Stranger Things Season 4 Part 2 is almost here. Two episodes of the Netflix drama are dropping a month after Season 4 Part 1's shocking reveal about Vecna. Heading into the final segment of this installment, we have many questions about Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and her powers. We also want to know: what will happen to the Upside Down, and, as a result of that, to Hawkins? Season 3 of Stranger Things ended with Billy's (Dacre Montgomery) death, and we can't help but wonder if all of our beloved characters will be able to make it out of Season 4 alive.
TV Guide has put together everything you need to know about Season 4's final episodes.
If you haven't been able to stop listening to "Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)" since the first half of Season 4 was released, the trailer for Part 2 won't change that. The full trailer for the supersized final two episodes of Season 4, set to the Kate Bush song that played such a big role in Part 1, was released on June 21, and it teases a massive battle for Hawkins. "I have this terrible feeling," Robin (Maya Hawke) says in the footage. "It might not work out for us this time."
A teaser for Season 4 Part 2 was previously released in early June.
Stranger Things 4 returns in July. Season 4 Part 2, containing two episodes, arrives on July 1. The first half of the season was released on May 27.
Netflix dropped the first look images for Stranger Things Season 4 Part 2 on June 14. While some characters are still isolated from the rest, we're beginning to see more of them reunite following the conclusion of Season 4 Part 1. In one image, the crew that was stuck in the Upside Down — Steve (Joe Keery), Robin, and Eddie (Joseph Quinn) — is back in the human dimension and crowds by a table next to Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), and Erica (Priah Ferguson). The big surprise here is that Nancy (Natalia Dyer), who Vecna previously stopped from leaving the Upside Down, is also with the group!
In another image, we see Eleven next to Dr. Brenner (Matthew Modine). It's unclear what stage of her training process she's in, but we certainly hope that she has her powers back by the time this scene takes place.
Episode 7 of Stranger Things Season 4 was already movie length, coming in at over 90 minutes, but Episode 9, which caps off the whole season will be even longer. According to an interview conducted by Variety with The Duffer Brothers, Episode 9 will be two and a half hours long and contains more visual effects than the entirety of Season 3.
The events of Stranger Things Season 4 Part 1 should still be fresh in everyone's minds, but if you are still a bit unclear about the reveal of Vecna's backstory, TV Guide is here to catch you up. For the inside take on how the Vecna reveal came together, we spoke to actor Jamie Campbell Bower about the terrifying new Upside Down villain. If you're looking for a more beat-by-beat breakdown of where everyone is at the end of Part 1, we have that too. In a nutshell, everyone is very separated — in some cases by continents and oceans — and Vecna is ready to take over the world.
The third installment of Stranger Things is all about fighting the Mind Flayer and preventing the Gate to the Upside Down from fully reopening. Much of the action surrounds Billy, stepbrother to Max and a lifeguard at the community pool. In the first episode, Billy's car crashes and he is dragged into an abandoned mill. Remember the part of the Mind Flayer that was burned from Will in Season 2? That part never left the human world, and it once again connects to the Mind Flayer when a group of Russian scientists create a small opening in the Gate — more on this later.
In the mill, the revived Mind Flayer piece attacks Billy, and he becomes the creature's new host. Billy is instructed to create an army of the Flayed, or those possessed by the Mind Flayer. He sets out to capture residents of Hawkins, and the first victim is his fellow lifeguard, Heather Holloway (Francesca Reale). By accident, Eleven sees Heather in trouble with Billy while she's in The Void. She alerts Max, who is now her new best friend after Eleven broke up with Mike. Along with Mike, Will, and Lucas, they confirm that the Mind Flayer has possessed Billy after trapping him in a sauna and witnessing his reaction to heat.
Another sign of the Mind Flayer's return? Rabid rats in Hawkins, which Nancy and Jonathan — who are dating this season — investigate without their editors' permission while interning at Hawkins Post. After being repeatedly mocked for her story ideas, Nancy decides to take matters into her own hands and visits the home of Doris Driscoll (Peggy Miley) with Jonathan. During their first visit, they see a violent rat that Doris has captured — one of many that she says have been eating her bags of fertilizer. It turns out that all these rats have also been possessed by the Mind Flayer. When Nancy and Jonathan make a second trip to Doris' home, they find that Doris is now eating fertilizer — she has become one of the Flayed.
