**Warning! This article contains major spoilers for Stranger Things season 4, volume 1. **
Stranger Things season 4, volume 1 introduced the show’s most terrifying villain yet. Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower) spent the first seven episodes of the latest season terrorizing the teenagers of Hawkins – but could he be getting some help?
Vecna begins his rampage on Hawkins’ vulnerable teens with Chrissy the cheerleader (Grace Van Dien), before moving on to school reporter Fred (Logan Riley Bruner). By the time he reaches Max (Sadie Sink), the kids of the supernatural town begin to connect the dots about his victims. In particular, they notice how all of them have been speaking to school counselor Ms. Kelly (Regina Ting Chen) about the headaches and frightening visions they’d been having.
In episode three, Max and her friends sneak into her office to scour her notes to find out all they can about the connection to Vecna. Their big takeaways are that the victims have been experiencing similar symptoms and Vecna seems to be preying on those with traumatic pasts. Chrissy has an abusive relationship with her mom, Fred is dealing with the impact of a fatal car accident, and Max is still reeling from the death of her brother Billy at the hands of the Mind Flayer.
However, a major new theory suggests there may be another connection between Ms. Kelly and Vecna that the kids have yet to spot. This has to do with the ominous grandfather clock that appears in Vecna’s visions before he kills the teenagers. A TikTok user (opens in new tab) noticed a very similar one appears in Ms. Kelly’s home office.
In the scene in episode three when Max is speaking in her house, the clock can be heard chiming loudly. And what’s more, if you look closely, you can see a clock on Ms. Kelly’s necklace in the middle of the key pendant. These clues left some wondering if Vecna and Ms. Kelly may be the same person or if she may actually be helping him for another reason.
“So I’m not the only one who thought it was weird they didn’t show her making connections about the same symptoms in each student,” one speculated. Another penned: “Vecna can shape-shift, Right? Because if they can it’s a possibility that she’s shape-shifting as the woman.” While a third wrote: “Somethings gonna happen with that teacher in Vol 2.”
There’s a lot still to be answered about this theory as Vecna’s third victim Patrick (Myles Truitt) doesn’t appear to be visiting the counselor, nor does Nancy (Natalia Dyer) who is now being terrorized by the monster. As the episodes went on, we also saw less and less of Ms. Kelly, suggesting she may not be central to Vecna’s plans.
It seems like we’ll just have to wait and see if any more is revealed when Stranger Things season 4 returns on July 1. In the meantime, check out our guide to the best Netflix shows to stream right now.