The following contains spoilers for Stranger Things Season 4, Volume 1, now streaming on Netflix.
Stranger things Volume 1 of season 4 has entered a new phase of psychological horror and brutality. One of the biggest changes season 4 adapted was the move to a humanoid monster with supernatural powers: Vecna. As the season revealed, Vecna was the first test subject of Hawkins Lab and Victor Creel’s son, responsible for the murder of his sister and mother.
Unlike Stranger things‘previous monsters, the Demogorgon and the Mind Flayer, which possessed monstrous characteristics and were apparent threats to the town of Hawkins, Vecna’s complicated backstory revealed his serial killer origins. The tentacle monsters struck in plain sight, but Vecna acted in the dark, torturing the souls through his extraordinary mental powers. The brutal yet mysterious nature of his killing also had a direct impact on the Season 4 narrative.
Vecna has a specific MO killer who had a connection to her first kill. Chrissy, Fred, Max and Nancy have all been targeted because of their own darkness – fear, guilt and regret – just what Vecna, aka Henry Creel, found disgusting about humanity. As a child, Henry peered into his parents’ darkest secrets with his psychic abilities and began torturing them with their nightmares. He spent time playing mind games before the final blow, which included extreme physical mutilation and stealing his eyes. This particular MO has been consistent in killing him throughout the century. Also in the Hawkins Lab, One spent time manipulating other subjects before the accident.
Due to his serial killer origins, Stranger things Season 4 has turned into a mystery fueled investigation. The narrative came closest to depicting the crime-solving crime drama, which saw Nancy and Robin leafing through old newspapers and interviewing past victim Victor Creel. By contrast, previous seasons have focused more on science fiction, adventure, and supernatural investigations. Season 4 brought fans into a multi-story narrative that ultimately linked Vecna to Henry and One, whose crimes have been around for 30 years but have never been solved.
Dustin theorized that Vecna was the Mind Flayer’s “five-star general” compared to the “foot soldier” Demogorgon. However, there was no official evidence that Vecna and the Mind Flayer were connected. The only thing that seemed to suggest their connection was the tendrils attached to Vecna in the Upside Down, which looked similar to the Mind Flayer’s tentacles. According to previous seasons, it appeared that the Mind Flayer also used powerful mental abilities to control souls in the real world. Interestingly, as Vecna presented himself as the main antagonist of the fourth season, the Mind Flayer has mysteriously disappeared from the series.
On the other hand, since viewers now know of Vecna’s presence on Upside Down, it seems odd that previous seasons haven’t involved him in their storylines. It is unclear if the Mind Flayer will return Stranger things in season 4, volume 2. Did Mind Flayer and Vecna always coexist in the series? Hopefully the next few episodes will deepen their relationship.
Stranger things Season 4 marked the beginning of the show’s ending, which will end in season 5. It looks like the show has a lot in store for viewers next season. The road to defeating Vecna and the Mind Flayer seems long and challenging at this point, especially if they are working together. Now that Eleven has regained its full power, the group of friends may have a chance to defeat the monsters, after all.
The Stranger Things season 4 volume is available to stream on Netflix. Volume 2 will debut on July 1st.