Is Stranger Things‘ scary? The debate over the show’s scariness dates back to its debut on Netflix in 2016. Stranger Things is arguably more sci-fi than horror, but it’s not something I would show to a kid under the age of seven.
Stranger Things perfectly blends horror with sci-fi and comedy. It’s not the scariest show to be created, but it does mix in timely jump scares and spine-tingling visuals. Creepy is a better way to describe the show’s horror.
A possessed Billy going AWOL and fighting the gang? Actually scary!
After watching the newest teaser for Season 4, the horror will eclipse new levels in Stranger Things.
I’m a big enough man to admit when I’m frightened and after watching the teaser, I’m scared. Gaten Matarazzo said that this season will be the scariest one yet so I’m intrigued to see how frightening it will be.
I’m more excited for the show to return, but I’d be lying if I denied the chill sent down my spine when Dr. Brenner said, “Eleven, are you listening?”
The teaser highlights the Hawkins National Laboratory, where Dr. Brenner would experiment and train children with psychokinetic abilities like Eleven. It’s unknown whether this is a flashback, dream sequence, or the present-day. I bet it’s s flashback, but we know that Dr. Brenner is alive so it’s possible that he will capture Eleven once again.
Unfortunately, we won’t receive any answers on Eleven and Dr. Brenner until the Season 4 premiere, which will probably arrive in 2022. I’m still holding out hope for a Thanksgiving/Christmas debut. Drop it early, Netflix!
Are you excited for Stranger Things Season 4? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @danny_giro.
In Jim Hopper’s letter to Eleven in the Season 3 finale of Netflix’s Stranger Things, Hopper wrote, “I know you’re getting older, growing, changing.” Just like Eleven, all of the kids are all getting older and growing (most noticeably, Mike). Just like the kids, Stranger Things is changing.
*Warning: This article will include major spoilers. You’ve been warned.*
As I’ve said in previous reviews, Stranger Things is an extremely fun and enjoyable show that successfully balancers nostalgia with science-fiction and horror. The Season 3 finale was a great ending to a delightful third season. The final scene depicts the Byers’ family packing up and moving out of Hawkins (FINALLY!) to start a new life. Joining them is Eleven, who lost her father, Hopper, when Joyce shut down the gate room, which disintegrated everyone in the room including Hopper.
Let’s just skip to the elephant in the room for Season 4. (Season 4 has not been officially confirmed, but it’s a stone-cold lock to happen.)
Is Hopper alive?
That’s the million-dollar question. There are a few ways to tackle this. You either believe a) Hopper is alive, b) He’s is dead, but will be brought back to life or c) Hopper is dead.
How is Hopper still alive? There are a few clues that support the idea that our beloved Police Chief of Hawkins is still breathing. Look at his adopted daughter, Eleven, as someone who we thought was dead by was instead trapped in the Upside Down. When Dr. Owens enters the gate room, the gate to the Upside Down is still open. Just like Eleven, there’s a chance Hopper made his way into the Upside Down and is trapped there, which is the most likely option of the “Hopper is alive” theories.
Then, there’s Hopper’s letter. The letter was beautifully written and so heartfelt that it brought a tear to my eye. I urge you to reread it again and when you do, you’ll see that a few sentences are clues to his whereabouts.
“I’ve been stuck in one place. In a cave, you might say.” – The Upside Down?
“But, please, if you don’t mind, for the sake of your poor old dad, keep the door open three inches.” – See the photo above.
Does this mean Eleven has to rescue Hopper in the Upside Down? Maybe. Plus, we never see Hopper’s body when he “dies.” He doesn’t vaporize onscreen. It goes back to the old saying, “Never found the body” TV trope. If the viewer doesn’t see the death, it tends to mean that the person might still be alive.
Then, there’s the post-credits scene in Russia. Two soldiers are walking through cells when they come across a first door. One says, “No, not the American.” And they go to a second door and take a Russian prisoner down to feed to the Demogorgon. Is this American, Hopper? It might be, but I believe it’s Dr. Brenner, who we learned is still alive in Season 2.
