Stranger Things Season 4 Volume 2 Easter Eggs & References

This article contains spoilers for Stranger Things season 4, volume 2.

Stranger Things season 4, volume 2 is packed with Easter eggs and references. Netflix's biggest TV series, Stranger Things is building momentum towards its dramatic conclusion in season 5. The end of Stranger Things season 4, volume 2 saw Hawkins face its most terrifying threat yet, as Vecna succeeded in opening what appear to be massive gates to the Upside Down, exposing the entire town to the monsters of that dangerous realm.

Vecna, it seems, has been the true villain of Stranger Things all along. Dr. Brenner's Number One was banished into the Upside Down by Eleven years ago, but during his time there he discovered how to control mysterious particles that allowed him to create the Mind-Flayer and its hive mind. Now, at last, he has stepped out of the shadows to confront the heroes of Hawkins directly. Eleven and her friends succeeded in driving him back, but it turned out to be a Pyrrhic victory, because Max died for a full minute before she was somehow resurrected by Eleven. She was too late, with the death tearing apart the boundaries between the world all the same.

Related: Everyone Who Dies In Stranger Things 4 Volume 2 (Including The Finale)

The last two episodes of Stranger Things season 4 were truly action-packed, with so many of the characters forced to make sacrifices to save the world. They were also, of course, packed with Easter eggs - specifically, references to classic '80s films. Here are all the key Easter eggs and references in Stranger Things season 4, volume 2.

One key scene in Stranger Things season 4, volume 2 sees Hopper discover a Demogorgon lab in the Russian prison, with the Russians conducting experiments upon captured Demogorgons. Remarkably, they've also succeeded in extracting some of the particles Vecna uses to create the hive mind - but this particular experiment proves to be a mistake, when the particles are released and reanimate the Demogorgons. The scene looks visually identical to one from Alien Resurrection; although this film wasn't released until 1997, making it a surprising Easter egg in Stranger Things, it may be a homage to Winona Ryder. She starred in that film and plays Joyce in Stranger Things.

There's something of a double Easter egg in Stranger Things season 4, episode 8 - with Eddie wearing a Michael Myers mask. This isn't just a nod to Halloween; it's also an appropriate call-back to Stranger Things season 2, when Max wore the same mask on Halloween. Clearly, she kept it, signifying how important her friendships really became to her.

Stranger Things has a habit of styling its characters after '80s icons, and that pattern resurfaces in Stranger Things season 4, volume 2 when Robin sees her crush Vickie. Vickie is modeled after Molly Ringwald in 16 Candles, and even sports the same hairstyle. The scene is a heartbreaking one for Robin, who sees Vickie with her boyfriend, but fortunately things are looking up for her by the end of Stranger Things season 4.

Related: Vecna & Mind Flayer Connection Fully Explained

"This mind fight is on," Argyle declares - proving he's far more than just Stranger Things season 4's designated driver. He leads his friends in putting together a new sensory deprivation tank, one that will help Eleven enter Max's mind to help her against Vecna. This is shown in a delightful DIY montage that seems as though it's a homage to the classic '80s TV series The A-Team, even if - for once - Stranger Things avoids a musical reference. To be fair, the triumphant A-Team theme probably wouldn't have worked with season 4's suspenseful mood.

Murray plays a key role in Stranger Things season 4, volume 2, although he's curiously absent in the final scenes. Still, during the drive into the Russian prison the character gets to channel his inner Han Solo "I dunno, Jim, I got a bad feeling about this," he observes, echoing Han's famous line.

In Stranger Things season 4, Enzo actually appeals to Yuri using real-world history. He recalls legends of Yuri's heroism at Damansky in the Sino-Soviet border conflict in 1969, a seven-month clash that brought the world's two largest Communist countries - China and the U.S.S.R. - into a state of war. Yuri's experiences at Damansky clearly shook him to the core, and Enzo's appeal pushes all the right buttons to make him act.

Max's best memory is a beautiful Easter egg to Stranger Things season 2, as she remembers the Hawkins ball where she danced with Lucas. Max and Lucas may have broken up, but she clearly still cares deeply for him, and this is one of the happiest moments in her life. There's a certain degree of irony to Max seeking to escape at the ball, however, given season 2 ended with a glimpse of the Mind-Flayer stood over the school in the Upside Down even as the children celebrated their latest escape. This time round, Vecna is able to break through, with the scene drawing imagery from the Stephen King movie Carrie - complete with balloons that burst in an explosion of blood and the general blue aesthetic.

Related: Of Course Eddie's Upside Down Song Was Perfect!

Stranger Things season 4 episode 9 takes a dramatic turn when Eleven manages to fight back against Vecna, strengthened by Mike's love - at the same time Murray launches a flamethrower attack on the Demogorgons in Russia. The shock ripples through the Mind-Flayer's hive mind, freeing Steve, Robin, and Nancy in the Upside Down. "I don't believe in a higher power or divine intervention, but that was a miracle," Robin gasps. The line evokes memories of a famous scene featuring Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta in Pulp Fiction.

Stranger Things season 4 has featured a number of nods to the Halloween franchise, and it's appropriate that Vecna's fate is similar to that of Michael Myers. Just as in the 1978 movie, Vecna is shot several times before falling backwards out of a second-story window, landing on the ground. The similarities don't end there, because - just as in Halloween - the killer's body disappears. No doubt some viewers will feel the final scene is also reminiscent of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, with Nancy taking on the role of Sarah Connor when she uses a shotgun against her enemy.

Stranger Things season 4, volume 2 features a number of flashbacks, principally to seasons 2 and 3. Joyce remembers Bob Newby's brutal death in season 2 when she rescues Hopper from the Demogorgon, while Eleven remembers her own times with Max as she grieves her friend's death. These memories clearly give Eleven the strength to save Max's life.

Stranger Things season 4, volume 2's conclusion includes a scene in which the friends look over a badly-injured Max, who's still in a coma after being dead for over a minute. Lucas is reading from the Stephen King and Peter Straub co-written horror novel The Talisman, specifically a section in which a character opens their eyes. Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer are working with Steven Spielberg to make an adaptation of that particular King novel for Netflix, so it seems like a very appropriate Easter egg - even if the project is only in its earlier stages. The Talisman features earthquakes and other dimensions, meaning it fits perfectly with Stranger Things season 4's overall plot.

More: Everything We Know About Stranger Things Season 5: Cast, Setting & Story

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