Did we like the direction the Duffer Brothers took with the highly anticipated third season of Stranger Things? Did our predictions and wishes come true? We laughed, we sat on the edge of our seats, we murmured to ourselves that THAT BETTER NOT HAPPEN, and then we cried. Oh, my how we cried. Turn on the static and get your blind folds on—we’re about to go in and dissect season 3.
The Duffer Brothers definitely brought on the intensity and action with this summer adventure, and it was a lot gorier than our past two beloved seasons. We got the action and awesomely choreographed battle scenes with the mirror maze fight scene was so well done, you could feel the intensity! We had loads of nostalgia—did anyone else get all smiley when they saw the rides they used to go on!? And of course, the cast’s acting skills was phenomenal. The soundtrack and editing choices were also a nice touch to setting season 3 apart and despite them making each season unique and having their own vibe, it still feels connected.
Now, let’s take a look at some of our favourite, and not-so favourite, things that happened this season!
Mike and El are adorable as ever, and we’re super happy their relationship became healthy and Mike admitted to what he was doing wrong to make things right again. Because let’s be honest, we can’t have Stranger Things without our precious Mileven!
Max and Lucas make an excellent and hilarious match while El & Max’s friendship couldn’t have been more amazing!
I think we can all agree we loved the Erica moments we got in season 2, and what did the Duffer Brothers give us? More of that fabulous Erica sass! YOU GO ERICA!
We got one of the best characters EVER, we got ROBIN. At first, we may have been a little hesitant to fully embrace her as a new party member (reminiscent to Max), but after we saw more and more of her character, we totally fell for her. And now, just like Max, we couldn’t picture any further seasons without her!
Not only is she unapologetically herself and we love the doodles on her red converses, but the Duffer Brothers created such a groundbreaking scene when she came out to Steve. The way Steve responded and carried the conversation was so refreshing to see, and we love him even more. He didn’t try to tell her it’s “just a phase” or “he’s different than other guys” he accepted her, and he didn’t make it awkward or forceful. Steve is an angel, a ‘mother’ of several children, an expert at scooping ice-cream, and just one hell of a guy. His character development keeps getting better and better, and we couldn’t be more thankful. And might I just say, Steve and Robin’s friendship is probably one of the most beautiful things to come out of season 3.
Let’s also take a moment to be grateful that the Duffer Brothers not only gave us an awesome character like Robin, but also a trippy scene that not only made us laugh but took us by surprise. Thank you, Duffers.
The wait to see the famous Suzie was TOTALLY WORTH IT as she is brilliant, adorable, awesome, and it was so much fun to see Dustin in love and in his element. Plus the singing was a cuteness overload!
Then there’s Joyce who is still the best and super intelligent, we got to see little Holly grow up, the casting of Cary Elwes was priceless, even though Mayor Larry was a total jerk, and we have to admit, Alexei rubbed off on us! Come on, we were all super happy he won that carnival prize and he was glowing and having fun, and then fricken heartbreak broke out when he was shot. I’M NOT CRYING YOU ARE.
THINGS WE LEARNED
Russian prisoners love cherry and Loony Toons, Lucas’s middle name is Charles, and El’s powers have become more powerful than what we’ve seen before and not only in her combat, like when she totally wrecked the gross goo monster in the hospital that was trying to attack Nancy, but also with her abilities beyond fighting with her powers.
Through Billy’s flashbacks, when El touches him to see where he’s been, we also see how deep and powerful El’s powers truly are. She can race through memories and feel what they feel, experiencing empathy with them, which totally came in handy during the last episode.
Now for a little sidebar—I’m sure we were all taken back, just like El was, when we saw Billy’s memories of his childhood and his mother. We got a peek into his world, what happened before Max came into the picture, and what made him so damaged. Seeing these things, seeing El run after little Billy and giving Billy’s dad the stank eye, it makes us sympathise with, essentially, the “villain” of the story. Before we saw those flashbacks, we didn’t think much of Billy beyond a bully and a guy who needs a serious attitude change. Now, we don’t want to see him as the bad guy. We want to help him and see more of his past and who he truly is underneath all that hurt. And in the end, we see him as the hero he always deep down wanted to be. This was a pretty brilliant move of the Duffer Brothers, oh those cunning Brothers.
Okay, back to what we’ve learned! Erica is a fab-sassy-nerd-math-wiz, My Little Pony is nerdy (and Dustin is their #1 fan), 80s fashion is so much fun, Murray is a born matchmaker—first Nancy and Johnathan and now Joyce and Hopper—and MIKE AND EL LOVE EACH OTHER.
THE NOT-SO GREAT
I’ll admit, at the beginning of the season I was a bit frustrated with some of the character development happening with the gang. Yes, they’re teenagers now, and yes, they’re growing apart from the “kid stuff” they used to do in the first season, but come on, seeing Will and Dustin just left out like that broke my heart. That being said, I realised we as an audience have in a sense formed a relationship with these characters. We’ve been with them through a lot and now through 3 seasons and with every relationship it goes through ups and downs.
And speaking of Will, his character was somewhat neglected. I really feel like he didn’t get to shine very much in this season. We would have LOVED to see more of Will and his perspective, instead of getting the occasional hairs standing on the back of his neck indicating ‘he’s here’, and seeing his friends totally dump him over. Granted, there was a lot going on in the storyline of this season and I’m sure the neglect of his character wasn’t done intentionally, but it would have been great to see more of him.
It was also kind of a bummer that we didn’t get to see the OG gang in action and hanging out together like old times, but again, this did create more for the storyline, and it showed a development and growth in the characters. I guess we just miss those cute little kids playing D&D in Mike’s basement.
The season ends with the ‘supposed’ death of Hopper (we’ll get to that in minute) and Joyce, Jonathan, Will, and El moving out of Hawkins. We have to be put through the pain of seeing the gang say goodbye and wondering what will become of the two love relationships. When Will put his D&D stuff in the donation box and said he wouldn’t join another party, now he is the MVP. This whole move will definitely put a twist and dynamic on the next [most likely] season. I’m sensing a road trip may be in store for us, hopefully a killer montage comes out of that.
Now, back to Hopper. We were all CRUSHED when Joyce had to turn the keys, and we see Hop is no longer there. We’re devastated and waiting every second until the end for him to miraculously come back. But alas, we were left with a broken heart. Come on Duffers, first Barbara, then Bob, Alexei, Billy, and now HOPPER! You’re killing us!
UNTIL…If you waited through the credits and saw the small clip from a Russian prison, and two of the Russian guards are going to a cell, you’ll see that one of them says “No. Not the American.” This gives us a flicker of hope that Hop is still alive, and we’ll see him back in action again. Now that is a solid prediction, I mean come on there’s no way Hop is going to let a little Russian scandal get in the way of his date with Joyce Byers.