After a 615 day wait… or 87 weeks & 6 days… or 1 year, 8 months & 7 days… (yes we counted), Stranger Things fans were finally blessed with season 3 of the cult classic on July 4th.
We have some feelings. Mainly with Hopper for thinking strawberry and cherry Slurpees are the same. But that’s neither here nor there (RIP Alexei).
Need we say more than this…
Our Top 5 Favourite Things.
Dustin’s Farrah Fawcett Hairspray Weapon
Seeing Dustin grab his Farrah Fawcett Hairspray as a weapon when his various toys came alive, is hands down the best weapon ever used in Stranger Things ever. Period. (Sorry Steve – we still love your bat). All praise hair model Steve Harrington for introducing him to this magical, magical tool in the first place.
Alexei and Slurpees
RIP Alexei. Gone but never forgotten. And yes, we agree. There IS a difference between cherry and strawberry.
Alexei quickly became one of two favourite characters this season. He saved Hawkins. Without him, Joyce and Hopper would never have known how to stop the Russians from opening the gate to The Upside Down.
You’re a hero Alexei. You even convinced conspiracy theorist Murray who hates Russians. 7-11 (July 11th) will forever be known as Cherry Slurpee day in your honour. RIP our cherry Slurpee, looney tunes loving Russian friend.
Steve and Robin in the Bathroom
EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS. Robin‘s entire story arc was iconic. You almost never see LGBTQ+ characters on TV, without just fact part being their main story or a gimmick of some sort. Robin‘s story was different. She was a strong, intelligent female lead who just happened to also be gay. It didn’t define her. And we didn’t even find out until the almost end.
The way she confesses to Steve in the movie theatre bathroom after he admits he’s starting to grow feelings for her is EVERYTHING. We’re led to believe after their adventures together that they’re destined to come together by the end of the season, because Steve also had no other love interest. The platonic friendship they build this season is incredible. Not every attractive female has to end up with the guy. Sometimes it’s more complex. Netflix killed it here.
Operation Child Endangerment... “You can’t spell America without Erica”.
Erica really is the sassy, hilarious, intelligent female we never knew we needed. Not only was she essential to the “Scoops Troop’s” plan, but she’s secretly a nerd too! She drives a hard bargain – all the USS Butterscotches she can eat to crawl through a vent for “Operation Child Endangerment”.
Her intelligence and bravery helped save the group more than once – without her cheeky attitude, everyone in Hawkins would have gotten flayed.
The Easter Eggs – Hair Tie
Jim Hopper‘s daughter Sara‘s hair tie is our first favourite easter egg. In a season one flashback, we learn Sara fell suddenly ill whilst playing in the park – later leading to the loss of her hair through chemotherapy, before she sadly passed away. Hopper can later be seen wearing the hair tie on his wrist, that Sara previously wore in her hair.
Throughout seasons 2 and 3 we see El wearing the same tie around her wrist, after Hopper adopts her as his own daughter. During one moment before the “Battle Of Starcourt”, we see Hopper tugging on the small memento. David Habour, the actor who portrays Hopper on the show, has previously stated the bracelet represents his connection with Eleven.
“It’s something subtle we do, and in fact if you watch the first [scene] of Jim Hopper in season one, he wakes up in the morning and before he even checks his watch he touches that bracelet on his arm. You’ll see in the first flashback with Sara that she has her hair up in these little pigtails and she’s wearing these blue hair ties. You’ll notice throughout the series I will occasionally play with it like when I’m talking to Eleven or going through a difficult time”
You can even see Eleven wearing it again, whilst she reads Hoppers final letter. Someone pass us a tissue. We are not ok.
The Easter Eggs – Bob Newby
Unlike Barb, a fallen hero finally got the justice they deserved this season. Bob Newby – we love you. You guided our troops to safety in season 2, but when it was your turn, The Duffer Brothers struck again, and the Demodogs caught up to you in true horror flick fashion.
In episode one this season, we see Joyce reminisce about her time with Bob during a flashback. And although we’re all for a Joyce/ Hopper union (Jopper?), we appreciate homage being played to superhero Bob, as shown in a drawing by Will. Joyce feels Bob‘s absence after being asked out by Hopper, later thinking back to fond memories whilst sitting alone on her couch. RIP Bob Newby. It’s been 615 days. We’re still not over it.
Heather was The Mind Flayer‘s second victim, kidnapped by Billy – the Mind Flayers first and main host. Janet (with her husband Tom) was knocked unconscious by Heather and Billy, later taken to The Mind Flayer. Heather and Janet sacrificed themselves under The Mind Flayers control. Their bodies melted into slime, which connected to The Mind Flayer, along with other unnamed extras, increasing it in size. We didn’t know them very well. But every death is sad.
