Let’s break down the teaser for the final two episodes of Stranger Things 4

STRANGER THINGS. Vecna in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
STRANGER THINGS. Vecna in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

The first seven episodes of Stranger Things season 4 are out now on Netflix. But let’s be real, we live in a culture of binge television viewing; we both know you’ve already seen all seven episodes of Volume I and are now eagerly awaiting Volume II. The final two episodes of Stranger Things 4 will arrive on July 1. One of them is a whopping two-and-a-half hours long, meaning we’re basically getting Stranger Things: The Movie next month.

Netflix knew exactly what it was doing by splitting this season up, and is doing its best to capitalize on the hype. Volume I ended in pretty spectacular fashion and there’s a teaser for Volume II. You can find it attached to the end credits for episode 7, “The Massacre at Hawkins Lab.” Or you can watch it on YouTube.

Let’s talk about this trailer, but beware SPOILERS for Stranger Things 4 Volume I below.

First contact with the Upside Down

The teaser begins with young Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) staring at the gate she opened when she punted One/Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower) into the Upside Down at the end of Episode 7, while the villain gives an off-screen monologue about how she set him free. He uses her name here and is speaking with the Vecna voice, which means these two are going to come face-to-face in the back half of season 4 and I cannot wait. It appears that the gate is closing in this shot.

From there we see Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine) staring in wonder at the spot where the gate was. Could this be the very first time Brenner has seen a gate? That would make this the inciting incident that kicks off all his research into communicating with the Upside Down, which will lead to him accidentally causing Eleven to open another gate and starting this whole mess in season 1.

Things get dicey for the Hawkins gang

Next we see Steve, Nancy, and Robin in the Upside Down, as well as a shot of Vecna’s clock. This tells us that Nancy survives her encounter with Vecna at the end of Episode 7, and that our heroes are going back in after the villain. We expected this, but confirmations are always nice.

There are a few other notable Upside Down shots, including one where Eddie and Dustin are decked out in warrior garb with spears, standing back-to-back to defend the portal in Eddie’s trailer that leads back to the real world. Then there’s a super quick shot where Robin is cocooned up on a wall while Nancy and Steve hack away in an attempt to free her.

We also very briefly see Max trying to get out of a boarded up window, though it’s not totally clear whether this is in the Upside Down. And then there’s a shot of Lucas sitting on a floor in the real world, looking like he might have just gotten in a tussle. Could Jason and his cronies have finally caught up to him?

The Mind Flayer returns in Stranger Things 4 Volume II

The Russia plotline also features pretty prominently in this trailer. There’s a shot of Hopper standing in front of a tank that holds the corpse of a Demogorgon; it looks like a nod to the clone lab scene in Alien Resurrection. Hopper and Murray stare in horror at the tanks, until they come across an extra large one that appears to hold the Mind Flayer — note the smokey cloud — which raises more questions than answers. Is this just a piece of the Mind Flayer? Is there more than one of these terrifying creatures? Why and how do the Russians have it contained?

There’s also one very brief glimpse of Murray wielding what looks like a flamethrower. Whatever’s going on in Russia, it’s going to get intense. We’ve had lots of questions about the purpose of Hopper’s survival and whether the Russians mattered to the show’s long game; hopefully we’ll get some answers in Volume II.

Eleven vs Vecna

The last few shots to discuss revolve around Eleven. We see her watching an explosion in the middle of the desert, surrounded by bodies. It seems safe to guess that this will occur during her escape from the Nina Project bunker, though how the military or Mike, Will, Jonathan, and Argyle will tie into those events remains a mystery. (The California road trip characters don’t feature in a single scene of this teaser; I really do feel they drew the short straw this season.)

Finally, we see Eleven close her eyes and float into the air as she starts using her powers. This is a much cooler shot than at first glance, because it tells us a bit about where Eleven is at emotionally in these final two episodes. The only other time in the show that we’ve seen her levitate like this was at the end of season 2, when she tapped into her angriest memories in order to shut the gate to the Upside Down. In season 4, One encouraged her to tap into her anger to access her powers, but it’s been hinted that positive memories might prove even more useful. This new shot of Eleven could allude to her accessing her powers from a more peaceful place, making her stronger than ever.

The last shot of the trailer is Vecna extending his hand. A reckoning is coming in Volume II, and it’s going to be epic.

Stranger Things 4 Volume II hits Netflix on July 1.

Next. Every episode of Stranger Things season 4, reviewed and explained. dark

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