Stranger Things season 4 episode 2 recap: Vecna’s Curse

STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Brett Gelman as Murray Bauman and Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Brett Gelman as Murray Bauman and Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

This article contains SPOILERS for Stranger Things season 4 episode 2.

Another body is found in Hawkins, Mike arrives in California, and Dustin helps the man who saved him in the second episode of Stranger Things season 4.

Catch up here on everything from the last episode! [episode 1 recap link]

This episode of Stranger Things season 4 kicks off where a lot of people likely hoped this season would begin, and that is with the fate of Jim Hopper. When Joyce turned on the machine that closed the door, Hopper was able to run and jump off the platform he was on, and in doing so, dodged the blast that was able to vaporize full human beings.

The morning after Chrissy was murdered by the latest Hawkins monster, Max wakes up to find the cops investigating the Munson house. Eddie’s uncle Wayne found the crumpled-up body when he returned from working overnight.

The sight of Chrissy was able to shock and disgust him and the responding officers. Max tries to take a peek inside, gets a glance, but is shooed away by the officers.

STRANGER THINGS. Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
STRANGER THINGS. Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

Stranger Things season 4 episode 2: California Lovin’

In California, Mike arrives to a romantic greeting from Eleven, but receives an awkward welcome from Will. Jonathan, and the stoned Argyle are also present.

Mike asks about El’s friends, something Will is confused by, as they leave and prepare to start their week-long time together. Also arriving in California is Murray who gets into a cab and hastily tells his cabbie where he wants to go, and that is Joyce’s home.

In Hawkins at the video store they work at, Robin is explaining to Steve how their romantic lives are two halves of the same issue. She goes on to say that if they could combine themselves, they would be perfect together.

As they are finishing their prep for the day, they learn via the local news about the unfortunate death of a student. At the time, no name has been publicly released.

After partying with his teammates after their championship win, Lucas is recovering from his first hangover. While he is getting sick in the bathroom, the captain Jason Carver (played by Mason Dye) and the rest of the team watch the news and find out that an unnamed classmate is dead.

Jason was stood up by Chrissy so his mind wonders about the possibility when police cruisers pull up to their abandoned hangout spot. In the high school newspaper office, Nancy and her team watch the news and realize nobody cares about their cover story, the basketball game, anymore.

So, Nancy and her right hand, Fred Benson (played by Logan Riley Bruner) take a “field trip” to the Munson home so they can get the scoop.

Stranger Things season 4 episode 2: Max shares what she saw

Because she saw Chrissy’s body and knows she was with Eddie, Max goes to Dustin with this information. Understandably, Dustin is defensive of the one person in his high school life that has been nice to him and Mike.

All Max is saying is that he is likely the main suspect. When Dustin asks why she did not go to the cops with this info, she explains that she saw Eddie drive away like a maniac.

The two tiptoe around Max’s implicit reason why she brought this up before Dustin asks if Max thinks “something else killed her.” This is when they decide they need to find Eddie to hear his side of what happened.

Inside Joyce’s living room, Murray sees the note from the porcelain doll. He believes it’s all a ruse by the Russians and the KGB to capture Joyce for her role in stopping their machine in the mall last season.

Even after listening to all of that, Joyce strongly believes that Hopper is alive so the two plan on calling the number on the note to get some answers. Immediately following this, audiences see that Murray was correct and Hopper was captured by the Russians.

They’ve been torturing Hop to find out what he knows and who he is working for. The chief of police remains strong during the torture and beatings, which results in the Russians manipulating Hopper’s oxygen.

Stranger Things season 4 episode 2: Eleven’s lies start to catch up with her

Eleven, Mike, and Will are dropped off at the roller rink by Jonathan and Argyle with Will getting some words of encouragement from his older brother. Inside when Mike is getting socks, Will confronts Eleven about lying to her boyfriend, but she refuses to stop.

This looks to be an especially unwise decision when Angela and her band of merry bullies arrive at the roller rink and see Eleven holding hands with Mike.

STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, Noah Schnapp as Will Byers and Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, Noah Schnapp as Will Byers and Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

Jason is questioned extensively by the cops about his night, asking if he talked to Chrissy, if she would be buying drugs, and if she hung out with Eddie. Jason can piece together some bits of info from these questions and assumed Eddie hurt Chrissy in some way.

His response to this is to take a walk in the woods and let out a scream of a myriad of emotions. Dustin and Max pull up to the video store to set up a base of operations for their mission to try and find Eddie and some answers.

Steve and Robin are very confused by all of this until Max finally fills them in on the info they already have. Nancy and Fred are driving to the Munson home when Nancy finally comes clean that she wished Jonathan returned home and how something is going on with him.

As they pull up to the neighborhood, Nancy tries to play the cop standing guard at the entrance with Fred acting casual and backing her up. This goes awry when Fred has visions like Chrissy did and sees the cop turn into a gruesome beast.

