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Stranger Things returns for season four


     The hit Netflix show, “Stranger Things,” has been a wildly successful series since the release of its first season in 2016. The fourth season was recently released on May 27, and has been long-awaited by many including myself. The show is a sci-fi thriller that includes mythical monsters invading Hawkins, Indiana in the 80s, along with a group of friends and their peers working to defeat the monsters. 

     If you are new to “Stranger Things”, I highly recommend watching seasons one to three because none of season four would make any sense to a viewer without watching the previous seasons. However, I will attempt to give context to those who need a refresher on the events that occurred in Hawkins leading up to the newest season. 

     Eleven and the rest of the crew attempt to enjoy their summer break until they discover the Mind Flayer is back and is trying to attach himself to a new host. Coincidentally, Russian scientists are also secretly trying to open a bridge between reality and the Upside Down (the world where these creatures originate from). The group finally slay the Mind Flayer and close the hole between worlds in an epic battle which, 

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unfortunately, leads to Bobby (Max’s older brother) and Hopper dying. The end of season three led to me crying my eyes out, being that Hopper was one of my favorite characters. 

     This all brings us to season four, which begins with the Byers clan and Eleven adjusting to their new life in California since their departure from Hawkins at the end of season three. Mike, Dustin, Lucas and Max are also finishing up their first year of high school and the first episode shows how their lives have changed. While I liked seeing how each of them have changed in their own way, I found myself wishing they were all together again. On an extremely positive note, Hopper is discovered to be alive which instantly made me happy. Unfortunetly, Eleven has lost her powers, which also takes away one of my favorite aspects of the show. 

     However, this changes soon when weird things start happening in Hawkins again. One of the Hawkins High cheerleaders, Chrissy, is killed early on in the show by the newest evil creature, Vecna, and is discovered with all of her bones broken and eyes missing. This scene is especially gruesome but is nothing different from previous deaths in “Stranger Things”. While the rest of the town stands baffled, Dustin, Max, Nancy and Steve all know that a monster from the Upside Down is back, causing them to start investigating.

     As Vecna begins claiming more and more victims, Joyce takes a trip to try and recover Hopper from Russia where he is being held prisoner. This made me extremely hopeful that he will come back and Eleven will soon be reunited with her dad. Along with that, Eleven is sent away to try and regain her powers, which also gives me that hopeful feeling that she will get them back and start to be the same Eleven we know and love. 

     One of the most anxiety-inducing instances in this season of “Stranger Things” was when it was discovered that Max was supposedly the next victim of Vecna. Max had just lost Billy in the previous season, and her being taken from the show too just seemed unfair. 

     As the season begins to wrap up, tensions arise even further… as if that's even possible. Without spoiling the ending, the quest of slaying Vecna continues with Eleven attempting to regain her powers. Through this, more is finally understood about the origins of Vecna and how he came to be. Not only that, but it’s also understood how his creation led to the original bridge between the Upside Down and Hawkins, which is nothing less than shocking. 

     Watching the end of the season had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. While I can’t say this season is my favorite season of “Stranger Things”, it was still beautifully done. Some things I would have liked to have seen would be more of Steve and Dustin’s relationship because they are just so adorable, and honestly, more screen time for Steve overall considering he is my favorite. I would also enjoy seeing the original group back together again in the future, because having Mike, Dustin, Max, Lucas and Eleven together is one of the best features of the series. It just wasn’t the same with the majority of characters separated from each other throughout the entire season. 

     Even though the show is known for its horror and lifelike monsters, it still kept its comedic moments and the charm of its characters in season four. I feel like season five is most definitely necessary in the future for “Stranger Things” when keeping in mind that it ended on a cliffhanger and the fate of the world is still in jeopardy. Just when I thought the show couldn’t have anymore twists and turns, it proved me wrong. 

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