Stranger Things season four spoilers follow.
The beginning of the end of Stranger Things has finally landed with an absolutely jam-packed season four. And the best bit? It’s not even over yet.
In fact, we’re only two-thirds of the way through (or one ‘volume’ depending on who you ask) and now we’re flipping ourselves upside down as we impatiently wait for the final two episodes to drop.
Related: Stranger Things season 5 potential release date, cast, trailer
Thankfully, compared to the painful three years it took for Stranger Things season four to appear back on our screens, this time it’s returning within a comparative blink of an eye.
But we have to be careful what we wish for, because it comes with a catch.
Here’s everything you need to know about the new season.
Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 release date: When is it on?
Stranger Things part four volume two will launch on July 1, 2022 – just six weeks after the mid-season finale.
It’s also a bit different in structure to the first half, coming in at only two episodes in length.
But boy, are they going to be massive. It’s been confirmed that the penultimate episode is going to clock in at 85 minutes in length, while the finale is going to be a staggering two-and-a-half hours long.
That’s enough to make Marvel wince.
So get cosy, cook a mountain of Eggos and get ready to watch an episode so long it would make Christopher Nolan blush.
Whatever happens will pave the way to the upcoming confirmed season five – which is also the last in the series as the Hawkins adventures finally come to a conclusion.
Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 trailer: Is there any footage yet?
Why yes there is! Netflix dropped a new trailer for volume two on Tuesday, June 21.
“I know you’re afraid,” whispers Dr Brenner (who still hasn’t explained how he survived death by demogorgon in season one, by the way, don’t think we hadn’t noticed), “You’re terribly frightened by what you’ve seen,” he mutters.
Well yes, Marty, yes we are. It’s kind of the point.
So begins the trailer for season four volume two, which, to the epic and inevitable strains of Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’, teases the titanic struggle ahead for Eleven and her pals as evil mind-warper Vecna tries to take Hawkins (and the world?).
From the looks of it, Eleven will soon depart the underground laboratory – sooner than Brenner would like her to (“You’re not ready”) – because her friends in Hawkins are in trouble and can’t fight Vecna alone. (Strong “You are not ready to face Darth Vader” vibes with this one, we are getting.)
As the trailer plays out, they team are all getting tooled up: Sadie Sink’s Max has her trusty Walkman, while Eddie’s (Joseph Quinn) own personal Excalibur appears to be his metal guitar, which would seem appropriate, if not very useful. Nancy’s (Natalia Dyer) got an actual shotgun, Hop (David Harbour) has an Uzi, and it seems Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) only needs to use his sledgehammer fists, at least when it comes to battering his former jock buddies into jam.
But king of them all is surely Murray (Brett Gelman), newly equipped with a Massive Effing Flamethrower.
The thrilling edit of all this action concludes with an enormous fireball dwarfing the tiny figure (El?) in front of it as Vecna taunts that “Your friends… have lost.”
Something tells us that Vecna is a little premature with that claim, and that the newly re-powered Eleven will do her Freddie-Mercury-hand-gesture/scream combo and inflict some serious psychic damage before the day is out. We’ll find out on July 1…
It’s not the only trailer. As part of Netflix’s Geeked Week, the streaming service treated us to a 30-second teaser of what’s to come.
Naturally, it doesn’t give much away, except we know that Hopper and Joyce’s adventures in Russia will result in them discovering a secret hold of alien-like creatures in tanks.
Then in a rush of flashing images, we see all of the main gang in mortal danger as they explore the Creel House and the Upside Down… so whether their fates are sealed or not remains to be seen.
Only a couple more weeks for us to discover what happens next, and what it all means.
Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 cast: Who will be in it?
As it stands, all the major players are due to continue their efforts to stop Vecna and close the Upside Down for good.
This includes stars Millie Bobby Brown (who plays Eleven), Finn Wolfhard (Mike), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin), Noah Schnapp (Will) and Sadie Sink (Max).
Their characters will thankfully have some friends on hand in the shape of Robin (Maya Hawke), Steve (Joe Keery), Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton). New additions include Argyle (Eduardo Franco) and Eddie (Joseph Quinn).
As for the adults, Jim Hopper (David Harbour) and Joyce (Winona Ryder) are thankfully reunited with the help of Murray (Brett Gelman). Now they just need to get back to the States safely.
But with all the good guys come some bad guys, and they don’t come much worse than Jamie Campbell Bower, aka 001, aka Vecna. The ultra-powerful supposed guard is actually highly bonded to Eleven, only with far more violent tendencies. He now feasts on those with trauma and guilt in their past, shattering their bones every time.
The only person to escape his clutches thus far is Max (thanks to Kate Bush, naturally), but we’re curious to see how this goes.
Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 plot: What will happen?
The final two episodes of the series are set to be whoppers. The total run time for both is just shy of four hours which means the Duffers have packed a lot into them.
The Hawkins gang is literally scattered across the globe thanks to Hop, Joyce and Murray’s jaunt in Russia, with pockets of individual stories taking place at once. Now it’s time to tie them together.
