A Stranger Summer | Sophie Sills
Spoiler Warning: CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR SEASONS 1-3
The moment we have all been waiting for is drawing closer: Stranger Things is finally releasing a long-awaited fourth season. The season will be released in two installments, with the first batch of episodes available on May 27 and the rest arriving on July 1. But what can fans of the series expect? Will the new season be as suspenseful and as addictive as the previous three? Even more so? Let's take a closer look.
What was going on where we left off?
As Stranger Things has been off the air for a LONG three years, we might as well start from the beginning.
Pretty much the entire premise of Season 1 is the disappearance of Will Byers. Throughout the main characters’ journey to find him, they discover the upside down- the eerie, frightening secondary realm in which Will is trapped. Most importantly though, they meet a crucial member of their party, Eleven. I’m sure that anyone who has watched Stranger Things knows who Eleven is, so I’m not going to delve too deeply into her character. Needless to say, Eleven has an interesting history, to say the least, as well as paranormal abilities and obvious chemistry with Mike. But long story short, the group finds Will, along with many terrifying monsters, but their journey is far from over.
Season 2 comes with even more drama, and unfortunately for poor Will, much more complicated problems. Although Will is back home and out of the upside-down, he still does not feel that things are quite right, and suspects that a piece of the upside-down may still be with him. His sensations start as goosebumps, and eventually progress to full hallucinations in which he is seeing a terrifying mass dubbed “the shadow monster”. In one of his hallucinations, this monster fully possesses him, and throughout the season, Will’s brain becomes increasingly overcome by the thoughts and desires of the shadow monster, later called the Mind Flayer. Fortunately, Mike, Joyce, Jonathan, Nancy, and Hopper get the monster to leave Will’s body and it seems that all is well again. However, this is only one of a few plotlines of the season, as the dynamics of the original gang get more complex. For starters, two new characters are introduced, Max and her step-brother, Billy, and we find out that Eleven has a biological mother and a “sister”, meaning that there are more people that exist with powers like hers.
Season 3 takes a bit of a political turn, as it is largely focused on the Soviets trying to open a portal to the upside-down right under Hawkins’s new shopping mall. The scenes from the mall and the fashion on display make Season 3 a favorite of those who love 1980s nostalgia. However, the fun is disrupted when it’s noticed that the Mind Flayer is still taking hold of the bodies of more innocent victims, including Billy. All of the action comes to a climax in the season finale, when the Mind Flayer is defeated at the cost of Eleven’s powers and Billy's, and seemingly Hopper's, lives.
The Trailer & Predictions
The Stranger Things Season 4 trailer is chilling, to say the least. Between the thrilling visuals, the plethora of new characters (and new villains), and the eerie questions raised by mind-bending teasers, it is certain that this season will be on another level.
First off, it is revealed that Hopper is actually alive -- he did not in fact die at the end of Season 3! Although the post-credits scene from the Season 3 finale hints that Hopper may not be gone for good, I’m honestly a bit disappointed that they outwardly revealed this in the trailer, as I think that it would have been a lot more fun to get to experience the shock of seeing him for the first time in the actual show. Additionally, the trailer hints that the new season may be more psychologically thrilling and even eerier than the previous seasons, and that there will be a large emphasis on the concept of time (the trailer cuts to a clip of some sort of clock almost every thirty seconds). It also seems as though the original gang will get back together and that a chilling new monster, Vecna, will be introduced. Most excitingly, however, it looks like this season will delve deeply into the origins of the upside-down, the characters, and the whatever curse is looming over the town of Hawkins, as Netflix’s catchphrase for the season is that “Every ending has a beginning” As said by the Duffer Brothers (the executive producers of the show), “Season 4 is to answer big questions”.
Overall, it seems that this will be the most intense and intriguing season yet, so as of right now, my expectations are very high. The season’s release will be the perfect end-of-the-school-year treat, so grab your popcorn and prepare to (hopefully) be amazed.