Stranger Things season 4, episode 3 recap – “The Monster and The Superhero”

By Marc Miller
Published: May 27, 2022 (Last updated: February 17, 2024)
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Stranger Things season 4, episode 3 - The Monster and The Superhero - Netflix Series


Chapter Three of Stranger Things Season 4 is a gift to the fans as the Duffers welcome back a beloved character that raises the story’s stakes to new, unprecedented levels.

This recap of Netflix’s Stranger Things season 4, episode 3, “The Monster and The Superhero,” contains spoilers.

Access the archive of news, recaps, and reviews of Stranger Things.

Stranger Things season 4, episode 3 recap

Is El murdering the teenagers in Hawkins? That’s what a military officer, Lt. Colonel Sullivan (Sherman Augustus), thinks she is doing. Remotely. When Sullivan crashes Dr. Owen’s home in Ruth, Nevada, that’s what he rudely infers. He thinks he knows where she is, and he certainly looks like he knows something. They raid his house and take several documents, trying to prove Owens knows El is not dead but alive.

Back in Lenora, Joyce and Murray are going to Alaska to pay the pilot the money to bring our boy Hopper home. The Russian guard, Dmitri, has set up the whole thing. They playact a confrontation while working on railroad spikes so the Russian guard can give him an update. He tells him the pilot is coming with the money. Either way, Dmitri will be rich, and it’s Hopper’s responsibility to somehow get on that plane. He plans to give up his meal for one of the prisoners to break his leg chains with their sledgehammer.

However, bad timing has caused El to be arrested by the local cops for Angela’s well-deserved beatdown. El is arrested for giving her a concussion, and no parent/guardian is there. When El is arrested and taken in for interrogation, she has no lawyer or legal guardian present. The police almost got her admitted to an attempted murder charge. When Mike, Will, and Jonathan head to the station to bail her out, they are told she was sent to juvenile detention. Have no fear, though. Paul Reisser has come to save the day. He and several government-issued vehicles pull over the transport to intercept her.

Then we have the matter of the rest of the crew. Steve, Robin, Dustin, Max, and Nancy hypothesize Chrissy and Fred must have told the school shrink about the visions and nightmares. (Honestly, if anything, it would make sense if Vecna has some association or connection with a mental health professional). They set out to go to the school when Nancy breaks off from the group and wants to investigate something independently. Steve wants to go with her, but no one else has a license to drive her car.

So, Robin goes with her as some added protection. (I’m not sure why Nancy couldn’t climb in the car and Steve then drop the kids off, but this is the choice they made). They both go to research the history of serial killer Victor Creel. When they hit the library, their investigation takes them back to 1959, the start of Victor Creel’s killing spree. They surmise that not any old demon-possessed Creel, but it must have been Vecna.

Meanwhile, Lucas goes along with three of his basketball teammates to crack some heads at The Hellfire Club’s rehearsal (doubles as a D&D club and rock band, apparently). The purpose is to find out where Eddie is hiding. Lucas pretends he doesn’t know them when they arrive, hurting their feelings. Mason (Jason Carver) doesn’t care. He is there to find Chrissy’s killer. He beats the information out of one and heads out to the hideout. Unfortunately for one of them, Patrick, the dark wizard, is now plugged in, and we see how he picks his victims. He searches through a maze of what can only be described as ruminating memories of suffering in the town of Hawkins. The demon chooses Patrick as he thinks about his father scolding him over his underage drinking. That causes headaches and his nose to bleed.

The ending

By the end of the episode, we find out that Hopper is injured, Dr. Owens is one of the good ones, and Max is in grave danger. It appears that Hopper wanted his ankle broken to twist it out of his shackles. (He is not shown again so that the escape may happen in the next episode). Owens convinces El to come back with him to Hawkins because her friends are in real danger. As he puts it, El believes she is the only one who can stop it for good because whenever they keep killing, it comes back stronger. He also has a plan for her to regain her powers.

Finally, Lucas takes the basketball players on a wild goose chase, taking them far away from where Eddie is hiding to Will’s old house. While this is happening, Dustin, Steve, and Max looks through the counselor’s files and find that Fred and Chrissy were having the same symptoms that Max is having. Those are stress, nightmares, and bloody noses. Max then hears something behind her. We can only assume she is having a Vecna hallucination because she then finds herself in the dark school hallway and sees that damn grandfather clock embedded in the doorway. We then hear Vecna’s breathing, and he calls her name.

What did you think of Netflix’s Stranger Things season 4, episode 3? Let us know in the comments below!

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