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Stranger Things S4 Left Fans With More Questions About The Upside-Down's Rules

When fans prepared for "Stranger Things" Season 4, they probably didn't anticipate they were about to watch an origin story. Our favorite superpowered teen, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), already had her origins thoroughly explored throughout Seasons 1 and 2 of the hit show — a young girl raised in a lab is experimented on until she taps into supernatural powers. There are only so many ways to tell that storyline. But the origin story in Season 4 doesn't solely belong to Eleven; it belongs to the Upside-Down itself. 

Each "Stranger Things" season seems to uncover an element of the mysterious alternate universe full of Mind Flayers and Demogorgons, but the question always remained: Which came first? Eleven or the Upside-Down?  Season 4 attempts to offer some clarity on these questions with a brief look into how the very universe came to be. And while the season answers some questions about many confusing "Stranger Things" moments, it also opened a door to many more.

Some questions about the Upside-Down have answers

After Will's (Noah Schnapp) traumatic experience in the Upside-Down, it seems unlikely anyone would purchase their summer home there. But as demonstrated in Season 4, time in the Upside-Down is even stranger than we think. The desolate wasteland is not just a mirror image of our universe but frozen at the exact moment that Eleven ripped open the portal for the first time. And just as nothing can change in the alternate universe, neither can Redditors' penchant for asking questions. 

"[M]ultiple objects that are added to the real world as the seasons progress are also reflected in the upside down as the seasons progress, which would have led us to believe that The Upside Down had a parallel timeline with the normal Hawkins," u/Unplugged_Millennial posted. Noting a substantial plot hole, they went on to write: "[T]he Christmas lights that Joyce sets up in her home to communicate with Will during season 1 would not exist in the November 6, 1983 version of The Upside Down for Will to communicate back to Joyce."

Luckily for the original poster, a helpful fan of the series came to the rescue. U/SqueakyTuna52 explained: "It would seem as though matter doesn't change and can't be directly transmitted between dimensions (without the help of a portal) but waves (whether light or sound) can. This is why they can talk to each other and see light." As useful as this information was, other questions were not so easy to explain.

Some questions have no answers

However unfortunate, it is inevitable that some concepts would fall between the cracks. "Stranger Things" is a heavily ambitious series with its respective logic. But sometimes, things simply don't add up for fans. Now that Vecna seems to be behind most of the show's villains, Redditors were confused about how smaller creatures functioned within the universe.

"Are the bats part of the hive mind in the upside down?" wondered u/Captain_Travel_Days. "If so, why are the vines when Dustin and Eddie are fighting in the caravan not just grabbing them?" The Mind Flayer established in Season 2 could control many Upside-Down inhabitants through a hive mind. But Season 4 failed to explain just how extensive this power was, as well as many other questions revolving around the monster.

"All valid questions that we will probably never have answers to," lamented u/satorsatyr. Other posters refused to admit defeat and tried to find a logical explanation. "Maybe different types of vine?" hypothesized u/CatUsingYourWifi. "Like one is just plant overgrowth and then the long tendrils are the sentient ones?" Fans could spin in circles forever, wrapping their heads around questions that may have no answers. And it might even be for the best. If lore wasn't so prevalent in the series, we would have to spend our time mulling over Eddie's (Joseph Quinn) big moment in more excruciating detail than we already have. And no one needs that.