Netflix is preparing to wrap up one of its most iconic series with Stranger Things season 4. The adventures of the Stranger Kids (as we choose to call them) have transfixed audiences since the first season brought us to Hawkins, Indiana in 2016, but all Spielberg-indebted things must come to an end. Stranger Things will finish its story with season 4, which is due to be released very soon, but just to drum up a little more anticipation, Netflix has released the first eight minutes of the first episode on YouTube. Check it out:
At first, it seems that Stranger Things season 4 is going to start things pretty much as we expect. The opening moments of the clip begin with a suburban American town, with cookie-cutter houses framing a wide street. Of course, with it being Stranger Things, there is a bit of a creepy vibe, with dead leaves blowing everywhere and a lone paperboy making his rounds in silence.
Then we cut to someone in a quiet house following what seems to be a morning routine, including neatly filling out a crossword puzzle and snipping the tiniest amount from a bonsai tree. After a few moments, we see in a mirror that it is Doctor Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine), ie, the silver-haired guy who ran the lab that helped create Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) in the first season. Unexpectedly, a text card appears on screen, indicating the year is 1979: 4 years before the first season.
While Stranger Things season 4 has not been described as a prequel, it looks like at least these first few scenes happen before the series proper. After cutting to an aerial shot of Hawkins National Laboratory, the facility that Eleven eventually escapes, we see other children with shaved heads and hospital gowns in a room. But something feels a bit different: the children are playing games and there’s a rainbow pattern on the wall, which is not the sterile, hostile vibe we have seen there before.
After speaking to a child designated number Ten, Doctor Brenner escorts him down a hallway, passing another doctor and a child along the way. And they noticeably pass by an ominous door marked “11.”
Another odd thing happening in Stranger Things season 4: Matthew Modine’s character seems to have a real affection for the child and shows a sense of humor. It’s a far cry from the serenely ruthless “Papa” that Eleven knew in the first season and that the other escaped children from season two. We see them in the midst of an experiment that seems to be testing Ten’s telepathic powers, and it is noticeably gentler and more communicative than the experiments in torturing cats that we saw a young Eleven being subjected to.
Then things seem to go bad. Things seem to go very bad. Stranger Things season 4 is apparently not holding back, because these first opening minutes of the premiere episode have a whole lot of dead children in them.
And in the final moments of the sneak peek into Stranger Things season 4, we see a young Eleven, covered in blood:
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This clip clearly is hinting that Eleven herself might be responsible for the death of the other patients in the facility, but we will just have to wait to see if that pans out or if it is some kind of misdirection from a larger, more sinister villain. Stranger Things season 4 is being released on Netflix on May 27.