Stranger Things Review

Spoiler Alert!

Stranger Things season four has recently been released with new plots. Max Mayfield (played by Sadie Sink) is lifted by Vecna in the upside down and has no control over her body. (Lauralai Gilbert)

After three long years, Netflix finally released a fourth season of Stranger Things, a series produced by Matt and Ross Duffer. This season was released in a two-part

collection which is new to the franchise. Netflix released part one of season four on May 27, 2022, then released part two of the season on July 1, 2022. With this new season it includes new plot twists as well as new characters.

The series takes place during the 1980s and the fourth season specifically takes place in March 1986. The season follows the abnormal lives of the protagonists during spring break with characters Eleven (played by Millie Bobby Brown), Mike Wheeler (played by Finn Wolfhard), Will Byers (played by Noah Schnapp), as well as other cast members. Stranger Things originally takes place in Hawkins, Indiana. However, in the new season the producers infused different storylines in various settings such as Russia, California and of course including Hawkins. Some members of the main cast who moved to the fictional town of Lenora Hills, California coincides with the storyline happening in Russia.

The change in scenery from drab old Hawkins to sunny California has meaning carrying over from the season prior. In season three, there was the death of a monumental character who made a difference in many of the supporting character’s lives—or so fans were led to believe. This character is Jim Hopper (played by David Harbour) who is an integral part of the storyline, dealing with threatening forces that have come to Russia towards the end of season three. To get Eleven, as well as her family to a safe environment, Joyce Byers (played by Winona Ryder), moved them to California.

This has been perceived as the most spine-chilling plot of the show, as well as the saddest and most dramatic season to be released so far. The show contains scenes depicting death as well as deceit that create overwhelming emotions for Stranger Things fans that are often lacking in other shows.

A new season comes with many new characters, a number of which have so much personality and depth that it can be easy for fans to fall in love with them in a matter of episodes. However, as fans of the series may know, the Duffer brothers often create tension to popular fan biases that elicit a reaction from audiences. Whether it be relationships that never work out (poor Steve) or the killing off of popular characters, fans often have mixed emotions surrounding the outcome of scenarios in the series.

This season of Stranger Things centers around the rockstar and eccentric character Eddie Munson (played by Joseph Quinn) a wild teen that does not conform to the usual societal normalities of Hawkins. Right away, Eddie had an unfortunate opening and was framed for the death of Chrissy Cunningham (played by Grace Van Dien). He was also chased for a while by jocks on the Hawkins High basketball team that convinced a town full of people that he was associated with the devil. He was the leader of the Hellfire club which was believed to be a cult when it was just a group of nerds who liked to play a popular game–Dungeons and Dragons. Eddie was known for being more on the cautious side and used to just hiding away from his problems. But once he had the chance to stick up for his friends who had helped him survive during this time, he took advantage of it. Thus, this led to his heroic and tragic death. Rest in peace to a true hero and awesome rockstar, Eddie Munson.

Stranger Things has been one of the most popular shows on Netflix since its release in 2016, but with the release of season four, a large amount of attention had been garnered through social media. Social media is a big part of any show’s rise in popularity, but with Stranger Things a lot of the popularity came from music-based posts on social media. These posts were especially prevalent on the social media platform known as TikTok because of all the unique videos that came out of the sounds available to fans of the series.

This season had a scene where character Max Mayfield (played by Sadie Sink) was being controlled by Vecna (played by Jamie Campbell Bower) and the only way to defeat him was to listen to the individual’s favorite song. As the music builds, the viewers get emotional flashbacks from Max, and get the reactions from her desperate friends who watch her limp body float into the air. As Running Up That Hill escalates, Max makes her escape in a slow motion run towards her friends. The producers’ use of Bush’s song in this scene had fans feeling an adrenaline rush from start to finish. The song that saved Max was Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) by Kate Bush. Because of this, the song, even though being made in 1985, charted number one on many music charts for weeks.

Eleven on the other hand is going through a crisis of her own, especially with all that is happening to her in school, has no friends there for her, no one to really confide in and on top of that she is being bullied. This less than fortunate string of events really gets to Eleven and the buildup shows later when Eleven has a breakdown and severely assaults her bully. Eleven was trying her best to turn over a new leaf to create a well-spoken image for herself, as well as to make new friends to try not to be violent but the peers around her are making it very difficult for Eleven she releases it on those who are “regular”.

While all the characters are going through their own personal developments a new villain is added to the series who is recognized under the name of Vecna. His abilities appear to be very similar to Eleven but he has a lot of range and knowledge along with these abilities. Using his abilities from the alternate version of Hawkins known as the upside down (alternate version of Hawkins) Vecna starts killing people like the aforementioned Chrissy to open portals to the upside down and wreak havoc across Hawkins. 

The most jaw-dropping discovery of the new season is that Vecna was actually created by Eleven when she was a kid. One–which was the first child, created by Dr. Brenner (played by Matthew Modine), with special abilities makes a friend in Eleven under the disguise of a worker in the facility in which Eleven was kept her whole childhood. He tries to help Eleven escape from the lab and in doing so, he gains the trust of Eleven while she is naive and little. In the process, he convinces Eleven to take out the chip in his neck that restricts his powers, allowing him to reveal his true self. He reveals to Eleven that he has powers and is the same as her, however, he starts to use them for bad things and killing off all the other children that are kept in the facility. Eleven disapproves and because of this she tries to stop him, but instead sends him into the Upside Down, transforming him into the powerful and dangerous Vecna. 

This new season is filled to the brim with so many different elements that make it enjoyable for a wide range of viewers. Anyone should be able to find something that they enjoy amidst this season of Stranger Things from a sci-fi aspect to a very dramatic cast of characters. It’s a show that has diversity and variety and is a 5 out of 5 in my opinion.