Stranger Things Season 5 Will Keep The Action (And The Characters) In Hawkins

"Stranger Things" season 4 was all over the place in more ways than one. While the latest and biggest season of the Netflix hit was inconsistently entertaining, it also saw the heroes of Hawkins in all corners of the world. Some members of the original D&D party — and their older teen counterparts — stayed home to protect Indiana, whereas other characters spent much of the season in a Russian prison, or a desert laboratory, or a California suburb. Some fans enjoyed the sprawling setup, but others were less enamored by the decision to keep many characters split up until the final episode.

If you're part of the latter category, series creators Matt and Ross Duffer have good news for you: the show's final season will be set firmly back in Hawkins, Indiana. The news comes via a post-finale conversation the filmmakers had with the podcast Happy Sad Confused (via The Wrap), in which they answered questions about the show's fifth season. Although the final installments are still just ideas in the Duffer brothers' heads — they'll re-open the writers' room in August, according to Collider — they do know the drama will be largely contained to one setting in a throwback to the show's halcyon early days. Matt Duffer told Happy Sad Confused:

"We wanna go back to a lot of the things we did in season 1. A lot of the original groupings and pairings that we had in season 1 — there's something nice about coming full circle."

A Lord of the Rings-style ending

The Duffers also point out that season 4 had the most open-ended finale of any "Stranger Things" season to date. The super-sized final episode ended with Max (Sadie Sink) in a coma, Will (Noah Schnapp) convinced Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower) is still alive, and the real Hawkins plunged into an Upside Down of its own. "For the first time ever, we don't wrap things up at the end of 4, and so it's going to be moving," Matt Ross shared. He reveals that "Characters are already going to be in action" when the final season returns, and that dealing with the cliffhangers presented at the end of season 4 will "carve out at least a couple hours and make this season feel really different."

Does that mean season 5 is set to tighten up some of the slack that came with managing the latest season's sprawling cast? Well, it could, but the Duffers admit they plan on taking their time with the conclusion. "I'm sure the wrap-up will be a lot longer," Matt Ross says. "It's going to be 'Return of the King'-ish with, like, eight endings."

Season 4 of "Stranger Things" is now on Netflix.