and boring to kill the beloved new character by the season finale. “Oh, he’s the new guy who is all fun and likeable? Wonder how they’ll off him.” Like the writers are too scared to kill any of the main cast, so they need to introduce someone else they can use instead. It’s so obvious that the main cast are all safe and the stakes are nonexistent for them. Ok, Max is in a coma, but she’s not dead. They will obviously bring her back in the final season.
If they REALLY wanted to “raise the stakes” they should’ve killed off some main cast and let the only metalhead/true freak representation live on. Especially since he’s one of the most popular characters across the whole damn show if you go by Internet buzz. The murder accusations could’ve been handled. If they could reintroduce Will back into society (who they had a whole funeral for) they could find a way to clear Eddie’s name too.
Not sure I’ll even bother with season 5 tbh. I already found it difficult to care about the core characters and without Eddie I think reading the plot summary on Wikipedia later would suffice.
Yeah, I’m disappointed, can you tell? 😂