Netflix is trying to build hype for Stranger Things season 4 in a not-so-subtle way by letting you watch a significant portion of it. The service has shared the first eight minutes of the introductory episode in hopes of getting you tuned in for the rest. We won’t give away the finer points, but we will say that it is mainly a flashback that paves the way for what is to come.
It’s also clear why the fourth season was split in two – some episodes are exceptionally long. Part 1, which premieres on May 27, will feature seven conventional-format episodes in addition to the previous one, which lasts one hour and 38 minutes. Part 2, which arrives on July 1, is a different matter. It consists of only two long episodes, with the last one lasting almost two and a half hours. You are effectively watching a feature film.
There are reasons for the long term. The Duffer Brothers previously said they planned to wrap up the story in four or five seasons, and this fourth series is the beginning of that climax. The story is also far-reaching, with scenes set in Hawkins, California, Russia, and “elsewhere.” It’s a busy plot and the makers are apparently determined to tie up all the loose ends.
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