Stranger Things 4; Volume 1: A Review


Natalie Leydet, Staff Writer

Warning: the following article contains spoilers for Stranger Things 4, Volume 1. If you have not yet seen the episodes, reader discretion is advised. 


On Friday, May 27th, Stranger Things 4 Volume 1 was released. Within Volume 1, the first 7 episodes were released, episodes with runtimes over an hour each. Each episode follows multiple perspectives. 

One following Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard), Will Byers (Noah Schnapp), Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), Johnathan Byers (Charlie Heaton), and Argyle (Eduardo Franco) in their wild adventures in Lenora Hills, California. 

Another storyline goes along with Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) and Murray Bauman (Brett Gelman) in their attempts to reach Jim Hopper (David Harbour), who is being held captive by the Russian forces. 

The third group we follow is based in Hawkins, Indiana, the hometown of many of the series’ heroes. See Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo), Steve Harrington (Joe Keery), Robin Buckley (Maya Hawke), Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer), Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink), and Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin) as they try to navigate a solution to the new threat in Hawkins.

Stranger Things cast at the season four premiere

Vecna, an evil sorcerer first introduced to Mike, Dustin, and Erica Sinclair (Priah Ferguson), younger sister of Lucas, during a game of Dungeons and Dragons, is actually a being from The Upside Down. Claiming the lives of two Hawkins High students, he sets his sights on a member of the main group of kids. Vecna killed the two students after Mike was with Eleven and Will in California, and after Joyce and Murray left for Russia, so Nancy and the others started to investigate what was going on. Since Vecna was unknown to the public, Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn), is accused of the brutal murder of Vecna’s first victim.

The show carries on as the Hawkins gang finds out more and more about Vecna, the California gang running into their own set of problems. Turns out Eleven’s new life in California was not as good as she was making it out to be to Mike through her letters, as she was being bullied on a regular basis. During a trip to the skating rink with Mike and Will, the bullies push El over the edge, embarrassing her in front of Mike being the last straw. Eleven snaps and attacks the main bully, Angela (Elodie Grace Orkin), with a roller skate. 

Shortly after the incident, Eleven is taken into custody by what seems to be the police, then revealed to be people she thought she would never see again. She is separated from the rest of the California crew and they set off in an attempt to find out where she has been taken. 

With the plot moving over to Russia, it is revealed that Jim Hopper, former Hawkins police chief, survived the mishap that occurred in Stranger Things 3. However, his luck ran out as he was abducted by Russians and tortured for the whereabouts of Joyce, his accomplice in destroying their U.S. operations. Since he will not give up any information, he is taken prisoner and put to work on a railroad along with other Russian prisoners. 

At the end of Volume 1, fans are met with a lot of insane plot twists and cliffhangers. Watchers everywhere were not at all expecting the conclusion they were left with. While the never-ending story will come to an end with Stranger Things 5 sometime in 2024, this is far from the end of season four. On July 1st, Stranger Things 4 Volume 2 arrive on Netflix. Volume two will consist of the last two episodes, episode 8 with a runtime of 1 1/2 hours, and episode 9 a whopping of over two hours! With 7 new episodes of season four, two more on the way in July, and a whole new season coming in the next 2 years, the end of Stranger Things is near, yet still so far away.