Find Out the Poignant Way Stranger Things Season 4 Handled Will’s Feelings for Mike

We were prepared for surprises and scares in volume two of Stranger Things' fourth season, but it had us in our feelings in a more poignant way, too. Find out how it addressed Will's sexuality.

By Daniel Trainor Jul 01, 2022 7:59 PMTags

Warning: This story includes spoilers for Stranger Things season four, volume two.

Even Stranger Things has a soft side.

In the penultimate episode of the show's fourth season, released July 1 on Netflix, Will (Noah Schnapp) subtly opened up about his sexuality in a conversation with Mike (Finn Wolfhard)—while using Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) as a conduit. 

Will presented Mike with a painting he had made—which, in the season's first installment, Eleven told Mike she assumed was for Will's crush—and he used Eleven as a means of talking about his own feelings.

"Yeah [I painted this]. I mean, El asked me to. She commissioned it, basically," Will told Mike. "I mean, she told me what to draw. Anyway, my point is, see how you are leading us here? You're guiding the whole party, inspiring us. That's what you do."

Will pointed out a coat of arms he had painted, saying, "It's a heart. I know it's sort of on the nose, but that's what holds this party together. Heart."

As he continued explaining the way that Eleven feels about Mike, it became clear that Will was talking about himself.

30 Secrets About Stranger Things Revealed

"These past few months, she's been so lost without you," he explained. "She's so different from other people, and when you're different, sometimes you feel like a mistake. But you make her feel like she's not a mistake at all."

Will concluded his speech by sharing why he—or sorry, Eleven—had been more distant than usual.

"If she was mean to you or she seemed like she was pushing you away, it's because she's scared of losing you, like you're scared of losing her," Will said. "If she was going to lose you, I think she'd rather just get it over with quick. Like ripping off a Band-Aid. So yeah, El needs you, Mike. And she always will."


After finishing, Will, who clearly had been holding everything inside for so long, turned away and started crying.

The topic of Will's sexuality has been a hot one for Stranger Things fans since the first batch of season four episodes were released in May. Will had made comments about being scared to "open up" and chose gay mathematician Alan Turing as a subject for a school presentation.

At the time, Schnapp argued that the ambiguity was intentional, telling Variety,  "I think that's the beauty of it, that it's just up to the audience's interpretation, if it's Will kind of just refusing to grow up and growing up slower than his friends, or if he is really gay."

Schnapp contended that showing the confusing and difficult aspects of Will's journey was important, saying, "That's what it is to be a kid."

The entire fourth season of Stranger Things is available to stream on Netflix.

Get the drama behind the scenes. Sign up for TV Scoop!