Stranger Things Review: The Massacre at Hawkins Laboratory


That was a lot of information, and it could have been handled much better.

Stranger Things Season 4 Episode 6 and Stranger Things Season 4 Episode 7 lifted the lid on some of the series’ biggest mysteries, but there was a lack of excitement in many of the reveals.

The events in the laboratory leading up to the massacre hinted at a much bigger picture Eleven was not privy to.

The series has been desperate to paint Eleven as the villain of that particular event, but viewers would struggle to connect with her for much longer if she did, indeed, carry out the deed.

Peter was an intriguing enough figure, but it was apparent he would be revealed as One from the moment he first appeared on the scene.

His interest in Eleven was out of the blue. Maybe he understood she was destined for a life of testing or whatever, but it’s hard to imagine him having any long-term use for her after she helped him.

Peter’s powers were extraordinary, and the flashbacks to reveal the true story of the Creels was a decent way to clue viewers in on the truth to the big mystery.

Now that we know Peter is One and they are both Vecna, it is setting up a horrifying battle in the final two episodes of the season.

However, we still need plenty of answers.

The Wheeler house was a part of the Upside Down when Will went missing, so we know it’s been around long before, but where has Vecna been during the previous trips?

Has he been in hiding, hoping that he’ll be strong enough to go to battle with Eleven one day?

I like that Vecna pre-dates the series premiere, but there has to be a reason for us not hearing about him before now.

On top of that, it’s time for Brenner to die a grisly death. He did come to Eleven’s defense with the bullies, but knowing why he wanted to make these superhumans in the first place highlights that he’s the biggest villain.

Eleven’s birth will likely play a pivotal part in the final episodes. We know she found the strength to defeat Vecna at her birth, but there’s still a lot we don’t know about her past.

Did anyone really believe she carried out the massacre? Her one bad action kickstarted the world as we know it, but Peter manipulated her into believing he was a nice person.

I see you’ve been looking for me, Nancy. You were so close. So close to the truth. How was old, blind, dumb Victor? Did he miss me? I’ve been meaning to check back in, but I’ve been busy.


The power struggle between good and evil has never been stronger, so we need a big scene with Eleven in the Upside Down fighting him.

Dustin continues to provide theories that hold plenty of water. Hopefully, his revelation about the gates allows people to believe him more going forward.

Nancy being forced to confront her guilt over Barb’s death came out of the left-field but facing it might allow her to be a pivotal component of the mission to defeat him.

The chaos in Kamchatka continued to be mostly hit and miss. It is a shame because this storyline had the potential to be one of the best.

Do you know what happens when someone has a stroke? The blood supply to the brain is cut off. It scrambles the signals in the brain to the point where the mind can forget how to do things. To eat. To speak. To walk.


Hopper fighting the Demogorgon should have had more stakes. The creature was obliterating everyone in sight at a record pace, even when the scenes cut to Joyce and Murray’s desperate attempts to free him.

Fighting the Demogorgon with fire was needed, but it’s hard to believe both Hopper and Antonov survived.

The only good thing about this bizarre fight was that it allowed Hopper and Joyce to get their reunion.

The first part of their mission is over, but now it comes down to how they will escape Russia and get back on American soil.

Stranger Things usually finds good storylines for the adults, but everything with Hopper and Joyce this season has been convoluted.

The Tigers declaring the Hellfire club to be satanic worshippers was a Riverdale-esque development, and not in a good way.

Then again, the kids consistently get out of bad stuff all the time, so maybe the intent was to show that there are consequences, sometimes.

The California kids making their way to Suzie was another bizarre development. What are the chances?

Eleven: When I was in there, I saw something. There was blood. So much blood.
Brenner: That was another memory, a… a more powerful one, invading from your subconscious. You have demons, Eleven. You have demons in your past. That is why we must proceed carefully.

Suzie has gotten the characters out of a pickle before, but did anyone expect her not to be as bright as we’ve believed?

The only positive from this random development was that it allowed the kids to learn the location of the base Eleven is being held.

It’s likely the final two episodes will play out like this:

The California kids get to Nevada, save Eleven, and find a way into the Upside Down. There, they will fight Vecna and find a way to stop this war between good and evil, once and for all.

All things considered, the final two episodes of the season lacked the excitement of the last episodes of the previous seasons.

What are your thoughts on Peter as One, aka Vecna?

Did you see it coming?

What are your thoughts on the fight in the prison?

Nancy: Are you okay?
Steve: Well, they took about a pound of flesh. But other than that, yeah, never better.
Robin: Uh, do you guys think these bats have, like, rabies?

Does Hopper have plot armor?

What will become of Nancy?

Hit the comments.

Stranger Things returns on July 1 with its final two episodes.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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