With the trailer of Stranger Things season 4 out, how about we take a stroll down memory lane, and in brief, sum up the events of the previous seasons, and then marvelous trailer itself, and the questions that popped out at us.
Disclaimer: Spoilers Ahead
Young Will Byers runs into a terrifying figure while returning home alone, cycling, after a disappointing “Dungeons & Dragons’ ‘ campaign with his friends Dustin, Lucas and Mike. He tries his best to escape and hide, but he gets abducted by the aforementioned figure.
November 6th 1983, changed Hawkins, Indiana forever.
His friends find a girl with a shaved head in a hospital gown in the local forest, while investigating his disappearance. That’s when they find out her name is Eleven, and that she has psychokinetic abilities, and to top it off, she is being hunted, so they hide her in Mike’s basement.
Losing her son, his mother Joyce becomes transfixed by supernatural events affecting the house electricity, and convinces herself that Will is communicating with her. That’s when the famous scene of the flickering lights on the wall come to play, kind of like an ouija board. She also witnesses the same figure Will saw, and that terrifies her even more.
Hawkins Police Chief Jim Hooper grows suspicious of the nearby national laboratory after finding a torn piece of hospital gown outside the lab grounds.
During a pool party at her new boyfriend Steve’s place, Mike’s older sister Nancy, loses sight of Barb, her best friend, who gets abducted by the same monster, and Jonathan, Will’s older brother, who was there taking photos of the party, witnesses it happening.
Jonathan and Nancy team up after realising that both Joyce and her saw the same humanoid figure with long arms and no face, and they decide to venture off into the unknown, with a motive to kill the beast in their mind.
Meanwhile, Hopper researches Dr. Brenner, the laboratory, and a woman, who claimed that her daughter was abducted by the scientists.
Hopper grows more suspicious after discovering what seemed like Will’s body from the quarry, and cuts it open and discovers it’s a fake, while Eleven proves that he’s still alive, by manipulating several radios to project the sound of Will’s voice.
Hooper breaks into the laboratory and discovers the sprawling gate to an alternate dimension, but he gets spotted and agents knock him out, and then wakes up at his own home. Meanwhile, Jonathan and Nancy confront the creature that took Will, and the kids talk to Mr. Clarke about interdimensional travelling, to find a way to bring Will back. Eleven, who’s been dressed to fit in, helps them throughout their journey, all the while, experiencing a series of painful flashbacks to the experimentations conducted by Dr. Brenner at the laboratory, which culminates with a flashback to an experiment in which she was placed in a sensory deprivation tank, and within an altered psychic state, she accidentally opened the gate to the Upside Down, and made contact with the creature, they later named, the Demogorgon.
Joyce and Hooper return to Hawkins and share the information of the creature and Eleven that they found from Terry Ives, and track down the kids and break into Hawkins Middle School and set up their makeshift sensory deprivation tank to enhance Eleven’s powers, and using it, she discovers that Barb is dead, but Will is alive.
This leads Hopper and Joyce to break into the laboratory to save Will, while Nancy and Jonathan resort to killing the Demogorgon. In the Upside Down, the monster takes Will, but by giving up Eleven’s location to Dr. Brenner, Joyce and Hopper cross the gate and bring back Will, who soon revives. Meanwhile, Nancy, Jonathan and Steve, who make up with her, attract the Demogorgon to trap it, but it escapes to the Upside Down.
One Month Later
Season 2 kicks off with eleven months being passed since young Will’s abduction, and a gang in Pittsburgh kills a man, and among the group is Kali, who turns out to be patient 008, like Eleven was 011.
The boys find out that someone called Madmax, has beaten Dustin’s high score in Dig Dug, and later at school, they meet Max, who is a new student, and she immediately captures Lucas’s and Dustin’s affection. Her stepbrother Billy also arrives, and begins to compete with Steve for the title of “King”. Will still experiences the aftermath of the Upside Down, and has a vision while at the Arade, of what looks like a huge shadowy figure.
Hopper is back at work and is being pestered by a local conspiracy theorist who’s starting to piece things together regarding Eleven and the lab, but Hopper dismisses him to look into a local farmer’s pumpkin patch that’s been poisoned.
Joyce has a new boyfriend Bob, and is trying to get some answers about Will’s recent episodes in the Upside Down.Dr. Owens, Will’s specialist, is also the head of operations of the Upside Down dimension, trying to prevent it from spreading.
Nancy is at Barb’s house for dinner with Steve, and they find out that they are selling the house to pay for an investigator to look for their daughter, and that overwhelms her.
Jonathan tries to cheer Will up before he has another episode in the Upside Down, where he again witnesses the shadow monster.
Hopper retreats to the cabin in the woods, where he and Eleven are currently residing, and he won’t let her leave the cabin, for her own safety. Meanwhile, Joyuce discovers Will’s drawings of the shadow monster and goes to Hopper for help, as she knows she can trust him. He also looks for the poison crops in the area and suddenly a pattern emerges.
