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Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 Volume 2 on Netflix, Where Characters Worlds Apart Turn To Face Home

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As soon as the first chapters of Netflix’s Stranger Things Season 4 dropped in May 2022, everything was suddenly bigger. The cast were shedding their child selves before our very eyes. The episode run times were jacked. The budgets were juiced. And the breadth and depth of Stranger Things had gotten swole, too. Hawkins, Indiana, Lenora Hills, California, an ICBM missile silo in Nevada, a literal gulag in the Soviet Union’s Kamchatka Peninsula: the storyline was going large across the landscape, and that’s not even counting the shadowy world of the Upside Down. But have the Duffer Brothers saved their biggest moves for the fourth season’s culminating second volume?    

 
Opening Shot: We’re back in 1979, where season 4 began, just after the massacre at Hawkins National Laboratory. The gate to the Upside Down that Eleven’s powers pushed Henry Creel through hisses and burbles shut. Only this time, it’s Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) witnessing the incident from inside her vision.

The Gist: As the first volume of Stranger Things season four closed, Nancy was on the cusp of rescue from the Upside Down alongside Steve (Joe Keery), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Robin (Maya Hawke), and Eddie (Joseph Quinn) when Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower) put her mind in his clutches. Now, as the group searches for music to play that might snap her out of the trance – an Iron Maiden cassette is proffered, which is crazy because doesn’t Vecna sort of resemble the band’s ghoulish mascot Eddie? – the malevolent being once known as Henry Creel and inside HNL as One shows Nancy his evil plan for Hawkins and the world at large. “I want you to tell Eleven,” he grumbles inside her vision. “I want you to tell her everything you see.”

While Vecna is using Nancy as his supernatural messaging service, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) is under observation by Brenner (Matthew Modine) and Owens (Paul Reiser) at NINA, ruminating over what’s remembered from that terrible day at the laboratory and flexing with the return of her telekinetic powers. She can see her friends back in Hawkins, hashing out a plan to take down Vecna; she can also see how dangerous of an idea that is, given all they don’t know about his power and intentions. But what Eleven can’t see is Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Will (Noah Schnapp), Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), and the perpetually stoned Argyle (Eduardo Franco), who right then are racing across the Nevada desert toward NINA in the Surfer Boy Pizza van.

When we last saw Hopper (David Harbour), he was driving an improvised flaming sword through the terrifying maw of a Demogorgon. But it turns out that wasn’t the only monster the Soviets have, as Hopper, Joyce (Winona Ryder), Murray (Brett Gelman), and Enzo (Tom Wlaschiha) discover a room full of unspeakable experiments. And with Yuri (Nikola Duricko) in tow, they manage an escape from the gulag, the problem being that they’re still on a peninsula in the vast reaches of the Soviet Union, with no way of reaching the United States. Well, almost no way. Yuri does have an ancient, decrepit helicopter in stash.

Determined to kill Vecna before he kills again, whatever the cost – “I have this terrible, gnawing feeling that it might not work out for us this time,” Robin tells Steve – the group in Hawkins steals a Winnebago and visits an army surplus to gear up for battle. The boys from Cali close in on NINA. And Brenner, determined to continue his experiments on Eleven and utilize her power to communicate with Henry/One/Vecna, tries to shut her down, even as Lt. Colonel Sullivan (Sherman Augustus) and his men arrive at the silo to snuff out Eleven and his entire operation themselves.

stranger-things-eleven-nina-suit
Photo: Netflix

What Shows Will It Remind You Of? Netflix’s penchant for premature cancellation felt particularly egregious when the streamer axed The OA after two seasons. The multi-dimensional connectivity in Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij’s densely woven supernatural drama was just hitting its stride, and the bonds between the group of characters at its core were only becoming more galvanized. The OA is well worth a visit for any Stranger Things fans who missed it. At least do it for Old Night, the giant telepathic octopus.

