Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for Season 4, Vol. 1 of Stranger Things.
Season 4, Vol. 1 of Stranger Things dropped on Netflix on Friday, May 27, 2022, treating viewers to seven episodes worth of supernatural events ranging from Eleven's (Millie Bobby Brown) ostensible lab attack to Chrissy's (Grace Van Dien) grisly death.
Did Eleven kill everyone at the lab in Season 4, Episode 1 of 'Stranger Things'? If so, why?
Season 4 of Stranger Things sheds light on hitherto unknown details about Eleven's complicated past. Take the Season 4 opener, which features a bloodied massacre at the lab where El was trained.
The segment kicks off with an exploration of Dr. Martin Brenner's (Matthew Modine) neatly-choreographed morning routine, which is followed by a few frames showing the experiments he is busy conducting with a kid well-versed in telepathy. Jump cut to: Eleven standing in the blood-covered Rainbow Room of the Hawkins National Laboratory, surrounded by dead bodies.
As Season 4, Episode 1 seems to imply, El could have easily been the kid behind the ghastly deed. However, as Season 4, Episode 7 reveals, that's not quite how the tragedy panned out.
The latest episodes introduce viewers to a new antagonist — One, aka Vecna) (Jamie Campbell Bower). One telepathically massacres his mother and sister and allows his father, Victor Creel (Robert Englund), to take the blame for his crimes.
He is then admitted to the Hawkins National Laboratory, where he becomes the first child to undergo Brenner's experiments. Things take a very dark turn once One decides that it's time to emanate himself from the shackles. Of course, if you've watched the whole first part of Season 4, you know that One ends up murdering everyone at the lab. Subsequently, Eleven banishes him to the Upside-Down, where he then becomes Vecna.
Jamie Campbell Bower says that preparing for the role came with some unexpected challenges.
As Jamie told Variety, he started the preparation process by compiling a vision board. It was then time to tap into the most unsavory feelings he could muster.
"For Vecna, there’s this deep, deep, deep resentment. It’s his fuel, so I really had to tap into that, and I consider myself not somebody who holds onto resentment. So, digging that up from within me was quite a lot," Jamie said. "I mean, I wouldn’t speak to people. I wouldn’t speak to anybody outside of the Stranger Things world for at least four days before filming anything."
"I would find myself doing some pretty wild stuff. If anyone saw me walking around the streets of Atlanta at 2 ... in the morning talking to myself, they would understand," he added. "I was just bringing up a lot of anger, particularly for Vecna."
As Jamie explained, he would sit in a pitch-black room by himself for about half an hour before the shooting. At one point, he had an epiphany.
"It was totally pitch black. I'd sit in there between the takes and go for it. It was it really interesting. About halfway through, I started to become quite afraid of Vecna," Jamie added. "I remember seeing Matthew Modine one day and being like, 'Modine, I'm terrified of this person. It's really weird.' He's like, 'Oh yeah, that's good!’ I was like, 'Oh, thanks for your help, buddy!'"
Season 4, Vol. 1 of Stranger Things is available now. Season 4, Vol. 2 arrives on Netflix on July 1, 2022.