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"Chapter Eight: Papa" is the eighth episode of the fourth season of Stranger Things and the thirty-third episode overall. It premiered on July 1, 2022, being the first episode of the second volume, and was directed by the Duffer Brothers.


Nancy has sobering visions, and El passes an important test. Back in Hawkins, the gang gathers supplies and prepares for battle.


Nancy and Vecna

In 1979, a young Eleven uses the last of her powers to close the gate to the alternate dimension she banished One to. After Dr. Martin Brenner enters the Rainbow Room and sees the carnage inside, he asks Eleven what she had done, but Eleven faints from overexertion.

Back in 1986, Nancy Wheeler, trapped in Vecna's curse, observes a younger Brenner tattoo One, and is shocked when he acknowledges her presence. Exiting, she finds herself in the halls of Hawkins Lab the day the massacre occurred, dead bodies and screaming littering the hallway as she attempts to flee. In reality, Steve Harrington yells for the crew to hurry and find some form of music to play for Nancy, but they can't find anything. Nancy finds a door covered in boards, and desperately breaks them off slowly as Vecna begins to approach her, saying he wants to show her where he is going. When Nancy finally breaks through, Dr. Brenner tells her to take a seat as the lights go out. When they come back on, Nancy finds herself strapped down to the tattoo chair as Vecna approaches her. Looming over Nancy, Vecna says he wants her to tell Eleven everything she sees. Using his abilities, he forces Nancy to see a psychic vision of Hawkins being destroyed by the Upside Down's invasion, much to Nancy's horror. Vecna finally releases her back to reality, causing Nancy to fall into Steve's arms, shaken and out of breath.

In the gulag in Kamchatka, the Russian Demogorgon becomes rogue and attacks the arena while the guards attempt to fight it. In the security room, Murray Bauman forces guards at gunpoint to tell the guards outside by radio that everything is under control, while Dmitri Antonov interrogates a doctor on how to escape, and Yuri Ismaylov remains tied up. Meanwhile, Joyce Byers dresses a cut on Jim Hopper's arm as she tells him he is the hero of Hawkins, and that Eleven misses him dearly. Murray cuts off their conversation and alerts them that the demogorgon has climbed out of the area and has begun killing more guards. The group hear noises from another room and slowly approach it, discovering a vivisected Demodog tied to a gurney, thrashing around and screeching in agony. Hopper puts it out of its misery with a gunshot to the head, but the group notices there is more to the room; inside, several demodogs are preserved in tanks, and Joyce, Hopper, and Murray recognize a piece of the Mind Flayer trapped inside a large box. Dmitri alerts the group that he has found a vent that can lead them out of the prison, and the group slowly file in.

In Nevada, Eleven is resuscitated after her experience of what happened in Hawkins National Laboratory, inside the Nina Project's sensory deprivation tank, having a brief vision of her mother Terry Ives before fully regaining consciousness. Ignoring Brenner and Dr. Sam Owens, she wordlessly lifts the NINA tank off its hinges before lowering it back down to the ground, finally regaining her powers and earning an approving look from Brenner.

Brenner and El face-off - Papa

Right outside Las Vegas, Jonathan Byers, Argyle, Mike Wheeler, and Will Byers continue their search for Eleven in the Surfer Boy Pizza van. Mike expresses concern that Eleven won't need him anymore once she regains her powers, and Will expresses sympathy. He hands Mike the painting he was intending to give him at the airport - a mural of Mike, Will, Dustin and Lucas in D&D regalia fighting a large dragon. Impressed, Mike asked if he painted it, and Will said he did for Eleven since she commissioned it (this was a lie, since Will refused to show the painting to anyone). Jonathan, driving and noticing the lie, eavesdrops as Will points to Mike's character on the painting having a heart. He tells Mike that he is the "heart" of the Party, and without it, they'd fall apart, especially Eleven. He begins to say that "El" has been so lost without Mike, and that it's hard for her to make friends since she's "different" and feels like "a mistake". But he says Mike gives "El" hope, and if she was pushing him away, it was because she was scared of losing him. Will finishes his analogy and says that "El" will and always will need him, easing Mike and cheering him up. Will, however, turns away to window and sobs silently into his hand, heartbroken he can't express his true feelings. Jonathan, disheartened, continues to drive silently.