Our Take: As they drive with Jonathan and Argyle to try and rescue Eleven, Will shows Mike the painting he made. His friend is at the front of a valiant cohort of warriors as they face down a three-headed dragon. “You’re guiding us,” Will reassures Mike, who worries about what role he’ll play in Eleven’s life, now that she’s regained her incredible power. “You’re leading the whole party. That’s what you do.” It’s a tender moment between old friends, and exactly the kind of scene that defines what’s at the core of Stranger Things. But Will’s painting is also a mirror onto the Dungeons & Dragons campaign made real that all of these friends – no matter where they are on Earth – have found themselves fighting. Vecna is the dragon; they are the noble vanquishers. In Indiana, Steve and Robin assemble Molotov cocktails, Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Erica (Priah Ferguson) lash blades onto lances, Nancy and Max (Sadie Sink) saw off the barrel of a shotgun, and Eddie and Dustin spar and joust with trash can lids. They’ve got a plan, this bunch, no matter how foolhardy. Because as we learned earlier this season, sometimes you just gotta roll that 20-sided die and let the action happen.

As big as Stranger Things has stretched in season four, the avenues by which its parallel narrative threads will converge are becoming more clear with the revelations of volume two. And that’s exciting, watching as all of these characters, long broken apart, find their way back to each other. As they journey home, back to Hawkins, where the big battle will occur, it makes the time it took to get here that much more satisfying. 

Sex and Skin: Nothing here, man.

Parting Shot: As an elemental, echoey version of Journey’s “Separate Ways” whispers on the soundtrack (Here we stand, worlds apart broken in two…), Steve stops the Winnie and Lucas, Erica, and Max disembark. Bug zappers in hand, they take up their positions for the fight to come. 

Sleeper Star: It’s a deep bench with the Stranger Things cast. But Joseph Quinn has brought Eddie Munson to life, variegating the Eddie Van Halen-haired Hellfire Club dungeonmaster’s act out tendencies against his sharp sense of humor, perceptive nature and palpable sense of empathy.    

Most Pilot-y Line: “With each victim he takes,” Brenner tells Eleven and Owens in the bowels of NINA, “Henry is chiseling at the barrier that exists between our two worlds.” Given what she saw in her vision, Nancy would likely be inclined to believe him.

Our Call: STREAM IT, obviously. There’s a reason Netflix’s servers briefly crashed when season 4 volume 2 dropped. The scale Stranger Things is operating on is big. At least two worlds big. And the gate between them is threatening to crack wide open.

Johnny Loftus is an independent writer and editor living at large in Chicagoland. His work has appeared in The Village Voice, All Music Guide, Pitchfork Media, and Nicki Swift. Follow him on Twitter: @glennganges

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What Time Will ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 Be on Netflix?

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The season finale of Riverdale aired in late July on The CW. Notice we said season finale? Thankfully, the beloved series will return for a seventh season, but, unfortunately, Season 7 will be the final installment of Riverdale.

If you already streamed the current season, make sure to read Alex Zalben’s interview with Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on Decider. If you’re waiting to binge Season 6 on Netflix, well, you better clear your calendar because all 22 episodes are about to drop on the streamer. What time will the sixth season of Riverdale debut on Netflix? What time does Netflix release shows? Here’s everything you need to know.

WHEN IS THE RIVERDALE SEASON 6 NETFLIX RELEASE DATE?

Riverdale Season 6 premieres Sunday, August 7 on Netflix.

HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN RIVERDALE SEASON 6?

The sixth season of Riverdale consists of 22 episodes.

WHAT TIME DOES NETFLIX RELEASE NEW SHOWS?

Netflix releases new episodes at 3:00 a.m. ET/12:00 a.m. PT.

WHAT TIME WILL RIVERDALE SEASON 6 BE ON NETFLIX?

Netflix is based out of California, so Riverdale Season 6 will be available to stream at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) beginning Sunday, August 7. If the clock strikes 12:00 (or 3:00 a.m. for folks on the East Coast) and you don’t see the new episodes, give it a moment, hit refresh, and then enjoy the show!

WILL THERE BE A SEASON 7 OF RIVERDALE?

Yes! Decider recently covered that very topic.