Now, there’s Option B. Hopper is dead, but he’s going to be brought back to life. Huh? Does Eleven now have the ability to raise the dead? Last time I checked, she doesn’t have that power. However, there’s an ’80s pop culture reference that was seen in the third season of Stranger Things that could be the key to Hopper’s resurrection. That reference is Back to the Future.
Great Scott! We can go back in time to save Hopper! I don’t believe the kids of Hawkins have a DeLorean, but that doesn’t mean time travel can’t play a part in the show. Notice how the final two scenes are edited. When Eleven reads the letter during the montage, the kids are seen saying goodbye to each other and drive out of Hawkins. However, when she finishes the letter, Eleven brings out her stuff to the truck and the kids say goodbye to each other. Perhaps this editing is a clue about time travel and Season 4 will explain that time travel is possible and necessary in order to save Hopper.
Finally, the last possibility is that Hopper is dead and not returning. Fans would most certainly be upset if Hopper was dead, but his death would be of the utmost significance and shape the remaining 1-2 seasons of the show. Once again, look at Hopper’s letter to Eleven when he says, “I don’t want things to change. So I think maybe that’s why I came in here, to try and make stop that change. To turn back the clock. To make things go back to how they were. But I know that’s naive. It’s just not how life works.” The themes of change and growing up were hammered down in Season 3. Things changes whether we like it or not. Hopper could be dead and whether we like it or not, there may be nothing we can do about it. That’s life.
Even if Hopper is dead, I don’t see David Harbour leaving the show entirely. Harbour is too important and valuable to remove from the show completely. Maybe Hopper will be used in flashbacks all next season or perhaps he’s some ghost dad from heaven. Dead or alive, Hopper’s future remains unknown but his impact on the show will never be forgotten.
Stranger Things makes me happy. That’s the best way to describe this series. Season 3 of Stranger Things was a fun, enjoyable show that successfully combines childhood nostalgia with science-fiction and horror. I was not a child of the 1980s, but I can relate to that feeling of playing with your friends and going on adventures in the summer. (Of course, I never had the threat of being attacked by Demogorgons present.) Nothing excites me more than sitting down on my couch, firing up Netflix, and seeing what the gang is up to in Hawkins, Indiana.
*There will be spoilers in this article. You’ve been warned.*
Season 1 was magnificent. Season 2 was good, but a step back from Season 1’s brilliance. This time, Season 3 was stellar.
Season 3 is set in the summer of 1985. We return to Hawkins to see that the kids have grown, their hormones are rising, and the Mind Flayer is back. Love is in the air at the start of the season as Mike and Eleven are inseparable and can’t keep their faces off each other. Lucas and Max are still an item, though, at times, their constant bickering might make it seem like they’re enemies. Nancy and Jonathan aka the Woodward and Bernstein of Hawkins are still going strong.
Joyce and Hopper (Jopper?) also share a few intimate moments as well as continue down their detective path as they try to solve another supernatural mystery. Magnets, anyone? Will aka Peter Pan is back and all he wants to do is never grow up. The bromance between Dustin and Steve shines once again and they even add new girl Robin into the mix along with Lucas’s sister, Erica. Last, but certainly not least, Billy continues to wreak havoc on the kids except this time, he’s possessed by a former foe. Oh yeah, there’s also the presence of our Cold War enemy, Russia. The 80s, baby!
As a whole, the season had a lot of highs, but there were some small complaints I had. Here are my winners and losers from Season 3 of Stranger Things.
