Netflix has released seven episodes of Stranger Things 4 so far, and it’s clear that the chapter is leaning more heavily into horror than those that came before it. Now, with just two episodes to go, star Jamie Campbell Bower has warned fans that things are about to get even bleaker for Eleven and co.
In a new interview with Vanity Fair (opens in new tab), the actor – who joined the sci-fi hit’s ensemble cast in season 4 – was asked what audiences should expect from Volume 2, which is set to consist of two episodes entitled ‘Papa’ and ‘The Piggyback’. Avoiding spoilers, he kept pretty shtum, but he did reveal that they will have “darker” energy than their predecessors.
*Warning: The remainder of this article contains major spoilers for Stranger Things season 4, part 1, so if you’ve not caught up yet and want things to remain a surprise, you should click away now*
Volume 1 ended with Bower’s character revealed to be Henry Creel, the son of convicted murdered Victor Creel (Robert Englund), who has a complicated history with Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown). In the monologue-heavy finale, he recalls how he killed his mother and sister using his powers, and let his father take the blame. He also tells Eleven that he was the very first child to be experimented on by Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine) at Hawkins Laboratories.
As part of a twisted memory, young Eleven manages to overcome Henry/One after learning that he butchered several doctors and young patients, and her rage sends him to another dimension. There, we see him become Vecna, the villain who’s been terrorising Max Mayfield and other teens in Indiana in the present day.
In flashbacks to Henry’s childhood, which play out to Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) in the Upside Down, Henry explains his fondness for deadly spiders: a detail that led to Bower buying himself a vial of black widows to get into character.
“I would stare at them for hours and fall in love with them. I used to be very afraid of spiders,” he explained to the aforementioned publication. “As I’ve grown older and done more work on myself and my spirituality, I believe [in] the idea of all creatures great and small, that we’re all sharing, feeling, beautiful living things. That fear went away.”
Bower went on to say that because the vial was “very small”, he used to keep it in his pocket, and would often place it on a chair near to him on set whenever they were filming. “Much like Henry Creel, I had a book and I would draw them,” he concluded.
Check out our Stranger Things season 4 release schedule for more info on season 4 Volume 2, which is set to drop on July 1. If you’ve already binge-watched all seven episodes of Volume 1, why not check out our list of the best Netflix shows for some viewing inspiration.