As “Stranger Things” has proven time and time again, not everything is as it seems.
We last saw the gang in 2019 — er, July 1985— for the epic showdown against the Mind Flayer at the pristine Starcourt Mall. The Season 3 finale closed with the beloved Jim Hopper (David Harbour) seemingly dead, the Byers family leaving town and the Russians’ facility destroyed, at least for now.
The new teaser proves things have gone awry since then. For one, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) appears to be locked behind a door in the very sort of institution she was raised in. “Eleven, are you listening?” a voice says, causing her eyes to shoot wide open.
The voice is assumed to be Papa, a.k.a. Dr. Martin Brenner, the former scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy who raised test subjects at Hawkins Lab, including Eleven. Much of the clip surveys a grim playroom of children that mirror Eleven from Season 1. They all don shaved heads and hospital gowns while playing with various games and toys. They’re interrupted when a white-haired man in a gray suit enters, only shown from behind. They call him “papa.”
“Today, I have something very special planned for you,” he tells them as the clip pivots to a room marked “11.”
A teaser back in February 2020 confirmed fans’ greatest suspicion: Hopper is alive. Captioned “From Russia with love,” the clip zeroed in on a snowy railroad peppered with laborers guarded by Russian officers. It ends on one worker who pauses to wipe his brow: a head-shaven Hopper.
In November, a bit more insight on the new season was given with the announcement of eight new cast members, including series regulars Jamie Campbell Bower (“Sweeney Todd”), Eduardo Franco (“Booksmart”) and Joseph Quinn (“Catherine the Great”). Character descriptions alluded to the fact that at least part of Season 4 will take place in Russia, whose evil masterminds have continually been behind the unfolding Cold War-era chaos in Hawkins.
Watch the new teaser below.