The Season 4 finale of Stranger Things premiered on Friday, July 1. It is a momentous occasion for the hit Netflix show and its legion of fans. The fourth season was split into two parts; the first seven episodes were released in June, and then the final two followed a month later. That isn't terribly unusual anymore, but what stands out about it is that the final episode of Season 4 is long. Like, really long!
The run time for Episode 9 of Season 4 of Stranger Things, titled "Papa", is a whopping two hours and 22 minutes. Episodic television series rarely have a runtime of longer than one hour per episode. The Duffer brothers doubled that and then some for the epic finale of the new season.
I was stunned, reader, when I pulled up the episode on Netflix and saw it was the length of a movie. In fact, it inspired me. So here are a list of movies that are shorter than the Season 4 finale.
Mad Max: Fury Road
The runtime of Mad Max: Fury Road is a cool two hours. It feels much longer because every single second of the entire film is made to crank your blood pressure up to unhealthy levels and fill your veins with adrenaline. Yet Tom Hardy's journey took less time than what the Stranger Things kids needed.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
All the Harry Potter movies are long as hell and this one feels especially long compared to the others for multiple reasons. Yet it still wraps up in less time than "Papa" at two hours and 10 minutes.
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
Tom Cruise climbed a skyscraper in a sandstorm and stopped another nuclear apocalypse in 133 minutes. Hawkins needs to step its game up.
Silence of the Lambs
Somehow, Silence of the Lambs is only one hour, 58 minutes. Hannibal Lector managed to escape the FBI quite quickly when you compare it to Hellfire's quest.
The OG film wraps up in two hours and seven minutes. Can only imagine what havoc the dinosaurs could've wrecked if Dustin Henderson was in charge of wrangling them.
Yep. Tom Hanks takes only two hours and 21 minutes to tell his tale to the strangers at the bus stop and then find Jenny. The Hawkins kids could've used his speed.
Another unlikely entry, Tyler Durden's character arc completes in two hours and 19 minutes. Could he take Steve Harrington in a one-on-one fight? Probably.
What a weird movie. Yet the experience lasted merely two hours and 12 minutes. Next time it'll be Vecna in the basement, eh?
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Coming in at two hours and 16 minutes, LucasFilms didn't need as much time as the Duffer brothers to make their entire fanbase upset.
A horrifying experience lasting merely two hours and eight minutes. However, Brad Pitt is still a better cop than any of the Stranger Things options. Except Hopper. Maybe.
There you have it. As a brief aside, you'd be astounded at how many big-ticket movies are exactly two hours and 23 minutes long. Skyfall, the first Pirates of the Caribbean, Fast and Furious 9, the list goes on. I guess 143 minutes is the sweet spot in Hollywood.
Enjoy the finale. But make sure you're comfortable and have supplies at the ready. Because it's a marathon.