In the final two episodes of the season we’re likely to see how the gang join forces in order to take down the terrifying being that is Vecna – especially now they know his real identity.
During ‘Massacre at Hawkins Lab’, Vecna revealed himself actually be 001, the first superpowered child to be taken in by the Dr Brenner at the lab.
001 had been chipped and experimented on, with his blood being used to later breed a host of children with powers… including Eleven.
He is also, unfortunately, highly narcissistic and more than a bit of a megalomaniac, believing his powers prove he is above your average human. After wiping out nearly all the patients and doctors at the ward for trying to keep him detained, he found himself sparing Eleven, who he’d bonded with during his time in the lab.
But she denied his request to help him take over humanity, instead overpowering him and sending him to the Upside Down before fleeing (and accidentally creating the first portal at the same time).
The only other child we know to have survived is 008, and we haven’t seen her since season two. Will she make a reappearance?
So let’s be clear – Vecna has some scores to settle, and he’s going to start with Elle.
Elsewhere, having the fate of the world in their hands doesn’t mean these hormone-ridden teens aren’t finding themselves falling in and out of love. Among fans there is the continuing speculation that Will Byers is coming into his sexuality – and has feelings for Eleven’s boyfriend and his best mate, Mike.
The cast and creators have been playing fast and loose with this story for a while now, with Will’s mum Joyce saying his deadbeat dad would often mock him for being “queer” all the way back in season one because of his gentle nature.
But season four definitely kicked this up a notch, and during a chat with Digital Spy, Finn Wolfhard (who plays Mike) opened up about Will’s feelings for Mike “shifting towards a more endearing, kind of heartfelt, romantic affection”.
Confronted with the question, Finn replied: “Yeah. I think you find out slowly through the season, Will’s kind of love towards Mike and I think it’s a really beautiful thing.”
However, this was almost U-turned by Millie Bobby Brown, who shot back at those who feel it necessary to label Will’s sexuality.
“I think what’s really nice about Will’s character is that he’s just a human being going through his own personal demons and issues. So many kids out there don’t know, and that’s OK. That’s OK to not know. And that’s OK not to label things,” she told Variety.
So we’re sure this will play out sooner rather than later in volume two.
Will isn’t the only one with affairs of the heart to contend with either. Nancy is clearly second-guessing her choice of Jonathan over Steve, with Steve still holding a candle for his former fling too.
As Jonathan and Nancy’s long-distance romance looks doomed for failure, it seems only a matter of time until she reunites with her original boyfriend (seems all it took was a trip to the Upside Down and a near-death experience to make the heart grow fonder… who knew?)
The mid-season finale definitely put in motion ways to get the entire gang back in one place in order to fight this year’s Big Bad. Joyce, Hopper and Murray are on their way back from Russia, Eleven is still in the Hawkins lab, and the rest of the crew are either back in Hawkins or at the very least en route.
But they are all wanted people – particularly Eddie, who’s found himself the centre of a witch-hunt by jocks who believe he started The Hellfire Club as a satanic cult and is therefore responsible for the otherwise unexplainable deaths.
Last we saw of the thugs trying to get to him, they were still trying to track him down. Will they reappear after crossing state lines? And will the loveable metalhead live to fight another day?
Actor Joseph Quinn spoke to Digital Spy about what’s to come for Eddie and the gang, and he said: “What’s exciting about this season is, a lot is given away in terms of the lore of the show. We make a lot of discoveries, which I think will be pretty satiating for the fans.
“But it just gets crazy. They turn it up to 11, really. No pun intended, obviously.”
The ‘crazy’ Quinn is referring to has been hinted at with the latest, vol 2 teaser pics.
With a dramatic sigh of relief they confirm that Nancy has not fallen victim to Vecna. Not yet anyway.
They also reveal that the gang have made it out of the Upside Down looking beaten but safely reunited with the rest of the crew left behind for the summer.
An emotional moment between Max and Lucas appears to be on the horizon, which could lead to a rekindled romance between the two youngsters.
Whatever state they’re left in, one thing is for certain: a massive change is definitely in the works for season five.
In a recent interview the Duffer brothers confirmed that there would be a significant time jump. (Which is hardly new: every series has been set around a year later than the previous one.)
They attributed this change in the story to the rapid maturing of the cast who somehow morphed into mature young adults before our very eyes.
“I’m sure we will do a time jump,” said Ross. He continued:
“Ideally, we’d have shot [seasons four and five] back to back, but there was just no feasible way to do that. So these are all discussions we’re going to have with our writers when we start the room up.”
Either way their commitment not to give us a dud ending is everything and more. Matt admits the perfect fin is causing some stress but they seem determined to achieve it stating: “We really want to stick the landing.”
Expect tears though as we have been warned that there may be some deaths on the horizon. Perhaps maybe even as early as vol 2, though there’s no indication as to who it will be or when. We have our theories that it could be Eddie, whose story is tragically based on a real-life true-crime story. But we won’t know for sure for a while.
Stranger Things seasons 1-4 volume one are now streaming on Netflix. Season 4 volume two is released on July 1, 2022.
For more information, please see more information about New season of stranger things