Warning! Major SPOILERS are ahead for Stranger Things Season 4, Volume 1! Go slay a demogorgon and come back once you’ve caught up!
I, as had millions upon millions of fans around the world, waited patiently for Stranger Things Season 4 to hit Netflix for nearly a full three years. I’d refreshed my memory on the events of Stranger Things Season 3 before sitting down to watch the return of one of the most bingeable Netflix original shows when it finally debuted as part of the 2022 TV schedule, but, I gotta be honest, I was a bit nervous. What if too much time had passed and I just didn’t care about Hawkins, Eleven, Hopper, and the rest of the gang anymore? Even worse, what if those three years weren’t worth the wait, and I didn’t like anything about the new season?
Well, let me tell you, all of those fears were completely unfounded, as the fourth season of Stranger Things managed to provide me with exactly the right thrills, chills, mysteries, and humor while upping the ante in several ways. In fact, I liked what I saw so much that while I sat down to watch just the premiere on Friday night, I ended up watching all of the seven available episodes in a marathon session that kept me up until 4:30 a.m. the next morning. And, when watching every episode back to back, I had many thoughts through the Stranger Things Season 4, Volume 1 ending, so let’s dig into them!
These Older Kids Are Still In High School?
I was shocked to find that Steve, Robin, Nancy, and Jonathan were all still in high school. At first, I thought maybe the writers had retconned how old these characters were, but I suppose it’s possible that I’ve simply forgotten how much of high school can be taken up by talk of college and one’s future beyond high school (it has been…a while, you guys). Honestly, though, this better be their last year in non-collegiate educational institutions!
I Think Eddie Is A Super Senior
Did anyone notice that Eddie is a bit different from the rest of the older kids in Stranger Things, in that he’s not actually a kid anymore? During Eddie’s lunch diatribe, he talks about getting grades just good enough to graduate, at which point both of the other older Hellfire Club members point out that he’s said the same thing for two previous years. This would mean that Eddie is likely what folks call a “super senior,” and is now in his third year as a twelfth grader. You guys, Eddie is 20 years old!
Oh, Robin. What are we gonna do with you, girl? It’s hard not to feel bad for Steve’s new bestie, as while Robin is tough, brave, funny, and seems to actually have friends whom she doesn’t have to help save the world on the regular, she’s also gay and afraid to come out in her small town. On top of that, dumb Steve keeps prattling on and on about all his womenfolk to Robin, while she continues to have crushes that go unrequited (as far as she knows). I have a feeling this will get better for Robin (and Will, who is also believed to be gay) soon…as long as she lives. And Robin better fucking keep living!
This Was A Really Good Season For Robert Englund To Appear In
We were all tricked into believing that A Nightmare on Elm Street legend and terrifying horror villain actor Robert Englund would be the Big Bad of this season, which is fair enough. But, it was still wonderful to see, just about a half hour into the premiere, that this was the perfect Stranger Things season for him to appear in. The frights of this set of episodes are very close to those in Englund’s classic franchise, and he did a terrific job as Victor Creel.
How Did Brenner Survive?
Alright, pretty much no one who knows the rules of movie/TV show deaths thought that bad guy Dr. Brenner was really dead (we never saw a body). But, um… are we ever gonna find out how he survived his demogorgon attack in Season 1?!?! There's a part of me that thinks this isn't the real Brenner, but we shall see...
Watching One Black Dude Torture Another Black Dude Is Really Hard For Me
I’m not saying that watching anyone torture anyone else (even in a blissfully fictional setting) is easy for me, because it’s not, but wooo boy. This was tough. I’d thought that Agent Wallace was killed instantly when Lt. Colonel Sullivan’s men stormed the Byers place in California, but he wasn’t. And, when Sullivan took Wallace and began torturing him to get info about Eleven, well, it was hard enough to watch that I soon wished Wallace had been killed by his gunshot wound.
Steve Can’t Be OK After This Season
Look, I don’t want anything worse to happen to Steve than it already has, OK? But, he got bitten by a number of demo-bats and proceeded to traverse the Upside Down with several open wounds. If all Steve needs after that is a rabies shot I. Will. Be. STUNNED.
I Love That All Of The Main Characters Are Outsiders In Some Way
All of the kids, hell even Joyce, Hopper, and Murray, are outsiders on Stranger Things in some way. What I love is that we (including kids who might be watching) get to see that not being accepted by a large group doesn’t mean that you have to be friendless, and it definitely doesn’t mean you’re not important, or capable of doing big things.
If Things Don’t Work Out With Hopper, Joyce Should Date Murray
I adore Hopper, but just because he survived that explosion in Season 3, a Russian prison, and the demogorgon it doesn’t mean that he’s totally out of the danger woods. If Joyce is left without Hopper, Murray is more than able to help with any scrapes she and the kids get into. Plus, he’s funny and knows how to throw a mean karate kick!
Eleven Getting Her Powers Back Might Not Be A Good Thing
Sure, Eleven getting her powers back is good for the world in the short term, but it might not be good for her at all, or good for the rest of us in the long term. I’m very worried that to get her powers back, and maybe even become stronger, it’s going to alter who Eleven is as a person and she’ll become even more connected to the Upside Down. Even if she successfully kills the Vecna, I have a bad feeling that she will absorb his powers/madness and maybe end up going Dark Phoenix on everyone and becoming the Big Bad of Season 5.
I’m Not Convinced The Vecna Will Be Vanquished By The End Of Season 4
Speaking of Eleven fighting the Vecna… I’m not 100% convinced that she can fully win this battle. Vecna is, from what I can see, the most dangerous villain that the Hawkins gang has faced. This isn’t some crafty monster, this is literally a human psychopath with superpowers who was transformed into an even more powerful and dangerous monster.
He has a connection to humanity that makes him far more devious and committed, plus I think we’re going to find out that he’s the one who created all of the beings in the Upside Down in an attempt to break through and alter this world in the first place. Eleven might be able to beat him back for a time, but I don’t think she’ll be able to kill him and fully close us off from what is now his dimension without great personal sacrifice… and another Stranger Things season of frights and fights.
Obviously, we’ll know more about what the final season of the hell dimension-hopping series will look like (not to mention what a potential spinoff might entail) after Stranger Things Season 4, Volume 2 hits Netflix on July 1!
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Covering The Witcher, Outlander, Virgin River, Sweet Magnolias and a slew of other streaming shows, Adrienne Jones is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend, and started in the fall of 2015. In addition to writing and editing stories on a variety of different topics, she also spends her work days trying to find new ways to write about the many romantic entanglements that fictional characters find themselves in on TV shows. She graduated from Mizzou with a degree in Photojournalism.