The Return of Stranger Things (Season 4)

Stranger Things 4 is back on May 27th 2022! Read now for the 3 season recap, and all Carbon knows about ST4.

Stranger Things is back.

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Stranger things is a tv show that aired on July 15th 2016. The show immediately gained popularity due to its high action and crime filled scenes. It focuses around 4 kids: Will Byers, Mike Wheeler, Lucas Sinclair, and Dustin Henderson (Noah Schnapp, Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin, and Gaten Matarazzo), who embark on crazy adventures and work as a team. They were then joined by Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven) and other characters that joined the gang.

3 seasons of the show have been released, each will the same high viewings. On the website Statista, they found that in the U.S. 31% of adults aged 18-29 had watched at least one episode of Stranger Things. This statistic didn’t count for people under 18, as we are sure that would have made it much higher.

Here’s what Carbon knows about the upcoming season:

Left to right: Max, Will, Eleven, Mike, and Lucas

Season 4 of Stranger Things will release in two parts. This first part will be available to watch on Netflix on May 27th 2022 (just over a month away!), and the second part will come out 6 weeks later on Netflix on July 1st 2022. We’re unsure as to why this season is coming in two parts, it may be that part one is a filler episode that leads on to the second part, or there may be another reason.

Another thing we have learnt is this season will be the final season. Many viewers will be sad to see the series go, but in an announcement by the Duffer brothers (the creators of the show), they said it “was the most challenging season yet, but also the most rewarding one.”

Many of the cast members will return for the final season: including the 4 boys, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), Max (Sadie Sink), and many more of our favourite characters.

4 Stranger Things posters combined

The Stranger Things Instagram account shared a series of cover images for the 4th season, each with a snippet of text to leave the viewers wanting more.

The four cover images they released were then created into almost a mashup for the fifth, possibly meaning there are only 4 or 5 episodes.

Before season 4 comes out, a lot of viewers need a recap on the past 3 seasons as we’ve been waiting for two years. Keep scrolling for a brief plot summary of each of the seasons!

Season 1 starts off by showing us the 4 main characters, Mike, Will, Dustin, and Lucas playing their favourite game: Dungeons and Dragons. The episode progresses quickly, as they boys soon leave their hangout spot in Mike’s basement and head home. They jump on their bikes and ride together until heading their separate ways, when Will Byers is followed by a shadowy creature. He makes it home and in a climatic scene, is abducted by the creature in the shed behind his house.

No once noticed Will had gone missing until the next day before school. His mum, Joyce Byers, became concerned after he wasn’t in his bedroom and wasn’t at his friend Mike Wheeler’s house. She goes to the police and an investigation begins with the head of the police department, Jim Hopper.

Whilst Will is missing, a young girl with a shaved head wearing a hospital gown appears. She is being chased by Government agents, and the boys find her in the woods after searching for Will. They name the girl Eleven, or El, after the number strangely tattooed on her arm. We also learn Eleven has superpowers.

Eleven (El)

The search for Will continues, with the whole town, Will’s mum and brother, and the police department helping. Another strange event soon takes place when a pool party with Mike’s older sister Nancy Wheeler, her best friend Barb, Nancy’s boyfriend Steve Harrington, and other peers, takes place. While Nancy is busy with Steve, no one notices Barb’s abduction, which we see is by a demogorgon. It takes Barb to the Upside Down, which we learn is a different dimension from the one they currently live in, filled with frightening creatures and no one to help.

Will’s mum Joyce begins to get frantic while looking for her son, concerning some member of the town and the police department. She believes her son is still alive as she sees hands and voices in the walls of her home. This spurs her into putting up Christmas lights in her living room and painting the alphabet above. Will begins to turn the lights on and off to communicate with his mother, proving to Joyce he is still alive.

Joyce Byers

The search for Will leads to a reservoir in town, where a body is dragged from the water. The body appears to belong to young Will Byers, and the police suspect foul play. After further investigating, the body seems to be a dummy filled with fluff.

Whilst all of these events are happening, Government agents are on the hunt for Eleven after finding she is hiding out in Mike’s basement. They arrive at the house, and the 4 boys and El ride their bikes to try and escape. El uses her superpowers to flip one of the vans with her mind, allowing her and her new friends to escape.

We learn about the Upside Down through Eleven and Hopper discovers the entrance to the alternative dimension in Hawkins Lab.

With Hopper and their science teacher, the boys use a paddle pool and other props to help Eleven amplify her powers to go into the Upside Down. It was successful, but El realises Barb didn’t survive. She does manage to find Will unconscious though.

Joyce, Eleven, and Jim Hopper in the season 1 finale

After finding Will in the Upside Down, Hopper and Joyce rush to Hawkins Lab to get to the entrance of the other dimension. As they are preoccupied, the government agents of Hawkins Lab take on the school. Demogorgons of the Upside Down also arrive, but Eleven comes to the rescue by killing the creature with her powers. El is then nowhere to be found after her success.