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Actress Anne Heche Suffers Severe Burns After Crashing Car Into Los Angeles Home

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Actress Anne Heche, known for her roles in such films as Donnie Brasco, Volcano and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was involved in a fiery car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles on Friday.

According to TMZ, Heche was driving a blue Mini Cooper and had first crashed into the garage of an apartment complex. Residents of the apartment complex tried to get her out of the vehicle but she backed up and sped off.

Footage of Heche speeding down the streets of her neighborhood had been obtained by TMZ as well as her initial encounter at the apartment complex.

In the first clip, you can hear her car crash towards the end. It has been reported that the actress crashed into someone’s home, causing her vehicle and the house to erupt into flames. Heche suffered severe burns and was resisting being taken away in a stretcher. You can also view footage of this via the TMZ article.

It has not been confirmed whether alcohol has been involved in the incident since her condition prevents doctors from performing any tests to determine if she was driving under the influence. She is currently intubated in the hospital but expected to live.

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These are the vulgar license-plate requests the DMV has rejected

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Stay CL4SSY, New York!

The state Department of Motor Vehicles nixed 3,752 requests for vanity license plates in the last three years because it deemed them too raunchy, radical or simply ridiculous.

New York’s personalized plates go for $60 initially, and then $31.25 annually for renewal. You can get any plate as long as no one else has it and it’s not offensive.

Odds are a request for a plate that marks a wedding anniversary or shows your allegiance to a team — like METS86 — will pass muster with the DMV gatekeepers.

Vulgarity won’t get you to first base.

So plates with the phrase LFGM — the acronym for Pete Alonso’s “Let’s F–king Go Mets” rallying cry — did not make the cut.

And you won’t see anyone driving around with the custom plates MILFDAD, AS5M4N and WLHUNG.

Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
New York DMV
NYC123
New York state Department of Motor Vehicles denied more than 3.5 thousand requests for license plates deemed inappropriate.
New York DMV
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
New York DMV

The DMV also put NICEBUNS, FATFANNY, GOTAPOOP and BENDOVER in the rear-view mirror.

One player unsuccessfully tried to score the plate YESDADDY, to no avail.

The DMV also shot down such dark requests as DEADGIRL, GENOC1DE, S8TAN, DETONATE and MURDERM3.

“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
New York DMV
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
New York DMV
BOOBIE is prohibited.
BOOBIE is prohibited.
New York DMV

Getting political is a dead end too — FJOEBIDN, FDTRUMP and CNNLIES were nixed.

LUDEDUDE, NARCO, GOT METH and BLUNT also went up in smoke.

Staten Island attorney Bill Dertinger said his blue 1995 Jaguar SJS was tagged with ESQLTD after his company and his 2014 Porsche had the plate GHOSTGTS because the sleek sportscar was white.

“The plates can make you stand out — which can be a curse or a blessing,” the 54-year-old Dertinger said. “Make sure you don’t cut anybody off.”

A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
New York DMV
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
New York DMV
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
New York DMV

There must be a New York Jets fan playing referee at the DMV because a request for the seemingly innocent plate GASE was sidelined. Ex-Jets head coach Adam Gase had an offensive 9-23 win-loss record during his forgettable two-year tenure.

The DMV would not reveal who gives the final yea or nay.

“The DMV reviews all custom license plate requests and works hard to ensure that any combinations that may be considered objectionable are rejected,” said agency spokesman Tim O’Brien.

“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
New York DMV
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
New York DMV

He said guidelines on what plate combinations are restricted can be found on the DMV website: https://dmv.ny.gov/learn-about-personalized-plates. Approximately 50,000 personalized and custom plates are sold per year, O’Brien said.

Bagged Tags

The state DMV has rejected 3,752 requests for custom license plates in the last three years because it deemed them potentially offensive. Here are some:

YESDADDY

FJOEBIDN

FDTRUMP

GLOCKS

FLYMOFO

BOOBIE

AS5M4N

BUDLIGHT

DEADGIRL

SUM8ITCH

GENOC1DE

S8TAN

CNNLIES

DETONATE

MURDERM3

MILFDAD

WLHUNG

Source: NYS DMV

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