The popular Netflix series became a fan favorite from its first season, which aired in July 2016. It is set in the seemingly mundane town of Hawkins, where a young boy Will Byers disappears under mysterious circumstances. As the town looks for the boy, his friends Mike, Dustin, and Lucas decide to search for their lost friend on their own and come across a girl with superpowers.

The story starts to unfold and reveal secret government plans, supernatural forces, and alternate dimensions filled with monsters that seem to have gotten into this world. Things have not happened stranger in the peaceful town of Hawkins.

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Since its inception, it is one of the highest-grossing series on Netflix with a solid fan base. Stranger Things season 4 within weeks of its release became the most popular English language show on the streaming platform. Netflix admits the show has set ‘viewing milestones.’

Here is a quick summary and review of the latest season that has left the viewers globally in a whirlwind of emotions.

Where We Left Off

Season 3 ended on a relatively gloomy note with Chief Hopper closing the door to Upside Down and seemingly losing his life as a result. A heart-wrenching scene of El reading a letter from Hopper follows it. We do not understand much about El’s powers but we know using them can drain her energy.

She needs to rest after using her powers to revitalize energy. By the end of Season 3, El loses her powers after a long and exhausting battle with the Mind Flayer.

As the action seemingly raps up, Joyce moves to California with Will, Jonathan, and El, in hopes of giving them a fresh start.

Running Up That Hill

Season 4 of the show was divided into two volumes. The first part consisted of episodes 1 to 7 and was released on 27th May. Volume 2 was released on 1st July with a 2.5-hr long season finale. This season was so highly anticipated that Netflix crashed upon the release of volume 2 due to a high influx of users.  

During the promotions, the cast repeatedly mentioned that this season was going to be significantly darker than the previous seasons. The Duffer brothers delivered! Season 4 starts with Joyce and the kids in California. El and Will are having a hard time in school and El has to put up with constant bullying and ridicule from her classmates.

Jonathan seems to be struggling in his relationship with Nancy and choosing a college. Back in Hawkins, Max is grieving the loss of her brother Billy who died at the end of season 3 protecting her and her friends. Lucas, Will, and Dustin are trying to navigate through high school. Max and Lucas have seemingly broken up and Max has distanced herself from the group entirely.

It is revealed that Hopper is alive and stuck in a prison in Russia. In the prison, Hopper befriends a guard and sends out a message to Joyce in California.

The Emotional Turmoil

This season addresses a fair bit of the emotional turmoil the characters are facing as a result of the events that transpired last year. We see Max struggling with mourning the loss of Billy- her brother. Her way of dealing with the pain is blasting music in her ears and shutting out the world.

Lucas, Will, and Dustin battle to fit in high school. Will and El seem to be struggling with their identity and being away from their friends. Season 4 shows how much the characters have grown up and how they are dealing with the aftermath of their struggles.

The Big Bad

This season introduces us to Vecna the big bad villain of the series and essentially the creator of the upside-down. The season provides major revelations about El’s powers and the origin of the Upside down. Vecna is set to take over the world, starting with Hawkins.  

To Sum It Up: Hawkins Will Fall

Stranger Things season 4 has laid the foundation for the last season of the show. It ended with the gang reuniting in Hawkins after seemingly defeating Vecna in an elaborate plan. However, in the closing scene, we see the re-emergence of the Mind flayer and ash falling from the sky.

From the end scene of season 4 and the art for the next season, we know big things are happening in Hawkins. The gang is gearing up for the final fight against Vecna and the Upside-down.