*SPOILERS FOR SEASON 4 PART 1 OF STRANGER THINGS BELOW!*
Fans of Stranger Things have had a lot to look forward to in season 4. From new monsters, character introductions, and big reunions, there’s a lot to get excited about! But the number one question on everyone’s mind after last season’s finale is, “What the hell happened to Hopper?” Of course, as viewers we all know that he’s alive. But Joyce, Eleven, and the rest of the gang don’t know that he’s actually in Russia right now being held prisoner for god knows what. And after a nearly three-year wait, we finally know how he ended up there. Ready to learn the truth?
Here’s everything you need to know about what happened to Hopper in Stranger Things 4.
How did Hopper end up in Russia?
As we saw at the end of Stranger Things 3, when Joyce closed the portal, Hopper ended up surviving…but not before the Russians took him away as a prisoner. Because they still believed Hopper was a spy sent to look into their work in the U.S., the Russians tortured him for information. After not revealing anything about why he was near the portal, Hopper was sent to a work camp called Kamchatka.
Kamchatka was the toughest work camp in the country, and Hopper struggled to communicate. One guard, Enzo, knew English and was able to talk to Hopper, ultimately giving him an opportunity to escape.
How did Joyce and Murray find out about Hopper being alive?
This entire time, Joyce, Eleven, Murray, and the others thought Hopper was dead. However, with the help of Enzo, Hopper was able to send a package to Joyce’s house that included a doll with a hidden note inside instructing them to call a special number.
Joyce called Murray to help her figure out what to do next. Using a location scrambler, Murray and Joyce called the number and Enzo told them to get $40,000 out of Hopper’s trust and bring it to a man named Yuri in Alaska.
While Joyce and Murray made their trip, Enzo gave Hopper the news and warned him that the window of escape was very small.
Did Hopper escape?
In order to get the shackles off his feet, Hopper traded a meal with one of the other prisoners in exchange for the prisoner hitting his foot. It worked, and Enzo told him to go to a church in a nearby town to wait for Yuri, being honest that his chances of escaping were 50 to one.
After breaking an axe, Hopper hid in a nearby shed and slid off the shackle from his broken foot. A guard started to get suspicious and checked on him, and Hopper attacked him. Other guards noticed the fight and went after him, but Hopper escaped. He ran towards a snowmobile and used it to escape, surprising everyone in the process and ultimately succeeding in making it to the church, where he waited for Yuri to take him back to Alaska.
When did Hopper reunite with Joyce?
Unfortunately for Hopper, Yuri turned on him and Enzo after he decided to keep money for himself and turn them both in. He drugged Joyce and Murray and attempted to turn them into the KGB as well, but his plan failed when Joyce and Murray escaped on the airplane ride and they crashed in the middle of a field.
They all survived, but Yuri was captured and Joyce forced him to tell them where to find Hopper. In the meantime, Hopper and Enzo were both caught and arrested. The Russians placed them in a special cell with another group of prisoners.
The prisoners were surprised to see a special meal prepared for them one day and were told they’d be participating in a big fight. Hopper realizes they will be facing a Demogorgon to be fed to it.
As they headed back to their cell, Hopper started a fight with Enzo, leading some of the guards to join in. Confused, Enzo asked him if it was worth getting hurt before facing the monster, and Hopper revealed that Demogorgons are actually afraid of fire and he was able to steal alcohol from the dinner and a lighter from one of the guards to help them the next day.
Meanwhile, Murray pretended to be Yuri in order to get through the gates of the work camp, which worked. Generals then took the disguised Murray to watch the prisoners face the Demogorgon, and Murray pulled out a gun and threatened to shoot the generals unless they opened the gates and let the prisoners escape.
Do they survive?!
Each guard refused to open the gates for fear that the Demogorgon would also attack them. Fed up, Murray used his karate skills to take them all down.
Joyce started pressing random buttons in the hopes of opening the gate as the Demogorgon killed other prisoners while Hopper and Enzo tried to survive. Luckily, Joyce was able to find the right button, and they made it to a safe zone after Hopper threw his burning spear at the Demogorgon, hoping to take it down for good.
In an emotional reunion, Joyce and Hopper embraced while Murray and Enzo looked on.
Wait, did they ultimately head back to America?
Unfortunately for us, that’s all we were able to see in part 1 of season 4. We’ll have to wait until part 2 to figure out whether or not they all make it back to America safe and sound. Thankfully, it won’t be too long of a wait, as Stranger Things 4 part 2 premieres on July 1!
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