At NINA, Brenner explains to El that like One, the overexertion of her powers caused El to fall in a coma. When she awoke, all of her memories prior to the event were erased and her powers were weakened. Brenner, who pieced together what happened when looking through security cameras, said he searched the Upside Down when El opened it because he believed One was still out there. Owens approaches and shows El autopsy reports of three victims Vecna has taken in Hawkins - Chrissy Cunningham, Fred Benson, and Patrick McKinney - while also saying that her friends are safe for now. But Brenner warns El that Vecna is through weakening the barrier between worlds through every kill he commits, and Hawkins will be destroyed once he fully breaks through. Eleven leaves to her room, overwhelmed, as Owens expresses distaste for Brenner's brutal honesty. In her room, El turns on her sink and uses her powers to enter the Void to find her friends.

Back in Hawkins, in Max Mayfield's trailer, Nancy tells her friends the vision Vecna showed her. In it, she saw downtown on fire, a large creature with a gaping mouth (which Dustin, Lucas, and Max piece together as the Mind Flayer), dead soldiers, and an army of monsters invading her family and friends homes, tearfully telling them she saw her mother Karen Wheeler, Mike, and her little sister Holly Wheeler dead. Steve attempts to comfort her and say that Vecna is just trying to scare her since it hasn't happened, but Nancy corrects him by saying it hasn't happened yet. Nancy then adds that the last thing she saw were four gates, with one of them being the gate that formed in Eddie Munson's trailer following Chrissy's death. Max realizes that Vecna has a motif of working in fours, with his clock always chiming four times. She and Lucas Sinclair realize that Vecna has been telling him his plans the whole time; four murders will cause four gates and the destruction of the world, with Dustin Henderson realizing that he's only one kill away from succeeding. Max dials the Byers' phone number once more, but she receives nothing more than a busy signal.Nancy says that whatever is happening in Lenora Hills to their friends is connected to the Upside Down, and in order to protect them, they need to go back to the Upside Down, much to everyone's protest. Robin Buckley and Steve say that Vecna is too powerful and it wouldn't be a fair fight, but Dustin notes that since Vecna is a number like Eleven, he must share her weaknesses, one of them being that their physical bodies are open to attack when they travel through the Void. Since Vecna always travels in people's minds through the Upside Down version of the Creel House, they could attack him while he is in another person's mind. Robin says that even if that worked, they don't know who Vecna is going to attack next, but Max says that she still is Vecna's target even after escaping, and if she ditches her Walkman, she can draw back his attention. Lucas tells Max that Vecna will kill her, but Max said she can survive again as long as the group can find a way to permanently kill Vecna before he can land the final blow.

Eleven, witnessing this in the Void, realizes that her friends are in danger and begins to panic. Eddie shows the group that there is a weapon store in Hawkins named the War Zone that has all the battle gear they need for Vecna, and the location is far enough to avoid cops and "angry hicks". Erica Sinclair is hesitant since she believes a place like the War Zone is the epicenter for angry hicks, but Nancy says they need the weapons. When they realize biking to the War Zone would take too long, Eddie comes up with a suggestion. Using Max's Michael Myers mask to hide his face, Eddie leads the group into a couple's motorized RV, hotwiring it and having Steve drive off with it.

S4E8-Eddie introducing the War Zone

In Nevada, Eleven angrily confronts Owens that her friends aren't safe, and they're planning on killing One. Owens calms her down and tells her he has agents who will go and protect Max and her friends, but Eleven tells him to send her instead. Brenner interjects and tells Eleven that neither she nor her friends are prepared for this fight. Brenner says that One's absence has resulted in him growing stronger, while Owens insists that it is Eleven's choice to leave. Owens reminds Eleven that she has the choice to leave at any time, and she walks away from Brenner, deciding to return to Hawkins.

Katinka Helicopter

The Kamchatka group crawl out of the vents outside the base, and drive through the gates in a stolen van. Antonov warns the group that the guards will do anything to track them down, and so they go to Yuri's warehouse in hopes of him having another plane. All he has is a helicopter that he is unsure can fly the distance between Russia and America, and so Joyce suggests calling Owens in hopes of getting help. Antonov places the call, but warns them that the KGB will be monitoring them if anyone picks up.

