'Stranger Things' Season 4 leaves Hawkins, teasing 3 possible new locations

It's not as simple as the Upside Down

It’s hard to imagine anyone doubted there would be a Season 4 of Stranger Things. Even setting aside that killer cliffhanger in the Season 3 finale, it’s one of the most popular shows in the world and at this point the cornerstone of Netflix’s business model. Still, any doubters had their fears laid to rest yesterday when Stranger Things Season 4 was confirmed by way of a mysterious trailer.

This trailer began with music and visual cues ripped straight from the opening title sequence only to distort and transport the viewer to the world of the Upside Down. “We’re Not In Hawkins Anymore…” the tagline promises. Naturally, fan speculation immediately ran rampant. Does this mean the season will take place in the Upside Down?

Lost in the hubbub surrounding the trailer’s debut was the obvious: “We already aren’t in Hawkins anymore.” The show’s third season not only pointedly expanded the scope of Stranger Things beyond that of the small town in which most of it takes place but ends on a note that directly removes about half of the main cast from Hawkins.

As such, the tagline reads as more of a confirmation than a teaser of what’s to come, though it’s hard to not speculate anyway. If we aren’t in Hawkins anymore, here are three places Stranger Things Season 4 will probably be taking us.

'Stranger Things' Season 3 ended in Russia.
'Stranger Things' Season 3 ended in Russia.

3. Russia

Yes, technically the show has already taken us to Russia in both the opening and closing of the third season. We know that the Russians have found a way to access the Upside Down and that they spent most of last season invading Hawkins via a facility lodged under Starcourt Mall. We also know that they have a Demogorgon and a mysterious prisoner only being referred to as The American. There’s a chance it could be our dearly departed Hopper, but the smart money is on the character being revealed as Matthew Modine’s sinister Dr. Brenner, who disappeared in the Season 1 finale only to be teased as still being alive in season 2. Regardless, it’s a Chekhov’s Gun if we’ve ever seen one, and with the American locked up in Russia some of the gang is going to have to make their way over there to find him (likely under the assumption that it’s Hopper).

 'Stranger Things' Season 4 release date
Mike and Eleven say goodbye in the 'Stranger Things' Season 3 finale.

Illinois

Alright, so maybe this isn’t as exciting a new location as Russia or the Upside Down (though Chicago is pretty great, don’t get us wrong). Still, Season 3 ends with a major upending of the status quo in the form of the Byer family (and Eleven) moving out of Hawkins and to Illinois for a fresh start. While an exchange between Mike and Elle seems to confirm a loose visitation schedule centered around Thanksgiving and Christmas, that’s about half of the show’s cast uprooting from Hawkins and into a new town. It’s hard to imagine we won’t be spending at least a little bit of time there with them.

mind flayer stranger things
The Mind Flayer in its natural form inside the Upside Down in Season 2.

The Upside Down

Okay, okay, yes, we admit it. It’s practically a guarantee that the cast will be venturing into the Upside Down this season. For too long, the show has kept the menacing alternate dimension (if you can call it that) at arm’s length, attempting to preserve its mystique. But as we near the show’s endgame (rumors are that Stranger Things will run for five seasons) it’s time to figure out what’s really going on down there. Plus if Hopper isn’t the aforementioned American, there’s a good chance he’s been transported into the Upside Down. Somebody’s going to have to go there to find him and we’ve got a feeling it’s not just going to be one person.


Stranger Things Season 4 is coming to Netflix … eventually.