Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for Season 4, Volume 2 of the Netflix series, Stranger Things.
The two final episodes of Stranger Things Season 4 have just dropped on Netflix, and the people of Hawkins are once again face to face with certain doom. Even after all the planning and the struggle, the road ahead still looks dangerous for our small town teen heroes, and fans will have to wait for Season 5 to finally see if they will triumph for good. But at least we got some answers to the many, many questions left by the seven episodes of Season 4, Volume 1, like what are the origins of the Upside Down and what would become of Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown)? And, boy, oh boy, weren’t we thirsty for some answers! However, there is still much to wonder about what will happen in everyone’s favorite ’80s themed mystery show. Here are 12 questions we need the next season of Stranger Things to answer before we are swallowed by the Upside Down.
1. What will happen to Hawkins?
This is the most obvious one. Season 4 ends with the revelation that Vecna/One/Henry (Jamie Campbell Bower) succeeded in his plan to bring the Upside Down to Hawkins, and there’s not a single Stranger Things fan that isn’t wondering what is going to happen to the town and its people. Are the visions Vecna showed Nancy (Natalia Dyer) truly the future? How long will it take for the clouds Eleven and the gang see to take over the entire town? What kind of horrors can we expect from Vecna’s reign? So far, all we know for sure is that it won’t look pretty, and it will entail a considerable body count.
2. Will the Upside Down-ification of Hawkins finally clear Eddie’s name?
Despite all the terrifying things that have happened to Hawkins over the past four seasons, the town’s population remains none the wiser. They believe Starcourt Mall burned down in a terrible fire, and they still think the murders of Chrissy (Grace Van Dien), Fred (Logan Riley Bruner), and Patrick (Myles Truitt) were the work of a satanic cult. This is understandable, since the existence of the Upside Down is top secret government information and satanic panic was indeed all the rage back in 1986. Still, it’s heartbreaking to see Wayne Munson (Joel Stoffer) not only grieving the loss of his nephew, but also enduring the abuse of people who never truly knew Eddie (Joseph Quinn) and think of him only as a devil-worshiping serial killer. But perhaps the Munson family name will be cleared now that the existence of Vecna and the Upside Down has become impossible to hide.
3. How damaged is Vecna?
In Season 4’s final battle, Vecna is attacked on more than one front. While Eleven holds him back inside Max’s (Sadie Sink) mind, Robin (Maya Hawke), Steve (Joe Keery), and Nancy hit him with Molotov cocktails and shotgun blasts in the real world. But even after enduring all this damage, Vecna still manages to escape, and Will (Noah Schnapp) makes it clear to all of those who were wondering that he didn’t die off-screen. So, with Vecna on the loose and the Upside Down taking over Hawkins, all we can hope for is that the kids have at least managed to damage him badly enough to make him easier to defeat. Speaking of which…
4. How can Vecna be defeated?
Season 4 made Vecna seem nearly unstoppable. Even with all the Hawkins kids’ secret plotting and Eleven’s interference, he still managed to enact his evil plan, seemingly aware of everything that was going on around him. He’s almost as omniscient as a god. This, of course, leaves us wondering how Vecna can be defeated. Will El have what it takes to take him down with just her powers and a little help from her friends? Or do the Duffer Brothers have something (or someone) else in store for Season 5?
5. Is Max really dead?
This is the real million dollar question. The only reason it’s number 5 on this list is so that we could get the Vecna business out of the way before moving on to the rest of the characters. Vecna needed four kills to thin the barrier between worlds enough for him to cross over, and the fact that he succeeded sure suggests that his last victim is indeed gone. However, right after Max drew her last breath, El used her powers to bring her back, and she’s still alive enough to be hospitalized. The official diagnosis is that Max is in a coma. As Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) explains, her heart stopped for a full minute, which means that she died and then came back to life. So, who knows, maybe Vecna managed to cross over on a technicality, since he has in fact killed four people, even if one of them is still alive.
