Like everyone else on the planet, I just finished watching Stranger Things 4, part one. And I have some thoughts. Many, many thoughts. They’re all bouncing around along with that song, Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush.

I’ll be avoiding any major spoilers if possible. But we might reveal some minor things. 

(For a review of Stranger Things Season 3, click here.)

We start with Eleven, Mike and the rest of the kids getting ready for spring break. Mike’s going to be visiting El and the Byers in California.

Most of our cast is still in Hawkins. The boys have met some new friends, including a twenty-year-old who’s still in high school, named Eddie.

Yeah, that’s who you want your kids hanging out with. 

Stranger Things Season 4, Dear Billy

Eddie runs the Hellfire club, dedicated to playing D&D. Now, I want you to remember that this season is set in 1986. In addition to this being the year I was born, it’s also a year when people were terrified of ‘Satanic Panic’. Preschools were shut down. Innocent people were arrested. And anyone playing D&D was targeted as a Satan worshiper. 

This is especially worrisome when a cheerleader comes down with a case of bone-itus in Eddie’s living room. 

El heads off with Dr. Owens to get her powers back. And I think we’re all a little surprised to see that Papa, Dr. Brenner, is still alive and ready to start abusing El once again. 

He forces her to relive a series of suppressed memories, leading up to the day she ran away from Hawkin’s lab.

 I’m skipping over a lot of the interpersonal stuff that happened in the early episodes. And I wish to God the writers had skipped over it too. Yes, I care that El was unpopular. But it didn’t need to take up the time that it did. Especially when there’s some humanoid creature torturing teens and crumpling them up from the inside out. Especially when we had Hopper in Russia, trying to escape and battling a far more humanlike Demogorgon than one we’ve seen before. Especially when we’ve got holes to the Upsidedown popping up all over Hawkins. 

I was amused by Jonathan becoming a stoner. Honestly, I could have seen more of him and his buddy Argyle. 

Vecna, Stranger Things season 4.

Fortunately, all of the teenage angst of the season seems to be front-loaded. By the time we get to Chapter Five, we’re pretty much in the clear. Which leaves us to deal with Vecna. And I have to tell you, this whole storyline was so very, very satisfying. Up until now, we’ve known that Hawkins is ground zero for the Upsidedown. And we knew it had something to do with Eleven. We knew that something in the Upsidedown wanted badly to kill Eleven. But it is so much more than that. And finally, we have a true antagonist, with a true face. We have one of my favorite things, my friends. We have a backstory. 

We also have a month-long wait to see what happens next. So, that sucks. Guess we’ll have to see what happens on July first, when Stranger Things 4, Part Two drops.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)