Photo by Rafal Werczynski via unsplash.com

The final two episodes of ‘Stranger Things 4’ are here. Despite some controversial scenes of bloody children’s bodies and an appreciated disclaimer at the beginning of episode one, the season was a hit. A hit might be an understatement, considering that part one of season four released on May 27th, amassed 883.30 million hours viewed over its first 24 days of availability.

After eight years of watching the children of Hawkins grow up, and get in and out of trouble, the show reached a new level of maturity introducing a darker season to its fanbase. In a similar fashion to how the ‘Harry Potter’ films progressed, it seems that each season, as the children grow up, the series raises the stakes and its visuals.

Every season manages to introduce a new-fan favorite, thanks to amazing casting and undeniable chemistry between the actors. The show’s constant focus on character development, all while providing audiences with cliffhangers and fantastical storytelling, allows audiences to connect and care about everyone, even former antagonists like season two’s Billie, played by Dacre Montgomery. In the recent season, Jamie Campbell Bower portrays the role of Peter, who ends up being 001, who ends up being Vecna. As viewers try their best to hate him it’s hard to ignore his traumatic upbringing and the actor’s longstanding fan base, who despite his character’s evil intentions, still make TikTok edits of his hair flipping in the wind.

Newcomer Joseph Quinn has also garnered some new fans, due to his charismatic portrayal of whacky Dungeons & Dragons player Eddie Munson. Munson is clearly adored by friends Dustin and Mike as they spend the season protecting him from trouble.

This season finally lets viewers in on the origin of the Upside Down and provides plenty of background on Eleven’s journey. The last episode of part one ended in a cliffhanger, as expected, and considering everything that happened in the first seven episodes a recap might be helpful before watching the final two episodes in season four.

Eleven and 001:

Eleven and Will are living in California with Joyce and Jonathan, after leaving Hawkins following season three’s finale. Mike comes to visit and soon realizes she is being bullied by her classmates, he even witnesses her breaking Angela’s nose at a roller skating rink. She is then taken by Dr. Owens back to Hawkins and into the lab with ‘Papa’ also known as Dr. Martin Brenner, in an effort to reclaim her powers.

At the lab El goes into a giant water tank multiple times to regain access to memories that let her in on who 001. She also remembers helping him remove a chip from his neck, which suppressed his powers. He then murders all the children in the lab and Eleven unleashes all her anger, sending him to the Upside Down in his final form; Vecna. All of this originally took place just before the beginning of the show, bringing us to understand El’s season one trajectory.

Millie Bobby Brown and Jamie Campbell Bower, Courtesy of Netflix via the ‘Watch This Before Stranger Things 4 Volume 2’ Youtube video.

All the teenagers:

Steve, Robin, Dustin, Max, Lucas, Nancy, and new fan-favorite Eddie are all in Hawkins, dealing with the mysterious (and very disturbing murders) happening, which are all being blamed on Eddie due to sheer bad luck/timing. The murders cause people to levitate as their eyes roll back and then all their bones spontaneously break and boom they’re dead. This is all thanks to the new problem monster Vecna, who targets children that are going through some kind of trauma. As Max is grieving the loss of her stepbrother, Billie from season two and three, she becomes his target.

The children manage to discover a way to pull her out of Vecna’s murderous trance; music. To be more specific in Max’s case, it’s Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ which scored Kate Bush her first-ever Top Ten hit in the USA on the Billboard Hot 100 as number eight. In the final episodes Steve, Nancy, Robin, and Eddie enter the Upside Down in an effort to kill Vecna. Meanwhile Lucas, Max, and Dustin are home trying to decipher their friend’s messages front the Upside Down. There’s also a good amount of flirting happening between Nancy and Steve, a season one throwback, that not a lot of people were expecting.

Caleb McLaughlin, Gaten Matarazzo, and Priah Ferguson, Courtesy of Netflix via the ‘Watch This Before Stranger Things 4 Volume 2’ Youtube video.

The Parents:

Joyce and Murray spend the whole season trying to rescue Hopper. At first, Joyce receives a Russian doll in the mail with a message to call a phone number, she then embarks on a journey to Russia, with Murray, in an effort to rescue him from a maximum security prison.

At the prison, Hopper has the help of a security guard with his escape plan. However his first try does not work out and the guard’s release him and other prisoners into a demogorgon layer. Joyce and Hopper finally come to his rescue, and are reunited with a hug, despite still being in the facility.

Now, all that’s left to do is watch the final two episodes. And If anyone out there is still worried about whether or not this was the show’s final season, no need to freak out. The Duffer brothers have been clear about season 5’s filming process, which will let viewers in on even more details about the beginning of it all.

David Harbour and Winona Ryder, Courtesy of the Netflix Instagram account.

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