This post contains plot details from Stranger Things season 4, volume 2. Turn back now if you want to avoid spoilers.

Stranger Things has always worn its love for the movies on its sleeve, with its blizzard of 80s cinematic references. By making each of the two final episodes of season 4 as long as a feature film

On a visual level, the season’s second volume delivers a blockbuster experience, full of epic special effects, though it’s moved much closer to a gory horror movie than to the ET and Goonies-style adventures of its early years.

This overarching darkness, combined with the endlessly frenetic pace of the season, can make the long episodes exhausting to watch. The kids of Hawkins are pretty wiped out themselves from trying to annihilate Vecna

It doesn’t help that the show’s central characters are all spread out across America and Russia, so that we are constantly jumping between the clusters of Vecna-fighters, each engaged in their own existential battle.

I can’t be the only one who wished that the Russian contingent—Joyce, Hopper, and Murray—would just disappear into the wilds of Siberia so we’d have one less plotline to keep track of.

The show also upped the expectations of fans who devoured the first part and began projecting all of their fantasies and theories onto these remaining episodes.

Some theories felt like an attempt to cushion an anticipated blow: Stranger Things has made a habit of killing off characters, from Barb to Billy,

Would the increasingly charming Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) bite the dust, or perhaps Will Byers (Noah Schnapp)