Will is returned to his family, although it is obvious he is not completely fine as he burps up a black slug. Although this is bad news, at the end of the season we see Hopper walking through the woods to leave eggos- which is Eleven’s favourite food. This gave us hope to see everyone’s favourite hero once again.

Season 2 begins with a group of criminals being chased by the police, and it appears one of them also has the same powers as El, as well as an eight tattooed on her arm. It also seems that Will is still linked to the Upside Down as he has nightmares and bad episodes.

We meet Billy and Max from California, and the boys are immediately drawn to Max after realising she has the same name as the person who has beat their scores in the arcade.

Left to right: Dustin, Will, Lucas, and Mike

We find out El is alive! Many viewers were glad to see her again, and learn that she is living with Hopper in a secluded cabin in the woods. The most adorable pair!

Will starts drawing what he can see in his night terrors, and Hopper leads it back to the rotten pumpkin patch from early on in the first episode. He cuts into the land and jumps down just to get knocked out by toxic gas, only to be saved by Joyce and her new boyfriend Bob after the workers at Hawkins Lab try to burn the monster’s tunnels below the ground.

We learn Will has been inhabited by the monster, who has been named the Mind Flayer. El comes out of hiding to visit her mum, who we learn about in season 1, and instead gets mixed up with the group of criminals from the first episode of season 2. They tell Eleven their plan to kill those responsible for the torture she and El endured, but El refuses to join.

The Mind Flayer

Will is in hospital and in danger, alongside his mum and others. Bob unfortunately dies when ripped apart by the demo-dogs when he opens an exit for the gang to escape from in the hospital. Joyce, Jonathon, and Nancy hit Will with a red hot poker, as heat is the only thing that hurts the monster. They manage to free Will from the monster’s grasp.

El then successfully closes the gate to the Upside Down with her powers, and a month later the government admits to their role in Barb’s and Bob’s death, and Hawkins Lab is shut down.

The season ends with Mike and Eleven sharing their first kiss, and Max and Lucas beginning their relationship. The shadow monster also appears over the Upside Down version of the town, leaving viewers wondering what the next season has in store.

The most recent season begins a year after the end of the final season, and in the past 12 months Eleven and Mike are in an official relationship and so are Max and Lucas. Hopper also struggles to take care of Eleven, who is now a teenager and in love. Dustin has also found love with a girl called Suzie whilst he was away at summer camp. However, her parents won’t let them contact each other so they communicate through radio.

Whilst Dustin is talking to Suzie, he accidentally hears a message in Russian. Dustin, Steve, and classmate Robin translate the message to find out that the Russians are using the newly built mall to reopen the Upside Down. The three of them, plus Lucas and his younger sister Erica, investigate the mall and pretty much immediately get stuck in a lift underground due to the Russians. Dustin and Erica manage to get free, and come back to rescue the others after they were beaten and given a truth serum.

Robin, Steve, and Dustin

Meanwhile Billie is trying to have an affair with Mike and Nancy’s mum while he works at the community pool. Instead, he accidentally crashes his car and ends up being possessed by the Mind Flayer. Eleven becomes concerned and suspects that Billie has been possessed by the demon so locks him in a sauna. Billie is clearly bothered by the heat, as heat is the one thing that can kill the Mind Flayer. He tries to kill El, but isn’t successful and escapes.

The Mind Flayer finds the gang at the cabin in the woods and and rids Eleven of her powers by biting her leg.

Hopper finds out that the Hawkins mayor is allowing the Russians to use the mall, and he and Joyce become friends with a Russian scientist called Alexei. He doesn’t speak English, so they take his to a translator and he confirms the Russians plans to reopen the Upside Down. Alexei is then killed by a Russian informer for betraying them.

Max, Lucas, Mike, Will, and Eleven

In the finale, everyone meets at the mall and splits up to achieve their two goals- close the gate of the Upside Down, and kill the Mind Flayer. Hopper, the translator Murray, and Joyce go underground with the help of Suzie to try and close the gate. Billie appears in the mall, and a chaotic and dramatic fight breaks loose. In this fight, El is knocked unconscious and Billie is about to take her for the Mind Flayer, but Eleven quickly uses her powers to use Billie’s own memories against him. This saves Eleven.

In the underground, Hopper leads an attacker away from Joyce in an attempt to save her, and sacrifices himself so Joyce can close the gate and kill the Mind Flayer.

Season 3 ends with Joyce packing up her stuff and moving out of Hawkins with her family, and Eleven is with them. This leads viewers wondering where they are going, what happens with Mike and Eleven, along with so many more unanswered questions.

Left to right: Jonathon Byers, Dustin Henderson, Steve Harrington, Eleven, Mike Wheeler, Robin, Nancy Wheeler

Now that you’re all caught up from the past 3 seasons, who’s ready for season 4? We’re sure it will be filled with the same amount of drama-filled action scenes with our favourite gang.

Although it doesn’t appear that Stranger Things has an official trailer, it does have a sneak peak video on their YouTube account. Watch below:

The YouTube account also has teaser videos, 4 in total. Click the link below to visit the Stranger Things YouTube account to watch.

Who’s excited for May 27th?

By Emma Foakes