Do we find out what The Curse of Vecna is?? Does it drain HP, take magic charges away, or something else entirely??

Source: Netflix Stranger Things

The Curse of Vecna opens on a flashback to the end of Season 3, showing Joyce destroying The Key (a Russian-built gateway into The Upside Down) with Hopper’s approval. However, it seems that Hopper survived as he is nowhere to be seen amid the wreckage of the Key.
We then see Max waking up from a nightmare and, after hearing sirens, goes outside to see numerous cop cars going to Eddies’s trailer. The police, led by new Chief Calvin Powell and a Deputy, Phil Callahan, immediately find Chrissy’s body upon entering the trailer and radio it in to dispatch, unknowingly being surveilled by some sort of government agency.

Mike has flown to California, and Will, Johnathan, Argyle, and El meet him at the airport. El greets him with a kiss. El has the entire day planned, naming off everything she wants to do with Mike, and also tells him that she is friends with Angela and Stacy, confusing Will. We also see that Murray, at the request of Joyce, has flown to Lenora Hills to potentially see if Hopper is still alive.

We get a quick scene of Steve and Robin in the video store they work at, discussing how different their love lives are, with Robin wishing they could just combine into one person. This show is full of nostalgia, but not having been in a video store for almost ten years, it brought back many memories of renting movies and/or games on Friday nights. There is just something about the atmosphere of the quintessential video store that can’t truly be replicated in full. The smell of the popcorn and candy, hearing the computer beeping for other customers renting stuff, to watching the previews on old CRT TVs was truly a relic of the times, and it was so nostalgic to see it here, where it just fits in perfectly.

The party that Lucas was invited to after he won the game in the previous episode turned into an all-nighter, and Lucas has his first hangover. Jason walks into the room to see the news playing, and after wondering why they weren’t still watching Thundercats, they all hear the report of somebody being killed. One of Jason’s friends jokes that “maybe Chrissy didn’t stand you up after all” but is quickly told that wasn’t funny. Jason then looks out the window to see police cars parking.

We cut back to Max, who has come to Dustin’s house to tell him she knows it was Chrissy who got murdered and that Eddie has to be the main suspect. Dustin vehemently denies that Eddie could do such a thing, and Max tells him she hasn’t gone to the cops yet because she saw something after the murder. In a flashback, we see Max watching TV as it turns to static, and, after hearing his screams, she goes outside to see Eddie speeding away in his van. Max says he was very scared, possibly because he just killed Chrissy, but Dustin says maybe it was because something ELSE did. They resolve to find Eddie and get his side of the story.

In another flashback, we see Hopper climbing a ladder after the destruction of the key but is apprehended by Russian Military officials after reaching the top. We then see him being interrogated about who he works for and who Joyce is. Still, he sarcastically asks them, “shouldn’t you know? She’s wearing a Russian uniform,” and his interrogation continues.

Reading the note that was inside of the Russian doll, Murray says it looks like a bad ransom note, but Joyce thinks it’s proof that Hopper could still be alive because it was signed “Enzo”, the name of the restaurant that they went on a date at. Murray still doesn’t believe her and says even if he did, the KGB has probably killed Hopper by now anyway. With neither backing off their opinion, Murray decides to call the phone number on the note “his way”.

El, Mike, and Will are dropped off at Rink-O-Mania, one of the places that El said she wanted to go with Mike earlier, by Johnathan and Argyle being told they’ll be back at six to pick them up. El lies to Mike about going there a lot for parties, which further confuses Will. Not noticing Mike was wearing sandals, El forgets he needs socks and sends him to the front counter to buy some, and Will confronts El about her lying, saying it won’t end well for her or Mike. Mike then returns, saying, “I asked for puke green, I got puke green,” in regards to his socks. Mike and El then take off to go skating leaving Will looking dejected. Angela, the bully who got in trouble in the previous episode for breaking El’s diorama, sees El and Mike skating and alludes to wanting to continue harassing El, saying, “looks like the snitch has a boyfriend.”

At Bennies Diner, Chief Powell and Deputy Callahan are questioning Jason and begin to ask him numerous questions about Chrissy, including whether she has taken drugs or has been seen with Eddie lately. This makes Jason ask whether or not Chrissy was the person who was killed. When told the truth, he assumes Eddie killed her and leaves the diner in a fit of anger and goes to the woods, and has a breakdown—needing a “base of operations,” Dustin and Max barge into the video store to use its database to find Eddies friend’s phone numbers. Steve begins to show some jealousy when it seems Dustin is becoming more of Eddie’s friend than his, and Max starts to fill Steve and Robin in on everything that has happened.

