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Explaining the final 4 episodes of 'Stranger Things' season 4 volume 1

Created by the Duffer Brothers, Stranger Things season four premiered its first volume on May 27th, 2022. After a three-year-long wait, the season is gory, dark, scary and surprising. With a dangerous monster named Vecna haunting the town of Hawkins while the rest of the people are scattered in California and Kamchatka, the entire season is an absolute nightmarish ride.

The season stars Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink, Joe Keery, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Maya Hawke, Priah Ferguson, Robert Englund, Jamie Campbell Bower, Matthew Modine, Brett Gelman, Raphael Luce etc.

Read our review here.  

With episodes longer than an hour, the first volume had seven episodes which we have decided to break down into two volumes. Here are the final four episodes of season four, part one:

Explaining the final 4 episodes of ‘Stranger Things’ season 4 volume 1

Dear Billy 

Dear Billy is one of the most epic episodes this season. Dr Owens’ colleagues travel to the Byers household to inform the boys about the situation and to put them under house arrest. While Mike, Jonathan and Will forge an escape plan – Will and Mike are friends again – their house is attacked by Army members. They quickly flee in Jonathan’s friend, Argyle’s pizza van, taking with them one of the injured agents named Harmon.

Robin and Nancy pretend to be aspiring psychologists who are working on a thesis to get into Pennhurst and meet Victor Creel. After a passionate outburst from Robin, the girls are permitted to meet the senior Creel, whose grotesque appearance might shock viewers. Creel talks about how the Creel family’s lives were disrupted once they moved into the house. With dead animals and spiders haunting them, they were cursed by a demonic entity who killed his wife and daughter, sending his son into a coma. Creel never confirms if his son, Henry is alive or dead. Before the girls can question him more, they are pursued by the asylum head, who has seen through their lies and narrowly escaped.

Meanwhile, in Hawkins, Max is convinced of her inevitable death. She writes a letter to each and every person she has loved, including her parents, her friends and her brother, Billy Hargrove, who sacrificed himself in season three after being possessed by the Mind Flayer. When Max hugs her mother, she is once again haunted by Vecna’s hallucinations.

At Billy’s gravestone, Max reads a heartfelt letter, detailing how miserable she has been ever since his departure. However, she is soon enshrouded by darkness, and Vecna begins to play twisted games with her mind, prying on her guilt to kill her. As Dustin, Lucas and Steve desperately try to bring her back, Max is caught in her personal hell where Vecna uses Billy’s images to taunt her. When nancy asks Dustin to play Max’s favourite song, “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush, Max seems to find her way. She follows the song and escapes the vicious clutches of Vecna, essentially saving her own life and us from potential heartbreak.

Hopper, meanwhile, is desperately trying to escape. He successfully escapes the prison to be held captive again, betrayed by Yuri for more money. In Alaska, Joyce and Murray are drugged and their futures remain uncertain.

The Nina Project 

While Jonathan and the rest contemplate taking Harmon to the hospital, the dying man tells them that Eleven is in danger and that they must find someone named Nina. He later hands them over a pen before breathing his last. The Army ended up finding El’s note to Mike where she wants to be a superhero again. The boys wrack their brains trying to decode the message before finding a phone number in the pen which leads them to a computer. Thus, they seek help from Dustin’s girlfriend, Suzie.

In Nevada, Owens and Eleven reach a deserted tank machine where the audience members are shocked by Dr Martin Brenner’s appearance. Since Eleven does not trust Brenner, she tries to escape before Brenner subdues her and brings her “home” to “Papa”. El soon begins to recall most of her memories from back when she was a test subject at the Hawkins Lab. She is also seen forging a friendship with an orderly.

Soon, she begins to have memories of being bullied by other children in the room before a gruesome memory flashes by. Afraid she killed them, Eleven decides to work with them.

Meanwhile, Vecna has found new vessels to haunt. As Steve, Nancy, Maya, Max, Lucas and Dustin travel to the Creel house to uncover more secrets, the monstrous Vecna is seen floating beneath the house in the Upside Down. Meanwhile, as Jason and Patrick try pursuing Eddie, Vecna pays Patrick a visit and things don’t end well.

In Russia, Hopper and his ally, Dmitri is held captive. Hopper recounts the events of his past to Dmitri in a sentimental manner while the latter talks about their impending death at the hands of the monster in the prison. Joyce and Murray are being flown to Russia, where Murray overpowers Yuri and crashes the plane. Although they survive the crash, uncertainty looms large.

