Stranger Things Season 4 Preview

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We’ve been waiting nearly three years to catch up with Eleven, Hopper, and the rest of the Stranger Things crew. Ahead of Friday’s season 4 premiere, let’s catch up with Stranger Things and predict what might happen next.

How can I watch Stranger Things season 4?

Season 4 of Stranger Things premieres May 27, 2022, on Netflix. Check out our Netflix review to learn more about the streaming service, and sign up for a subscription.

What happened in Stranger Things season 3?

Stranger Things season 3 ended with the gang facing off against the Russians at the Starcourt Mall. Although they successfully closed the gate to the Upside Down and stopped the Mind Flayer (the giant tentacle monster in season 3), it didn’t come easily.

Hopper’s in Russia

At the end of season 3, Hopper sacrificed himself to close the gate. Although the Duffer Brothers and David Harbour were coy about Hopper’s fate, Netflix’s promos quickly put that question to rest:

And everyone’s broken up about it

In the aftermath of the Battle of Starcourt, the Byers family took in Eleven and (finally!) left Hawkins for California. Nancy and Jonathan have to break up, and the gang retires their Dungeons & Dragons party. (With season 3 happening in 1985, we get how hard it was to do long distance before Zoom.)

Eleven: no more psychic powers

Eleven helped Billy defeat the Mind Flayer, but lost her powers in the process. Considering how heavily Eleven needed her psychic abilities in Stranger Things’ first three seasons, she’ll likely need them back in season 4.

What episodes are in Stranger Things season 4?

Netflix will release season 4 of Stranger Things in two parts. Volume one contains the season’s first seven episodes and debuts May 27. Volume two of Stranger Things debuts July 1, and it contains episodes eight and nine.

Episode number Episode title
1 “The Hellfire Club"
2 “Vecna’s Curse”
3 “The Monster and the Superhero”
4 “Dear Billy”
5 “The Nina Project”
6 “The Dive”
7 “The Massacre at Hawkins Lab”
8 “Papa”
9 “The Piggyback”

What will happen in Stranger Things season 4?

Rescuing Hopper from Russia

We already knew the gang would be split between California and Indiana, but we can likely add Russia to that list. Along with this preview photo showing Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Murray (Brett Gelman) in a snowy forest, the season four trailer showed clips of Hopper in Russia along with Joyce receiving a package covered in Russian postage.

Is Billy actually Vecna?

We’ll admit this theory falls on the “Mephisto Did It!” end of the fan prediction spectrum (touch grass, everyone), but let’s break it down anyway.

In an interview with IGN, the Duffer Brothers talked about Vecna’s role as the season’s Big Bad. Vecna is best known from Dungeons & Dragons, where he’s a powerful undead wizard who has traditionally been a big in-game villain. The Duffer Brothers also hinted about Max’s (Sadie Sink) grief over Billy’s (Dacre Montgomery) death at the end of season 3.

But despite being largely absent during the season 4 press blitz, Montgomery will appear in three episodes of season 4. And he also posted this inscrutable tease on Instagram:

Watch the first eight minutes of Stranger Things season 4

Our non-spoiler takeaway: things get dark!

Enter the Winonaverse

The Duffer Brothers have joked about how they’ll have to end Stranger Things before 1988 because it’s the year Winona Ryder starred in Beetlejuice, a film the kids would’ve undoubtedly bought tickets to before noticing the person on screen looks a lot like Joyce Byers.

But here’s our counterproposal, Duffer Brothers: multiverses are so hot right now! Lean into it, and let’s have the Upside Down collide with Edward Scissorhands Winona and Black Swan Winona.

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