Stranger Things is, far and away, Netflix's most popular original series. When Season 3 arrived in July of 2019, a reported 40.7 million households streamed at least one episode in the first four days, and 18.2 million finished the entire season in that same timeframe. Fans were thrilled when it was announced on Sept. 20 that the Duffer Brothers inked an overall deal with Netflix, including another Stranger Things season. Now, the Duffers are teasing that next season by tweeting out the Stranger Things Season 4, Episode 1 title, and it's a doozy.
The titles to Stranger Things' premiere episodes are usually a good hint of where the season is going, even if the meaning isn't immediately apparent to the viewer. Season 1 opens with "Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers," which is straightforward, to the point, and sets up the mystery to come.
Season 2 begins with "Chapter One: MADMAX." It's both a reference to the video games the kids are obsessed with, and their new friend Max, who becomes central to their survival. Season 3's "Chapter One: Suzie, Do You Copy?" is both a reference to the radio rig where Dustin first catches the Russian chatter and the finale when Suzie has the answer the gang needs to stop the Russian invaders.
So how will Season 4 begin?
"Chapter One: The Hellfire Club" could refer to several things. The original Hellfire Clubs were all-male secret groups among England's elites in the 1800s. The X-Men comics of the 1980s used that legacy to inspire The Hellfire Club of bad guys, who first appeared in 1980, in Issue #129 of Uncanny X-Men.
As much as Mike and his gang have fancied themselves a team via their Dungeons & Dragons party, it seemed in Season 3 as if most of that had fallen to the wayside as the beginning of high school and ninth grade loomed large.
It seems unlikely these kids, who fancy themselves good guys, would create a group called "The Hellfire Club." Instead, that's the sort of lens through which they would view their bullying antagonists. Either way, the use of this reference for the premiere episode suggests Season 4 may have a heavy X-Men theme going, especially as puberty causes our heroes to feel like they are mutating.
But which bullying antagonists are they calling The Hellfire Club? Although fans assume the action will focus on Hawkins, that's not so assured. Eleven, Will, and Jonathan no longer live in Hawkins. It's as likely these could be the bullies they run into at their new school as it is the classmates Mike, Dustin, and Lucas meet.
There's also a completely off-the-wall possibility that Eleven's move could put her in contact with others of her kind, the way she found Eight in Season 2. A group of antagonists headed up by someone who also has powers would be a real problem for everyone.
And then, there's the question of Hopper and his likely imprisonment in Russia. How could that tie into the Hellfire Club?
One little reveal for Stranger Things Season 4 only leads to more questions.