The Dive 

The penultimate episode of the first volume raises the atmospheric tension. The people at Hawkins are pretty angry at the rising number of casualties. Jason tries to blame Eddie, talking about how the Hellfire Club is a cult of Satanists. While audience members are left pondering over Jason’s possible motives and involvement with Vecna, Mike, Will, Jonathan, and Argyle travel to Suzie’s chaotic Salt Lake City home to find Eleven. Suzie manages to track down the computer to Nevada, which is where Eleven currently is.

As Yuri shows Joyce and Murray his weaponry in Russia, a drunk Hopper tells his prison inmates about the Demogorgon he has encountered in the past. While Dmitri finds surviving the monster impossible, Hopper, aware of its aversion to fire, gets prepared to fight a deadly battle.

Meanwhile, the Hawkins gang splits up once again. While Max, Dustin and Lucas stay back, Robin, Nancy, Steve and Eddie travel to Lover’s Lake; after Steve dives into the water, he finds a gate. A mysterious tentacle pulls him into the Upside Down. In an attempt to save him, the others dive in and reach the ominous Upside Down. A group of creepy bats begin attacking Steve as he is almost strangled to death by a tentacle; the episode ends, leaving the viewers squirming in their seats.

Throughout the episode, viewers finally come to learn about the existence of Number 001 at the Hawkins Lab, the original test subject. The orderly converses with Eleven, and soon, she begins having flashbacks of her past when she was vehemently bullied. The aftermath of her rage culminates into a bloodbath, convincing Eleven that she is the one who actually killed her perpetrators.

The Massacre at the Hawkins Lab

The final season begins right from the point of tension. Steve does not die as his friends arrive in time to drive off the bats with the oars. Soon, they get into a massive fight with the creatures and must make it to Nancy’s house in the Upside Down to retrieve guns. However, after they reach the house and Steve apparently hears Dustin’s voice, the group realises that they have travelled in the past and the Upside Down has not moved on like the real world.

Meanwhile, the Hawkins kids are being questioned by the police. Erica decides to join the gang and help them understand Vecna’s moves. They are convinced that every time the monster kills someone, he opens a new gate to the Upside Down.

Steve, desperate for survival, constantly tries to contact Dustin using electricity. While Erica and the rest initially think it is Vecna, they soon decode Steve’s SOS message. After a few hiccups, they are successful in decoding the message and decide to meet at Eddie’s trailer, which might be yet another opening to the Upside Down, given how Chrissy died there. The group sneaks out of the Wheeler household on their bikes to save their friends. The viewers will be delighted to see the aerial shots of the quartet biking away, evoking memories of the first season.

They finally reach the trailer, and the group begins to escape the Upside Down before Nancy falls back and her real body looks possessed.

Meanwhile, Dmitri and Hopper are the last ones standing as the Demogorgon maliciously ends the people in his way, much to the horror of Yuri, Joyce and Murray. Hopper’s brilliant plan works in tandem with Joyce and Murray’s continued efforts to open the door, and they escape. Hopper and Joyce share a tearful embrace.

Back in Nevada, Eleven recalls all her memories. She remembers the orderly taking off the chip in his neck to prevent them from being caught. When they are nearly apprehended, the orderly kills the guards, revealing himself to be the infamous Number 001. While she awaits the orderly’s return, she sees blood everywhere. Number One kills everyone and wants to convince Eleven to join him on his quest for power.

As Number One begins to talk about the origin of Vecna, Nancy, too, begins wandering around the Creel House, piecing together the history of the house. The orderly turns out to be Victor Creel’s son, Henry. After moving into the Creel House, Henry becomes obsessed with spiders and begins hating humans, eager to restore balance to the world.

Eager to control the minds of others, he begins to manipulate animals before doing the same to his family, even killing them in the process and framing his father. Later discovered by Brenner, who wants to control his powers, he becomes the first-ever test subject. When he tries to convince Eleven to join him, she refuses, and they engage in a brutal battle. After a long and arduous struggle, Eleven is triumphant and throws Number One into Upside Down, transforming into Vecna, whose wrists show off the infamous tattoo. The episode comes to an end, setting the exciting tempo for the final two feature-length episodes of the season.