6. What about Eddie?
Okay, maybe there’s some wishful thinking to this question. After all, Eddie’s death wasn’t nearly as ambiguous as Max’s. Still, there’s no denying that during his brief time on Stranger Things, Eddie became an integral part of the show’s heart. It’s tough to think of him as gone. But, hey, let’s not forget that we have never seen anyone actually die in the Upside Down. It’s an entirely different parallel dimension that we’re talking about here, so there’s no way of knowing what the rules of life and death are like over there. Besides, Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) didn’t bring the body back to Hawkins, and Eddie is still considered missing. And if there’s something Hopper’s (David Harbour) Season 3 “death” taught us is that “no body, no crime.” If the Soviets managed to drag poor Jim all the way to Kamchatka while everyone thought he was dead, maybe Eddie is still trapped somewhere in the Upside Down.
7. What happened to Dr. Owens?
Yet another character whose current status is unknown. When we last saw Dr. Owens (Paul Reiser), he was alive and just slightly harmed inside Project Nina, but he had just been captured by Colonel Sullivan (Sherman Augustus) and his men. Considering just how bloody Sullivan’s hunt for Eleven has gotten, it’s no stretch to wonder if Dr. Owens has met the same fate as Dr. Brenner (Matthew Modine). Chances are that Owens is still alive, albeit in Sullivan’s custody. And if he’s in Sullivan’s custody, there are no limits to the horrors he might be enduring. After all, we’re talking about a man that put a prisoner in a ’80s version of an iron maiden just a few episodes back.
8. Will Sullivan find Eleven?
Even if Dr. Owens refuses to cooperate, Sullivan still has a pretty good chance at guessing where El is. He’s probably on his way to Hawkins right now, hindered only by Season 5’s production schedule. Hopper, Joyce (Winona Ryder), and the kids are all taking precautions to keep El safe, and they do have some powerful allies. But, even so, Sullivan is a force to be reckoned with. He has good chances of finding Eleven, and, when he does, the consequences might be disastrous, especially with the apocalypse on the way. After all, let’s not forget that he blames El for every Upside Down-related thing that has happened so far. There’s no knowing how he might react upon finding her in an all but destroyed Hawkins.
9. Will Nancy and Steve get back together?
Now that the truly serious issues are out of the way, let’s move on to the more light-hearted aspects of the show. Steve sure has grown on Nancy over the course of Season 4 and there’s a good reason for it. As Nancy herself tells Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), Steve has matured a lot since the events of Season 1. He’s not the same entitled popular boy that he used to be, and he has also made his feelings for Nancy quite clear, even going as far as saying that he wants to have a family with her. With Jonathan repeatedly lying to his girlfriend about his plans for the future and remaining emotionally distant, is it possible that Nancy is about to have a change of heart?
10. Are Robin and Vickie an item?
When Season 4, Volume 2 started, it seemed like Robin’s crush on her bandmate Vickie (Amybeth McNulty) was doomed to be forever unrequited. However, after the so-called earthquake, the girls reunited in the shelter while making peanut butter sandwiches and the quirky video store clerk got a second chance at love. With Vickie single and seemingly just as smitten as Robin, can we call them Hawkins’ new sweethearts?
11. Is Will in love with Mike?
Will’s sexuality has been a topic of discussion ever since Stranger Things first started. Many fans interpret his character as queer, but nothing about his gender identity or romantic interests has been confirmed on the show so far. The closest viewers have gotten were a few comments from Joyce in Season 1 about Will’s dad calling him “a fag.” Still, over these last two episodes, things seem to have gotten a bit clearer. Will has talked multiple times about being different and, whenever he discusses Mike’s feelings for Eleven, his heart seems to sink in his chest. At one point, he even turns around to cry away from his friend’s view. He certainly looks like more than just a boy missing his friend. Will Season 5 finally confirm what fans have always suspected about Will and his feelings for Mike?
12. What role will Suzie and her family play in the upcoming apocalypse?
Dustin’s genius girlfriend Suzie Bingham (Gabriella Pizzolo) has been an integral part of the Hawkins party ever since her introduction in Season 3, even if she’s not at the scene with her best boy. This home office queen began helping Dustin and her friends via radio and phone, but, in Season 4, she got to do some in-person work with Mike, Will, and Jonathan. Viewers also got to meet her very large and lively family, particularly her goth sister Eden (Audrey Holcomb), who has a brief fling with Argyle (Eduardo Franco). With Suzie’s role increasing with the seasons, perhaps we will see more of her and the Binghams in Season 5.