Stranger Things 4: Will’s Speech to Mike in Episode 8 Explained

Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) is the boy who started it all. In Season 1 of Stranger Things, set in 1983, Will is the first person from Hawkins, Indiana to go missing in the Upside Down. In the time since then, Will hasn’t had the easiest childhood. From being trapped in the underworld to being possessed by its master, it’s safe to say that Will’s actually had a pretty rough go of it. Add on the very real-world circumstances of being "different" in a time and place where it could get you killed, and it’s abundantly clear why Will has felt very isolated over the past three seasons leading up to Season 4.

Will’s sexuality has been a hot topic of discussion regarding Stranger Things for years. And while the show’s cast and crew have been reluctant to call it what it is, after a couple of very important conversations in Volume 2, it’s abundantly clear that Will is, at the very least, not straight. In an interview with series creators Matt and Ross Duffer, Collider’s own Steve Weintraub asked the writing and directing duo about Will’s speech to Mike (Finn Wolfhard) in Episode 8. In the episode, Will unveils his painting from Volume 1 and explains the complexities of El and Mike’s feelings for each other. To Mike, he’s talking about Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), but for Will, Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), and the audience, we can see that he’s also talking about himself.

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