Story Recap – what happened in Stranger Things season 4, volume 1?

By Marc Miller
Published: May 27, 2022 (Last updated: February 17, 2024)
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Story recap – what happened in Stranger Things season 4, volume 1 - netflix series

This is a story recap of Netflix’s Stranger Things Season 4, volume 1, and will contain spoilers as it details what happened.

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


Story recap – what happened in Stranger Things season 4, volume 1?

Episode 1 – “The Hellfire Club”

Stranger Things reintroduces us to the characters. The main takeaways are that El does not have her powers and is being bullied at her new school in California. Joyce receives a note indicating that Hopper may be alive. Finally, a Hawkins High School cheerleader is the victim of a demonic spell cast by a dark wizard. She is killed in front of the town drug dealer, Eddie, by being thrown up into the ceiling and suffering a gruesome death. Max saw her enter Eddie’s home.

Episode 2 – “Vecna’s Curse”

We find out Hopper survived the explosion and was taken to Russia to be tortured in a Russian prison. The ransom note has a second half of the page, and it asks for $40,000 to return our beloved sheriff. Joyce and Murray figure out it is a corrections officer who wrote the letter after talking to him by phone. They head out to Alaska to get him back because that is the drop point to pay the money.

Nancy and Fred head into the neighborhood where Chrissy’s body was found. This time, Freddy has a hallucination and carries a secret; he was involved in a car accident last summer that killed a family. In the woods, he finds the same clock Chrissy saw, but now it is on its side. In black and looking deader than usual, the family points at him. He runs for his life through the woods before ending up on the road, where he is killed in the same fashion as Chrissy. What is going on? Dustin, Max, Steve, and Robin, along with Eddie’s help, figure out that it must be Vecna’s curse, a dark wizard spell caster that is now in Hawkins.

Episode 3 – “The Monster and The Superhero”

Joyce, Murray, Enzo, and Hopper put the plan in motion for Hop’s escape. Dr. Owens intercepts the police transport carrying El after she is arrested for giving Angela a concussion. He needs her help to put whatever is happening in Hawkins to rest and has a plan to restore her powers. Nancy and Robin do some research and think Vecna has been around Hawkins since 1959 and was responsible for the killing spree by Victor Creel. Finally, we find out our dear Max is in trouble. She finds that Chrissy and Freddy have all suffered from the same symptoms (headaches, nose bleeds, nightmares), and she then has a Vecna special — a hallucination of the damn grandfather clock.

Episode 4 – “Dear Billy”

Yuri double-crosses his partner, Hopper, along with Joyce and Murray. He takes the money and calls the warden and the KGB to bring the Americans. Also, Max assesses her situation and feels she has a day left before Vecna kills her. While Nancy and Robin meet Victor Creel, he tells them a demon killed his family. This all leads to Max being saved by some Nancy Drew detective work by Nancy and Robin. When Max is at Billy’s grave, Vecna puts her in a trance, and they break her out of it by playing her favorite song that brings her back to reality – “Running up that Hill” by Kate Bush.

Episode 5 – “The Nina Project”

Hopper is back in the Russian jail with Dmitri, while Joyce and Murray crash land Yuri’s plane after hijacking it from the kidnapper. Vecna takes another life, Patrick, while the Hawkins’ crew finds his lair (the Creel family mansion). And finally, we find out that Brenner is alive! He helps El find a few of her lost powers under questionable tactics.

Episode 6 – “The Dive Curse”

Joyce and Murray plan for the latter to be Yuri and escort her and the smuggler into the prison to free Hopper. To have a chance to defeat the Demodog, Hopper starts a fight so he can grab a lighter off the guard. As he tells Dmitri later, as he pulls the bottle of Vodka out of his coat, the only thing those monsters are afraid of is fire. The Lenora team locates the lab El is being held in in Nevada. Steve is pulled into the Upside Down, and the last we see him is being eaten alive by demonic bats. Lastly, El finally remembers when she killed everyone in the lab when she was a small child.

Episode 7 – “The Massacre at Hawkins Lab”

Peter is Henry. Henry is Peter. Both Henry and Peter are Vecna. The last scenes reveal that Nancy is stuck in the Upside Down place with Vecna, and Eleven created the gate that started all the Stranger Things around Hawkins when she destroyed Peter/Henry (=Vecna).

And there you go, a story recap of Stranger Things season 4, volume 1, and what happened. What are your thoughts on the story? Comment below.

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