Stranger Things 4 Review and Recap

By Jackie Sauer and Chloe Levy

Stranger Things 4 has excited many fans over the past three years and was finally released May 27th. The new season has loads of new characters, plot twists, settings, and even gives more history behind some of the earlier seasons. Seven episodes have been released, each about an hour and 20 minutes long, and there will be two extra episodes that connect to the fourth season. 

The Stranger Things basics, for those who have never seen it, include a young girl who escaped a lab in Hawkins, Indiana, where experiments on kids take place. She has telekinesis powers and has nowhere to go. Another plot line consists of a preteen boy who goes missing in the same town. His three friends, Dustin, Lucas, and Mike, go looking for him and find the young girl, whose name is Eleven (based on the tattoo marking the lab gave her). The missing boy eventually gets found and it is revealed soon that a monster created by the experimentation lab took him through another dimension. Throughout the seasons, many different monsters have peeked through that other dimension, and have been defeated by the group of kids and their older siblings. Eleven and Mike start to date, but when her adopted father dies, she has to move to California with the formerly-missing boy and his mom and brother, leaving her boyfriend, and friends back at Hawkins. Also, her telekinisis mysteriously stops working and she is left with no powers and no understanding of how to get them back. Season 4 leaves off at a cliffhanger that makes fans curious as to what will happen in Eleven’s life now that her father is gone, and what will happen back home to her friends and boyfriend in Hawkins. 

Season 4 starts with a recap from everything previously presented in the last season, setting the scene. Eleven begins narrating what starting school is like for her in a letter to Mike. She explains what Will, the boy she moved with, has been doing, and what his mom and brother are up to, as well. Even though shedescribes her popularity and success in California, El has no friends (besides Will), feels lonely, and doesn’t have much to do. Her boyfriend, Mike, is leaving for Spring Break, while her other friends, Dustin, Lucas, and Max, stay in Indiana. 

There should definitely be some comdedy expected in the 4th season, though it is way more subtle than in last season. The kids have matured, and so has the show, in some ways. Also, the timeline of 1980s has transformed the aesthetic of the seasons. The first season was dark, gloomy, and more of a late 70s vibe, adding lots of Dungeons and Dragons-incorporated references and scenes. Season 2 had a more mis-1980s vibe, with the arcade being popular to the middle-schooled main characters. The aesthetic was the same, but had much more fun in it because a lot of it was Halloween-themed and Ghostbusters references. Season 3 was completely new and different, which is probably why it got the most attention. Everything was bright and full of retro workout music with leotards and sweatbands. Season 4 is attracting more people, as well, because it is following the same aesthetic as the first two seasons. The colors are dimmer, and now that the main characters are in high school, there is a sense of realism and relatability to the series.