Nancy handles the whole situation and gains passage.

Stranger Things season 4 episode 2: Jonathan’s truth comes out

Back in California, Jonathan and Argyle are hitting golf balls stoned as they talk about Jonathan’s relationship with Nancy. Jonathan comes clean he is attending community college in California and has no plans to go to Emerson with Nancy.

He justifies it by saying he has his family to look after but Argyle does not believe him. He suggests Jonathan smoke a certain strand of marijuana to help him think through his issues.

As they are having some milkshakes at the roller rink, Eleven is separated from Mike and Will by Angela. When El is in the middle of the rink, Angela has the DJ put the spotlight on her as everyone skates around and mocks her.

This culminates with El’s milkshake being thrown onto her and falling on her backside. El skates away as Mike gives chase after her while the rest of the people are watching and laughing.

When Joyce and Murray call the Russian phone number, Enzo (played by Tom Wlaschiha) picks up as advertised on the note. This Russian man, who is not KGB or a friend of Hopper’s, demands Joyce bring $40,000 from Eleven’s trust to Nome, Alaska in two days.

A brief clip shows the strength that Hopper has, surviving all of the torture techniques that the Russians try and throw at him. Jason returns from his unhealthy coping by rallying his teammates behind him to stop this Hellfire cult Eddie is a part of to stop him from killing again.

Jason uses the religious anti-Dungeons & Dragons propaganda to his advantage, even when Lucas tries to tell them D&D is not remotely like that. Jason and the team do not believe him, and he completes his rally speech.

A dichotomy is presented with Max, Dustin, Robin, and Steve trying to find Eddie like the basketball team, but with a lot more care and empathy behind their search. Eventually, they discover a guy named Reefer Rick who Eddie has been known to crash with at times.

After Robin does some detective work using the customer database, the four go for a drive to continue their quest.

Stranger Things season 4 episode 2: Nancy finds a way

After striking out at every house in the neighborhood, Nancy finds Wayne Munson outside and goes to talk to him. Nancy breaks through to the traumatized and defensive uncle and gets him to open up.

Wayne defends his nephew and says whoever killed the young girl is pure evil. As Nancy is talking with Wayne, Fred has the sense to go into the woods where has a similar vision as Chrissy with a grandfather clock.

But this time it is a part of a casket. An army of monster people hybrids appears behind him and starts chanting “Murderer” at him before Fred rightfully runs away.

Audiences then see Hopper as he is transported to a cold prison so he can be turned into a cog for the Motherland. As this happens, sporadic clips show Joyce and Murray replaying the tape they took of their call with Enzo.

They determine Enzo is a prison guard and paying the ransom might not be the worst idea if they want to get Hopper back.

STRANGER THINGS. David Harbour as Jim Hopper in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
STRANGER THINGS. David Harbour as Jim Hopper in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

While Mike and Will are looking for El they finally get a chance to talk. Will is mad that he’s been a third wheel all day and because Mike hardly wrote and called over the last year.

Mike asks why it had to be him and the two realize their friendship is both of their responsibilities. They delay the rest of this conversation to focus on finding Eleven.

In actuality, Eleven is hiding in the employee offices before she gets the courage to come out and demand Angela apologizes to her. The bully does not while making some cruel jokes about El’s dad being dead.

As a result, El smashes a roller skate on Angela’s nose and breaks it.

Stranger Things season 4 episode 2: Eddie shares his side

When the group arrives at Reefer Rick’s home, Dustin is knocking on the door trying to get someone’s attention but failing. Max finds a shed behind the house so the four of them go and investigate.

They eventually find the spooked Eddie who has his defensives set to protect and attack. It takes assurances from Dustin before Eddie relaxes and everyone can exhale.

After Nancy is done talking with Wayne, she is unable to find Fred or anyone else that has seen him. She comes across the cop from the entrance who informs his fellow officers in the area of the situation with Fred.

Audiences then see Fred running in the woods before coming across a car on fire. Eddie has a chance to tell his horrific story of Chrissy’s bone snapping and her head being pulled from the inside.

Because of this, Dustin explains that there is another world that is on the other side of Hawkins and how it can bleed into theirs. As this happens, Fred is approached by the monster that got to Chrissy and gives him the same horrific guilt trip before killing him.

Dustin and Max ask Eddie if he saw any dust-like particles in the air, but he says there were not. He does say that Chrissy was in a trancelike state or under a curse.

This is when Dustin goes full Stranger Things and names this beast Vecna since this creature from the world of Dungeons and Dragons is a dark wizard which preys on its victims through spell casting.

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How do you feel about the villain so far this season? Is it weird to have a human-like villain after the other beasts were more like animals?

How do you feel about Eleven lying to Mike? Let us know your answers and opinions in the comments below!

Watch all of Stranger Things season 4, only on Netflix!