The War Zone

On the way to the War Zone, Nancy sits in the passenger seat as she listens to Steve reminisce of his dream of having a large family and doing a cross-country road trip in an R.V. to California. Nancy notes that the idea is nice, except for how many kids Steve desires to have, but Steve points out the "practice" he has with the younger kids. In the back, Lucas approaches Max with a plan to go back to Hawkins High to look through Ms. Kelley's files and see if there is another patient experiencing Vecna's curse, but Max stops him and tells him that they would be putting a stranger at risk who would have no idea what they were up against, unlike her. Instead, her plan is to lure Vecna in her mind, and instead of wallowing in her traumatic memories, she instead will hide in a good memory while her friends kill him in reality. Lucas flirtatiously asks if the memory she had in mind featured him, and Max smugly tells him that he may have been there. The two promise that once Max levitates, Lucas will play Kate Bush on her Walkman. At the War Zone, Max, Nancy, Steve, Robin, and Erica stock up on weapons and battle outfits. Robin notices Vickie roaming the store and begins to approach her after encouragement from Steve, only to stop when Vickie's boyfriend, Dan, approaches and kiss her, causing Robin to run away in embarrassment. At the gun counter, Nancy runs into an increasingly unhinged Jason Carver, who's purchasing a revolver. She attempts to give Jason sympathy for Chrissy's death, but after Jason forcefully asks if Mike or his friends from the Hellfire Club are with her, Nancy sternly tells him to step away. The group leaves the store in a hurry, and Jason watches the RV drive away.

S4E8-Erica, Robin, Nancy, Steve, & Max

The California group arrive at Suzie Bingham's coordinates, but find nothing until Argyle notices military tire tracks in the dirt. As they start to follow them, Lt. Col. Jack Sullivan's men, farther up the path, converge on the bunker. Owens schedules Eleven's trip to Hawkins and asks his contact to check on Max, but is cut off at the last part and approached and detained by several guards. Brenner locks Eleven in NINA's room and warns her that his men will kill Owens if she tries to save him. As Brenner orders that El will stay with him until he decides that she's ready to return to Hawkins, El begins to question if he really makes the right choices, bringing up how he forced her mother to become brain dead through electric shock therapy. Brenner defends his actions by saying Terry killed a man with a gun at the "hospital", but El angrily corrects him by calling Hawkins Lab a "prison", and asks him if putting One alone with the other child experiments was a right choice. Brenner attempts to manipulate El and turn his actions on her, saying that El let One out of the Upside Down in 1983, but an enraged El tells him off for what he has done; opening the Gate, releasing the Mind Flayer, traumatizing her friends, killing so many innocent people, (Bob Newby, Barbara Holland, Billy Hargrove, Chrissy Cunningham, Fred Benson, Patrick McKinney) all because he was too selfish to let One go, causing Brenner to tear up in shame. El concludes that he originally agreed to come to NINA to see if she truly was a monster, but instead it was Brenner all along. She sternly tells him she's leaving with Dr. Owens, and will kill Brenner if he attempts to stop her. She forces open the door, but Brenner injects her with sedative. Enraged, she pins him against the tank and almost kills him, but passes out before she can.


The Party group preps their weapons in a field. Max helps Nancy cut off the barrel of her gun, despite both of them realizing it's a felony. Eddie and Dustin bond when making shields out of garbage cans, with Eddie making Dustin promise to never change after making a corny joke. Erica and Lucas bond when making spears, with Erica admitting that even if Lucas is a "bench-riding loser", he is still her brother and wants to support him. As Steve and Robin prepare Molotov cocktails, Steve questions Vickie and Dan's relationship, but Robin dismisses it, becoming worried that their battle might not work out like previous times. Steve and Robin talk about how though not everything has a happy ending and though their friend group is a "lot of fools", they're the only ones willing to stop Vecna. The two clink their cocktails together and toast to killing Vecna/Henry/One.

S4E8-Beholding Katinka

Eleven awakens with an electric collar around her neck just as Sullivan's men arrive and break into the bunker. Sullivan's men easily shoot down NINA's guards as Brenner evacuates with Eleven. Sullivan finds a handcuffed Owens just as Brenner escapes onto the surface, only to realize NINA's staff have been shot down by a sniper in a helicopter, and soon joining them as he's fatally shot multiple times in the torso. The sniper asks for authorization to kill Eleven, and as Owens begs Sullivan not to, he orders him to do it. The sniper is distracted by Argyle's van arriving on the scene, giving Eleven time to get up and use her powers to crash the helicopter right on the entrance to the bunker. The group arrives, and she, Mike and Will embrace. A dying Brenner deactivates the collar.

