Stranger Things 5 returns to Hawkins Lab according to set video, and we have questions

What could make the Hawkins crew return to the place of the 1979 massacre?
STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven and Matthew Modine as Dr. Martin Brenner in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven and Matthew Modine as Dr. Martin Brenner in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

We're headed back to Hawkins in a big way for Stranger Things season 5. As the final chapter in the gripping sci-fi saga, it's time the chickens come home to roost, so to speak.

After its major departure in season 4, with half the cast ending up in California and partaking on a different journey that ran parallel to the one happening with the remaining Hawkins gang (plus a few in Russia!), Stranger Things cast members and writers have all promised that season 5 will revolve around Hawkins and return to the series season 1 roots with similar group dynamics.

Interestingly, the official Stranger Things Instagram story recently shared a snippet of filming taking place at the Hawkins Lab, in that same rainbow room where the massacre took place in 1979.

Screen Rant shares a screenshot of the Instagram story, which disappeared after 24 hours. The clip doesn't give us much, as it only shows a chair toppled over and the common room of the lab. We don't get to see which cast members are filming there.

STRANGER THINGS. Jamie Campbell Bower as Peter Ballard in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix. © 2022 /

The importance of Hawkins Lab

Hawkins Lab was a very important focal point during the show's fourth season because it's where Eleven met One, who we know turns out to be Henry Creel/Vecna, played by Jamie Campbell Bower.

It was at the lab where Henry murdered all of the other test subjects and personnel working there. But Eleven manages to overpower him and send him into the Upside Down where Henry slowly transformed into the creature we know as Vecna. So, why would we be returning to the Hawkins Lab in the fifth season?

Well, it would make sense for it to become a focal point since it's where everything really originated. It is the location of the first official Vecna vs. Eleven fight and perhaps the final fight between these two characters will also take place there. At the very least, it might just become a location for the characters to gather and search for clues, maybe they go there to find Henry's old files and see if there's something they can learn about his weakness?

Time travel theory

There have been a lot of hints that time travel could come into play during the fifth season. It has been suggested that time in the Upside Down is frozen on the date that Will Byers' disappeared (which happened right after Eleven opened the gate) and that the Hawkins crew could potentially use that revelation to travel back in time somehow.

Maybe they could even travel back in time to 1979 on the day of the massacre and prevent "Vecna" from ever being created in the first place. Of course, that would have radical effects on the entirety of the show and timeline, essentially undoing everything that happened across the series. From a storytelling perspective, that's kind of a copout ending and I don't imagine it would go over well with fans.

Another possibility is also the most obvious, and that's that filming is taking place in Hawkins Lab because it's part of a flashback or dream sequence. That seems like the most accurate prediction.

But we've got plenty of time left to theorize considering the show isn't returning until 2025 (at the earliest). Stay tuned to Netflix Life for more details and updates on all things Stranger Things.

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