Stranger Things season 4, volume 2 ends with big changes for Hawkins, and this is everything that happened and what it means for season 5.
Warning! SPOILERS for Stranger Things season 4, volume 2.
Here is an explanation of what happened to Hawkins at the end of Stranger Things season 4, volume 2. Not only is the ending of volume 2 the dourest finale Stranger Things has had yet, but it also appears to promise the biggest shakeups to the show’s status quo. This is a full breakdown of everything that happened in the finale and what it could mean for Stranger Things season 5.
Over the course of Stranger Things season 4, it’s revealed that Vecna’s plan is to create enough gates to the Upside Down to allow it to enter Earth and completely overwhelm and destroy it. Through various circumstances, all of the main characters end up learning about this, despite everyone being scattered across the world in Stranger Things season 4. They each come up with their own plans for fighting Vecna and saving the world. At the end of it all, Vecna ends up defeated, but they weren’t able to truly put a stop to his plans, and Hawkins ends up caught in the crossfire.
This is an explanation of everything that happened to Hawkins in the Stranger Things season 4, volume 2 finale, in addition to what it means for season 5. For the latter, very little information about season 5 is known at the moment, so everything about how the season 4 finale will relate to season 5 will be largely speculative . However, the ending does provide enough clues for what’s most likely to be dealt with in season 5, so there should be merit in discussing them to build a hypothesis for Stranger Things season 5.
Why The World Is Turning Gray At The End Of Stranger Things Season 4
One of the last shots of season 4 was of a field of flowers turning gray as an ash-like substance rains down from above, and there’s a good reason for this. While everyone’s combined efforts were enough to defeat Vecna and stop him from making the Upside Down destroy the world, because of Max’s temporary death, a massive gate was still able to form in Hawkins that the Upside Down appears to be leaking out of. The full effect of this is unknown, but the spores that fill the air of the Upside Down appear to drain the life of everything they touch, which is why the flowers and other plant life of Hawkins is turning gray at the end of Stranger Things season 4. It’s been well-established that the environment of Stranger Things‘Upside Down is toxic to anyone and anything other than its native inhabitants. The plant life of Hawkins turning gray appears to be an extension of this, and the larger-scale effects of it all are likely to be expanded on season 5.
Did Vecna Win? Is Hawkins The Upside Down Now?
With how terribly things ended in season 4, it would be easy enough to conclude that Vecna won, but that’s technically not the case. Vecna’s goal was for the Upside Down to come to Hawkins and completely overtake it. As previously mentioned, thanks to Max only temporarily dying, he was not able to fully bring the Upside Down to Earth. The Upside Down does appear to be leaking from the gate Vecna created, however, and based on what the Upside Down’s spores are doing to the plant life in the Stranger Things season 4 finale, the Upside Down will likely be overtaking Hawkins and the rest of the world at a gradual pace – instead of all at once as Vecna had envisioned.
All of this, of course, makes for a clear setup for Stranger Things season 5. The spores of the Upside Down are likely going to infect everyone and everything they touch and slowly kill them, with their radius of effect slowly increasing over time. Everyone will need to try to figure out how to close the gate while dealing with whatever illnesses the spores bring about. Complicating this would be how, according to Will, Vecna did not die, so he bound to resurface at some point and will likely try to fully open the gate and allow for the Upside Down to completely overtake Hawkins and destroy the world. That, of course, would force Eleven and everyone else to defeat. Stranger Things‘Vecna once and for all, and with Vecna being revealed as the mastermind behind everything that’s happened in the show, his defeat would put an end to the threat of the Upside Down once and for all. Stranger Things season 5 is reportedly going to be the final season, so a conclusion like that would be a more than appropriate way for the show to end.
More: Stranger Things Season 4 Ending Explained (In Detail)
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