*SPOILERS FOR SEASON 4 OF STRANGER THINGS BELOW!*
After a long wait due to, well, everything going on in the world and then another short break for the last two episodes, we finally have seen all of Stranger Things 4. And yes, it was all totally worth it. The supersized final episodes of the beloved sci-fi series had everyone absolutely freaking out over everything that went down. Some of them good, some obviously very, very bad, and others are still making us wonder what the show’s writers have up their sleeve for the next season. But in case the final episode was way too much for you or you just really need a refresher on everything that happened, we’ve totally got you covered.
Here’s the ultimate breakdown of the Stranger Things 4 volume 2 finale.
So, where are we right now?
This recap will focus on the last episode of Stranger Things 4, so here’s a small breakdown of everything that happened before this:
The California crew finally reunited with El by following the coordinates that Suzie gave them toward the NINA project. Papa is now dead, while El, Mike, Will, Jonathan, and Argyle try to find a way back to Hawkins to help save everyone.
The Russia group has officially escaped the prison and is trying to make their way back to America. However, Yuri is hesitant to work with them to bring them home.
Everyone back in Hawkins is getting ready to take down Vecna once and for all.
All set? Okay, let’s jump into the finale!
Alright, let’s begin! Who’s first?
The finale of Stranger Things 4 starts off with Hopper, Joyce, and Murray still in Russia with Yuri and Enzo. The group believes that Yuri is stalling and doing everything he can not to fly them back to America. Meanwhile, Joyce and Hopper continue their reunion and promise to go on a date once they get back. The phone finally rings, but they are surprised not to hear from Owens. They hear the news about something happening in Hawkins and they try to find a way to get back right away.
However, knowing that even if they leave now, they probably wouldn’t make it on time, Hopper and Joyce talk about the hive mind and how all the Demogorgons are connected. They come up with a plan to go back to the prison to take down all the monsters there to help weaken Vecna and the other creatures from afar.
In Hawkins, Nancy leads the group as they figure out a way to take Vecna down. Remembering how El disassociates from her body when she travels into the minds of others, Nancy proposes luring him in with Max and killing him when he’s not conscious in the Upside Down. The group immediately go to their spots both in the Upside Down and the real-life Hawkins.
Meanwhile, the California crew tries to make it back to Hawkins, but they realize that something bigger is about to happen back home. Jonathan is seen calling various airlines to try to get El a flight back, but none are available. El says that she can try to face Vecna in Max’s mind by piggybacking off her memories in order to face him, but the group remembers that they would need a salt bath for her to lie in so that she can do so. Argyle tells them he knows of a place that they can use and they all immediately jump in the van to try to make it on time.
Looks like everyone is getting ready to fight!
With Vecna out and ready to go after them, they’re not taking any more chances! Argyle drives to a local Surfer Boy Pizza spot, where the group immediately empties a freezer tank and fills it up with water and salt so El can do her thing. While getting everything ready, Jonathan and Will have a heart-to-heart where the older Byers brother tells his younger sibling that nothing would change his mind about loving him. Once everything is in place, El steps into the tank and tries to get into Max’s mind.
Meanwhile, back in Hawkins, Max and Lucas have their own special moment as they get ready to lure Vecna to her in order to keep him busy. Nancy, Robin, and Steve make their way over to Creel House in the Upside Down and Steve admits that he dreams about a future with Nancy, which catches her by surprise.
Although it takes a while, Max is successful in getting Vecna’s attention and she tries to use one of her happiest memories to keep him away for the time being. Dustin and Eddie try to distract the Demobats by having Eddie play “Master of Puppets” by Metallica in order to give Nancy, Robin, and Steve a clear way to Creel House.
Eddie Munson playing Metallica's Master of Puppets in the Upside Down to lure the demobats is easily one of the Top 5 coolest things I've ever seen on Stranger Things. pic.twitter.com/ii1A0By7L9
— Netflix (@netflix) July 5, 2022
Why does it feel like something bad is about to happen?
Well…don’t say we didn’t warn you. Because a lot happens next!
While Eddie and Dustin are successful in luring the Demobats away from the other group, they quickly realize that the Demobats are able to get inside the trailer they’re in due to the vents. Nancy, Steve, and Robin also are successful at getting to Creel House, but the vines attack them and they’re unable to continue with their mission.
Over at Hawkins, another resident tells Jason Carver and his group where Erica and Lucas are. They quickly attack them, with Erica outside in the park and Lucas inside Creel House in case he needs to call upon the power of Kate Bush to save Max. Jason sees that Max is under Vecna’s control but believes it’s Lucas who put her under some satanic spell. Despite trying to talk it out, Jason immediately points a gun at Lucas and the two start fighting.
Vecna and El have a giant showdown in Max’s mind and he starts to overtake the both of them. However, thanks to the Russian group, who start to take down Demogorgons back in the Russian prison—with the help of a mysterious sword—and Mike revealing that he loves El, Vecna is immediately weakened and El regains the strength to take him on. Nancy, Steve, and Robin are freed from the vines and make their way up the stairs, where they shoot Vecna and set his body on fire.
Meanwhile, after getting attacked by Demobats, Eddie encourages Dustin to escape and stays behind to buy Dustin some more time and lure the bats away. Eddie is successful in doing so, but they begin to attack him. Dustin decides to go back and get Eddie, but he’s too late and Eddie dies from his injuries.
So wait, did they win?!
Well…this is where things get even trickier.
While Vecna seems to have been defeated, Max actually dies from his attack, allowing him to open the fourth and final portal he needed to move along with his plan. Eleven is able to bring Max back, but a huge fissure opens up in the town, creating a bigger gate to the Upside Down and also killing several people in the process, including Jason.
After a two-day time jump, Eleven, Mike, Will, Jonathan, and Argyle finally arrive back in Hawkins, where they witness the aftermath of what happened. In a news broadcast, it’s revealed that many believe it was an earthquake that ripped through Hawkins and people still think Eddie and Hellfire are the reason behind all the recent deaths caused by Vecna.
El and the group visit Max, who’s in a coma in the hospital. Lucas reveals he has stayed by her side the entire time and they all hope that she wakes up. Most of the group heads over to Hopper’s cabin, where they hope to hide El from the military as they wait for the final showdown. El and Hopper also finally have their tearful reunion.
Mike returns to his house, where his mom says she will never let him vacation again. Will and Jonathan also meet up with Joyce, who reveals that she really went to Russia to get Hopper back. Nancy and Jonathan talk about their relationship, and although they’re both hesitant to admit that something is wrong, they both say they’re okay.
Steve, Dustin, and Robin decide to volunteer at the local shelter, where Robin and Vicky seem to bond again. Dustin, who sees Eddie’s uncle putting up a missing flyer for his nephew, reveals to him that Eddie is dead but that he died a hero trying to save the people of Hawkins.
All the Hawkins residents start to notice ash falling down from the sky and the group goes to investigate. They realize that it’s coming from the new rift in the earth, which is killing everything near it. Will starts to feel the Mind Flayer again, while El looks on, determined to finally bring everything to an end as the screen fades to black.
Any clues about season 5?!
While we’re all still waiting on some big news of what we can expect in season 5 of Stranger Things, the writers and creators haven’t really said much. However, we do already know that it’s going to be the final season of the show, so get ready for a big goodbye. If you thought the show’s fourth season was a roller coaster, we can only imagine what they have coming up next now that it’s almost over.
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