Five years ago love letter to the ’80s reached millions on Netflix for the first time. I remind myself of the countless interviews of the creators, Matt and Ross Duffer, discussing the genesis of the show, hearing them get to the heart of their love for nostalgic storytelling, and how those stories have inspired them.
It doesn’t hurt they know how to weave an amazing narrative, assemble an outstanding cast, and draw in millions of viewers across three seasons.
The third season finale was nothing short of epic, cinematic, suspenseful, and heart-wrenching. One summer truly changed everything. I am here to break down what our favorite characters of Hawkins, Indiana, will have to deal with after the fallout of The Battle of Starcourt Mall.
MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD.
The Russians and the Demogorgons
Season Three revealed a Demogorgon survived and can act on its own accord. Aside from giving me the chills, Demogorgons are under the control of the Mind Flayer. The Mind Flayer is a colossal creature in charge of the alternate dimension known as the Upside Down. The Mind Flayer wields telepathic control over its minions, who act as its eyes and ears in the normal world. In Season One and Two, the portal to the Upside Down was open, thus allowing the creatures to run wild and free in the name of terror and murder. At the end of season two, the portal was sealed thanks to Eleven. Then in Season Three, the Russians nearly succeeded in opening up the portal until it was thwarted by our heroes cutting the Mind Flayer off its behemoth protégé.
The fact that the Russians could keep this Demogorgon at bay and seemingly train it and keep it alive away from Mind Flayer’s control is very troubling. Imagine if they were able to multiply this tenfold. Oh, and Demogorgons could create their tears (portals) back into the Upside Down– hence Will and Barb’s kidnapping.
The American and the Fate of Jim Hopper
The Season Four teaser reveals Sheriff Jim Hopper survived stopping the Russians in Season Three. THANK THE MAKER. Us fans knew we did not see a body or ashes where Jim was when the weapon went off. The running theory was that he got sucked into the Upside-Down and was pulled out, but I am curious to see how he did it. Another theory suggests the American was Dr. Brenner, who orchestrated the chaos plaguing Eleven’s life. The last time we saw him was a flashback haunting Eleven/Jane. Before that, we saw him get tackled to the ground by Demogorgons but no gory demise like our dearly departed superhero and AV Club King Bob Newby. Then again, what if the mid-credits Season Three finale scene was meant to be a flashback, not flash-forward?
It’s safe to say that the StarCourt Mall is going out of business (most likely forever since Steve and Robin had to get new jobs at Blockbuster. Speaking of which, I hope to see more of the arcade guy and Blockbuster guy as well. Matty Cardarople has the overconfident awkward wise-cracking chops down. After the cat is out of the bag, Hawkins is either going to be the one-stop-shop tourist attraction due to the collateral death laid out by the Mind Flayer, or the town will continue to dwindle economy-wise until it is defunct. Law enforcement needs a new leader. I’m hoping Rob Morgan’s and John Reynold’s characters step up. Then you have that chilling scene when Billy has amassed followers, and they are all dead–so many funerals. The local newspaper needs some new employees and a new mayor–perhaps one less corrupt this time.
The Byers Family and a “temporary powerless” Eleven decided to move away after the apparent death of Hopper to start a new life, which will be an interesting transition. I am sure it will be one wrought with trauma and healing. Brenner is still out there, and let’s hope Eleven’s powers return for the next evil. We can expect her friends from Season Two, Episode Seven will pop up to help. Hopefully, Will and Jonathan can start fresh with new friends, but how can you after all they have endured?
Final Thoughts and Musings
Let’s have a season where Steve Harrington is not beaten to a pulp.. not too much to ask, right. Dustin and Robin, you got this.
I think the realization that Robin is into girls was an amazing reveal. However, when she helps Steve get a job at Blockbuster, she dissuades Keith that she has no feelings for Steve, but the camera close-up on her face suggests otherwise. No matter what, I accept Robin as badass and a heart of gold and a geek for Cyborg, whoever she chooses to have feelings for.
Bless Priah Ferguson, who stole the show in this past season and the hilarious moment in the two ghostbusters-themed episodes. May she embrace her inner nerd. Go, Erica, go!
Max is going to need some support after losing her brother to the Mind Flayer and, for years, having a strained relationship and, in an instant, is granted something she wished she had and will never get. A long shot, but let’s hope Billy’s father has a change of heart. Don’t screw this up, Lucas.
Nancy Wheeler is on track to be the next Lois Lane. Need I say more. After what she has been through, she is the perfect candidate to be the voice of reason of the Hawkins community.
I have to shout out to Andrey Ivchenko as Grigori for playing the best homage to Terminator ever. Is there any way to have him back in season four? Let’s just say he has a twin brother or something.
The truth is this show is perfection. It is worth watching, and there is so much to look forward to. I hope that everyone is safe and having a great time making this show many others like me enjoy.
But thank you, Duffer Brothers, Netflix, and Shawn Levy (watch this guy’s filmography, please. #NightattheMusem) for such an at-home cinematic glory. Please check out the Season Two After The Show on Netflix and the Season Three podcast, as it showcases the hard work the many names in the credits give to make this show the best it can be.
What a fourth year it will be. I mean, if that Mind Flayer protégé in season three was as bad as it was, imagine if the one Will saw made it into the real world? Excuse me while I scream into a pillow with terror.