IT HAS BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE WE’VE BEEN HERE, A LONG WHILE SINCE anyone has talked about one of the most beloved shows of the 2010s.

A series so predominantly beloved that it was one of the main selling points for Netflix as a subscription service, a series that made Netflix the biggest name in the world of streaming services. Stranger Things had been gone for a long time, three years in total since the last season aired in 2019, we had essentially no information and no knowledge regarding the fate of our favorite characters from Hawkins. The only thing that kept fans at bay was the announcement that a fourth season is in production, and that was all that fans needed to know because they were very unsure where the story would go from here on.

However, last year in 2021, we got our first glimpse at Stranger Things 4, and the Internet went up in frenzy. Not only was everybody talking about this show, but the hype was back, and all that people wanted was July 2022 to come so that they could binge it. Rumors were spreading, episode lengths were long and castings were announced. However, nothing could have prepared fans for this season of Stranger Things. Not only is Stranger Things 4 the most exciting season in the series’ history, it’s also the darkest and the most gruesome, along with the most narratively nuanced season of writing we’ve had for everyone in the show.

STRANGER THINGS THE STORY SO FAR

The story so far has been quite a rollercoaster ride. Salutations from Hawkins, Indiana! It’s 1983, a year of fantasy role-playing games, great movies, and Steven King books. Young Will Byers, who was playing Dungeons & Dragons with his buddies, was abducted off the street one night while walking home when he saw a weird creature. Best friends Mike, Lucas, and Dustin start looking for Will but instead find a mysterious girl with a shaved head who only goes as Eleven. Will’s mother Joyce, who is pleading with the town police chief Jim Hopper for assistance in finding her son, also starts to detect strange electrical disturbances in her house and sets up a set of Christmas lights inspired by a ouija board in an effort to find him. It appears that Hawkins is the epicenter of all kinds of craziness. Eleven unintentionally unlocked a doorway to a terrifying parallel world, which Mike and the crew quickly dubbed the “Upside Down,” while participating in an experiment on psionically gifted children at a local lab. I is a gloomy reflection of the city, with strange tentacles and ash falling from skyscrapers and other notable structures. The boys named the humanoid beast with a head full of fangs with the name Demogorgon after the main antagonist in their D&D games. Will has been brought there and is at the mercy of this monstrosity. The search for Will also involves Will’s brother Jonathan, Mike’s sister Nancy, and Nancy’s boyfriend Steve. When these three aren’t preoccupied with their own teen drama, the Demogorgon, which killed Nancy’s best friend Barb, is haunting them.

Together, Joyce and Hopper mount their own rescue mission, confronting Dr. Brenner, who was in charge of the experiments, and eventually track down Will and bring him back to the surface. In a makeshift sensory deprivation tank at Hawkins School, Mike, Dustin, and Lucas assist Eleven increase her skills. However, when the agents from the sketchy lab storm the school and Eleven kills several of them, the Demogorgon is drawn to the killing. The monster pursues the children despite their attempts to flee, but Eleven challenges it and ultimately sacrifices herself in the process (or does she?). Now in the fall of 1984 we return to Hawkins after a little detour to meet several other people who have Eleven’s superhuman abilities and one of whom has “008” tattooed on her wrist. But soon it becomes clear that Will is still experiencing terrifying images of the Upside Down. The guys meet Max Mayfield, a new student who has just moved to town with his stepbrother Billy and is an alpha male prepared to challenge cool kid Steve for the top spot in the school. Joyce has found a new love in Bob Newby, a former classmate played by Sean Astin, aka Samwise Gangee, one of the most recognizable movie characters ever. You’ll be happy to know that Eleven is still alive. She was only taken to the Upside Down by her confrontation with the Demogorgon at the conclusion of Season 1, from which she has since escaped and is currently hiding out with Hopper. Hopper has been looking into rotting pumpkin patches, and he finds a tunnel going to the Upside Down and rapidly gets stuck, Will’s visions come in handy. The huge entity Will is witnessing is the Mind Flayer, which, as its name suggests, is a scary monster. The tunnels reveal to have been invaded by vines and tentacles from the Upside Down.

