In classic Netflix fashion, the majority of Stranger Things season four was released all at once for perfect binge-worthy content. While the season started off on a semi-rocky start with Chapter One, it didn’t take long for this installment to jump right back into the weird, disturbing, and enjoyable story we all know and love. The majority of this episode definitely still serves as laying the foundation out for the rest of the season. In Chapter One, Joyce receives a Russian doll with a phone number. She and Murray soon discover that Hopper is still alive. As far as the other storylines go, the pace definitely continues to pick up as well with Mike flying to California to visit El and Will, and the other characters working together to help Eddie after Chrissy’s death.
Overall from a story and writing standpoint, fans definitely were incredibly happy to see Hopper alive as well as Murray back into the picture very early on in the series. That storyline picks up with Murray and Joyce sparking a deal with Dmitri Antonov, a prison guard working with Hopper to help him escape. The only caveat is that they know have to trade 40,000 dollars in exchange for Hopper as well as fly to Alaska to make the exchange. Conveniently separating Joyce from Will and El while Mike comes to visit.
Back in that storyline, fans off the bat were already raging over Mike’s behavior in California towards Will. Despite audiences definitely looking forward to El and Mike’s reunion the attention was quickly diverted towards the awkward tension between him and Will. The majority of this episode surrounds Mike seeing firsthand how hard of a time El has had adjusting to her new school and how much she’s been getting bullied. Fans were also very upset in this episode when Mike didn’t seem to interject amidst the craziness of the roller skating rink scene. However, the silver lining of this plot was the new fan favorite character named Argyle. An eccentric marijuana loving goofy sidekick to Jonathon, who also so far seems very absent the majority of the episode.
Back in Hawkins, Max, Dustin, and Lucas re-connect with Robin, Steve, and Nancy and confide with them of their new suspicions about Chrissy’s death. The group vows to protect Eddie, and after some D&D discussions presume an entity from the upside down whom they refer to as “Vecna” is the one wreaking havoc. Amidst all this as well, audiences were overjoyed to see Nancy tapping back into her detective roots by conducting her own investigation with Chrissy’s death. After a hefty conversation with Eddie’s uncle, he tells Nancy he believes the killer was Victor Creel, an ex Hawkins resident who now arrested was responsible for previous murders of similar nature. The episode ends with a bang as another side character named Fred who assists Nancy, is haunted by visions of his past and limbs snapped all over the place.
Overall the pace of this season definitely begins to pick up steam in this jam packed episode. Surprisingly at this point fans continued to attach to the lovable side characters of Eddie and Argyle as opposed to the other characters, similarly to Chrissy in the first episode. The following episodes definitely continue to follow this trend of fans habitually getting annoyed at some of the behavior in characters like Mike despite this only being the beginning of the season. Needless to say this episode set the tone for the trends to follow throughout the rest of the season.