We cut to Nancy and Fred driving to the trailer park where Eddie lives. Fred wants to devise a “gameplan” and tries to impress himself on Nancy, saying he is here and accounted for while Johnathan is across the country in California, but Nancy quickly shoots him down. When they arrive at the trailer park, the police still have it cordoned off, and Nancy begins to try and sweet talk the Officer guarding the entrance, saying that their friend Max lives there and they need to check on her since she’s younger and her mom is at work. The cop looks at Fred and says he recognizes him as “the one who killed that kid last year” and calls him a murderer while slowly sounding and looking increasingly more demonic, with a distorted voice, rotting teeth, and slugs crawling on his face. This is revealed to be a hallucination, much like Chrissy had in episode 1, and the cop just asks Fred if he feels ok since he looks “peaked”. Fred says he is fine, and the cop lets them pass, telling them to be quick.
We then see Johnathan and Argyle are hitting golf balls at junked cars out in the desert, and Johnathan is talking about how he is relieved it wasn’t Nancy who called him earlier in the day. Argyle says it’s just the pot they’re smoking making his troubles “just float away”. Johnathan shows Argyle a letter he got saying he has been admitted into Lenora University and that he’s going there. Not the college Nancy is going to because she has too much potential and would throw her life away for him.

At the skating rink, Angela forcefully introduces herself to Mike, asking El, “where has she been hiding this handsome thing,” and snatches El away. Will then spills everything to Mike about El lying to him about school and about having friends. Next, Angela and her friends get the D.J. to play Wipeout and skate in a circle around El, teasing and mocking her. Finally, one of Angela’s friends throws a chocolate shake at El knocking her down and causing her to have a breakdown and run away crying.

Switching back to Murray and Joyce, we see Murray has routed the phone line through Durham, North Carolina but warns if it IS the KGB on the other end, they’ll be able to trace the call eventually, so be brief. The number goes to a Russian payphone, and a man identifying himself as Enzo answers. Joyce asks to make a reservation, as the note said, and Enzo tells her that a reservation costs $40,000. Enzo also tells her he knows that Hopper has the money in a trust for El. He tells Joyce that she needs to bring the money to a man named Yuri in Nome, Alaska, and as soon as Yuri brings the money to him, he will free Hopper from the prison. Telling them they have two days to get the money to Alaska, Enzo hangs up, and Joyce and Murray don’t think they’re any closer to figuring things out than they were before.

We cut to Hopper being thrown to the ground, and a Russian military official says he’s “still alive, but barely breathing,” after his previous torture session included Oxygen deprivation. Another officer says he’s strong, and perhaps Russia could use his strength and orders him to be sent to Kamchatka. The first officer says this is “generous” but is rebuffed, being told he “doesn’t know Kamchatka well,”. The conversation is quickly ended with the older officer saying Hopper doesn’t deserve the peace of death, so he is being sent to Hell. We see a U.S. Military helicopter land in a field, and an officer steps out being greeted with a salute and “Welcome to Indian, Colonel,” by men in fatigues.

Jason is now getting his friends together to get revenge on Eddie thinking the DnD group he DM’d must be a cult and must have used Chrissy as a sacrifice. Lucas tries to explain, without saying he played Dungeons and Dragons, that it was just a group of people playing a game and nothing bad goes on there. Jason is unconvinced and says Eddie is the “wrong type of guy,” and the game must have warped his mind. He uses this to convince everyone else that Eddie killed Chrissy and gets them fired up to find Eddie.

The scene shifts to Dustin and Max at the video store, trying to find any information that could help them find Eddie. Max finds out that Eddie gets his drugs from a man named “Reefer Rick” and that Eddie crashes at his house sometimes, though nobody can confirm he exists. Steve suggests that the police would have his information on file, as being a drug dealer, he was probably arrested at least once, and they would have gotten his information at booking. Robin and Dustin give him a hard time because it seems like Steve is just presuming Eddie’s guilt without any evidence. Steve defends himself, saying everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Dustin and Robin accuse him of using the store to try and pick up girls, but he retorts that he helps every customer equally, and with such a large selection of movies, some people could get overwhelmed and need more assistance. This gives Robin the idea to use the video store rental records to try and narrow down which Rick in their system could be Reefer Rick. After finding a Rick who rented a bunch of Cheech and Chong stoner comedies, Robin thinks they may have found their Reefer Rick, and the gang rushes out of the store to follow up on their lead.