In my notes for this review, I had “Robin” in all caps. That’s how good of an addition Robin was to the cast. She is the greatest addition to the show since its inception. Her wittiness and quirky attitude matched perfectly with Steve’s charming and dimwitted personality. I could have watched a spinoff of Robin and Steve in the ice cream shop for eight episodes. Which leads me into my next winner…
Winners: Dustin And Steve Adding Robin Into Their Bromance
One of the highlights of Season 2 was the bromance that developed between Steve and Dustin. Steve gave Dustin tips with the ladies and Dustin shared his knowledge about science-fiction and Demogorgons with Steve. Adding Robin to the mix was a seamless transition. The three of them teaming up to crack the Russian code and save Hawkins from a potential nuclear and alien invasion was my favorite storyline of the season. I’m not forgetting about Erica, who’s genius and sassiness turned the successful trio into a quartet.
Loser: A Separated Gang
My major issue with Stranger Things over the last two seasons has been the lack of interaction between the original group of Mike, Lucas, Dustin, and Eleven. The chemistry between this group is one of the main reasons why Season 1 was so successful. Though Dustin and Steve’s friendship has blossomed, part of me wishes that Dustin had a chance to recapture his magic with Mike, Lucas, and Eleven. Stranger Things can be formulaic in a good way, but separating the kids and teenagers from each other until the very end leaves me wanting more huge team-ups instead of separated groups.
Winners: Dustin And Suzie’s Song
I was initially torn on this scene. Like Hopper, I was entirely confused when I first watched Dustin and his girlfriend, Suzie, belt out the song to The Neverending Story. However, after I rewatched the scene for a second time, I couldn’t stop humming along and eventually, singing the lyrics. The finale was so intense and emotional that a silly and playful musical number to remind us that this show is about children was a good break in the action.
Losers: The Beginning Of The Season
I’m fully aware that this could be a “me problem,” but the first couple of episodes in Season 3 of Stranger Things dragged out a little too much. I was excited to see our favorite characters back, but it felt plotless. The Mind Flayer abducted Billy and Joyce had a magnet problem, but the mission of each group was still up in the air. It wasn’t until the fourth episode, “The Sauna Test,” where the action picked up and the “what do we have to do to save Hawkins” question started to have an answer.
That fit >>>>. Eleven may be the MVP of the show, but Hopper is the most interesting character. Hopper is a broken and flawed man with a big heart but struggles to express his emotions. Sharing his true thoughts with those he loves (Joyce and Eleven) is a struggle, but that’s because he cares about them so much. Did the arguing with Joyce drag out? Yes. Did he spend way too much time fighting Russian terminators? Probably. However, did Hopper continue to captivate my attention in a way that no other character can do? Absolutely. It’s why his death is so special and heartbreaking. I’m going to have more on the finale in the coming days, but for now, let’s assume Hopper is dead for now. That’s a huge loss for the show. Hopper is the only father figure in the entire series and removing him means there’s a serious void in men who like to pound cigarettes and alcohol. All joking aside, Hopper will be severely missed if this was his final farewell. Nominate David Harbour for every award.
Winner: Hopper’s Letter To Eleven And Final Montage
I will be the first to admit that I was a mess after watching Eleven read her letter from Hopper. Joyce put Hopper on the right track, but he absolutely crushed my soul with the second half. Here’s the letter in its entirety.
“There’s something I’ve been wanting to talk to you both about. I know this is a difficult conversation, but I care about you both very much. And I know that you care about each other very much, and that’s why it’s important that we set these boundaries moving forward so we can build an environment where we all feel comfortable, trusted, and open to sharing our feelings.
Feelings. Feelings. Jesus. The truth is, for so long I’d forgotten what those even were. I’ve been stuck in one place. In a cave, you might say. A deep, dark cave. And then I left some Eggos out in the woods and you came into my life. For the first time in a long time, I started to feel things again. I started to feel happy. But lately, I guess I’ve been feeling distant from you. Like you’re pulling away from me or something. I miss playing board games every night, making triple-decker Eggo extravaganzas at sunrise, watching Westerns together before we doze off.