Eleven approaches him and lets him touch her face, and he tells her that she is his daughter, he is proud of her, and he only wanted to help her. Eleven looks at her friends, back at Brenner, and then lets go of his hand and says "Goodbye, Papa," leaving with her friends. Sullivan emerges from the bunker, and both he and Brenner watch as the van drives away. Eleven warns her friends that they need to find a way to Hawkins or their friends are all going to die.

In Hawkins, the group drive silently as Max, Lucas and Erica are dropped off at the Creel House and enter.

Papa - final shot


The official teleplay for "Papa"



Also Starring[]




  • "Natty Dread On The Go" by Lone Ranger - The California boys pass a Surfer Boy Pizza sign in Nevada; Will and Mike discuss Eleven.
  • "Twilight's Fires" by The Red Army Choir - Murray crashes the van through the prison gates as he, Hopper, Joyce, Dmitri, and Yuri escape.
  • "Up Around the Bend" by Creedence Clearwater Revival - Eddie starts up the stolen R.V. and Steve drives off as the owners fail to catch the Party.
  • "Fire and Rain" by James Taylor - Steve tells Nancy about his dream to have a family and travel across the country; Lucas and Max talk in the back of the R.V.
  • "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo" by Rick Derringer - Max, Nancy, Steve, Robin, and Erica arrive at the War Zone and get the supplies that they need.
  • "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" by Journey (Bryce Miller/Alloy Tracks Remix) - The Party drives in silence as Lucas, Max, and Erica are dropped off at the Creel House.

Original score[]

  • "Demogorgons in Tanks" - Hopper and the others discover cryogenic tanks containing frozen Demodogs, along with a piece of the Mind Flayer.
  • "Project Nina" - Eleven demonstrates her powers by lifting the NINA isolation tank.
  • "Being Different" - Will shows Mike his painting and tries to express how he feels about him; Jonathan overhears their conversation.
  • "Nine Feet Tall" - El, Owens, and Brenner discuss Henry's return.
  • "Eleven is Gone" - An worried Eleven listens in on her friends in Hawkins, through use of the Void.
  • "Four Gates" - The Party and co discuss Vecna's plans, and Nancy shares what Vecna had shown her.
  • "Sleeping Dracula" - The group make a plan-of-attack against Vecna.
  • "Mugshot" - Brenner and Owens argue about Eleven.
  • "Kids Two" - Robin sees Vickie shopping at the War Zone, and Steve encourages her to speak to her.
  • "Choices" - Robin runs away in tears when seeing Vickie kissing Dan; a concerned Steve chases after her.
  • "Top Secret Location" - Argyle notes the size of the tire tracks in the desert, realizing they're military.
  • "All Evil Must Have A Home" - An incensed Eleven blames Brenner for the bloodshed in Hawkins, and names him "the monster".
  • "Project Nina" - Eleven threatens to kill Brenner if he tries to stop her and Dr. Owens from leaving.
  • "I Wouldn't Remember Me Either." - Dustin and Eddie play-fight; Lucas and Erica bond while making spears.
  • "Religious American" - Steve and Robin admit their fears to one another.
  • "They Found Us" - Colonel Sullivan and his army arrive at NINA; Brenner informs a drugged Eleven that they've come to kill her.
  • "Still Dizzy" (alternate version) - Eleven reunites with Mike, Will, Jonathan and Argyle.
  • "Eleven's Theme (Orchestral Mix)" (an orchestral mix of "Eleven", composed by Rob Simonsen)[3] - A dying Brenner begs for Eleven's understanding; El coldly wishes him farewell.

Influences and references[]

See also: Influences & references


  • Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
    • Steve attempts to theorize how Vickie could be straight and rent a movie like Fast Times, hypothesizing that she could have a "horned-up" brother or she had a crush on Judge Reinhold.
  • Halloween (1978)
    • When sneaking out from Max's trailer, Eddie uses Max's Michael Myers' mask she used for trick-or-treating to disguise himself.
  • Sixteen Candles (1984)
    • The appearance of Vickie was based on Samantha Baker's appearance in the film.



  • Starsky & Hutch (1975-1979)
    • Joyce says that Murray is the "Starsky" to her "Hutch".


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