Back at the trailer park, Nancy and Fred are going door to door looking for Eddie’s trailer. Nancy jokingly says they should question the dog since he’s “the cutest little witness” when she looks up to see Eddies uncle, Wayne, smoking outside. She tells him she heard from the neighbors that he found the body, but Wayne simply says he’s not interested in talking to a reporter. Nancy assures him that she works for a small paper that can’t compete with the big papers, and she wants to tell his side of the story. Fred starts to hear a clock chiming in the woods behind the trailer park and goes to investigate, while Wayne begins to talk to Nancy about how Eddie isn’t like people think he is based on his outward appearance. He continues to say whoever killed Chrissy was “pure evil” and asks if Nancy has ever heard Victor Creel’s name. He goes on to explain that Victor went insane and killed his entire family and then plucked their eyes out, much like what happened to Chrissy. This makes him think that Victor may have broken out of the asylum he was admitted to. He then goes on to compare Victor to Michael Myers, a merciless killer who never stops. Going deeper into the woods, Fred finds the same grandfather clock as Chrissy.

Hearing a dog’s bark draws Nancy’s attention to the woods where Fred went. Fred turns around in fear of seeing numerous people dressed in black standing in the woods with him. One of them, a child, raises her hand to point at Fred, and it starts becoming progressively more and more monstrous, and she calls him a murderer. Then all the people, monstrous in appearance, begin chanting “murderer, murderer,” at Fred. Finally, we
switch to another flashback of Hopper. Now he is newly arrived at Kamchatka and is getting his head shaved and being deloused. Afterward, a line-up of new recruits is given their first instructions upon arrival and told that they would be quickly killed if they tried to escape.

Joyce and Murray continue to listen to the recording Murray made of the phone call with Enzo, and Joyce thinks that she can hear another voice in the background of the call. Murray listens but says it’s too faint to make out. Joyce then has the idea to use the home stereo to have better audio quality, pops the cassette tape in, and gives Murray a pair of headphones. We cut back to see that Hopper is being escorted through the prison to his cell while the other prisoners yell at him. Using the stereo, Murray is able to hear that it’s an old woman in the background of the call, and she wants to use the phone. She gets angry and calls Enzo a “Moosor,” which Murray says is a slang term for trash or garbage. Joyce and Murray then deduce that Enzo is a guard at the prison Hopper was sent to and that maybe Hopper was able to bribe him to get information out.

After El’s breakdown, Mike and Will go to look for her and begin to fight because of how Will has been acting and not telling him the truth about El. We see that El has snuck into the employee’s only area of the skating rink and is hiding in the janitorial area crying. She looks out the window to see Angela and the other bullies and goes up to them, demanding an apology, but Angela refuses. Instead, Angela starts mocking El and making fun of her not having a dad around and turns around to walk away. Mirroring what happened in episode 1, El yells her name to get her attention, but instead of using her power, she steals a skate from someone and hits Angela in the face, giving her a bloody laceration. Seeing a bloody Angela and Will and Mike having just run up asking what she did she do prompts El to have a flashback of being in the lab with Doctor Brenner asking her the same thing years earlier.

Dustin, Max Robin, and Steve make it to the address they think might belong to Reefer Rick, but nobody seems to be home. Walking around back, Max finds another building, and upon investigating it, they eventually find Eddie hiding, who grabs Steve by the throat of out desperation and defense. After numerous pleas, the gang eventually convinces Eddie that they are there to help him, and he lets Steve go.

Night has fallen, and Nancy is still looking for Fred to no avail. Finally, she runs up to the cop from earlier to ask for help and, bewildered as to why she’s still there, calls in that they may have a situation. We then see Fred running through the woods to the highway, where he sees an overturned car on fire.

Eddie is recounting what happened to Chrissy to Dustin and the gang, and they say they believe everything. They then proceed to explain the Upside Down to Eddie and how it affects Hawkins while Fred continues to hallucinate seeing a man crawling out of the burning car. He then runs away into the woods and falls into a hole with a corpse in it. The corpse turns out to be Vecna, who says he wants Fred to join him. When Fred refuses, we see him levitating and brutally killed in the exact same fashion that Chrissy was in the previous episode. Using the Dungeons and Dragon’s knowledge they have the gang deduces that it could be Vecna that killed Chrissy by immobilizing her before he killed her. Steve asks, “Who’s Vecna?” Dustin and Eddie reveal that Vecna is a Dark Wizard of immense power. The episode ends with Vecna disconnecting his tendrils in the Upside Down.