Our heroes gather at Hawkins Lab, where we learn where the primary entrance to the Upside Down is situated, even if Will is still afflicted by some sort of Upside Down virus. Oh, and terrifying Demodogs show up and attack, where the new fan favorite character of Bob gets ripped apart by them. The Mind Flayer’s tunnels, which Steve and the children end up lighting on fire, Hopper’s cabin, where Nancy, Joyce, and the others ramp up the heat in an exorcism-style attempt to heal Will, and the lab, where Eleven shuts the dimensional gate, are all scenes of a final stand-off. After a month, the lab will permanently close. While the kids are enjoying the school dance and the Hollands are holding Barb’s funeral, a Mind Flayer is hanging above them, ready to strike. Summertime in Hawkins! The year is 1985 right now and all the kids appear to be much older. Dustin picks up strange Russian transmissions, and together with Robin, Steve, Erica he finds a brand new lab beneath the Starcourt Mall. A large sized yet sophisticated contraption is being used by the Soviets in an attempt to open a new portal to the Upside Down. Billy, who has gained notoriety among the local ladies as a result of his summer employment as a shirtless lifeguard, gets assaulted by vines and becomes possessed by the Mind Flayer.

When the youngsters realize Billy is possessed, they lock him up in a sauna. The group divides off; while the kids engage the Flayer in a titanic struggle at the Starcourt Mall, Joyce, Hopper, and Murray proceed to the lab to stop the Russians and lock the gate once more. When the Mind Flayer bites Eleven on the leg, she must use her talents to expel the portion of the creature left inside her, which causes her abilities to fail for the remainder of the battle. Eleven is taken to the Flayer by Billy, who is possessed, but after Eleven communicates with him through memories of his mother, he shields her and gives his life in order to save her. A huge explosion happens in the underground lab, and Hopper seemingly dies in the process. Eleven, Will, Jonathan and Joyce head to California while the rest stay in Hawkins, living their lives. Well, the one thing we know that season four is bringing is a brandnew villain. The Mind Flayer is dead and dusted, so the only way to increase the stakes is bring in a new villain, but this time around, the Duffer Brothers are going for a different approach. Instead of making another vicious monster enemy, this new enemy is a much more devious sort. A humanistic looking character from the upside down, Vecna is the ghost of everybody’s Christmas past. He’s here to collect souls and take them with him, and only the gang in Hawkins can stop him. However, not everybody is around there, Eleven and the Byers are in California, meanwhile Hopper who survived the explosion at the end of Season 3 is now being held in a Russian prison.

WHAT DOES SEASON 4 HOLD?

With every episode lasting more than an hour and the season finale clocking in at a staggering 2 hours and 19 minutes, Stranger Things’ fourth and most ambitious season is more ambitious than anything the series has ever attempted. The sci-fi horror show’s first season combined small-town mystery with sentimental coming-of-age dramedy.

The fourth season of Stranger Things takes an epic approach that highlights how the series’ scope has altered to a much bigger scale than expected. It is set all over the United States and even parts of Russia. This season also has a previously unseen level of horror along with a much more humanized villain. So, with this new terrifying threat looming around the corner and the whole gang separated, what are Hawkins’ saviours going to do? Well, you can find out right now by watching Stranger Things 4 only on Netflix! All nine of the episodes are out, and trust us, Episode 9 is y far one of the best episodes in television history.

CONCLUSION

If you’re searching for some excitement, be sure to watch Stranger Things Season 4, Volumes 1 and 2. It’s currently available to view on Netflix, and it features some delectable subtitles. The wait for Stranger Things 5 has started, so until it airs, be on the lookout for more of our film and TV series recommendations, because you know we’ve got you covered!

About the Author: Sara Hope

Sara Hope

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