While Billy helps the Mind Flayer build an army, another scheme unfolds. In the first episode of the season, Dustin intercepts a Russian message with the radio tower he built to communicate with new girlfriend Suzie (Gabriella Pizzolo). He shares this information with Steve and Robin — Steve's co-worker at the ice cream parlor in Starcourt Mall — and together they crack the code. The secret message references the very mall that Steve and Robin work at, and the group enlists the help of Lucas' sister Erica to find out more. They soon discover there is an underground operation happening directly beneath Starcourt Mall, where Russian scientists are — yup, you've guessed it — trying to reopen the portal to the Upside Down.
Hopper and Joyce also learn about the Russians' plot, but through a different method. They capture scientist Alexei (Alec Utgoff), who, through journalist Murray's (Brett Gelman) translations, share that he's been tasked with working on a Key machine that can open the Gate. After discovering this, Hopper and Joyce realize they must go to Starcourt Mall to shut down the operation. Throughout their journey, Hopper is hunted by Russian hitman Grigori (Andrey Ivchenko).
The storylines converge in the final episodes of Season 3. The Mind Flayer now has a tarantula-like physical form after the melted parts of the Flayed merge, and the creature is after Eleven. They battle it out, with Eleven taking the upper hand, but the Mind Flayer embeds a piece of itself into her leg. The season finale begins with Eleven using her powers to remove that Mind Flayer bit from her injured limb. She succeeds, but then realizes that her powers are gone. The Mind Flayer has followed Eleven and her friends to the mall, and they know the only way to destroy it is for Hopper and Joyce to close the Gate — thereby cutting off the Mind Flayer's psychic link to the Upside Down. The duo and Murray go to the mall's underground facilities with this mission. Billy also arrives at the mall, and grabs Eleven to be the next one to be Flayed. But he breaks free of the Mind Flayer's possession, and dies trying to save Eleven from the creature.
Meanwhile, Hopper and Joyce locate the Key. Grigori appears once again and fights Hopper to stop him from deactivating the machine. Though Hopper kills Grigori, he doesn't have enough time to make it back to the safe room. Hopper signals for Joyce to close the Gate, and she does — the machine next to Hopper explodes in the process. The Mind Flayer collapses, and Joyce and Murray return above ground. Eleven is devastated when she realizes that Hopper, who has been a father figure to her, did not make it out. Before the season ends, the Byerses pack their belongings into a U-Haul and start their move — along with Eleven — out of Hawkins. The post-credits scene takes place in a Russian facility, where guards drag a prisoner to a room with a Demogorgon. It's back!
Netflix dropped the full official trailer for Stranger Things Season 4 Part 1 on April 12. The clip begins with Max sitting by the grave of her stepbrother Billy. "Dear Billy, I don't know if you can even hear this," Max says. "Ever since you left everything's been a total disaster." The trailer then teases that a war is coming. Watch the full trailer for Stranger Things Season 4 below.
A teaser trailer for Season 4 was released on May 6, 2021, previewing a return to Hawkins Lab.
An earlier trailer starts out innocently enough, with Eleven writing to Mike about adjusting to her new school and promising they are going to have the "best spring break ever!" Clearly, Eleven doesn't know how jinxes work, because the montage after the declaration includes shootouts, car crashes, and explosions.
New footage was also released from Stranger Things Season 4 as part of Netflix's TUDUM fan festival on Sept. 25, 2021. The sneak peek gave us a look at the Creel House.
New cast members have joined the show in Season 4. Read more on their characters below:
Jamie Campbell Bower plays [SPOILER ALERT] Vecna, aka 001, aka Henry Creel, Dr. Brenner's original test subject, who's taken his place in the Upside Down alongside the Mind Flayer.
