After being Netflix’s flagship show since its debut in 2016,
Stranger Things changed its release schedule for Season 4. Due to the multiple delays stemming from the 2020 shutdowns, the producers released the first seven episodes in one batch, with the last two (feature-length) episodes to come a month later since they weren’t quite finished in time. But these theories about who in Stranger Things 4, Vol. 2 won’t make it to Season 5 suggest the month-long wait until the last two episodes will keep fans anxiously guessing. Warning: Spoilers for . The first seven episodes of Stranger Things 4, Vol. 1 follow Stranger Things 4 end with a huge reveal. Unlike in the first three seasons, the antagonist isn’t some abstract malevolent monster demon; it’s a real person. Brenner’s original Hawkins Lab test subject, Number One, formerly known as Henry Creel, was pushed into the Upside Down by accident when Eleven defeated him in a telekinetic battle. He is now one with the Upside Down... and seeking vengeance.
Viewers assume the final showdown (either in this season or in Season 5) will be Number One versus Number Eleven. But the real concern is the collateral damage along the way. Speaking to
Variety, the Duffer Brothers confirmed “ everybody is in danger” and audiences should “be concerned about the characters going into Volume 2.”
So, who will be voted “Most Likely To Be Offed” in Volume 2? Here’s a rundown of the top theories.
Every season, Joyce loses somebody. In Season 1, it was Will; in Season 2, it was Bob; in Season 3, it was Hopper. The Law of Averages says Murray’s up next.
Murray is likely because Hopper is currently No. 1 on the “no chance of being offed this season” list. (The Season 3 fake-out makes it very unlikely; you don’t spend seven episodes rescuing someone from the USSR and then off him as soon as he’s back in Hawkins.) Meanwhile, Joyce’s plot armor is the strongest of anyone on the show. Though the most vulnerable character on Operation Rescue Hopper is Dmitri (he and Yuri are almost certainly goners by the end of the season), Murray is far more likely to be taken out for emotional impact.
Continuing on the list of adults likely to not make it to Season 5, anyone directly helping Eleven and defying the FBI and CIA is automatically qualified as “in danger.” Considering the shootout at the Byers’ home, Owens is a primary target right now. Though Eleven isn’t that close to him, he’s always been in her and Hopper’s corner, so losing him would be a blow.
If Sam Owens is on the list, Brenner must be on it too. He’s a far more likely candidate, not just because the FBI and CIA are targeting Eleven. Everyone (other than Owens) views him as the enemy, including Hopper and Joyce. Moreover, Number One hates Brenner for everything Hawkins Lab did to him; discovering “Papa” survived would make him Vecna’s new primary target.
Will has been central to the Upside Down in earlier seasons, but his ability to survive (so far) makes him unlikely to be offed this late in the game. Still, viewers cannot discount the possibility the series would finally decide third time’s the charm for taking down Will. Besides, of the group, he has some of the worst trauma for Vecna to exploit. Even if he doesn’t get offed, he’s vulnerable once Team Cali gets to Hawkins.
People who have faced downsizing know how it goes: Last hired, first fired. That’s true for TV as well, and with a cast the size of
Stranger Things, having the newest characters be a one-and-done is the most straightforward answer. That’s the main reason Argyle is on here — that and being part of the Cali crew trying to rescue Eleven, so his passing would add to her guilt and rage. Otherwise, he’s mostly harmless, and I hope he sticks around.
Max is currently ensconced in musical protection, but Nancy, who seems to be Vecna’s next target, has not yet disclosed her status as Walkman dependent. Unlike Max, she’s got those journalistic instincts to get the story, which might cause her to delay telling anyone until it’s too late. Either way, despite seeming like a pretty ironclad survivor, Nancy cannot be left off the list.
Nancy’s status as Vecna-infected puts several other characters in danger: The ones who would throw themselves in front of anything to save her. Of those, Mike would be the first to volunteer but the least likely to succeed in self-sacrifice. (There are too many options that would sacrifice themselves for Nancy and Mike.)
However, since Mike’s passing would be the most considerable boost Eleven could get from a “memory that’s sad but also angry,” it remains high on the probability scale.
More likely to sacrifice himself for Nancy: Jonathan, who already feels guilty for not being able to live up to the standards she deserves. One could see him throwing himself in front of Mike to save Nancy instead. (And that goes double if Will was also threatened.) And, as part of the Cali set closest to Eleven, his passing would be a significant emotional blow to help spur her on to revenge.
Jonathan sacrificing himself would clear the way for a Steve and Nancy endgame. There’s just one small problem: Steve is the most likely of anyone here to throw himself in front of a bus for Nancy, Jonathan, or Mike.
Steve’s role as makeshift Dad has been one of his defining features since becoming part of the group. That puts him high on the list to risk his life to stop Mike from sacrificing himself for his sister. Steve’s feelings for Nancy would make him more likely to ensure Jonathan survives to make her happy.
Of all the characters, the one who seems most likely to not survive Season 4 is Eddie.
Eddie is a new face in Season 4, so like Argyle, he’s got a high probability of a one-and-done storyline. Like Steve, he’s a dad figure (though, unlike Steve, he hasn’t graduated high school yet). Mike is one of his Dungeons & Dragon boys. He would likely sacrifice himself to save Mike or Mike’s sister.
But the thing that puts the crosshairs on Eddie above and beyond everyone else is that he is currently Public Enemy No. 1 in Hawkins. There are not a lot of options to turn public sentiment his way. His life is probably in danger for no other reason than to prove his innocence would reveal the Upside Down. His best ending is as the one who sacrifices himself, leaving only Eleven and company to know the truth that he’s secretly the hero Hawkins needed.
Strange Things Season 1 through 3 and Season 4, Vol. 1 are streaming on Netflix. Season 4, Vol. 2 arrives on Friday, July 1. Don't miss a thing
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