STRANGER THINGS, Milliey Bobby Brown, 'Chapter One: The Hellfire Club', (Season 4, ep. 401, aired May 27, 2022). photo: Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Though it took three entire years for “Stranger Things” to hit Netflix, having binged it, we will affirm that the first half of season four of the sci-fi series was price the wait. The latest supernatural threat is dangerously menacing, the stakes are high, and rather a lot is happening all through the supersized season.

Episode seven, “The Massacre at Hawkins Lab,” unravels the thriller surrounding the Upside Down and the way it ties again to Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown). With a number of places this season – Hawkins, a Russian jail, California, the center of the deserts of Nevada, and, after all, the Upside Down — it is pure to need a refresher on the totally different storylines that run concurrently in the newest installment. So learn on as we break down all the main questions you may need about the “Stranger Things” season four midseason finale.

What Happens to Hopper in Russia?


Following final season’s action-packed battle at the Starcourt Mall, Hopper (David Harbour) presumably died when he tried to thwart the Russians by destroying the machine from opening the gate to the Upside Down. Season 4 shortly addresses Hopper’s destiny. He’s, in truth, alive and is at the moment held captive in a Russian jail, Kamchatka. After a season of plotting and devising a grasp plan to rescue Hopper, Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Murray (Brett Gelman) lastly make it inside the jail premises simply as the prisoners, together with Hopper, are dealing with off towards the Demogorgon. Knowing that the beast could be terrified of fireplace, Hopper designs a makeshift weapon to fend off the Demogorgon by wrapping a vodka-drenched piece of cloth round a spear and lightening it up.

While the Demogorgon devours the remainder of the prisoners in the pit, Murray holds the common at gunpoint, asking him to cease the sick sport. But when the common and the remainder of the troopers refuse to assist them, Joyce takes issues into her personal arms and begins pushing a number of buttons unexpectedly in hopes of opening up a barrier towards the raging Demogorgon. Luckily for Hopper and Enzo, the gate to Demogorgon’s cage opens simply in time for them to take refuge. Hopper throws out the blazing spear full steam forward, which sticks the touchdown inside the Demogorgon’s head. As the door to the different aspect of their cage opens, they see Joyce and Murray standing proper in entrance of them. Hopper and Joyce maintain each other in an emotionally-charged slo-mo reunion sequence.

Did Steve and Co. Find Their Way Out of the Upside Down?

While testing out their idea about the gate to the Upside Down, Steve (Joe Keery) dives into the Lover’s Lake, the place Vecna killed Patrick. Much to his shock, their guesswork is correct on the cash. However, he is blocked on his approach out by a swarm of alternate dimensional bats. After seeing Steve getting dragged into the Upside Down, Nancy (Natalia Dyer), Robin (Maya Hawke), and Eddie (Joseph Quinn) observe him via the “Watergate.” The group manages to beat the flock of creatures and save Steve. After bandaging him up, the group heads over to Nancy’s home, the place she hopes to select up the weapons she’s hidden in her room. However, they quickly uncover that the home — and by extension, the Upside Down model of Hawkins — is frozen in the previous: Nov 6, 1983, to be exact, which was the day Will (Noah Schnapp) went lacking in season one.

STRANGER THINGS, Joe Keery, 'Chapter Six: The Dive', (Season 4, ep. 406, aired May 27, 2022). photo: Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Steve picks up on Dustin’s (Gaten Matarazzo) muffled voice in the home, main them to attempt to talk with the children on the different aspect utilizing lights, identical to Will did in season one. They reach making contact with Dustin, Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), Max (Sadie Sink), and Erica (Priah Ferguson), and the “Party” youngsters counsel they go to Eddie’s trailer, aka the web site of Chrissy’s dying, the place Vecna created a portal via a psychic connection together with his sufferer. Robin and Eddie efficiently cross over into the actual world via the gate. Unfortunately, when Nancy takes the rope, she falls beneath Vecna’s curse. As Steve, who’s additionally in the Upside Down with Nancy, tries his greatest to jolt her out of Vecna’s grasp, we see her revisit her guiltiest second when Barb, her greatest buddy, died. She then witnesses Vecna’s backstory play out in entrance of her. But extra on that later.

What Happened at the Hawkins Lab Massacre in 1979?

We lastly return to the gory flashback we began the season with. Though we have been led to consider El one way or the other wreaked havoc on Hawkins Lab’s inhabitants in 1979, that is removed from the fact. At Dr. Brenner’s behest, El agrees to take one more trip into her memories, which have confirmed to be extra traumatic than she initially thought. In the flashback, after El suffers a concussion resulting from being bullied by her fellow affected person, Two, Dr. Brenner severely punishes him by electroshocking him in entrance of everybody.

