Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Things In Stranger Things Season 4 Part 1 Only Adults Notice

If there's something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? Definitely not the gang from Hawkins, since they seem to attract trouble wherever they go and they'll likely only bring more woe and strife along. After a three-year gap since the last episode, "Stranger Things" Season 4, Part 1 finally dropped on Netflix, and the critics are all saying the same thing about it. With seven episodes released, all over an hour in length, a lot happens in this storyline that sees a new threat in the form of Vecna emerge from the Upside Down and terrorize Hawkins.

While Mike, Lucas, Will, Dustin, and the others have had to split up to tackle this brand-new villain, a few chin-stroking conundrums have also revealed themselves in this batch of episodes. Now, that isn't to say that any of these are plot holes or impact the overall quality and enjoyment of the show, but they do beg to be investigated further. So grab a magnifying glass, put on Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill," and let's look at things in "Stranger Things" Season 4, Part 1 that only adults will notice.

Hawkins Lab trusts telekinetic children with dangerous items

Look, let's face it: the Hawkins Lab was never an ethical place. The tests conducted on the children are cruel and inhumane, and Dr. Brenner isn't some kind of Albert Einstein trying to change the world. Instead, he is more of a Baxter Stockman who wants to be a gene-splicing god. In "Stranger Things" Season 4, we take a trip back to the past to see more of Eleven's time at this hellish facility. However, there is one particular moment seen in the recreation room that defies belief.

As the children use their telekinetic powers to solve the puzzles and games, one of the kids plays with a metal ball on a labyrinth board. Of course, the children are under strict supervision at all times, but it is — pardon the pun — strange that the Hawkins Lab would put a potential weapon like a metal object in the hands of a telepath. Remember what happens in "X-Men: Apocalypse" when Magneto gets hold of a simple piece of metal and takes down an entire roomful of people? Well, the same could have happened here had the child decided they wanted to put the metal ball through the skulls of everyone around them.

Eddie Munson feels like an origin story for Pauly Shore

One of the newer additions to the "Stranger Things" cast is Eddie Munson, played by Joseph Quinn. As the "Dungeons & Dragons" master and bona fide metalhead of Hawkins High, he is a leader to the school's outsiders, such as Mike and Dustin. That said, Eddie is also a bit of an oddball. In most '80s and '90s films and television shows, the common cliché is for the outsiders to be openly mocked and bullied for their different interests. However, in "Stranger Things" Season 4, Eddie looks for trouble and is often an instigator rather than a victim.

He jumps up and down on cafeteria tables, gets in people's personal space, and makes weird movements and gestures like Pauly Shore's character Crawl from the 1993 comedy film "Son in Law." In fact, there are times when Eddie behaves exactly how one would expect any of Shore's characters to act. Even when the whole town thinks Eddie is responsible for the murders, his primary concern is finding a burger and a beer. Talk about wheezin' the juice!

No one notices that Victor Creel is Freddy Krueger

Would it be "Stranger Things" if there wasn't at least one reference to "A Nightmare on Elm Street"? As a hallmark of the '80s and one of horror's most celebrated films, Wes Craven's dream monster epic was always a contender to be showcased in the Duffer Brothers' love letter to the era. In Season 4, Freddy Krueger receives a moment to shine as a cardboard cutout of him stands proudly in the Family Video store where Steve and Robin work.

Later in the season, Robin joins Nancy as they head out to speak to Victor Creel about his life-changing encounter with Vecna. Lo and behold, who is behind bars in the cell? Robert Englund, the same actor who played Freddy Krueger in the original "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and its many follow-ups. Considering that Robin sees that poster every day — and by this point in 1986, "A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge" has already been released — does she not think for one second that Creel looks a lot like the actor who played Freddy Krueger? 

While Englund's inclusion in the series is welcome, it is also surprising considering that the Duffers have been vocal about how cautious they have been of going too far into the '80s since that was the rise of Winona Ryder's career, as they explained to Deadline. Surely Englund would have been a popular and recognizable actor in 1986 as well?

The parents in Hawkins are bad

Four seasons into "Stranger Things" and it's safe to say that Hawkins makes Gotham City look like a peaceful utopia in comparison. After so much tragedy and loss of life, there is a belief that the city is cursed — something that is mentioned several times by multiple people. Yet, with all the worry and murmurs of the occult haunting Hawkins, the parents never seem to be too perturbed by where their children are or about allowing them out unsupervised at night.

Even when the police department enforces a curfew, the parents still can't keep the kids from heading out to search for the alleged killer, Eddie Munson. Instead, the children roam the streets as usual, without a care in the world. If someone were to ask a parent where their child was, they wouldn't be able to answer. Sure, the kids in Hawkins can't live their entire lives in fear or hidden away, but their parents should be a little more careful and concerned than they are.

The paranoia over Dungeons & Dragons is silly

"Dungeons & Dragons" is a tabletop game that was created in 1974 (via The New Yorker). Since its release, it has remained incredibly popular, as kids, teens, and adults remain absorbed by the complexity and the immersive nature of the roleplaying game. However, in the '80s, it became embroiled in a full-on moral panic as parent groups tried to get it banned and removed from stores (via BBC).

In "Stranger Things" Season 4, the topic is tackled head-on, as Eddie Munson is thought to be part of the occult simply because he plays "Dungeons & Dragons" and his group is called the Hellfire Club. What is particularly hilarious about this situation is how no one bothers to ask any questions about the game. Instead, they determine it must be evil based on the name. Even when Erica tries to be the voice of reason and explain what it is about, no one wants to listen to her since they apparently know everything from their limited knowledge and moral high ground.

