Where All the "Stranger Things" Characters End Up in the Season 4 Finale
After three years of waiting, the fourth season of "Stranger Things" is finally here in its entirety. The new season brings us a new and terrifying villain, more backstory to our favorite characters, and a cast scattered around the globe (literally) as they try to fight a new evil. With a large cast and an increasingly twisty plot, there's a lot to keep track of!
Never fear — we've got your recap right here. The season is full of twists, triumphs, and tragedies, and it's all setting us up for an even bigger showdown in the upcoming fifth and final season. While we wait for hints on what's in store in the final batch of episodes, here's what you need to know about the most important things that happened in season four.
What Happens to Eleven in "Stranger Things" Season 4?
When we first rejoin Eleven in season four, she's trying (and often failing) to settle into her new life with the Byers in California. After being mocked one time too many, she injures one of her bullies and gets arrested, only for her "Papa," a still-alive Dr. Brenner, to show up and tell her that her fate isn't over yet.
As she works with Brenner to regain her powers, we learn more about her past in the Hawkins lab, eventually learning that she's the one who fought off "One," a brutal fellow test subject, and cast him into an alternate dimension where he became Vecna and created the Upside Down.
The end of the season sees Eleven and her friends teaming up to take down Vecna, and while they succeed in stopping his immediate rampage, they fail to kill him or stop him from opening a gate from the Upside Down into Hawkins, leaving Eleven with at least one more epic confrontation to come in the future.
What Happens to Mike in "Stranger Things" Season 4?
Mike struggles with the emotional toll of growing up throughout much of the season. Although he's excited to visit El in California, their relationship takes a hit when he can't bring himself to say how he feels about her. All that takes a backseat, however, when Vecna's plans are revealed, and the California crew race against the clock to help their friends. Mike and Eleven reunite, and after a conversation with Will (which he doesn't realize is actually Will talking about his own feelings), Mike is able to tell Eleven he loves her, helping her control her powers and fight Vecna.
What Happens to Lucas in "Stranger Things" Season 4?
Unlike the other members of the "Party," Lucas tries out some new activities in high school — namely, the basketball team. Still stinging from a breakup with Max, he's nevertheless right in the thick of the action when Vecna's plan unleashes, even providing his ex with emotional and literal support.
During the final battle, he is left alone and has to battle Jason, the jock convinced that Lucas and his friends are part of a Satanic cult. Lucas survives, only to see Max killed and resurrected right in front of him.
What Happens to Max in "Stranger Things" Season 4?
Max goes through one of the most emotional arcs of any character this season. Cursed by Vecna, Max is forced to relive some of her greatest regrets and traumas, including everything that happened with her stepbrother, Billy, and she barely escapes after her friends figure out that music can break (or at least delay) Vecna's trance.
In the end, that connection with Vecna proves pivotal to the final battle, where she uses the bond to try to lure Vecna into their trap. It works, but it also kills her — until Eleven mind-travels to her and is able to resurrect her. Still, it's not all sunshine: Max ends the season comatose in a hospital, with no word on when or if she'll wake up.
What Happens to Will in "Stranger Things" Season 4?
Will, like Eleven and Jonathan, faces the prospect of having to start over when the Byers family move to California. He struggles to fit in while also struggling with the fact that his old friendships (especially with Mike) keep changing and leaving him behind.
For most of the season, he's working with Jonathan, Mike, and Argyle to get information and help their friends in Hawkins. He has a few loaded moments, mostly with Mike and Jonathan, that suggest (without spelling it out) that he is gay and has feelings for Mike. By the end of the season, he and his family are reunited, but he feels a prickling sensation and warns the rest of the group that Vecna is coming back.
What Happens to Dustin in "Stranger Things" Season 4?
Dustin remains largely in the "comic relief" box throughout the season, working alongside the rest of his Hawkins friends to fight off Vecna's invasion. His buddy-comedy dynamic with Steve remains in place, and he also befriends Eddie. That new friendship provides one of the most devastating moments of the season, with Eddie sacrificing himself to save his friends and dying in Dustin's arms.
What Happens to Steve in "Stranger Things" Season 4?
Everyone's favorite babysitter finds himself with more headaches than ever in the new season. Steve helps investigate the mysterious deaths in Hawkins, and he and the crew start to figure out what's going on with Vecna.
