Stranger Things 4 Will Be Nine Episodes Long, Is It Time To Panic? (No)

I can hear the waves of concern buffeting up against the cliffs of fandom already. In today’s day and age, many TV fans seem to be happy with Netflix’s eight-episode series more than ever before. Ten is okay, but it’s eight that many seem to agree is the perfect number to give us more than a feature, but not so much that an episode may be mostly filler. So, when we hear that a season of a show may be a bit longer than normal, it does at least raise some eyebrows. Especially with Stranger Things.

With that in mind, I’m here to share some news that comes courtesy of TVLine. The outlet is hearing that Stranger things 4 — the fourth season in the horror/coming-of-age Netflix show — will run nine episodes instead of the usual eight. Additionally, they’re hearing that that episode may contain an origin story of a fan-favorite character. They also acknowledge that the origin story can spill off into other episodes as well.

So why the raised eyebrows from fans? Isn’t one more episode a good thing? I point to Stranger Things 2, a season that many point to as the weakest of the three so far, and many specifically point to Episode 7, “The Lost Sister.” This episode sees Eleven head into the city, where she meets up with a bunch of other similarly-gifted kids. 

RELATED – Stranger Things: Why David Harbour Wants Hopper Dead

The Season 2 Problem?

I remember at the time, a lot of people were like, “They’re obviously pointing to bigger things in future seasons.” I disagreed. To me, this was a necessary episode of growth for Eleven. For nearly two seasons, she was tossed from one situation to another. Now, in this city setting, she could finally choose what to do next. She could run off and potentially be happy or she can return to Hawkins and help her friends. It was the first time she was given any real agency and made her return all the more powerful — at least in this writer’s opinions.

Personally, I think the writers of Stranger Things have a good grasp of how best to allocate their storytelling time. Based on past seasons, I have no reason for concern of this extra episode. That being said, if you were one of those critical of Season 2’s “standalone” episode, you actually may have a reason to be mildly concerned, because I can see them using it similarly. If the rumor of an origin story is happening, then it may be used just to paint the motivations of that character. This is great, but its lack of overall impact on the story may rub people the wrong way.

But what do you think of this? Are you happy to hear that Stranger Things 4 will likely be nine episodes long? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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Joseph Jammer Medina

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and contributor at LRM Online. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.

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