The first episode begins with a flashback to Dr. Brenner’s (Matthew Modine) laboratory. The first scene is extremely graphic and triggering (given recent events), so viewer discretion is advised. If you want to start the episode after the gore, then fast-forward to the nine-minute mark.
It goes on to feature a voiceover by Jane (Millie Bobby Brown), AKA “Eleven” or “El,” who moved away from Hawkins with the Byers—Joyce (Winona Ryder), Will (Noah Schnapp) and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton)—in the previous season finale. Although she still keeps in touch with Mike (Finn Wolfhard), she’s struggling to fit in at her new school. Not only is she picked on by the “cool” crowd, but she’s also adjusting to life as a normal kid. (FYI, she lost her powers in Stranger Things 3.)
Back in Hawkins, Mike and Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) are drifting apart from Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), who now plays on the high school basketball team. Luckily, Lucas’s sister, Erica (Priah Ferguson), is happy to fill his spot in the gang’s game of “Dungeons & Dragons.”
Although Will is now distanced from the Upside Down, there’s still supernatural activity in Hawkins. The first episode introduces viewers to a new character named Chrissy (Grace Van Dien). The high school cheerleader seems to have it all—that is, until she starts experiencing scary visions that transport her to the alternate dimension, where she comes face-to-face with the all-new villain, Vecna. As for what comes next, you’ll have to watch to find out.