Stranger Things season 4 part 1 hints at Will’s sexuality again (spoilers)
Now that Stranger Things season 4 part 1 has arrived, fans around the world will be talking about the latest developments from the Upside Down and all things pertaining to the latest villain. But there’s also a fair amount of relationship developments in the new episodes.
Between Eleven and Mike, Nancy and Jonathan, Nancy and Steve (maybe?!), and other entanglements that arise in the first volume of season 4, Stranger Things also continues to hint at the ambiguous nature of Will’s sexuality.
In season 3, questions rose after Mike told Will, “It’s not my fault you don’t like girls,” which was a comeback regarding Will wanting to spend time playing Dungeons & Dragons with his friends, and his friends being more preoccupied with their girlfriends during summer break.
While Mike’s season 3 comment could totally be taken as context to the growing pains that Will’s friendships had endured post-Upside Down, season 4 offers some more insight into Will. Maybe Mike’s comment wasn’t too far off after all, considering some of the insinuations in season 4.
Warning: Minor spoilers from Stranger Things season part 1 ahead.
What is Will’s sexuality in Stranger Things season 4?
Although it’s not directly confirmed from Will, Stranger Things season 4 part 1 once again throws out subtle (and some not-so-subtle) hints about Will’s sexuality. There are instances of intentional focus on Will’s glances at Mike and excitement to see him that reads beyond friendship.
When it comes to the initial storyline in California, where Will and his family (including Eleven) move after season 3, the attention remains on Eleven’s struggles at school with bullying. Not much time is spent on Will or any exploration of his personal life.
Noah Schnapp has previously addressed the questions about Will’s sexuality, telling The Hollywood Reporter in February 2020:
“There’s nothing set in stone. It’s kind of up to the audience, and I think the Duffers did that on purpose. Some people perceive it as Will could be gay, asexual or whatever. Or, like how I see it, he was stuck in the Upside Down, and he was away for so long that all of his friends started growing up while he was in this other world.”
Of course, Schnapp responded to Will’s season 3 storyline prior to the release of season 4 and its new developments. Sure, Schnapp’s assessment that everyone else “grew up” and moved on while he was in the Upside Down and dealing with The Mind Flayer could be true, there could also be something more to Will, and that could be important representation for fans.
Does Will have feelings for Mike in Stranger Things season 4?
The focus on Eleven in the beginning of season 4 doesn’t mean that Stranger Things doesn’t give the fan-favorite character something to work with in the season before Vecna pulls focus. It’s briefly, though slightly heavily, implied that Will has a crush on Mike. At least, that’s how some viewers will read these scenes.
When Eleven and Will go to the airport to pick up Mike for his spring break visit to California, Eleven’s obviously excited to reunite with her boyfriend, and Will’s excited to see his best friend. It’s so cute how excited Will is to see Mike, but their first interaction turns awkward when Mike doesn’t fully hug Will. Right after, Will’s face drops.
Throughout the first six episodes (Will, Mike, Jonathan, and Argyle are absent from episode 7), there are additional suggestions that Will’s feelings for Mike are much more than best friendship. Will looks longingly at Mike in the desert and hopes to talk to him. These moments could all add up to Will missing his friend, but they also look super familiar to queer people.
Was Will’s poster a present for Mike?
Likewise, during the airport scene, Will proudly holds a cardboard tube containing “a painting [he’s] been working on.” After Mike asks about it and says “cool,” Will seems to lose his nerve and doesn’t open the painting or give it to Mike.
It seems as though the painting was a gift for Mike, but again, he doesn’t give it to him and the painting isn’t revealed in Stranger Things season 4 part 1.
The rest of the episodes have pretty big fish to fry, so Will’s painting isn’t one of the mysteries of importance, but we’re still wondering what he could have painted. Was it something specifically for Mike that alludes to a crush? Was it a painting of their friend group so Will still feels part of the party? Hopefully, the second volume answers our questions and makes things a little more clear.
Stay tuned for more Stranger Things news, updates, and spoilers from Netflix Life!