Stranger Things: Season 4 Killed One Potential Spinoff

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Before season 4 unveiled all of Hawkins Lab’s secrets, one possible Stranger Things spinoff might have explored those mysteries.

While there are still many untold mysteries in Stranger Things, season 4 of the Netflix sensation put an end to any interest in one specific spinoff. After the popular series concludes with its impending fifth season, it has already been established that Stranger Things will give rise to a number of spin-offs. Although the plots for these Stranger Things spinoffs have not yet been revealed, online fans have conjectured that they may depict the beginnings of Hawkins Lab, follow Eleven and the group as they embark on adult adventures, or even focus on Dustin and Steve’s comical antics.

However, Stranger Things season 4 killed off at least one of these potential offshoot plots. Stranger Things successfully disclosed the history of Hawkins Lab by having Dr. Brenner and Henry Creel/001/Vecna describe their separate roles in the organization’s early years. As a result, the background of the mysterious covert operation was fully explained. A Hawkins Lab prequel show would thus be impossible because there is nothing left for a hypothetical Stranger Things spinoff to explore. Stranger Things has a wide cast of people to focus on in subsequent projects, which means the loss of this prospective spinoff won’t have an impact on the show’s future, as observed by series star Maya Hawke.

Hawkins Lab Could Have Been Expounded in a Stranger Things Spinoff

One of the most apparent stories for a Stranger Things spinoff to investigate would have been explaining Hawkins Lab for many reasons. For starters, Hawkins Lab predates the events of Stranger Things season 1 and appears to be the origin of nearly all supernatural phenomena in the series, whether it was because it purposefully sought out paranormal beings or just happened to stumble onto them by mistake. Another benefit of revealing the history of Hawkins Lab was that it would have given the 80s-obsessed Stranger Things a new look and feel to experiment with by setting a spinoff in an earlier era.

Dr. Brenner’s Plot and Henry Creel’s Plot Killed This Story

However, Vecna, the villain from Stranger Things season 4, ultimately ended this spinoff’s possibility for narrative development when he revealed his origins to Nancy and Eleven. Henry Creel, a young boy with psychic prowess who served as the initial subject of Dr. Brenner’s studies, was identified by Vecna as his identity. Henry’s backstory was revealed to be the history of Hawkins Lab, a discovery that was confirmed when Stranger Things revealed his tattoo of the number 001. Before Dr. Brenner started testing the boy, there was no shadowy, non-governmental organization, and when Dr. Brenner passed away at the conclusion of Stranger Things season 4, the story was neatly wrapped up.

The fourth season of Stranger Things opened several new plotlines and characters while also permanently closing certain others. Hawkins Lab’s objectives were clarified by learning of the connection between Dr. Brenner and Vecna, and the lab’s success was demonstrated by the NINA Project’s destruction and Eleven regaining her powers.

The Hawkins Lab narrative, which had been a major part of the program since the first season, came to an end with Dr. Brenner’s death and the revelation of his great scheme in Stranger Things season 5, which promises to bring back certain aspects of season 4. Now that Hawkins Lab is no longer shrouded in mystery, a Stranger Things spinoff focusing on the location would be completely pointless.

Why a Stranger Things prequel can no longer be a spinoff

While there are still many potential spinoff plots for Stranger Things, season 4 has changed things so that the most intriguing ones will no longer be prequels. The idea of a prequel taking place in the 1950s or 1960s seemed intriguing prior to the events of Stranger Things season 4. The 1950s, more so than the 1980s, were a period characterized by Cold War paranoia in popular culture, giving it the ideal backdrop for a drama about a secret government plot. A spinoff establishing the past of Hawkins Lab might have done the same for the cultural obsessions of the 1950s, much like how Stranger Things season 4’s satanic panic narrative exploited small-town urban myths of the 1980s for satire and genre thrills equally.

This is no longer a possibility, though, as Stranger Things season 4 left no unexplored territory in the Hawkins Lab storyline. A series established before the events of Stranger Things would suddenly find it difficult to explain its existence, but Stranger Things spinoffs may still be sequels that explore the universe of the series into the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. This would be especially true if the Stranger Things spinoff was based in Hawkins, a sleepy community known only for Dr. Brenner’s mysterious Lab. Thankfully, Stranger Things will continue to feature many of its other characters in its inevitable spinoffs.