Netflix’s Stranger Things brings a new villain to Hawkins, but while the gang tries to deal with him, Murray is off helping Joyce and saving the day.
The following contains spoilers for Stranger Things Season 4, Volume 1, now streaming on Netflix.
Stranger Things Volume 1 of Season 4 brings audiences back to Hawkins once more for a horror-inspired action-packed series. There appears to be a new villain in town, but Joyce and Murray aren’t too concerned as they are off to save Hopper from a Russian prison. During this time, Murray somehow manages to save the day on more than one occasion, showing that he’s not just there to act as the comic relief.
This season introduces audiences to Vecna, the new BBEG (Big Bad Evil Guy), to a scattered group of friends. In California, Eleven has gone off to regain her lost powers while Will, Mike and Jonathan try to find her. Back in Hawkins, the rest are trying to save Max from falling to Vecna’s curse by looking into the creature’s past. By the last episode, the series reveals that Vecna is One, the first child to be part of Dr. Brenner’s experiments at the Hawkins Laboratory. Then there is Joyce and Murray, who have traveled all the way to Alaska to make a deal with a prison guard via a smuggler to get Hopper back. However, the two of them find themselves captured and on the way to being handed over to the KGB.
Murray and Joyce arrive in Alaska in one piece, ready to exchange $40,000 for Hopper’s release. However, they get double-crossed by Yuri Ismaylove, known as the Peanut Butter Smuggler, who drugs them and puts them on his plane. When they wake, they attempt to escape, which surprisingly works. Murray has taken up martial arts and is now a black belt. While he may have only ever trained with children, he successfully manages to take down Yuri with a little help from Joyce, but then the plane crashes. Now they are stranded in the middle of the Russian wilderness, but with some convincing, they get Yuri to help them.
They travel to Yuri’s stash house and concoct a plan to break into the prison. Murray shines once more as he dresses up and pretends to be Yuri to do the prisoner exchange. He successfully manages to fool the guards at the gates by acting and dressing as Yuri. Murray does a very accurate Yuri imitation, so much so that he even convinces the major in charge of the prison. That’s until he breaks character and pulls a gun on him, ushering him to the surveillance room. Murray then manages to take down three men all by himself, so they can help save Hopper and Enzo from the Demogorgon.
Murray has kicked ass throughout this latest season, but it’s not just his physical prowess that should impress audiences. As an investigative journalist, he is very intuitive and can sense things about people, even hinting to Joyce that he knows something about Will’s sexuality. Before this, he could tell that there was something between Nancy and Jonathan and between Joyce and Hopper. However, like Robin, this forwardness can make people uncomfortable at times, but it makes Murray all the more endearing.
While he has shown time and again that he can get things done, people often don’t take him seriously because of his eccentric personality. Underneath his rugged exterior and quirkiness, he is a big ol’ softy, supporting his friends when they need it while also giving them sagely advice. Murray is then able to elevate the comedy of the series, which takes on a more somber tone, by just being himself. Stranger Things‘ Murray shows that psychic powers aren’t needed to help save the day… though it may take a few martial arts lessons.
Stranger Things Season 4, Volume 1 is available to stream on Netflix. Volume 2 arrives on July 1.
Dana da Silva is a Mozambican digital content creator based in Johannesburg, South Africa, who works as a TV Features Writer for CBR. She has a variety of skill sets and years of experience having worked as a journalist, project manager and editor. Her interests are in a variety of different Fandoms, which include Star Wars, Anime, Doctor Who, the MCU, etc. When it comes to her writing, she strives to feature topics that focus on inclusion, representation and diversity. Having completed her Masters in Journalism and Media Studies in 2021 on the Representation of LGBT+ people in South African Print, her writing aims to be balanced and well-researched. Her hobbies include reading #BookTok books, Making Cosplays, Playing DnD and watching the latest TV shows and movies.