I genuinely wonder if the gap came from a pause in production where they made a somewhat last minute decision that this wouldn’t be the last season, and then adjusted the final episodes accordingly.
It's Still the best show of its kind..I still contend that this show has more heart, guts, and originality than just about any show or movie that's come out in the last decade. There were some nitpicks I had but nothing that took me out of the story or lessened it's impact or meaning. Overall I thought it was fantastic. Though I am glad the series will be wrapping up next season, even if that's a few years from now.
I think the Pandemic may have influenced a few decisions along the way but I'd rather have ST than not..
I think the next gap will be interesting again as they will have to shift the time period and the age of the characters.. Maybe Max will become a New conduit to the Upside-down living in a Care facility, she got quite broken physically and mentally after all.
I did feel that Steve was like a Gandalf character overseeing his companions and with those overseeing eyes, which I thought was nice and grew him as a character..
I think I associate most with Steve as a character..