STRANGER THINGS, from left: Millie Bobby Brown, Jamie Campbell Bower, 'Chapter Seven: The Massacre at Hawkins Lab', (Season 4, ep. 407, aired May 27, 2022). photo: Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Now in the Rainbow Room, El is terrified by her “brothers and sisters,” who’re all taking pictures daggers at her for supposedly getting Two in hassle with Brenner. Peter Ballard (Jamie Campbell Bower), the orderly overseeing the gifted youth, asks her to hitch him in a chess sport. During their match, Peter reveals that he overheard Brenner manipulating different children into killing El. He explains that “Papa” fears El’s powers as a result of he cannot management them. To save her, Peter reveals El a secret underground drainpipe that can enable Eleven to flee the lab. When El asks Peter to hitch her in her escape, he tells her that he cannot depart the premises due to a monitoring chip injected inside him by Brenner known as Soteria. Sweet naïve El — bless her soul — needs to return the favor and affords to take out the chip, which, it seems, had been Peter’s plan all alongside. As she removes the machine, which labored as a power-dampener, Peter begins exhibiting highly effective telekinetic talents at most capability, very similar to El’s. Then, he pulls up his sleeves to disclose the marking “001” on his wrist, letting El know that he’d been the topic quantity One who kicked off the program.

How Was the Upside-Down Created?

Within a matter of minutes, One kills virtually each single individual inside eyeshot. As El follows his tail, horrified, she realizes he’d used her talents to actual his sick, twisted revenge. Peter asks El to hitch him in his mission to “reshape the world.” Sickened by his motive, El refuses to play alongside, and the two have interaction in a supernatural battle. Though El employs Peter’s earlier-shared tip to harness emotions of anger and disappointment to channel her powers at full pressure, it goes solely thus far. Peter appears to be succeeding at slowly killing El together with her levitating in the air, her bones starting to wriggle, and blood trickling down her eyes earlier than he may gouge them out. Then, simply when it appears it’s the finish for El, she conjures up a fleeting reminiscence of her beginning when her mom instructed her she beloved her. The love inside El is so highly effective that she’s now overpowering Peter as she smashes him arduous towards the mirror, sending him flying into the wall behind him. She hits him once more till Peter screams in agony and she or he inadvertently opens the gate to the alternate dimension (aka the origin of the Upside Down) and sends him via it. And that is when Brenner finds El alone in the Rainbow Room, all labored up and stained with blood.

Who Is Vecna?

STRANGER THINGS, 'Vecna's Curse', (Season 4, ep. 402, aired May 27, 2022), ph: Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Let’s rewind to moments earlier than the nail-biting showdown between El and One in the Rainbow Room. Before he launches into persevering with his killing spree with El, he offers her a window into his childhood earlier than he got here to Hawkins Lab. Peter’s household knew he was totally different than different children his age, so that they moved into Hawkins to start out afresh. He discovered human existence meaningless and yearned to repair the damaged construction of the “merciless, oppressive world dictated by made-up guidelines.” What that meant to him was hunting down the weak out whom he thought-about mere “pests.”

Frustrated by his mother or father’s try to tame his talents, he decides to get them out of his approach. He makes use of his psychic powers at the dinner desk to kill his mom. He later does the identical to his youthful sister, however he falls right into a coma when he tries to kill his father, thwarted by his limitations. When he wakes up, he has been despatched to Dr. Brenner to get his powers beneath management, as his mom had organized earlier than she died.

But this is the massive twist – as Peter is filling El in on his life story, we’re concurrently watching it unfold via Nancy, who’s now inside the thoughts lair of Vecna, i.e., the Creel House.

It turns out Peter Ballard is One, but he’s also Vecna, who was initially Victor Creel’s eldest son, Henry Creel. As we piece all of it collectively, we’re handled to a shot of Peter blasting into the Upside Down. After being subjected to lightning and the searing high temperature of the alternate dimension, he transforms into this season’s vicious monster, Vecna. In right this moment’s timeline, Vecna’s left wrist reveals the inscription “001” as the digicam fades to black.

Will El have the ability to regain her superpowers earlier than it is too late? Will Nancy and Steve make it out of the Upside Down earlier than Vecna’s curse worsens? Would El be key to defeating Vecna once more in spite of everything these years later? Only the second half will inform — which can observe up the newest batch of episodes with the remaining two supersized chapters of season 4 on July 1. July could not come quickly sufficient!

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