Any film or television show is the result of a collective effort between the authors, directors, and performers who create the tale on paper and bring the characters to life on screen. The actors and crew of Netflix’s flagship science fiction series Stranger Things work together to produce the final result that we see on screen, making it a tremendous production in terms of scope and plot.
On July 1, Volume 2 of Stranger Things debuted on streaming services, bringing with it the dramatic, four-hour climax to the much anticipated fourth season. After the series finale aired, the Stranger Things writers shared on Twitter which parts of the intensely emotional episodes were improvised by the actors. First, they wasted no time in shattering our hearts by revealing that Joseph Quinn was the source of Eddie’s last words to Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), “I love you, dude.” Shortly later, the authors’ account posted another improvisation, indicating that Caleb McLaughlin was the only one responsible for Lucas’ heartbreaking, desperate cry of “Erica, help.” I don’t know about you, but I was in tears after reading these two lines from Quinn and McLaughlin.
The Stranger Things authors finally shared one more spontaneous, a heavenly moment from the actors. Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Hopper (David Harbour) were only supposed to have one “big damn kiss” in the script, but Ryder and Harbour opted to include a second, more intimate exchange the day they shot the sequence. Joyce is experiencing gruesome memories of losing Bob (Sean Astin), but Hopper promises her that this time will be different since he has a new purpose written all over his face.
Through the Stranger Things climax, each of these moments carries a tremendous amount of emotional weight, polishing the narrative into something both heartbreaking and beautiful. Additionally, it highlights the great instincts of the outstanding ensemble cast. Eddie’s passing hurts at least two times more than it would have if he hadn’t shown his love for Dustin with his final breaths. The unrestrained grief in McLaughlin’s voice as he pleads for aid in vain makes Lucas’ suffering as Max lies dying in his arms all the more heartbreaking.
And if Ryder and Harbour had not pushed into the truth of Hopper taking one final time to kiss the woman he loves before entering into another terrible dance with death, Joyce and Hopper’s well-earned passion would not have had the same amount of lived-in emotion and subtlety.
You can now watch Stranger Things Season 4 Volume 2 on Netflix and read the authors’ tweets in the section below.