Spoiler Warning: Stranger Things Season 4
Stranger Things season four was daring, dreary, and downright dark. Handfuls of hapless Hawkinites were harmed during the season’s first seven episodes. Those who escaped a gruesome death at the hands of the villainous Vecna found themselves staring down the barrel of either an angry mob of concerned citizens or a mad scientist’s malicious machinations, neither of which seemed all that desirable.
All of the Stranger Things audiences’ favorite characters were back for season four (and it must be added that they all managed to survive the sordid season’s start), including, but not limited to: David Harbour as Chief Hopper, Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers, Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven, Fine Wolfhard s Mike Wheeler, Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, and Joe Keery as Steve Harrington.
However, it was a new addition to the cast, the excellent English actor Joseph Quinn (Howard’s End, Catherine the Great), who proved to be the breakout star of season four. Here’s why Joseph Quinn’s Eddie Munson was an excellent addition to the Stranger Things family.
Quinn’s Quality Acting
Eddie Munson is an incredibly complex character. At times, he plays the rebel, reveling in the disgust of standard society at his non-conformist cavorting. However, he’s soon revealed to have a sensitive side. As the season unfolds, even the most cold-hearted Stranger Things viewer cannot help but empathize with Munson, who is unfairly maligned by his community.
It takes a keen eye for character and an effervescent inventory of emotional acting chops to capture the essence of the eccentric Eddie Munson. Fortunately, Joseph Quinn was up for the task (and then some). Stranger Things season four audiences quickly see behind the facade of the maladroit Munson, but the cracks in his disgruntled demeanor only appear when the talented Joseph Quinn allows it.
Viewers can viscerally feel Munson’s fear throughout the season, as Quinn reveals the character to be not a loud-mouthed long-hair but rather just another scared Hawkins kid. This fear is short-lived, however, as Quinn’s Munson soon undergoes another character transformation as he joins the show’s main characters attempting to once again save Hawkins.
At the end of the day, Eddie Munson is simply misunderstood. Near the beginning of the season, he goes on a tirade about the ways in which society deems Dungeons and Dragons as degenerate, and it seems as if his character will become. However, the audience’s emotional tide surrounding the character quickly turns as an illicit narcotic deal in the woods between Joseph Quinn’s Eddie Munson and Gracie Van Dien’s Crissy Cunningham starts an ultimately ill-fated romance.
Joseph Quinn’s Eddie Munson is yet another misunderstood misfit in a slew of Stranger Things outcasts. The character’s beloved game, Dungeons and Dragons, has long been castigated into the realm of the demonic by ignoramuses everywhere. His classmates call him a freak, and later, they even misattribute a murder to Munson.
To the viewer, however, it is obvious that Quinn’s Eddie Munson is not to be feared. He’s just another nerd, and his status as Hawkins’ most wanted throughout most of season four sheds light on the ways in which the ’80s and, frankly, modern society are quick to judge those who at first glance may seem strange but are in reality harmless.
Hostility in Hawkins
From the conclusion of Stranger Things season four, episode one, Eddie Munson has had a mob of Hawkinites hot on his trail, as he is the primary suspect in the death of Crissy Cunningham. He is quickly found by the show’s main characters and reluctantly joins their daring venture into the Upside Down.
The pursuit of Joseph Quinn’s Eddie Munson has proven to be an interesting storyline throughout season four. Stranger Things often employs red herrings. While the series’ regulars are otherwise engaged, either incarcerated in the East, fighting for the fate of Hawkins, or, in the case of Eleven, trapped in a battle with their own subconscious, the town of Hawkins is otherwise engaged, mistakenly hunting for Munson when the forces of evil roil literally under their feet.
Audiences have been watching Stranger Things since the (in hindsight) halcyon days of 2016. Though the main cast of characters has stolen everyone’s heart, the series’ creators, The Duffer Brothers (Hidden, Wayward Pines), have an incredible ability to add new and exciting characters to the tight-knit cast. If viewers choose to use previous seasons as a barometer, the way in which Joseph Quinn’s Eddie Munson has made his way into their hearts likely doesn’t bode well for his well-being.
Hopefully, everything will work out for Munson, as the character would be an excellent addition to any and all potential future seasons.