Warning: Spoilers ahead!
After a long awaited arrival, the Netflix original “Stranger Things” made a comeback. Part one season four released May 27 on Netflix and part two– which includes only two episodes – comes out July 1.
Picking up from tragic deaths in season three, season four showed how the main characters acclimated to the new changes in their lives. Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink) dealt with the loss of her brother, while Eleven/Jane (Millie Bobby Brown) tried to blend into her new high school in California. All while a new threat made itself known in the strange town that is Hawkins, Nevada.
This season introduced new characters including Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn), Victor Creel (Robert Englund/Kevin L. Johnson), Dmitri (Tom Wlaschiha) and more. Fans were also introduced to a new plotline with villain Vecna (played by Jamie Campbell) and his deathly curse, yet this season’s plot is still related to the overall plot dealing with the Upside Down— an alternate dimension aligned with the human world where all organisms of nature are controlled by the Mind Flayer, also known as the Shadow Monster.
While the addition of new villains and backstories was interesting, this season did not have the same mood as the previous season. Season three was full of bright colors, laughter and the teenage experience, but this season started out on the dim side – aside for the first episode when we are introduced to the new characters and school life after the chaos in season three.
This season’s artistic intelligence shined through its direction and production. The final moments of the first episode smoothly transitioned between two very different scenes: the championship basketball game and the Hellfire Club’s Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) game. I especially appreciated the parallel between Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin) winning the basketball game and Erica Sinclair (Priah Ferguson) winning the D&D game.
The last episode specifically tied the whole season together. The entire season we saw Vecna and how he treated his victims, but we don’t understand who Vecna is and how he relates to Eleven until the end.
I appreciated how much information was packed into this season, following four groups each episode. The first two groups include Eleven/Jane in her memories; Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard), Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton), Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) and Argyle (Eduardo Franco) in California trying to find Eleven.
The other two groups include Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer), Steve Harrington(Joe Keery), Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas, Max, Robin (Maya Hawke) and Eddie Munson(Joseph Quinn) trying to figure out who Vecna is; and finally Murray (Brett Gelman), Hopper (David Harbour) and Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) navigating through Russia.
However, it became difficult at times to keep track of the story so I found myself needing to rewatch scenes to make sure I understood the order.
Overall, the season was definitely worth the wait and leaves the audience on a cliffhanger which will most likely pick up in part two.