Hawkins High's security is shocking

After Max fails to get inside information from her school counselor about Chrissy, a decision is made to break into Hawkins High and check out Chrissy's records for more details. Max, Steve, and Dustin break into the school and the counselor's office one evening and gain access to the records with relative ease. Then, they slip back into the night with all the information they acquire and continue their merry mission.

While the '80s were a different time, and school security might not have been as intense as it is nowadays, Hawkins High appears to be a place where anyone can walk in and out whenever they want. Isn't this where important academic records are stored? For example, Dustin asks Suzie to help him break into the school's IT network to change one of his grades, but it seems like he could have simply walked into the teacher's office with a red pen and changed his grade to an A without needing Suzie to go through all that effort.

Murray and Joyce didn't think their plan through

As soon as Joyce receives news that Hopper is still alive from the Russian guard Enzo, she is dedicated to doing whatever it takes to get him back home. So for the majority of "Stranger Things" Season 4, Part 1, Joyce and Murray liaise with Enzo and his smuggler, Yuri, to plan an exchange of cash in return for Hopper's safety. However, things didn't go according to plan, as Yuri ends up selling out Joyce, Murray, and Enzo to a higher bidder, so they have to recalibrate and figure out a way to get out of this new mess.

While there is always a risk to the plan, especially since it involves a cash exchange, it is bizarre how neither Murray nor Joyce plans for the possibility that it could go south. Also, why don't they tell someone else about where they are going or what their plan is? Joyce wants to tell her kids, but Murray advises her otherwise, stating that they are meddlesome and would get into trouble. Yet, there could have been someone else — or heck, they could have bluffed and told Yuri that their location was being tracked. Instead, they walk into a really basic trap straight out of a Scooby-Doo villain's handbook.

Mike casually calls out for Eleven in front of strangers

Season 4 of "Stranger Things" opens with Eleven and the Byers family settling into California. However, things aren't going great for El, as she isn't exactly making friends at her new school or around town. That said, she attempts to make the best of the situation and even goes by her birth name, Jane. There are a few times, however, when Will refers to her as El, but that wouldn't exactly stand out in a schoolyard since it could be easily construed as a nickname.

When Mike visits El and the Byers, they have a heated exchange in public, during which Mike calls out "Eleven" several times. Now, imagine what the other people around them must be thinking at that stage. Why would a teenage boy be calling out a number repeatedly? Wouldn't that seem odd to the average person who has no idea what was going on?

Do the people at the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile facility live there?

After Owens convinces Eleven that she is the key to saving the world, he takes her to a place out in the middle of nowhere. He tells her that it used to be the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) facility and that most of the people there have sacrificed their personal lives to be a part of it. The interior looks like any other underground military facility — dull but practical and all about the work.

Owens' words are curious, however. Since this place is out in the desert, with no visible parking lot, it is unlikely that the workers are traveling to the facility on a daily basis. This means that they would have had to stay underground in living quarters. Which begs the question: Are the people actually living on-site? If so, what are the living quarters that they occupy like?

The Wheelers didn't say anything about Max's drawings in the kitchen

As seen in every horror story after a child encounters a demon, Max sits at the Wheelers' kitchen table and scribbles all the atrocities she remembers from her skirmish with Vecna. From the shape of the windows to every small detail she witnessed in the Upside Down, she puts it all down, using every sheet of paper she can find.

Eventually, Nancy joins her and pieces together what all of it means, but there is something far more worrying and disturbing in the background. Sipping their coffee and acting like complete wallflowers are Ted and Karen Wheeler, the passenger parents of this series. They are in their kitchen as this child — who isn't their daughter — draws pictures of demons and other scary things at their table. Not once do either of them pipe up, question what is going on, or show any inclination that this isn't a traditional breakfast conversation. Nope, they just chill in the background and pay no attention to what is happening.

Jason is seriously deranged

"Stranger Things" Season 4, Part 1 introduces us to Jason Carver (Mason Dye), the school's incredibly popular basketball star. At first, he seems like a nice young man with the gift of gab who can rally the school to get behind the Hawkins High team in light of all the tragedy that has recently plagued the town. However, his girlfriend Chrissy is soon found dead, and he does not take it well.

While it's understandable that he would want to find out who is responsible for her death, Jason goes off the rails from the get-go and refuses to take a moment to gather his thoughts. He starts interrogating and threatening everyone like an unhinged John Wick. He doesn't operate out of a place of needing proof to act but instead relies on astonishing hunches that reach beyond logic or reason. As the season progresses, he grows even more paranoid and out of sorts, as he basically calls on the entire town to chase down a group of teenagers whom he deems dangerous because they play "Dungeons & Dragons."

Eleven is more Dark Phoenix than Jean Grey

Ever since the first season of "Stranger Things" was released, fans have pointed out the similarities between the show and the X-Men. It's easy to see where this connection comes from, as Eleven has a similar backstory to Jean Grey, whose signature ability is the power to move things with her mind. Eleven also has this incredible power, but she needs the right help to harness it for good since some want to use her for their own nefarious purposes — much like what happened with Jean, as a matter of fact.

However, in "Stranger Things" Season 4, a darker side of Eleven rears its head on occasion. Even though she is powerless at the time, she breaks Angela's nose with a roller skate, surprising everyone with how savage and unexpected the act is. Now, with Owens and Dr. Brenner working together to restore her powers and memories, they might unleash something far deadlier than anyone had imagined. Maybe Eleven was never meant to be Jean Grey in the first place, but the insidious Dark Phoenix. The question is — if she rises, will anyone be able to stop her?