Stranger Things Season 4 Part 1 has everyone buzzing and one of the aspects that fans are still talking about until now is the ending of the show. We have already reviewed the show in its entirety (READ: Stranger Things Season 4 Part 1 Review ) but there may be some aspects in the show’s last few minutes that may still leave a question mark in some of your minds so we have made a “Stranger Things Season 4 Part 1 Explained” article.
Stranger Things Season 4 Part 1 Explained: SPOILER WARNINGS
This article will tackle some portions of the series that are directly related to the ending of the show as a whole. As the title suggests, we will discuss and explain the ending of Stranger Things Season 4 Part 1. There will be some spoilers up ahead. If you have yet to see the latest season/part of Stranger Things we do urge you to continue reading at your own risk. There may also be some spoilers that refer to some major plot points in the previous seasons, so it would be important to note this, especially for those who still have the intent to watch the previous seasons.
Stranger Things Season 4 Part 1 Villains Explained
Here’s a rundown of some of the main monstrous antagonists for each season so far and how they play into this particular fourth installment. While there are other human villains as well throughout the show such as Dr. Martin Brenner whose deeper intentions and goals are still uncertain up until now, we will focus on the antagonists that come directly from The Upside Down.
The first monster that we first encounter in the show which is also defined by the boys through the Dungeons & Dragons game is The Demogorgon. The first season primarily centers on this antagonist as a blood-thirsty predatory humanoid creature that entered Hawkins, Indiana in November 1983. The creature originated from the parallel universe called The Upside Down when the psychic test subject, Eleven, first opened a gate between dimensions at the Hawkins National Laboratory. Since then the Demogorgon has been wreaking havoc upon the city of Hawkins as it goes on a violent killing spree. The Demogorgon has become an iconic antagonist in the Stranger Things world and even in pop culture in general for its alien-like and creepy exterior look. It makes an appearance in the fourth season in an epic battle against Russian prisoners and Jim Hopper.
The second season of the show introduced the more villainous antagonists of the show, The Mindflayer. In the mythos within the show’s world, The Mindflayer is said to be the big boss monster who has several abilities and control over a variety of other monsters and on several occasions, humans. The Mindflayer first appeared in the second season by having a tight hold on Will Byers. It would then move on to showcase its Hive Mind powers in season 3 as it would have an even tighter grip on Max’s stepbrother, Billy Hargrove, and several citizens of Hawkins eventually building the Spider Monster that would be killed in the Starcourt Mall incident. While the Spider Monster and The Mindflayer don’t make an appearance in the fourth season, the latter however is mentioned from time to time which may point to its ongoing rampage of destruction.
This brings us to our big baddie for season 4. The fourth season brings us one of the most fordable opponents that the kids and Stranger Things characters have faced to date — Vecna. Dustin even describes this being as “the Mindflayer’s 5-star general” in comparison to the Demogorgon, which is deemed as its “foot-soldiers”. Vecna’s vile nature and sadistic behavior primarily come in the form of being able to crush his victim’s bones and squash their eyes out. The gory quality of the newest season actually primarily comes in the form of this specific character and the overall destructive nature of his intentions. According to the film, Vecna is able to also open portals and doors that connect our dimension to the Upside Down through each kill that he makes. This makes him all the more dangerous as each kill isn’t just a random event but they seemingly are done for a bigger purpose.
Stranger Things Season 4 Part 1 Explained: Vecna’s Journey of Destruction
What makes this season all the more interesting is the overall continuity of the show from the first episode down to the last. Each storyline paints a bigger picture and is intertwined in order to build a deep and meaningful story. The first few scenes of the show first seemed to be very vague and totally unrelated to the show. The bloodbath that occurred in the testing facility felt very vague and totally confusing at first glance but as the final moments of the show’s part 1 finale arrived, the picture became all the more clear and furthermore mind-blowing. The show as we mentioned in our review was overall slow in delivering the main twist and point of the story but it’s definitely worth the journey and experience.
