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Stranger Things Season 4 Is Fixing Its Biggest Joyce & Hopper Problem

Stranger Things’ season 4 images reveal Joyce traveling to Russia to save Hopper, which fixes the biggest problem for the two characters.

Netflix’s released images for Stranger Things season 4 reveal Joyce and Murray embarking on a Russian adventure to save Hopper, which proves the show is fixing its biggest Joyce and Hopper issue. Throughout the four teaser trailers, Joyce’s role in Stranger Things season 4 was largely a mystery, with only a few clues for her time in California and reconciliation with Hopper’s supposed death. However, Netflix’s official Stranger Things season 4 images reveal that she and Murray hop a plane to Russia to find Hopper, which sets up a much more exciting and well-deserved trajectory for her character.

Although Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) was the character who truly opened the town’s eyes to the supernatural phenomena in relation to Will’s season 1 disappearance, she’s repeatedly been written off as an over-worried mother. Her role in Stranger Things often complements Hopper’s, who is a reluctant believer trying to take on Hawkins’ conflicts from a more practical mindframe. While Joyce and Hopper are always paired in the adult group of characters who embark on the more logistic races to save their children, it’s typically Hopper, Hawkins’ lovable police chief, who comes out as the bigger hero.

RELATED: Stranger Things Season 4 First Look Photos Revealed by Netflix

With the reveal that Joyce and Murray will be concocting a plan to rescue Hopper from the Russian prison, Stranger Things season 4 is a refreshing role change for the would-be couple. This time around, Joyce gets to come off as the big hero as she attempts to break Hopper out of Russian prison and risk her own life to save him. Rather than Joyce taking on a bit of a second-in-command role for her investigations and journeys with Hopper, she gets to be the main savior as Murray Bauman helps her out. Considering Stranger Things’ season 4 image of Joyce and Murray also shows a crashed plane in the background, it’s safe to say that their journey to Russia nearly cost them their own lives, which makes her heroic task in getting Hopper out of prison all the more exciting.

Of course, the image doesn’t prove that Joyce and Murray’s Russian prison escape scheme will occur without any mishaps, as her plan to heroically save Hopper may very well backfire. Stranger Things season 4’s very first teaser trailer depicted Hopper still performing labor at the prison, suggesting he may have been mailing clues to Joyce for his location with the hope that she comes to rescue him. Hopper’s return will inevitably be met with joy by Stranger Things’ characters back in America, but the caveat is that they’ll also be able to celebrate Joyce for embarking on her risky rescue mission. Joyce doesn’t necessarily get the kudos she deserves from all of the Demogorgons she’s battled and mysteries she’s solved because Hopper is typically the one who takes on the more daring tasks, but her journey to Russia means she gets to take on the hero title this time.

After also taking in Eleven upon Hopper’s death fakeout, Joyce deserves another adventure in Stranger Things that allows her to take the forefront with heroic action, especially in terms of being the one to save the show’s resident hero, Hopper. Joyce has repeatedly taken on the sleuth role while Hopper does the heavy lifting; whether it be her discovery of the lights for communication in Stranger Things season 1, realizing Will’s drawings connected to the Mind Flayer in season 2, or investigating the magnetic field issues in season 3, she serves an important role in the series that doesn’t always allow her to receive the props she’s earned. While Hopper is still a heroic character in his own right, it’s a refreshing change of pace for Stranger Things season 4 to give Joyce the hero spotlight in her Russian rescue mission.

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