BETH NETHERCOTT just about emerges unscathed from the epic finale of Stranger Things’ Season 4 first volume – Chapter Seven: The Massacre at Hawkins Lab
The final episode of Part One of Stranger Things Season 4 gives us one hour and forty minutes of jam-packed action! With so much to discuss, I have focussed on the best bits.
Upside Down Demobats
The opening scene shows Steve, Nancy, Robin, and Eddie in the gloomy, dark, and downright creepy Upside Down. A swarm of evil demobats leads to a wild fight, and Steve dripping with bat blood after smashing one. Will this set scene for further exhilarating action?
And the Number 001 is….?
During this season we, and Eleven, were led to believe she killed all the other kids in the lab. As the story unfolds the truth slowly emerges of what actually happened. There’s more to the mysterious Hawkins lab aide than we first thought. His reward for helping Eleven is the removal of the tracker in his neck, after which our perceptions of his character are turned truly upside down! The eventual revelation that is that he is 001, given various clues, isn’t the greatest of surprises but it still packs a punch.
Back in the Upside Down
Steve, Nancy, Robin, and Eddie communicate through lights to Lucas, Erica and Dustin in the normal world to help them figure out how to get back. Strait talking Erica was always making me laugh in Season Three, so I am glad she is appearing on our screens more in this episode.
The flashing lights motif, used in Season One by Will to communicate from the Upside Down, implies that Vecna always been around. Consistency is a key element in keeping your fanbase on your side.
The awesome foursome find another gate in Eddie’s caravan to travel back to reality - right side up. It is Nancy’s turn to go through, but she ends up in Vecna’s visions, revealing that the young boy (Henry Creel) from Victor’s family is Vecna, AKA 001… mind officially blown! How is Nancy going to escape? Will music be the key? If so, which track will be heading for Number One this time?!
Hopper vs the Demogorgon
One of the best scenes in the season so far: Hopper’s cellmates [yet again, no relation!] had no chance avoiding being ripped to shreds - literally. But…. “Demogorgon - 0 Hopper - 1”, as the latter throws a fire-lit spear into the monster’s mouth. Talk about intense - my heart was in my mouth! Meanwhile, Murray and Joyce succeed in helping Hopper by figuring out the controls of the door for them to escape.
The moment we’ve all been waiting for… the reunion of Hopper and Joyce. A special moment for a who barely believed they would see each other again. I love this pair and hope the series gives them a happy ending.
If you’re nerd like me then you’ll be interested in this YouTube clip showing the painstaking way the Duffer Brothers pieced together the amazing blood splattered battle.
Vecna’s origins revealed
Season Four has provided plenty of Eleven’s flashbacks of the dead kids in the Hawkins lab. Covered in blood, she has believed she was responsible for the deaths of everyone in the lab, but this final episode uncovers the truth.
The ensuing battle between One and Eleven climaxes with Eleven mentally hoisted in the air by One’s superpowers. But the show has always hinted that Eleven’s powers are greater than anyone suspects and with one supreme effort she creates the portal and banishes One into the Upside Down, where presumably he evolves into Vecna.
A fantastically tense ending that’s keeping us on tenterhooks for Volume 2 on 1 July.
What is Will and Eleven’s connection to the Upside Down… are they the key to everything?
Where will the California crew fit in?
Will all our favourite couples ever make up?
I can’t help feeling that at least one well-loved character will meet a sticky end before the end of the final season. Stranger Things are not afraid to do the unexpected so it will be a miracle if everyone survives.
Thanks for reading my reviews so far.
Batten down the hatches for a marathon three hours and fifty-five minute two episode finale!
Written by Beth Nethercott