Warning: this story contains spoilers for Stranger Things Season 4. On November 6, 1983, Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) disappeared in Hawkins, Indiana. Will went missing into the Upside Down, the alternate dimension Stranger Things 4 revealed to be the domain of "One" (Jamie Campbell Bower), a.k.a Vecna: the big bad behind The Mind Flayer, the hive-mind monster who possessed Will and terrorized Hawkins in seasons past. In Season 4 Episode 7, "The Massacre at Hawkins Lab," a trip into the Upside Down in 1986 reveals the alt-Hawkins is stuck in time — frozen on November 6, 1983.
While in the Upside Down version of Hawkins, Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) realizes her last diary entry was three years earlier — the day Will went missing and the Upside Down gate opened.
Stranger Things 4 Volume 2 ends with Vecna unlocking the four gates and ushering in the Hawkins Apocalypse after claiming his four victims: cheerleader Chrissy Cunningham (Grace Van Dien); Hawkins High journalist Fred Benson (Logan Riley Bruner); jock Patrick McKinney (Myles Truitt); and Max (Sadie Sink), who survives Vecna's attack but is left comatose despite being revived by Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown).
"We really wanted to give the audience a lot of the big answers [about the Upside Down]," series co-creator Ross Duffer told Deadline, teasing "there's still a few of the question marks that remain" in the fifth and final season of Stranger Things.
He added: "The biggest one being we set up in the Volume 1 finale how the Upside Down is stuck in time on the day of Will's disappearance. That's something we don't answer in Volume 2, and that is really the key plot point, the key question that is going to drive our final season as we try to wrap up this story and give the rest of the answers out."
After Vecna torments Nancy with visions of an apocalyptic future and a dark cloud spreading over Hawkins with an army of monsters, Season 4 ends with the Upside Down bleeding through into the real Hawkins. Vecna has won.
"We knew this was going to be the penultimate season and so we were able to do a lot of stuff that we haven't been able to do before, like the four gate collision. We've always wanted the Upside Down encroaching into Hawkins in a more massive way," co-creator Matt Duffer said. "We hinted at it a little bit in Season Two but we want a full-blown Upside Down invasion, and that's something you just can't hit the rewind on that one."
Added Ross, "Once that happens, there's no going back. So, you could only really do that this deep into the story."0comments
All nine episodes of Stranger Things Season 4 are now streaming on Netflix.
Stranger Things 4 stars Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), David Harbour (Jim Hopper), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven/Jane), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), Noah Schnapp (Will Byers), Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield), Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers), Joe Keery (Steve Harrington), Maya Hawke (Robin Buckley), Priah Ferguson (Erica Sinclair), Brett Gelman (Murray), Matthew Modine (Dr. Brenner), Robert Englund (Victor Creel), and Jamie Campbell Bower (Vecna).