Tom Holloway and Bruce Lowe
Tom Holloway and Bruce Lowe both worked at Hawkins post where Nancy and Jonathan interned. Like many of the male journalists, both frequently never took their female coworkers seriously, often acting in a crude and misogynistic manner. Bruce often compared Nancy Wheeler unfavorably to Nancy Drew, belittling her at every opportunity – even going so far as to prank her following her discovery of the Flayed rats.
Nancy exacted her revenge while Tom and Bob were hunting her and Jonathan through the hospital. They’re both dead now. We’re not sad about it (at all).
Doris Driscoll and The Rats
Poor, sweet, innocent Doris. She just wanted to know why the rats were eating fertiliser in her basement. Instead, she was turned into a member of the Flayed and began frantically eating fertilizer herself. Doris‘ call to The Hawkins Post about the rats helped Nancy figure out that something was amiss in Hawkins. We’re sorry you became part of the flayed and melted into slime with the others. Rest in peace Dorris.
Stranger Things‘ very own terminator. You killed Alexei. We’re not sad you’re gone Grigori.
Don’t get us wrong, We’re glad the Joyce closed the gate, causing The Mind Flayer to collapse and die. We’re just still sad Hopper may be dead because of it. Would we have preferred more terror in Hawkins and others to be in peril a little while longer so Hopper could have reached safety? Yes.
Let’s be honest – Alexei’s death was the most heartbreaking thing to ever happen in the entire history of Stranger Things, ever. (Sorry Barb, sorry Bob). Its been 3 weeks and we are STILL sobbing.
Alexei was a man of simple needs. A cherry Slurpee from 7 Eleven, a Burger King, and an episode of Looney Tunes. It’s all he needed. I mean sure, he did work for the Russians. But he strayed from the dark side in the end! How could he not when Hopper was so, so very kind to him. (A strawberry Slurpee, Hopper? Really?).
We’re so sorry Grigori found you. Proving you could outsmart the American capitalist system at the funfair was really not worth your death. 7-11 (July 11th) will forever be known as cherry Slurpee day in your honour. (Booking my flight to America right now so I can get one from 7 Eleven next year).
Oh, Billy. We finally began to understand you. Sure, you might have been an antagonistic bully in season 2, but this season we learned why! We didn’t get to see you reach your full potential, but you sacrificed yourself for El, and you had your moment with Max in the end. You redeemed yourself some, and we’ll really miss your hair, too.
Jim isn’t dead. We don’t believe it. He can’t be. How are we going to survive Season 4 without El‘s “dear old dad?”. We won’t have to. We refuse to. It’s not happening. We will sacrifice all the Starbucks lattes we have to in order to bribe The Duffer Brothers to bring him back. He’ll be back. We’ll make it happen.
Is someone cutting onions in here? My eyes are sweating.
Let’s Talk About The Post-Credits Scene. Who is ‘The American” in the Cell? Here’s Why It Might Not Be Hopper…
It’s just wishful thinking really. Will‘s body was faked in season one, maybe Barb met the same fate?
Dr. Martin Brenner?
Remember this guy? Yeah, we don’t much like him either. We learn he raised Eleven in season one through flashbacks (she even called him “Papa”). As director of Hawkins National Laboratory, Dr. Brenner forced her to participate in his experiments.
Through exploration and manipulation of Eleven‘s powers, he created the first portal into The Upside Down, allowing the Demogorgon (and eventually, The Mind Flayer) to enter Hawkins.
Although it looked like he died at the hands of a Demogorgon in season one, his death was never really confirmed onscreen. And in Season 2 episode “Chapter Seven: The Lost Sister”, another scientist claims Brenner is still alive.
Brenner certainly has the knowledge, and it would explain how the Russians even knew about the existence of the upside down, and why to target Hawkins specifically.
Chief Jim Hopper?
It has to be Hopper, right? We know Joyce turned both keys, causing the laser to explode; but in episode one, we see bodies of those that are burnt. We didn’t see Hopper‘s, so we have hope. It’s entirely possible Hopper climbed down the ladder, into the upside down. He’d been there before, he knows the climate. It’s entirely possible he climbed through hoping to find a way out later.
If this is the case, the Russians may have retrieved him, putting him into their cell. We also see a Demogorgon in the post credits scene, which means the Russians likely have a way into the upside down.
So the thing is, we don’t really know. But we’ll just leave you with this…
Words: Natasha Fountain | All Photos: Netflix