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Maddie Marshall

Stranger Things season four has broken records and kept audiences on the edge of their seats.

Friends don’t lie, well at least not about how good the hit Netflix series “Stranger Things” is. With the latest release of season four volume one having just come out May 27,  there is a lot to recap about the last three seasons before giving the new one a watch. New characters and new monsters from the Upside Down can bring more confusion than entertainment without the full story of the prior seasons.

Season One

The series, created by the Duffer Brothers in 2015, takes place in Hawkins, Indiana during the 80’s. The first scene shows viewers a group of boys,Will Byers, Mike Wheeler, Lucas Sinclair, and Dustin Henderson playing Dungeons and Dragons at Mike’s house. Once the night is over, the boys leave Mike’s house and head home with promises to see each other tomorrow. Only one of them will not have that chance. Will, on his way home, is knocked off his bike and while he makes it home something that the audience can not see takes him, leaving nothing behind.

The season is centered around the rest of the boys searching for Will and finding out what took him. This season introduces the audience to the Upside Down, featuring this season’s monster, a Demogorgon.

The Demogorgon from season one is my favorite monster in the series because it’s less human, unlike the new seasons,

— Junior Brooklyn Sorensen

The biggest asset to the young boys finding their lost friend is a frail and mysterious, buzzed haired girl they name Eleven. 

Will’s mother Joyce and his brother Jonathan join in the search with the help of local sheriff Hopper. But Will is not the only person to go missing, but Mike’s older sister Nancy loses her friend Barb at a party. Nancy is caught between helping find Will and Barb or maintaining her relationship with new love interest Steve Harrington. 

Season Two

After Will’s return, Hawkins appears to return to normal. But of course with the arrival of the new season there are new characters, challenges, and of course, creatures from the Upside Down. Not all is as it seems, Will seems to still be affected from his time in the Upside Down. The boy is constantly shivering from a chill no one else can feel and seeing visions of the Upside Down.  

New characters include Max Mayfeild and Billy Hargrove, step siblings that cause chaos for the kids and teens. Dustin makes a friend with a strange, frog-like creature that he names D’Artagnan,  Dart for short. Little did he know that he was feeding and caring for, yet another, creature from the alternate dimension. The Demodogs of this season are menacing creatures that end up taking the life of Joyce’s new boyfriend Bob. 

While this season is ruled to be the most unpopular, it is anything but insignificant to the series. Most importantly, this season introduces the largest threat of the Upside Down until the fourth season, the Mind Flayer.

Season Three

Singing, fashion, summer; this is not the theme to a cheesy rom-com, but it is the season that broke the record of most viewed season at the time, gaining 64 million views within the first twenty four hours. Eleven and Hopper are living in an isolated cabin in the woods in an effort to keepto keep Eleven safe from the sinister forces that hope to exploit her powers. The rest of the kids are shown reuniting with Dustin who has returned from summer camp. 

Arguments between the friends, particularly those who are dating, lead to Max and Eleven developing a friendship  filled with shopping, ice cream, and a mutual frustration with their boyfriends.  While most of the kids stay busy, trying to solve their own mystery, Dustin along with Steve, Erica Sinclair and new character Robin Buckley take on their own mystery, an international threat from a russian radio transmission caught on Dustin’s radio.  

Unfortunately, this season’s monster takes the lives of many Hawkins residents, turning them into a human goo that eventually turns into a mass that takes the shape of the Mind Flayer. The Mind Flayer takes over a human host to help it investigate the locations of its next victims, and his selection ends up being Hawkins’ bully and Max’s older step-brother, Billy Hargrove. 

Season three sets up season four with Billy dead, Hopper presumed dead, and Eleven without her powers. Because of the traumatic events, Joyce felt it was best to move away from the horror of Hawkins and move to sunny and safe California.

Season Four

Hopper is in a Russian prison, the Byers and Eleven are in California, and Mike, Max, Lucas, and Dustin are struggling to find their place in high school. Other than the Hellfire club (also known as Dungeons and Dragons), the boys are trying to figure out their priorities. Max is still struggling with the loss of her step-brother Billy and secludes herself from the group. The elder teens also have their own problems, long distance relations, college, and crushes. 

The newest characters include Hellfire leader Eddie Munsen, Jason the basketball captain, and for a short period, head cheerleader Chrissy. But of course, that is not all, the main antagonist of the season is a new horror never before seen, or remembered in some cases.

“I love Eddie because of his role as a leader of the Dungeons and Dragons club and a leader for the boys,” junior Mikayla Salas said. 

The latest monster creeps into the minds of its victims and puts them into a trance as it snaps their bones. There seems to be no escape from Vecna’s curse.

What’s Next

Stranger Things 4 has brought back elements of the show lost in the prior seasons including the horror and mystery. Events in this season answer many questions about the unknown realm, Upside Down, while opening just as many doors to new and dangerous adventures. 

Volume two of the fourth season will be released July 1, 2022 and is set to be followed by season five in the next year or so which will also be Stranger Things’ final season.