Stranger Things season 4 episode 5 recap: The Nina Project

STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Joe Keery as Steve Harrington, Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley, Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield, Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler, and Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Joe Keery as Steve Harrington, Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley, Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield, Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler, and Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

This article contains SPOILERS for Stranger Things season 4 episode 5.

Eleven gets some much-needed assistance meanwhile the gang finds Vecna hiding out in Victor Creel’s house in the fifth episode of Stranger Things season 4.

Catch up here on everything from the last episode!

The fifth episode of Stranger Things season 4 begins with Argyle driving the boys from Hawkins, IN as they escape the mysterious assailants chasing after them. As the agent looking after them is dying in the back, he tells the boys to find Nina since she can help them contact Dr. Owens and warn him.

Back at the gunned-down Byers home, the same colonel who talked to Dr. Owens approaches the other agent who was shot so he can find out where Eleven is. In Nevada, Dr. Owens and Eleven arrive at the facility where she learns about all the folks who have dedicated their lives to helping her save the world.

Dr. Owens leads El to the main room where a giant machine is waiting, something the good doctor calls “Nina.” But just as Eleven starts to feel comfortable, Dr. Brenner enters the room shaking her to her core.

All of Eleven’s past trauma comes rushing back to her so she tries to make a run for it. The guards easily stop and sedate her.

Dr. Brenner has them leave so he can manipulatively comfort the young girl he once genuinely called “daughter” while he was experimenting on her.

Stranger Things season 4 episode 5: Max explains what she saw last night

In Russia, Hopper is receiving torment and punishment for his failed escape plan. When he is put in his cell, however, he is greeted by his former guard friend (whose real name is Antonov).

The guards encourage Hop to hurt or kill him but he does not do it.

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 /

When his adrenaline wears off, Hopper asks about Joyce. In truth, Yuri is getting ready to bring Joyce and Murray to Russia since the KGB is looking for the Byers’ matriarch.

As he is in hiding from the cops, Eddie tries to contact Dustin for more food. But Dustin, like everyone else, is sleeping in the Wheeler basement.

Nancy wakes up to find Max is missing. She and Dustin quickly find her at the dining room table, drawing in peace.

She is drawing the scarlet-tinted world she saw when under Vecna’s trance. The three of them theorize it is possible that this reddened world Max saw was actually Vecna’s mind, and she somehow found a backdoor into it.

Nancy notices the stained glass rose window and starts putting together Max’s drawings. She is able to figure out Vecna is residing at what looks to be an altered version of Victor Creel’s house.

Within the secret complex, Eleven has a shaved head again and starts walking through the facility before the main story of Stranger Things takes place. Something abnormal is going on as she seems to be stuck in a continuous loop.

It turns out this whole process is done by Dr. Owens and Dr. Brenner, taking place inside the machine called Nina.

Stranger Things season 4 episode 5: Hopper explains his curse

Back in California, the Byers boys, Mike, and Argyle are burying the body of the agent who gave his life for them. Everyone is freaking out about the guns and death to the point that Mike is freaking out about El.

Will offers some lovely support to his friend where they talk about how hard it is fully open up and be honest, even with people you care about. When Mike realizes that the agent who saved him gave him a pen that did not work, he examines the writing device.

He finds the phone number they need to call inside the pen. Antonov tries to devise plans to save him and Hopper, but Hopper has given up hope.

He goes on to explain how he has been cursed since he was 18 years old. He, among others, had to deal with Agent Orange which he believes brought pain and devastation back with him after Vietnam.

He also admits El and Joyce do not need him, but rather he needs them. Wayne Munson gets a knock on his door from the agents who helped Dr. Owens.

As they search the home they notice a spot on the roof, where Chrissy was held during her trance. They inform Mr. Munson he will be leaving since they have to examine this darkened spot more closely.

At Chrissy’s funeral service, Patrick (Lucas and Jason’s basketball teammate) gets some more calls from Vecna that he tries to shrug off. After the service, Jason rallies his teammates to go after Lucas and the rest of The Hellfire Club to avenge Chrissy’s death.

Stranger Things season 4 episode 5: The gang is heading to…Utah?

After telling everyone about her discovery, Nancy takes Robin, Lucas, Max, Dustin, and Steve to Victor Creel’s abandoned house so they can look for clues. After Max points out the grandfather clock from her vision, they all pair up to explore the house as the lights begin to flicker without anyone noticing.

Stranger Things
STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, Joe Keery as Steve Harrington, Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield, and Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

Eleven is getting more frustrated with the loop that keeps occurring until Dr. Brenner explains the name of Nina comes from a song about a woman who repressed a memory. Eleven eventually learns she has to participate in this loop, which is easy enough since it is a memory of hers.

Once she does this it alludes that her powers will likely return. When Mike, Will, and Jonathan call the number from the agent’s pen, they discover they are not calling a phone but rather a computer, like in WarGames (1983).

They are unable to decipher what any of it means without a hacker. Thus, Mike comes up with a plan to travel to Salt Lake City, UT to visit the only hacker they know, Dustin’s girlfriend Suzie.

While waiting for his friends to return, Eddie notices the basketball team arriving. He attempts to hide while trying to contact his friends with a walkie-talkie.

Nobody answers since the walkie-talkie has been abandoned by the entrance of the Creel home, while everyone continues exploring. After Steve runs away from a scary spider, he has a moment with Nancy where the two clearly, subliminally, prove they still have feelings for one another.

The same goes for Max and Lucas but their romantic moment is cut short when they notice the lights are flickering throughout the house. In the Nina machine, Eleven is participating in the tests she already experienced but is ultimately not successful.

This failing comes to a close when Dr. Brenner tries to motivate Eleven through guilt and shame. El continues to struggle which leads to her remembering more trauma about her time in the facility, like when she killed everyone during her escape.

Stranger Things season 4 episode 5: Eleven makes a breakthrough

Murray and Joyce capitalize on Yuri being unable to hear them and try to break free from their imprisonment. Murray uses his karate (to the surprise of Joyce and most of the viewing audience) to actually take out Yuri and commandeer the plane.

They enact an emergency landing and barely survive, only thanks to a forest cushioning their landing. Back at the Creel house, the gang clarifies for everyone that the lights being on means Vecna is moving around (similarly to when Will communicated with Joyce using Christmas lights in season 1).

They turn off their flashlights and spread out around the house so they can locate this monster. This search leads them to the attic, something only Dustin questions if it is a trap.

While looking for Eddie, Patrick hears Vecna but Jason distracts him. As they check out the boatshed, they find Eddie rowing away.

The basketball team captain and his teammate swim after him. Vecna eventually gets to Patrick while he is swimming which only instills even more fear into Eddie and Jason.

Dr. Owens intervenes and pulls out Eleven from the machine, giving her the necessary medical attention that Dr. Brenner was ignoring. Eleven tries running again and when she is held down.

During her struggle her powers erratically manifest once again. When Dr. Brenner approaches, Eleven tries using her powers again but is unable to.

He explains how this is a process and only he knows exactly what she needs. This is something Eleven agrees to as she calls Dr. Brenner “Papa” and willingly goes with him, hand in hand.

Next. 9 of the best Stranger Things games, including Dungeons & Dragons and UNO. dark

Would you trust Dr. Brenner if you knew he was the only one who could help you? Do you think Jason will now see how Eddie is not to blame for Chrissy’s death?

Let us know your answers and opinions in the comments below!

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