‘Stranger Things’ season four takes a dark turn

New season glues fans to their couches


Fair use from Netflix

Abby Bartleson



After waiting three long years, “Stranger Things” has finally returned, but not all at once. Vol. 1 was released May 27 and fans around the world indulged in the thrilling but now much stranger show. 

Season four is set about a year or so after the Starcourt Battle, which has left characters shaken. Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) is struggling to adjust to her new life in California with the Byers family— Will (Noah Scnapp), Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton). Back in Hawkins, Max (Sadie Sink) wrestles with the aftermath and reality of the death of her step-brother Billy (Dacre Montgomery). Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Dustin’s (Gaten Matarazzo) friendship is still flourishing but Lucas (Caleb Mclaughlin) has found a new love for basketball and his team of popular friends. He is determined to become cool, but his relentless attempts at impressing his teammates becomes insufferable. 

Nancy (Natalia Dyer) has experienced great character development over the past few seasons. Although still skilled at eye-rolling and door slamming, which keeps her cynical older sister personna. She channels her brains and energy into helping Mike and his friends with the chaos the town has endured in the past years. Nancy, now an editor at The Hawkins Post, which was heartwarming to watch as being an Echo staffer. Now she is put up to the task as lead journalist for investigating the murders caused by Vecna.

Multiple new, and charismatic characters are introduced this season as well. Vecna is season four’s villain, who preys on people who are haunted by trauma. We’ve seen this firsthand with Max witnessing Billy’s death, Nancy who blames herself for her best friend Barb’s (Shannon Purser)death and Chrissy Cunningham (Grace Van Dien) whose mother verbally abused her. Vecna gets inside his victims’ heads, making their worst nightmares come back alive only to mutilate them into a painful death. 

My favorite character introduced this season is the Hellfire D&D club leader and metalhead, Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn). Accompanied with a long mop head of hair, his character is very likable and charming, with unhinged sarcasm rooted into every line. Unfortunately, poor Eddie Munson is blamed for these recent murders, making the entire town of Hawkins come after him. 

Although this season of Stranger Things was extremely gripping, I had hoped for more light hearted undertones like season three. Comedic relief characters from last season still had a number of great lines but I was disappointed when many of the characters were separated and relationships were strained. Jonathan and Nancy experienced trouble in paradise, communication between them was so inconsistent, if there was any, which was extremely frustrating as a viewer. 

Erica Sinclair, Lucas’ little sister (Priah Ferguson) is still sassy as ever and her clever comebacks are always successful in turning a moment humorous. Eleven spent the majority of the season tucked away in Hawkins lab being poked and prodded by Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine). This made the storyline fall flat in a way that “Stranger Things” shouldn’t, since it is a show largely based around friendship. The Duffer Brothers sacrificed comedy for gruesome horror, which might appeal to some, but comedy is often used to deal with hardship in the show.

The music and sets are incredible. The music has always stuck out to me and made Stranger Things such a solid show and the sets are exceptionally intricate. Countless 80’s hits are featured in this season, Kate Bushs song “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” has become incredibly popular after becoming Max´s signature song in the show.

The seventh episode leaves viewers on a massive cliffhanger, Vol 2 is set to be released July 1. Many questions have come up throughout watching Vol. 1 and fans can only hope Vol 2 can answer them. Overall, I have really enjoyed season four of “Stranger Things” so far with all of its twists and turns. I’ve been watching “Stranger Things” since the first season came out in 2016 so seeing the actors grow and characters develop has been one of my favorite things about the show.


“Stranger Things”: ★★★★★