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Stranger Things 4 introduced audiences to a handful of new characters. From new kids in California to new friends in Hawkins, plenty of characters are added to the story this season. One character, Ms. Kelly, played by Regina Ting Chen, is the counselor at Hawkins High School. However, we think there’s something much bigger happening with her storyline. Is Stranger Things 4 villain Vecna using Ms. Kelly?

[WARNING: This article contains detailed plot spoilers regarding Stranger Things 4 Volume I.]

'Stranger Things 4' character Peter Ballard, played by Jamie Campbell Bower seen here in the silo, transformed into Vecna. Ms. Kelly might be helping Vecna.
Jamie Campbell Bower as Peter Ballard | Cr. Tina Rowden/Netflix

Ms. Kelly is the connecting thread between Chrissy Cunningham, Fred Benson, and Max Mayfield

When Stranger Things 4 kicks off, audiences learn that Max and Lucas broke up between seasons 3 and 4. Since then, she’s suffered from headaches, nosebleeds, and horrific nightmares. We also meet Chrissy Cunningham in the first episode of Stranger Things 4, and Max catches her leaving Ms. Kelly’s office. Later, Max stumbles upon Chrissy forcing herself to throw up in the bathroom. 

After Chrissy’s death, Max looks into Chrissy’s visits with Ms. Kelly. She finagles her way into Ms. Kelly’s house and snags a key to her office at school. When going through Ms. Kelly’s files, Max learns that she, Chrissy, and Fred Benson (who’s also dead now) regularly visited the school counselor to discuss their issues. Not only that, both of them suffered from the same symptoms as Max.

Is ‘Stranger Things 4’ villain Vecna using Ms. Kelly to spy on his targets?

Stranger Things 4 executive producer Shawn Levy pointed out that everything in the series has intention behind it. Part of the reason fans speculate so much about the potential clues is that they know they have meaning. That’s why Ms. Kelly’s connection to at least three of Vecna’s victims stands out. 

In her interactions with Max, fans see Ms. Kelly press her about how she’s handling her grief over her stepbrother, Billy’s, death. This might serve as a way to gather intel for Stranger Things 4 big bad, Vecna. When Target accidentally released the Stranger Things 4 Monopoly game, it included a spot on the board for Ms. Kelly’s house. While it could just be a reference to Max’s stop there to get the key to Ms. Kelly’s office, that seems odd, considering all of the other places were obviously more significant.


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Ms. Kelly’s necklace hints at another connection with ‘Stranger Things 4’ villain Vecna

The Duffers continue to hint at the construct of time as an important factor throughout Stranger Things 4. Season 3 included several references to Back to the Future, and the use of clock imagery has always been plentiful. When we learn about Stranger Things 4’s villain Vecna’s origin story, he expresses disdain at the way humans use time to maintain order in their lives. At one point, we see him as a child turning the hands of a grandfather clock backward with his mind. Vecna’s victims also see the same grandfather clock in visions before he kills them.

When Max visits Ms. Kelly at her house in Stranger Things 4, Ms. Kelly greets her while wearing a gold necklace. The pendant on the chain is also a watch but shaped like a key. With Vecna’s obsession with time, it seems like too big of a coincidence for Ms. Kelly to also wear a necklace in the shape of a clock. Combine that with the Monopoly hint and the connection between Vecna’s victims, and the clues keep adding up that Ms. Kelly might have much more nefarious designs on the kids in Hawkins.

Hopefully, fans get an answer to this and much more in Stranger Things 4 Volume II. The final two episodes premiere on Netflix on July 1, 2022.