Stranger Things’ Gaten Matarazzo On How Eddie’s Death Might Affect Dustin And His Friendship With Steve In Season 5

Gaten Matarazzo and Joe Keery as Dustin and Steve in Stranger Things
(Image credit: Netflix)

It’s already been a month since Stranger Things 4 dropped those deadly final episodes that prepared fans for the beginning of the end. Season 4 of the Netflix hit introduced stand-out character Eddie Munson, who ultimately sacrificed himself in the season finale in the Upside Down. Before his death and wicked Metallica-inspired solo, Eddie grew close to Dustin as a fellow Hellfire Club member, and the latter was put through the emotional wringer with that death. Now, star Gaten Matarazzo has opened up on how Eddie’s death will affect not only his character in Season 5, but Dustin’s concurrent friendship with Steve Harrington.

Before Eddie came into the picture, Dustin’s friendship with Joe Keery’s Steve was easily one of the biggest plusses about Stranger Things, so much so that a Dustin and Steve spin-off has been discussed. Given how quickly Dustin latched onto Joseph Quinn’s Eddie, who took the strapping young lads under his misunderstood wing at school, fans can probably expect the character to have all kinds of friendship-related emotions going in the upcoming season. Speaking to TV Insider about Dustin’s bond with Steve and Eddie, and how Eddie’s death will impact the fan-favorite bromance between his and Keery’s characters, Gaten Matarazzo said:

You can have more than one best friend. And I think it’s true. [Dustin] loves Steve and Eddie for very distinctly different reasons. They both bring out a side of him that he likes in himself, that he’s never seen before. And I don’t know what [Matt and Ross Duffer] have in store and writing-wise, but I think going into it, there’s no denying that there’s going to need to be a shift there, and there’s going to need to be a bit of focus on the fact that nobody can really come back from seeing that.

While Dustin’s friendship with Steve will always be a great one, his role-playing connection with Eddie definitely helped make their kinship more memorable. Not long after the final two episodes of Stranger Things 4 dropped, Joseph Quinn revealed to CinemaBlend what he’s most proud of after playing Eddie, noting the dynamic he formed with Gaten Matarazzo and the entire cast led to hopefully lifelong friendships.

Dustin has experienced a lot of trauma over the last four seasons of Stranger Things, and going into Season 5 in the aftermath of the ground-opening finale, that will only continue. Matarazzo explained how watching Eddie die and leaving him in the Upside Down will affect Dustin in the final season:

He has dealt with loss in the past. He’s seen horrible things, but to have a very close friend of his brutally die, not just there in front of him, but directly with him, is [another thing]. The one thing that I’m always thinking about going into it is that we don’t necessarily see it happen, but Dustin would’ve had to have left [Eddie] there to get out and leave himself.

While it's never fun to watch beloved characters going through painful situations, it does sound like Dustin will be feeling a full spectrum of emotions in the final season. Which does mean that happiness is also in the mix. Despite Eddie's demise, fans did take comfort in knowing that Steve Harrington survived another season after manyt were appropriately worried for his fate, with the Duffer Brothers' comments about Steve didn't help. So hopefully there will be a decent amount of Steve and Dustin moments in Season 5, because Dustin needs all the comfort he can get.

There are plenty of questions for Stranger Things Season 5, but perhaps the biggest one is when it will debut for everyone with a Netflix subscription. There isn’t a set premiere date as of yet, but it’s probably for the better since fans are still in mourning over the Season 4 finale. In the meantime, be sure to check out the best shows to binge watch on Netflix to keep you occupied!

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.