2. The Excessive Runtime & Uneven Pacing
This shouldn't be terribly surprising to anyone who tuned in for the fourth season's first volume, but Volume 2 once again suffers from an absurdly undisciplined runtime and all the egregious pacing issues that this entails.
The two episodes clock in at a combined total of around 3 hours and 50 minutes - almost an entire hour long than Avengers: Endgame, for reference - and while there's a lot of great material packed into those hours, some editing wouldn't have gone amiss.
It's clear that the Duffer Brothers had nobody breathing down their necks telling them what to cut, which while great in theory also ensures that there's nobody challenging them to "kill their darlings" and deliver a more refined piece of work.
Too often over the course of these four hours the narrative goes around in circles, new subplots and additional minor antagonists feel like padding, and hilariously self-indulgent monologues from heroes and villains alike make it a rather exhausting sit.
In the vein of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, this is a season that feels like it's about to end several times before it actually does, proving to be perhaps the most blatant example of streaming TV's increasing tendency for stamina-sapping, bloated storytelling.