But I know you’re getting older, growing, changing. I guess, if I’m being really honest, that’s what scares me. I don’t want things to change. So I think maybe that’s why I came in here, to try and make stop that change. To turn back the clock. To make things go back to how they were. But I know that’s naive. It’s just not how life works. It’s moving, always moving, whether you like it or not. And yeah, sometimes it’s painful. Sometimes it’s sad. And sometimes, it’s surprising. Happy.
So you know what? Keep on growing up kid. Don’t let me stop you. Make mistakes, learn from ’em. When life hurts you, because it will, remember the hurt. The hurt is good. It means you’re out of that cave. But, please, if you don’t mind, for the sake of your poor old dad, keep the door open three inches.“
Rereading that last paragraph has me in a puddle of tears. “When life hurts you, because it will, remember the hurt. The hurt is good. it means you’re out of that cave.” That’s a beautiful line that perfectly represents the father/daughter relationship between Hopper and El. Both have been hurt numerous times and yet both continue to find love with each other. It’s a beautiful message.
Throw in the cover of “Heroes” by Peter Gabriel and the finale leaves on an emotional note. It’s not a coincidence that my two favorite endings to the show include that song. The ending of Season 1, Episode 3, where Mike and the crew find “a dead Will” and the Season 3 finale are both elevated thanks to the moving voice of Peter Gabriel.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Season 3 of Stranger Things. It was terrifying, devastating, emotional, and funny. I can’t ask for much more from a television show. Here’s to hoping that Season 4 follows the same release date pattern of the previous seasons and drops sometime in October 2020.
Check back later this week for more Season 3 of Stranger Things content. Click here for previous articles on Stranger Things.
One summer can change everything. From the tagline of the third season of Stranger Things, the kids of Hawkins are in for a life-changing summer. Season three of Netflix‘s hit show, Stranger Things, is set to premiere on July 4.
It’s been almost two years since we left our heroes of Hawkins, Indiana. In the Season two finale, Eleven closed the gate, destroying the portal from the Upside Down to the human world. However, the trailers revealed that the Mind Flayer is still in Hawkins. Before Season 3, here are five questions I have ahead of the premiere.
What is the significance of the Starcourt Mall and Fun Fair?
Let’s go to the fair and the mall! In Season one, it was the school. In Season two, it was the lab. For Season three, the two major locations appear to be the Fun Fair and the Starcourt Mall. The fair is run by Mayor Kline, played by Cary Elwes. Not much is known about Mayor Kline, but if I were to guess, he’s informed about the supernatural activity happening in Hawkins and chose to sweep it under the rug.
The Starcourt Mall appears to be the site of the major battle that will occur between the kids and the Mind Flayer. In the trailer, the creature is terrorizing Lucas and Max in the middle of the mall. Plus, the mall is home to Scoops Ahoy, where Steve and new girl Robin work. Expect the mall to be a major set piece this season.
What will be the new romance of the show?
The kids are getting older, which means the hormones will be running wild. Romance will play a huge factor this season. Going into the season, the couples are Mike and Eleven, Lucas and Max, and Nancy and Jonathan. I can’t forget about the best relationship in the show, Steve and Dustin. They take bromance to the next level. What will be the new romance of the show? Joyce and Hopper have teased their feelings before, but have yet to act on it. With Bob out of the picture, look for Hopper to finally make a move. Also, watch out for Steve and Robin. The ice cream shop is the perfect backdrop for a summer romance.
How did the Mind Flayer return to Hawkins?
As previously stated, in Season two of Stranger Things, Eleven closed the gate to the Upside Down. However, in the final scene of Season two, the Mind Flayer remained over the school. In the final trailer, Will suggested that when Eleven closed the gate, the Mind Flayer could have been locked out of the Upside Down and remained in the human world. If that’s the case, the Mind Flayer will be looking for a new host. From the clips, I may have an idea as to who it may be…
Reviews have been pouring in and so far, they’ve been very positive.
Check back in next week for a recap of the season. See you in Hawkins.