Stranger Things: 7 Big Questions After The New Trailer And Season 4 Release Date Reveals

Fans of Stranger Things have had to be very patient over the past couple of years while waiting for the arrival of Season 4 on Netflix, or at least more footage and an idea of when the new episodes might actually be ready. Luckily, Stranger Things Day 2021 has provided not only a new trailer (which you can view here) and when to expect Season 4 to release, but some episode titles. These new releases shed some light on what’s on the way, while also raising some questions worth considering during the rest of the wait. 

And as great as it is to get the release date – or at least window for the precise release date – it’s still a long ways off, as it’s not coming until summer 2022. Still, there’s a lot to consider now, so read on for some questions and what can be pieced together from the new California-set footage, when Season 4 will release, and episode titles. 

stranger things teaser screenshot the adventure continues

(Image credit: Netflix)

When Exactly Will Stranger Things Season 4 Release?

The reveal of when to expect Season 4 came at the end of the mysterious video that revealed the titles of the nine episodes: SUMMER 2022. And if we go by the calendar year, technically summer can mean as soon as late June or as late as the final weeks of September. That video also says that “The adventure continues in the spring of 1986” and will feature the kids on spring break, so hopefully that means early summer 2022. If Season 2 was timed to Halloween and Season 3 was timed to the 4th of July, why shouldn’t Season 4 be timed as close to spring as possible even if it has to be a summer premiere? 

stranger things teaser screenshot episode title hellfire club

(Image credit: Netflix)

What Do The Episode Titles Mean?

When it comes to Stranger Things, the episode titles can be very significant… but only really significant in hindsight, once viewers see what actually happens. Still, we can make some educated guesses about what’s on the way with certain episodes based on the titles. Check out the full list:

  • "The Hellfire Club"
  • "Vecna’s Curse"
  • "The Monster And The Superhero"
  • "Dear Billy"
  • "The Nina Project"
  • "The Dive"
  • "The Massacre At Hawkins Lab"
  • "Papa"
  • "The Piggyback"

If only there was an episode called “The One Where Eleven Gets Her Powers Back” or “The One Where Hopper Is Totally Okay And Not Traumatized Again” in this video! The first episode being called “The Hellfire Club” is old news at this point, but the others are all new. “Vecna’s Curse” is a reference to Dungeons & Dragons, which seems likely to point toward action in Hawkins with what remains of the original Party rather than California. 

“Dear Billy” may have some connection to the Billy who died in Season 3, or maybe Max. “The Massacre At Hawkins Lab” seems likely to involve a flashback, since Hawkins Lab was closed at the end of Season 2. “Papa” seems like an obvious nod to Brenner, which makes me wonder if it’s instead – or also – in reference to Hopper. As for the others… well, only so much can be gleaned by guessing! Maybe “The Dive” refers to the underwater scene of Steve in another teaser?

stranger things season 4 trailer surfer pizza

(Image credit: Netflix)

Will The 'Surfer Boy Pizza' Guy Be California’s Steve?

A guy driving a “Surfer Boy Pizza” van seems to be Will and Eleven’s means of getting to high school, and he has some distinctive hair and seems pretty cool about driving a pair of freshmen around. That sounds like a template of Season 2 Steve to me! Plus, the van is seen going off the road later in the new footage, so the guy doesn’t seem to be a one-off who just takes Will and El to school. Is Stranger Things trying to give Will and El their own Steve on the West Coast, since all signs point toward the real Steve sticking with the Hawkins group in Indiana?

stranger things trailer screenshot joyce doll

(Image credit: Netflix)

Did Hopper Send Joyce A Russian Doll?

There’s a quick shot of Joyce ripping open a package that was mailed with what looks like twenty stamps, and it contains a doll that looks like it could be Russian. Now, I’m admittedly not up on postage rates between the United States and Soviet Union circa 1986, and I’m not an expert on dolls, but all those stamps make me think that the doll came from a long ways away. And the doll looks Russian to me! I’m not sure how or why Hopper would send her a doll, although if anybody could be trusted to solve an elaborate mystery based on a small clue that everybody else would overlook, that person would be Joyce. So where did the doll come from?

stranger things trailer screenshot jonathan smoking

(Image credit: Netflix)

Who Is Attacking Mike And Jonathan?

In another quick shot, Mike (who evidently came to California for spring break) and Jonathan are seemingly attacked in what has to be Will’s room, with the easel. There’s certainly glass flying everywhere. Are these attackers from the U.S. government, suspicious that Joyce may or may not be the recipient of a mysterious Russian artifact? Are they Soviet assassins like the ones who wreaked so much havoc in Hawkins in Season 3? Are they secret agents who think that Joyce has gone too long without having her house destroyed in some way or other, like in previous seasons? Okay, maybe not on that last one, but whatever happens, it’s probably safe to say that this isn’t what Mike was planning on in his trip to the Golden State. 

stranger things trailer screenshot eleven captured

(Image credit: Netflix)

Who Captured Eleven?

This is actually a question that goes back to a previous trailer that seemingly showed El being either captured and dragged toward a van or dragged out of a van, but there are no more answers this time around than the first. The men holding her don’t have any distinguishing marks, and there’s no dialogue to help out with any guesses. Still, it can’t be a good thing for poor El, especially if she still doesn’t have her powers. And if she truly has been captured, could Brenner have something to do with it?

stranger things season 4 logo screenshot netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

How Will Stranger Things Split The Season?

Netflix has released two videos with a decent amount of glimpses into Season 4, and they suggest that the cast will be split into three groups: Eleven, Mike, and the Byers family in California, with the rest of The Party, Nancy, Steve, and Robin investigating a creepy house in Hawkins, and whatever is happening with Hopper in Russia. There’s a whole lot of space between the three groups, so will the season give each group separate episodes and then combine for the last one, similar to how previous seasons finally brought the groups together for the last episode? Or will the episodes jump back and forth between Hawkins, California, and presumably Russia? And will these characters all reunite at any point? Will the mysteries even be connected?

stranger things trailer screenshot eleven high school

(Image credit: Netflix)

Bonus: How Is Eleven Ready For High School?

Okay, maybe this isn’t the most pressing question to keep fans speculating for however many months are left until Season 4 premieres in the summer, but I want to know what happened that El is ready for high school. Sure, she made some social strides in Season 3 with her small group of friends and venturing out to the mall, and she has shown that she’s intelligent. But being naturally intelligent isn’t the same thing as knowing algebra. Or science. Or history. Or everything else that the other kids learned through all their years of school before graduating to high school.

Only six months have passed between the end of Season 3 and beginning of Season 4; how on Earth is Stranger Things going to sell Eleven in high school?! Now, to be fair, she’s clearly not having the easiest time in high school, so she’s probably not at the top of the class, but still. Am I being nitpicky? Sure, and I say that as somebody who still wants to know how Eleven and Max paid for all her new clothes back in Season 3. I’m just hoping there’s some kind of solid explanation.

At the end of the day, there are a lot of Stranger Things questions that undoubtedly won’t be answered until Season 4 premieres in 2022, so let’s just hope that the show will be back closer to June than September next year. For now, you can always watch and rewatch the first three seasons of Stranger Things streaming on Netflix now, and check out our 2021 fall TV premiere schedule for some viewing options to pass the time until Season 4.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.