We learn pretty soon that Billy isn’t good. He even tries to run the boys down with his car.
Joyce and Bob fantasize about moving away to escape these even while Nancy confesses to Steve that their relationship is not working anymore. Meanwhile, Eleven finds a way to speak with Mike, and Dusting finds a weird creature in his dustbin, and keeps him as a pet, giving him the name Dart. Not sure what the creature is, he starts doing some research, while, one day, Bob tells Will to stand up to his monsters, and that soothes Will.
A relationship between Lucas and Max seems to blossom, while Nancy and Steve break up for good.
Tired of being cooped up in the cabin, Eleven leaves in search of Mike and the gang. Mike is angry at Max because Lucas and Dustin want to bring her into the group, and the 2 of them get into an altercation, which Eleven witnesses, but mistakes it for flirting, and she leaves.
Dart somehow escaped when Dustin brings him to the school, and after looking everywhere, Will finally finds it, and that triggers another episode, where he comes face to face with the shadow monster, but then he remembers Bob’s advice, and confronts the beast, but the monster forces a smokey tentacle down his throat.
Will awakens from the episode to the concern of Joyce and his friends, and begins acting strangely, and drawing scribbles on multiple papers which form a network of vines. Hopper recognizes an area and leaves. Meanwhile, Nancy and Jonathan arrange a meeting with Barb’s mother, but are caught by undercover lab agents. They are taken to the lab, where Owens shows the two the Gate to the Upside Down and admits Barb’s death. He tells them they have been tapping phones (how they discovered Nancy’s meeting with Barb’s mom) to keep other governments from learning about the portal. When they are released, Nancy reveals she recorded the confession. At the cabin, Eleven has an argument with Hopper, and later finds his research into her biological mother, Terry Ives, and attempts to contact her with her powers.
Mike worries about Will and goes to check him at the Byers house after requesting Dustin and Lucas to search for Dart. Hopper goes to the pumpkin patch, where he digs a hole, which leads to a tunnel in the Upside Down. He becomes trapped and passes out. Will sees a vision of Hopper’s state, but Joyce cannot figure out the meaning of the vision. She enlists Bob for help, as his nickname in high school was “Bob the Brain”. Bob is able to identify the tunnels as a map underneath Hawkins, and is able to roughly locate where Hopper was trapped. Lucas tries to get closer to Max, but Billy warns her to stay away from him. At Dustin’s house, he finds Dart has broken from his cage and eaten his pet cat; Dustin then finds that Dart is a baby Demogorgon.
Dustin teams up with Steve, to help kill Dart, but he escapes again. Meanwhile, Hopper recovers from his experience, and we’re shown the full scale of the operation on the Upside Down.
The gang takes up the job to take care of the Demodogs, and Steve saves the day.
The monster inside Will ambushes the workers in the tunnel, and Will is getting even sicker.
Eleven learns about her long lost sister from the lab, Kali. She and her gang of vigilantes spend their time serving justice to those who have wronged them with her power to make people see what she wants them to see. She also takes charge to train Eleven to become more powerful. Thus, Eleven joins the darkside with Kali, but soon she has a vision of Mike and Hooper being in danger and needing her help, and she returns to Hawkins immediately.
The Demodogs infiltrate the lab that has the tunnels, with our heroes trapped inside, as Nancy and Jonathan return to the facility to help out the others.
Now take a minute to remember Bob,as he sacrifices himself to save the others, and later Dustin points out that the shadow monster displays traits of a Mind Flayer, which means that Will feels what it feels.
The Demodogs return and so does Eleven, and she is reunited with Mike, but there seems to be some tension between her and Max. She returns to the facility to end things once and for all, while Max takes down Billy, and the heat gets turned up for Will.
The gang destroys the tunnels and Demodogs, while Eleven uses everything she has to finally close the door on the Upside Down.
One month later
The lab has been shut down by the government following the publication of Nancy’s tape. The Hollands hold a proper funeral for Barb. Owens meets with Hopper in a bar, where he gives Hopper a forged birth certificate listing him as the father of “Jane Hopper” (Eleven). Steve drives Dustin to the Snow Ball, the annual Hawkins Middle winter dance, where he meets with the party. A slow dance starts, and Will is asked to dance. Lucas asks Max to dance. Dustin asks multiple girls to dance, but is rejected. Nancy, who is serving punch at the dance, sees Dustin alone and upset, and dances with him. Outside, Joyce talks with Hopper. Eleven shows up, where she dances with Mike. Lucas and Max kiss, and Eleven and Mike kiss right after. The students enjoy themselves at the dance, unaware that the shadow monster is still alive, towering over the school in the Upside Down.
One year later
Aside from the throes of young love, Joyce becomes perplexed by her fridge magnets that continue to fall and Hopper struggles to parent a now-teenage Eleven, while simultaneously trying to stop her and Mike from exploring their relationship. Dustin returns from summer camp, where he too, has found love with a girl named Suzie, a Mormon whose parents forbid her to contact Dustin, leaving the pair to communicate via radio.
