Eleven attempts to regain her powers in Stranger Things 4: Volume 1 (Credits: Netflix / Avalon)
Warning: Contains spoilers up to season 4 of Stranger Things.
It’s been five weeks since the first seven episodes of Stranger Things 4: Volume 1 hit our screens – although it has felt like much longer.
The Netflix sci-fi series saw its characters further apart than ever before, with several plotlines occurring across many US states and even spreading into Russia.
Volume two, which will wrap the season up with two super-sized episodes, finally dropped on Friday, July 1, and fans can’t wait to get stuck into them.
But with so many plotlines to wrap up, it’s worth taking a look back over the previous seven episodes, just to refresh and catch our minds up.
What happened in Volume 1?
Our Hawkins buddies started Stranger Things 4 scattered across the map, after the tragic events of Stranger Things 3 saw each of them head off to new lives.
Believing Hopper (David Harbour) is dead, Joyce (Winona Ryder) took Will (Noah Schnapp), Johnathan (Charlie Heaton), and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) to start fresh in California.
That left Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) in Hawkins, along with Nancy (Natalia Dyer), Steve (Joe Keery), Robin (Maya Hawke), and Max (Sadie Sink).
The gang left behind in Hawkins at the end of Stranger Things 3 (Picture: Tina Rowden/Netflix)
What’s going on in Hawkins?
Eight months later Dustin and Lucas had befriended Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn) – metalhead, drug dealer, and leader of the gang’s Dungeons & Dragons group Hellfire Club.
A series of Hawkins teenagers were brutally murdered and Eddie was the prime suspect and public enemy number one. Knowing he was innocent, Dustin, Robin, Steve, and Max attempted to clear Eddie’s name by pursuing the real killer: Vecna.
Vecna, a monster from the Upside Down, possessed several Hawkins kids and lured them to grisly deaths. His attentions then turned to Max, who rescued herself from his clutches by listening to Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ on repeat.
We left the Hellfire Club in a dire spot, with the police still in wrongful pursuit of Eddie and with Nancy now possessed by Vecna – the Hawkins gang will surely be forced to go back into the Upside Down to rescue her.
Max rescues herself by listening to Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ (Picture: Netflix)
Was Hopper really killed in Stranger Things 3?
In California, Joyce received a package in the mail telling her what we viewers already knew thanks to a teaser trailer released in February 2020: Hopper was not killed at the end of season 3, but was captured and sent to a Russian prison.
Almost as quickly as she arrived, Joyce teamed up with Murray (Brett Gelman) and headed off to Russia to find Hopper, who had befriended prison guard Enzo (Tom Wlaschiha) and was attempting to escape.
After one failed attempt to run away, Hopper and Enzo were faced with fighting a demogorgon, just as Joyce and Murray infiltrated the prison. Hopper and Enzo survived the fight with the demogorgon and Hopper reunited with Joyce, but they were still stranded in deepest, snowiest Russia.
Hopper surfaced in a Russian prison and befriended guard Enzo to try and escape (Picture: Netflix)
What’s happened in California?
In the first episode, Eleven and Will had trouble fitting in at their new California school. Eleven, having lost her powers, was bullied by the popular kids, particularly Angela, with Will’s attempts to protect her proving unsuccessful.
Mike flew over to visit Eleven and witnessed the bullying take place at a roller rink. He could only stand and watch as Eleven struck Angela in the face with her skates.
Eleven has definitely seen better days than this… (Picture: Netflix)
Eleven reunited with Dr. Sam Owens (Paul Reiser), who explained that Hawkins was in grave danger – Eleven had to regain her powers to save the town from Vecna. She reluctantly agreed to go with him, deep into the Nevada desert.
While Mike, Will, Johnathan and Johnathan’s friend Argyle (Eduardo Franco) followed her, Eleven reunited with Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine) and attempted to regain her powers. While doing so, she met One (Jamie Campbell Bower), a mysterious man at Dr. Brenner’s lab.
In a dramatic reveal, we found that One was in fact Henry Creel, a child serial killer who massacred several other children at Hawkins Lab and then assumed the form of Vecna when Eleven banished him to the Upside Down.
Buckle up for Stranger Things 4: Volume 2, everyone!
You can watch Stranger Things on Netflix.
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