It's long been suspected that "Stranger Things" season four might feature a time jump, and for now, we know where and when the majority of the storyline takes place in the latest season. Following a three-year pandemic-induced hiatus, the Netflix sci-fi series is back with a bang. Set in the small Indiana town of Hawkins, "Stranger Things" tell the story of a group of teenagers who band together to fight the menacing supernatural forces tormenting their town. The drama takes place in the mid-'80s, complete with nostalgic walkie-talkies, classic synth-heavy hits, and retro 'fits.
The first season of "Stranger Things" takes place in 1983, while its follow-up second and third seasons are set in 1984 and 1985, respectively. Season three of the show ended with the Battle of Starcourt. While trying to defeat the Mind Flayer and close the Gate inside Hawkins National Lab to avoid further catastrophe, Hopper (David Harbour) sacrifices himself in what appears to be an endgame event for him. Following his apparent death, the show jumps three months forward, with the final moments of the season three finale taking place in October 1985. We learn that the Byers and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) have decided to move to California, as the gang say their goodbyes and promise to see each other during the holidays.
Season four picks up six months after we last saw the main characters. Eleven's opening sequence is a montage of what an average day in Lenora Hills, CA, looks like for her as she updates Mike (Finn Wolfhard) via letter. "Dear Mike, today is day 185," she says in a voiceover. She expresses her excitement for spring break as the current date appears on screen: March 21, 1986.
Fans, who were initially apprehensive that the lead actors' real-life growth over the production break might not align with their onscreen personas' ages, speculated that a significant time jump in season four might be in the cards. Those concerns were put to rest with the season four premiere, which reflects a seamless shift between the two seasons. Kudos to the actors who are pulling off their fictional counterparts incredibly well!