With most episodes of Stranger Things 4 running the length of a 1980s TV movie (when they’re not the size of full-on modern feature film), theories rose and fell quickly. Because the season covered so much ground, early assumptions — like Victor Creel might be Vecna or Hopper might be the new Eleven — fell by the wayside when new info came to light. But one theory from the opening episodes made it intact to the end of the first 9-plus hours of Stranger Things 4, Volume 1: the Ms. Kelly connection to Vecna.
Warning: Spoilers for Stranger Things 4 Vol. 1 follow. In the opening episode of Stranger Things 4, Vecna’s first victim at Hawkins High was Chrissy the cheerleader, followed by Fred Benson in Episode 2. At first, the two students seemed to have nothing in common; one was a peppy popular girl, the other was a nerdy student journalist. However, when Max began to show signs of also being affected by Vecna, she put together a connection she had with Chrissy: They were both seeing the school counselor, Ms. Kelly.
One break-in into Ms. Kelly’s office later, and Max discovered Fred was also seeing her. The link is important, especially considering the Vecna-laced nightmares all three experienced, playing off their respective traumas. But when Max tried to get Ms. Kelly to talk about the connection, the counselor shut her down, citing student privacy.
So, was Ms. Kelly just being professional? Or is there something else at play? According to one theory presented by TikTok’s Midwest Marvel Guy, other clues may connect Ms. Kelly to Vecna in a significant, sinister way.
According to the theory, Ms. Kelly has connections to Vecna beyond seeing some of his victims — and many of them have to do with that evil grandfather clock in the Creel House. There’s a miniature grandfather clock in her office. When Max is around Ms. Kelly, the audience can hear clocks ticking. Most importantly: the necklace she wears is a clock key with a timepiece face.
Moreover, there’s the most suspicious part: Ms. Kelly must have realized both Chrissy and Fred had been seeing her for trauma-related reasons before they were attacked. The cops asked anyone to come forward if they had any tips about the murders. And yet, Ms. Kelly has not seen fit to mention this connection. Why not?
Some fans on Twitter have gone so far as to suggest Ms. Kelly could be Alice Creel, all grown up. It’s an argument that’s taken hold since the series revealed Henry Creel, Number One, and Vecna are the same person. If claims of Henry’s death premature, why not his sister too?
However, the show has given enough plausible deniability to this theory. Ms. Kelly could be telling the truth — after all, why would a high school counselor tell a random tenth grader all about her fellow student’s traumas? Also, when Patrick — one of Lucas’ jock friends — was taken down by Vecna, it put a hole in the theory. As far as anyone knows, Patrick wasn’t seeing Ms. Kelly — in fact, it seemed he was taking great pains to hide his problems at home.
Still, viewers shouldn’t discount Ms. Kelly as a possible suspect for helping Vecna. Stranger things have happened.
Stranger Things 4, Vol. 2 hits Netflix on Friday, July 1, 2022.