Eduardo Franco plays Argyle, Jonathan's new BFF. He's a fun-loving stoner who proudly delivers delicious pizza pies for Surfer Boy Pizza.
Joseph Quinn plays Eddie Munson. He's the head of the Hawkins High official D&D Club, The Hellfire Club.
Robert Englund plays Victor Creel, a disturbed and intimidating man who is imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital for a gruesome murder in the 1950s.
Sherman Augustus plays Lt. Colonel Sullivan. He's an intelligent, no-nonsense man who believes he knows how to stop the evil in Hawkins once and for all.
Mason Dye plays Jason Carver, a handsome, rich athlete who is dating the most popular girl in school. But as a new evil threatens Hawkins, his perfect world begins to unravel.
Tom Wlaschiha plays Dmitri, a smart and charming Russian prison guard. But can he be trusted?
Nikola Djuricko plays Yuri, a seedy and unpredictable Russian smuggler who loves bad jokes, cold hard cash, and crunchy style peanut butter.
Amybeth McNulty plays Vickie, who's described as a cool, fast-talking band nerd who catches the eye of one of our heroes.
Myles Truitt plays Patrick, a Hawkins basketball star who has friends, talent, and a good life, until shocking events send his life spiraling out of control.
Regina Ting Chen plays Ms. Kelly, a popular guidance counselor who cares deeply for her students — especially those struggling the most.
Grace Van Dien plays Chrissy, Hawkins High's lead cheerleader and the most popular girl in school, though she's hiding a dark secret.
David Harbour previously teased that "big reveal" about Hopper's history. Harbour appeared at Comic Con Liverpool in March 2020 and said that fans should expect to learn something major about Hopper's past in Season 4.
"In Season 2, Eleven goes into the ... basement of the cabin, and there's five boxes, one of which has Brenner's stuff from Hawkins Lab, one of which says 'Dad,' and one of which says 'Vietnam,' and one says 'New York,'" he told the crowd. "I know specifically that in Season 4, we will give you a big huge reveal about Hopper's backstory which we haven't — you sort of sensed that in certain ways, but we haven't really told you about it — and I'm so excited about revealing this aspect of the character. It's one of the things that I've known since the first frame of the first shot, and we haven't expressed it yet, and finally we're going to express it in a big way. It's my favorite thing about him that you guys don't know about him yet. But it has to do with these backstories of New York, Vietnam, and Dad."
We know some of the movies that inspired the new season. The Stranger Things writers spent months revealing an ongoing series of films that are all somehow connected to Season 4. The list includes (in order of reveal): The Peanut Butter Solution,The Fisher King, Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, You've Got Mail, Ordinary People, Hellbound: Hellraiser II, Billy Madison, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Black Swan, Young Sherlock Holmes, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Hackers, Silence of the Lambs, The Good Son, and more. Check out the full list on their whiteboard below.
The cast shared a look at their first table read. In an adorable video released in March 2020, the entire cast was shown reuniting in Atlanta for the very first Season 4 table read. The minute-long video featured glimpses of David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Winona Ryder, Joe Keery, Noah Schnapp, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Caleb McLaughlin, Gaten Matarazzo, Maya Hawke, Priah Ferguson, Cara Buono, Sadie Sink, and Brett Gelman.
Season 4 filmed partly in New Mexico. Though the first three seasons were all shot in Atlanta, Deadline reported in 2020 that a significant portion of Season 4 would be shot in New Mexico. "Season 4 is bigger, bolder and more intricate than ever," Netflix VP of Physical Production Momita SenGupta told Deadline at the time. "So this is the first time the show will be traveling beyond Atlanta."
On Feb. 17, 2022, the Duffer brothers shared that Season 5 of Stranger Things will be its last. "Seven years ago, we planned out the complete story arc for Stranger Things. At the time, we predicted the story would last four to five seasons," they wrote in a letter. "It proved too large to tell in four, but — as you'll soon see for yourselves — we are now hurtling toward our finale."
Stranger Things Seasons 1-3 and Season 4 Part 1 are now streaming on Netflix.