Stranger Things: Season 4 Preview

After what was one of the greatest television hits of 2019, Netflix’s Stranger Things 3, it would seem that season four has to pack quite the punch to keep the ratings high. To do so, the creators are trying something different, like not having the show set in Hawkins, Indiana. That’s right, but I’ll get to that later on. First, in case you’ve been stuck under a rock or in hibernation for the past three years, here’s the basic premise of the show. 

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Max, Will, Eleven, Mike, and Lucas are some of the central figures in one of TV’s most popular shows.

A group of kids who live in a small town in Indiana during the 1980s encounter a terrifying new dimension that has the ability to take over the actual world in which they live.. However, the kids are the only citizens of the town who are aware of it, and the only ones trying to stop it. Not only do they have to deal with the monster-like demogorgons who inhabit this unknown dimension (aka “the upside-down”), but they are up against a mysterious laboratory trying to open and exploit the portal as well as many of their adult family members and townspeople who, of course, are not going to believe our teenage heroes.

Stranger Things, as a series, has done much better than it was ever expected to do,  according to Business Insider. The fact that the series takes place in the 1980s makes so much sense because adults who watch the show get a taste of their childhood again while the younger audience is given an idea of what life was like back then. The location also helps; it shows what a classic American town used to be like: lots of mom-and-pop stores and a more innocent time where teenagers were looking for things to do before iPhones and apps.

The show has done so well, in fact, that some of the actors who are only in their teenage years are making six-digit figures per episode. For example, actress Millie Bobby Brown, who plays Eleven on the show, has one of the highest salaries: $350,000 per episode, according to USA Today. Anyway, enough about money. What so many people want to know is, what is season four all about?

Season three left off with the teens discovering and destroying a secret Russian base beneath the town’s new mall. The Russians were using the base to try and open a portal to the upside down. The characters fight the monsters, the base falls, and they successfully close the portal, although not without a big cost. (Spoiler alert!) Chief Hopper was supposedly blown up during the destruction of the portal, and Billy gets killed by the Mind Flayer. As a result, there is lots of speculation about the upcoming season. During a stinger after the credits in the last episode of season three, viewers learned (another spoiler alert!) that Chief Hopper is alive. 

In addition, thanks to the first teaser trailer that was released at the end of September 2019, it seems that the fourth season  will take place in Russia where, it seems, they have opened another portal to the upside-down. 

That first mini-trailer begins in an upside-down Hawkins and leads viewers’ eyes to Hopper’s cabin. After this, the statement, “We’re not in Hawkins anymore,” appears  while we hear four chimes of a bell tower. Many of the show’s cast members posted the teaser to all of their social media pages. This was our first insight into season four, although it was not nearly as revealing as the trailer that came out in mid-February of this year.

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Chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour) is shown alive in this image from latest trailer for season four.

That teaser, which was a Valentine’s special posted by Netflix with the title, “From Russia With Love,” shows viewers a scene of Russian prisoners working on railroad tracks, which could possibly lead to an upside-down portal. We see some of the prisoners in detail, and one of them is none other than Jim Hopper. This confirms that he survived the explosion underneath the mall at the end of season three, but it also brings up a lot of questions.  

How did he survive? How did he get to Russia? Why is he a prisoner? It seems that his being in Russia may have to do with time travel, something that was hinted at previously. For example,there was the chiming of the bells in the first trailer, and Steve, a friend of the gang, talks about Back to the Future in season three.

One thing that we also learn in season three after the credits is that the Russians have detained a demogorgon. We see Russian soldiers feed it one of their prisoners during this post-credits scene.

Also, at the end of the second trailer, we see Hopper staring off into the distance of the Russian wilderness and then it cuts to black as we hear the chittering of a  demogorgon before the trailer ends.

As far as when these questions will be answered, there is not yet a set release date for the fourth season due to the coronavirus delay. Hopefully, all of our favorite characters will be united again at some point during the upcoming season. But will we see our teen heroes in Hawkins? How much of season four will be set in Russia? Will Hopper escape? What is the Russians’ interest in the portal? Is it a potential Cold War weapon they are trying to exploit? Only time will tell. All we can do now is wait.