At one point, Steve dives into the Upside Down and is attacked by demobats, but Nancy, Robin, and Eddie provide backup and get him out. At times, it seems like he and his ex Nancy might have some lingering feelings coming to the surface, but it's cut short, first with the final battle with Vecna, then by her current boyfriend Jonathan's return to Hawkins.
What Happens to Nancy in "Stranger Things" Season 4?
Nancy continues to come into her own in the fourth season, taking an even more active role in saving Hawkins.
She, along with the other Hawkins-based characters, works to investigate the latest strange happenings in town, eventually getting involved in the fight against Vecna. While helping rescue Steve from the Upside Down, Nancy is briefly captured by Vecna, who shows her a vision of his evil plan for Hawkins and the rest of the world.
During the final battle, Nancy — with backup from Steve and Robin — gets to set Vecna ablaze, but their efforts aren't fatal to the monster. Nancy wraps up the season reuniting with Jonathan and tiptoeing around the issue of their future plans.
What Happens to Jonathan in "Stranger Things" Season 4?
For the first few episodes of the new season, the eldest Byers sibling isn't doing much except getting stoned and lamenting the fact that he hasn't told Nancy he can't follow through with their college plans together.
As chaos reigns, however, he snaps right back into "big brother" mode — first trying to help Eleven when she's arrested, then working with her, Will, and Mike to warn their friends in Hawkins. The Byers crew (other than El) are too late to help with the final battle, and Jonathan reunites with Nancy in relief — although they still haven't talked about the whole college thing.
What Happens to Hopper in "Stranger Things" Season 4?
As pretty much everyone suspected from the get-go, Hopper is very much alive after his near-fatal heroics at the end of season three. He's being held captive and tortured in a Soviet prison, but he plots his escape — and gets some much-needed aid from Joyce and Murray, who travel across the globe to help him.
A few double-crosses and near-misses later, the trio escape, and Joyce and Hopper finally act on their feelings for each other. Their tender moment is interrupted, however, with the realization that their kids need them on the other side of the globe, and they lend a hand through some sci-fi magic.
In the end, Hopper returns safely to Hawkins and reunites with Eleven and the others, only to realize that Vecna is still coming for them all.
What Happens to Joyce in "Stranger Things" Season 4?
Upon realizing that Hopper is still alive, Joyce sets out on a rescue mission with Murray. It takes a lot of work — and temporarily leaving her kids in California — but she's eventually able to get into the Soviet prison Hopper is being held captive in to see him for herself.
During the rescue, Joyce and Hopper have their first kiss, but the sweet moment is quickly overshadowed by yet another supernatural disaster in the making. They're able to battle off some demogorgons to assist the Hawkins crew from afar.
Joyce reunites with her kids back in Hawkins and is last seen preparing, along with the others, to face Vecna again.
What Happens to Robin in "Stranger Things" Season 4?
Robin is 100 percent part of the gang in the new season, teaming up with BFF Steve and the rest of the Hawkins team to fight off the latest supernatural threat. She goes undercover with Nancy to investigate Vecna's origins and works with Nancy and Steve in an attempt to take down Vecna once and for all. Robin also has a hint of romance this season: she's crushing on quirky bandmate Vickie, who may wind up reciprocating those feelings.
What Happens to Eddie in "Stranger Things" Season 4?
The latest addition to the Hawkins crew, Eddie is the leader of the high school Hellfire Club. He's an outcast and burnout with a weird reputation, especially after he's suspected of killing popular cheerleader Chrissy (who was actually killed by Vecna).
In the end, Eddie becomes a huge asset to the Hawkins crew, helping them unearth the truth about Vecna, bonding with the others (especially Dustin), and battling right alongside them. In the end, he dies a hero's death, distracting the monsters in the Upside Down long enough for his friends to knock Vecna out, then dying in Dustin's arms.
What Happens to Vecna in "Stranger Things" Season 4?
Season four's villain is the scariest yet, partially because he actually gets some backstory.
After terrorizing Hawkins and drawing the attention of our heroes, Vecna's backstory is revealed. He once was Henry Creel, aka One, another of the test subjects at the Hawkins Lab. Years ago, he massacred almost everyone at the lab before Eleven stopped his rampage by casting him into another dimension. There, he grew more powerful and created the Upside Down to help him gain power and return to take over our dimension.
Vecna nearly kills Max, who is saved only by Eleven's powers, and although he's badly injured, he's still alive and out for revenge as the season ends.