This past week Netflix announced that they had renewed their 80’s sci-fi series Stranger Things for a fourth season. The news coincided with Stranger Things releasing a brief teaser trailer saying, “We’re not in Hawkins anymore.”
But the series is leaving the fictional town in Indiana well past their checkout date.
*Note: Stranger Things spoilers incoming if you have not watched the latest season*
Back in 2016 we were introduced to Eleven, Mike, Hopper and the gang as a small town tried to deal with a physic girl with no name and a deadly monster roaming free in rural Indiana.
Then in season two the collective world expanded. We learned more about the origin of the once mysterious monsters, about Eleven’s past, and we were even introduced to another physic child in another city. This all culminated in a well earned moment of growth for Eleven when she was able to close the opening between words that she unknowingly caused when she was younger.
So from season one to two the world of Hawkins expanded and we closed the book on our monsters… or so we thought.
Instead of continuing to expand, the most recent season of Stranger Things reverted to it’s roots. The show doubled down on Hawkins with another monster from the upside down and another portal to be closed.
Under the facade of summer and the afterglow of fireworks, Stranger Things tried to pull a fast one on us. Was the monster bigger than last time? Sure. Was there a secret Russian base as opposed to just a regular secret American lab? Sure.
But if you watched the latest season thinking to yourself, “Why does this looks familiar?” It’s because you’ve already read this script before.
And now that we’re leaving Hawkins we still aren’t out of the woods. Season three ended with the usual gang going their separate ways. Specifically a powerless Eleven moving away with the Byers family but promising to return at holidays.
This departure, we are lead to believe, is why, “We’re not in Hawkins anymore.” But even if we follow Eleven and the Byers to a new town I can’t take another season of the same song and dance where we spend 10 episodes realizing a portal is open, then finding the portal and finally closing said portal to stop the monster.
After teasing a larger world it’s time for Stranger Things to embrace it and leave Hawkins in the rear view mirror.