Vecna’s origin is the most crucial element of the big twist of the story which took seven episodes to fully develop. Vecna isn’t just a cruel villain whose motives are plain and simple but the big twist and ending further paint a character that is actually more complex than it seems and what we as viewers witness in the first few episodes regarding the character is just the bare surface level of what is truly going on. As the ending depicts, Vecna, Number One, 001, and Henry Creel are one and the same person. Here’s a timeline picture of Vecna’s transformation:
The mutated version of Vecna wasn’t how the character truly started. In fact, Vecna was actually very human in appearance. His real name was Henry Creel who was born in 1947 to Victor and Virginia Creel, while also having an older sister named Alice. From a young age, Henry had the ability to sense the supernatural which in turn made him indifferent to his peers and at times even his own family. The Creels bought a large home in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana in 1959 as a fresh start for Henry and Alice but to no avail as Henry continued to despise the people around him and eventually all humans in general. He found solace in his new home through a nest of black widow spiders — bonding over them being misunderstood as he saw them as the “most important of the predators” due to providing structure for the weak.
Henry did not want to be a part of society by doing a “mindless play” of eating, sleeping, working, reproducing, and dying, but realized he didn’t have to. He was able to harness his powers and gained the ability of telekinesis. He eventually practiced his gifts on animals in their yard by mutilating rabbits and a variety of animals. His powers also caused him to see into people’s past and haunt them with their actions, causing his father to hallucinate memories of fighting in the war and inadvertently setting fire to a cradle with a screaming baby inside.
One night, as the Creels ate dinner, Henry used his powers to set off the radio, distracting his father. The lights began to flicker as Virginia was launched into the air while Henry mutilated her bones and gouged her eyes out of her face. Victor took a screaming Alice and a silent Henry and attempted to escape to the door, but Henry used his powers to block it and caused Victor to hallucinate back to the war while Henry finished off his sister in the exact same way as their mother but at a price as the immense effort and sheer power used by Henry caused him to faint. Victor was then sent to the Pennhurst Mental Hospital while Henry was thought to be dead but in reality, was taken by Dr. Martin Brenner to be a part of his experiments.
The events with Henry Creel and the death of his family were just the beginning. Henry after being taken into the Hawkins National Laboratory, Dr. Martin Brenner aimed to study and control Henry’s powers as he became the first test subject, thus being labeled as 001. Eventually, as the experiments continued to grow with other test subjects, Henry was given the name of Peter Ballard and became an orderly for the children in the laboratory’s “Rainbow Room”. Ballard however had a device called Soteria inserted in his neck to help suppress his powers which Dr. Brenner may have considered to be too dangerous at this point. Ballard, however, got the favor and attention of Eleven who helped him remove the device which eventually led up to the brutal murder of all the other test subjects. Eleven, therefore, had no choice and banished 001/Brenner into the Upside Down where he was horrifically burned and mutilated which in turn made him into the monster known as Vecna.
Vecna’s Rise to Power
The story of Henry Creel/001/Peter Ballard all helped paint the bigger picture of who Vecna truly is. This was probably why Stranger Things Season 4 was honestly one of the best seasons to date because the series provides a very interesting villain at the center of it all. After Number One is sent into the almost hellish dimension of The Upside Down and is transformed into the monstrous Vecna, he begins his vision and plans to control and get rid of humanity. He strategically preys on teenagers with past or present trauma as he uses his psychic powers to prey on their minds as he sucks up their energy to grow all the more powerful. Simultaneously, as mentioned he is able to build a portal that connects the Upside Down to the real world.
Stranger Things Season 4 Part 1 Explained: What’s Next?
It was first believed that Season Four would be the last season for the Stranger Things series. We were utterly mistaken. The writers and producers of the show have confirmed that there will be a fifth season which is presumed to be the last one but who knows, that could still change due to the popularity of the story and characters. Season Five is not to be confused with the upcoming Volume Two of the fourth season which is to come out this July 1. Speaking of the second volume, there will be two episodes that are set to be released on the 1st of July with Stranger Things 4: “Chapter Eight: Papa” and “Chapter Nine: The Piggyback” which has a running time of one hour, and 25 minutes and two hours and 30 minutes respectively.
We are personally excited for what these two episodes would hold as there are several open-ended scenes in the first part’s final moments such as Nancy’s entrapment in Vecna’s curse as well as Joyce, Hopper, and Murray still finding themselves all the way in Russia — missing from all the action in Hawkins. We will have to wait until July 1 but we are also certain that there is more to come from the show due to its extremely popular stature. Fingers crossed, Stranger Things will stick around even longer on Netflix since we just can’t get enough of it.
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