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SYFY WIRE The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Gaten Matarazzo shares his 'Stranger Things' finale hopes on 'The Tonight Show'

How will Dustin Henderson's story end?

By Matthew Jackson
Gaten Matarazzo and Jimmy Fallon

The final season of Stranger Things will be one of the biggest pop culture events of the next few years...whenever it happens to show up, that is. As of this writing, we still don't have a firm date for the show's return to end the saga of Hawkins, Indiana and the Upside Down, but we do know that it's coming, and that means the show's young cast is still taking in what it means to say goodbye.

Gaten Matarazzo, who's played intrepid adventurer and super-nerd Dustin Henderson on the series since its debut back in 2016, stopped by The Tonight Show this week to talk about his Broadway run with Sweeney Todd, but host Jimmy Fallon couldn't let him leave without at least a little talk about Stranger Things.

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In discussing the impact that the show's had on his life, Matarazzo talked at length about how he's spent nearly a decade working on the series, and yet it's still rewarding when fans come up to him to chat about how the show has impacted their lives. He also joked that, while he's looking forward to seeing how everything will end, he's also feeling "deep fear" because the series has provided "pretty great job security."

Check out Gaten Matarazzo discussing Stranger Things with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show:

Then came the big question: How does he want Dustin's story to end? There are a number of ways to tackle that question, of course, but Matarazzo took a fairly diplomatic approach, leaving his character's fate in the hands of creators Matt and Ross Duffer while also expressing hope for certain elements. 

"It's in the best hands it can be. Matt and Ross know these characters better than I think we might, and it's really interesting because they trust us all very much to make our own decisions and go about the scenes the way we've always instinctually wanted to," Matarazzo said. "I've never really given myself an opportunity to think of what they might want to do, and now's the best time to start, just really thinking about what can happen. I'd love to see a good launchpad for growth, and I'd love to see these characters thrive and move on from the trauma they've endured over the past few years. Quite a wild ride."

That wild ride will end sometime soon when the fifth season of Stranger Things premieres on Netflix. In the meantime, you can stream all four previous seasons on the service, and you can catch Matarazzo's full episode of The Tonight Show streaming now on Peacock.

New episodes of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon air weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on NBC. All episodes of the current season are now streaming on Peacock.