Fans Accuse 'Stranger Things' Season 4 Finale of Queerbaiting
With Volume 2 premiering right after the end of the Pride month, the irony of the situation isn't lost on fans.
Warning: the following article contains spoilers for 'Stranger Things 4' Volume 2
It seems that the dramatic finale of 'Stranger Things 4' has not brought the desired closure to a lot of fans who were expecting Volume 2 to deliver some clarity regarding the show's queer characters, whether they are canonically queer or not.
If you were a part of online frenzy that took place on social media in the hours following the Volume 2 premiere, you might have caught the moment when a lot of Robin fans felt heartbroken for her when she saw her girl crush making out with a boy.
This moment triggered a wave of outrage, with fans immediately accusing 'Stranger Things' of queerbaiting. According to them, it wasn't fair of the Duffer brothers to introduce Vickie as Robin's crush only to make her straight – even though the finale has left many people hoping that Robin and Vickie still have a chance after all.
"And Vicki having a boyfriend is queerbaiting, they clearly show that she doesn’t actually like him hence her breaking up with him and then on top of that her and Robin had a scene which heavily indicated Vicki liked Robin." – @b1tterboi.
Another major "queerbaiting" moment was Will Byers not coming out as gay despite many fans' expectations. However, instead of opening up about his sexuality, Will delivered a very ambiguous monologue on how El may feel about Mike, leading viewers to believe that he was actually projecting his own feelings on El.
According to fans, this is not even about their favorite pairing becoming canon.
"I'm not mad about byler not being canon, I'm mad about the queerbaiting and the expectancy of a main character coming out and being more lgbtq+ rep, when we didn't even get a coming out scene." – @plasticats.
Moreover, many people spotted a parallel between the two queer stories – something that only spiced things up.
Despite people being frustrated over their failed expectations, there is still season 5 for them to potentially resolve all the arcs and unveil new drama (if there is any). Clearly, fans will continue to fume online and engage in heated debates as to whether their grievances were indeed triggered by queerbaiting or the story simply going in its own direction.
'Stranger Things 4' Volume 2 is currently streaming on Netflix.