It wouldn’t be the 1980s without the birth of the shopping mall, and in this town, it’s the newly opened Starcourt Mall which sees Steve get his first job at Scoops Ahoy, with classmate Robin.
But of course, things never stay peachy in Hawkins. While rekindling his love for Suzie via radio, Dustin accidentally hears a message in Russian. Suspicious of its true meaning, Robin, Steve and Dustin translate the mystery message and learn that there are Russians in Hawkins who are using Starcourt Mall to reopen the Upside Down.
The trio—plus Lucas’ sister, Erica—head to the mall to investigate.
Within minutes, they become stuck in an elevator underground and are taken prisoner by the Russians. While Erica and Dustin manage to escape, Robin and Steve are held hostage, interrogated, beaten and forced to consume truth serum. However, they are saved by Dustin and Erica, and later have a heart-to-heart in the mall’s bathroom, with Robin coming out as gay to Steve.
Now, as for Billy, he works at the community pool and while attempting to participate in an affair with Mike and Nancy’s mother, Mrs Wheeler, he crashes his car and becomes possessed by a demon known as the Mind Flayer.
Fan-favourites, Nancy and Jonathan, manage to secure internships at The Hawkins Gazette, where Jonathan is respected by their colleagues as a photographer, while Nancy isn’t taken seriously by the male staff as a journalist. The pair decide to interview an elderly woman named Mrs. Driscoll, who claims she found a rat that’s been possessed by Billy’s demon.
Eleven spies on the newly-possessed Billy and suspects that he is, in fact, possessed by the Mind Flayer. Trapping him in the pool sauna, the group prove their hypothesis after Billy is clearly affected by the heat, a temperature which the demon cannot stand. However, after trying to kill Eleven, he escapes.
Coming to the end of the season, the Mind Flayer finds the group at Hopper’s cabin and attacks Eleven, biting her leg. Despite removing the remnants of the demon from her body, it appears that Eleven has lost her powers.
As for the Russians, Hopper discovers that the Hawkins’ town mayor is allowing them to use the mall and other properties to smuggle in an unknown liquid substance. But it’s at one of the previously mentioned properties that he and Joyce become acquainted with Alexei, a Russian scientist.
Since he doesn’t speak English, they take him to meet Murray, the journalist from the second season, to serve as a translator. Thanks to Alexei, they are informed that the Russians plan to reopen the dreaded Upside Down that we thought we were rid of.
Believing their children are at the town’s Fun Fair carnival, Hopper and Joyce run into a Russian enforcer who kills Alexei for betraying them.
And now, this is where things become even more anxiety inducing.
Typically a bad idea in most scenarios, they decide to split into groups to divide and conquer—that is, to both kill the Mind Flayer and close the gate to the Upside Down.
Hopper, Joyce and Murray head off to infiltrate the underground Russian base where they can access an operations room to close the gate, thanks to the help of the group and Dustin’s girlfriend, Suzie, via radio.
However, things take a turn when both Billy and his new pal, the Mind Flayer, enter the chat. Battling the group in the mall, Eleven is knocked unconscious and Billy offers her to the Mind Flayer as a gift.
But in typical Eleven fashion, she uses her powers to recount a childhood memory of Billy’s, where he is at the beach with his late mother, seeing him internally fight off his possession and sacrifice himself to the Mind Flayer, saving Eleven.
Back to the underground, Hopper and Joyce are being attacked by the Russians while they attempt to close the gate. While Hopper leads an attacker away from Joyce, he meets his untimely fate.
Realising that there is no way for him to get away from the gate in time, Hopper tragically sacrifices himself so that Joyce can close the gate, which will simultaneously kill the Mind Flayer and save Hawkins.
In the final scenes of the season, Joyce and her family move out of Hawkins, taking Eleven with them. And voilà, that is the end of season three.
Now coming to the pressing matter at hand. The questions we have after watching the marvelous trailer for Stranger Things season 4. So, let me go over the trailer in short, and then point out the questions.
Like previous seasons, the fourth season has a time jump, taking place in April 1986, and will explore regions outside of Hawkins, Indiana, such as California and Russia.
It’s been six months since The Battle of Starcourt, which brought terror and destruction to Hawkins. Struggling with the aftermath, our group of friends are separated for the first time – and navigating the complexities of high school hasn’t made things easier. In this most vulnerable time, a new and horrifying supernatural threat surfaces, presenting a gruesome mystery that, if solved, might finally put an end to the horrors of the Upside Down.
Now to the questions.
- Who is talking?
- How old are the kids now?
- What’s with the grandfather clock?
- Are Steve and Nancy back together?
And the most pressing question of all.
- How’s Max flying?
Hope we get our answers on the first half, that’ll release on the 27th of May and the second one, on the 1st of July this year.
Lastly, I had a lot of help while writing this from different conspiracy forums and YouTube videos, but the greatest help came from the series itself, as I got to binge the entire thing, right before season 4.