Stranger Things has impacted the world of media in astronomical ways. However with the recent release of Season 4, we are nearing the end of the whimsical and dark, Dungeons and Dragons inspired show. While there were rumors floating around of season four being the final installment of the series, due to its mass success, audiences should be expecting another season of the show. With that, let’s dive into season four, and more specifically episode one “Chapter One: The Hellfire Club.”
Whether you loved it or hated it, season four starts off with a highly anticipated bang with the first episode. Partially due to the fact that it’s been about three years since the last season, fans were anxious to see where this highly anticipated season would start. To no surprise the episode begins with our main characters separated. Joyce, Jonathan, Will and El reside in California where El struggles to fit in with her classmates. The rest of the characters remain in Hawkins where they continue to grow apart due to conflicting interests and their obvious shared trauma from the previous seasons. In this case, Lucas, now a star basketball player, is far removed from Mike and Dustin who have joined the DND club called The Hellfire Club. A shock to fans considering Mike was very much against playing DND in the past season. Max on the other hand struggles to grieve the death of her brother Billy in season three and no longer talks to anyone from their friend group.
Throughout the first episode, we are shown clips and scenes of a character named Chrissy. A cheerleader who continues to have nightmare-like visions that follow her everywhere, she eventually attempts to purchase some sort of drug to help her sleep soundly. Regardless of the removed and broken friendships between our main characters, audiences and fans immediately attached to president of the hellfire club, Eddie. Chrissy and Eddie throughout the episode have a few interactions where Chrissy resides in Eddie for help with her visions. However by the end of the episode fans were devastated when their friendship is cut short.
The most shocking and impressive things that have come out of this season so far, and episode one in particular is how much audiences embraced the new characters and in some cases prefer their storyline over the main characters. Part of this is most likely due to the fact that this season took a very long time to complete and eventually get released, as I mentioned earlier. Whether you love or hate the show, The Duffer Brothers definitely made an interesting choice waiting this long to finally give their fans what they’ve been anticipating for years. Especially considering the main characters are all played by young adult actors that seem to be rapidly aging with every season. A very present concern that critics and fans alike seem to be painfully aware of.
Despite the concerns and issues with the production and release of this season, the success of the first episode was undeniable as fans rapidly binged the beginning of the season in one day (including myself). With the release of the full season already behind us, it will definitely be interesting to see how this season holds up in comparison to previous seasons once the hype begins to sizzle out. As far as season premiers go, especially for a show like Stranger Things, audiences were a bit thrown off by some of the awkward dialogue and reintroduction of past storylines. However, there were a multitude of aspects that saved the episode especially the new characters.