If you’ve already binge-watched the first volume of Stranger Things’ fourth season—and the odds are decent that you did—you were likely left grasping onto the ledge for dear life thanks to that intense cliffhanger. This sneak peek at the second half (well, 2/9ths) of the season isn’t much, but at least it’s something.
If you’re still watching season four…
…but for everyone else: The gang was not in good shape. Hopper, Joyce, and Murray were freed but still trapped in a Soviet prison. Vecna had trapped Nancy in his nightmare spell, as well as the Upside Down, as Steve tried futilely to wake her up. Meanwhile, Eleven had learned the true origin of Vecna—not only an orderly at the Hawkins lab where she was raised, trained, and imprisoned, but the very first subject of the project—and that she had created him by blasting him into the Upside Down herself. And, if this sneak peek is anything to go by, things are about to get worse:
There’s not a ton of new footage in this extremely brief preview, but things don’t look good. Lucas seems to be having the crap beaten out of him. Robin looks like she’s trapped in the Upside Down, even though she escaped in the mid-season finale. The Soviets have apparently been messing in the Upside Down for a long while, as evidenced by the caged samples Hopper sees—including a Lost-esque smoke monster reminiscent of the Mind Flayer. And we still don’t know if the Nina Project managed to give Eleven her powers back.
And, of course, there’s Vecna declaring, “It is over, Eleven. You have freed me. You can’t stop this now.” Normally, I’d dismiss that as normal supervillain talk before the gang reunites to kick Vecna’s ass, but since season five will be Stranger Things’ final season, it stands to reason that things will not be ending on a particularly high note here.
At least we won’t have long to wait for answers. The final two, giant-sized episodes of season five premiere on Netflix on July 1.
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