Stranger Things Season 3 Review (SPOILERS)
As a pop culture enthusiast, one of my favorite fall pastimes is to binge and catch up on my favorite series. As most know, the much anticipated 3rd season of Stranger Things hit Netflix on July 4th. I have been glued to this syfy dramedy thriller since its beginning and after being overloaded with plot in the 2nd season, I have been waiting to see what the Duffer Brothers had in store for season 3. After patiently waiting for more than a year, it paid off with what I thought to be the best season so far. As our favorite Hawkins kids are growing up, the show’s popularity has continued to grow to spectacular heights with them. Everything in this season that happens to the main characters changes how the rest of the series will end up. Among other characters, Will does not like the changing world around him. This gave Will, and the show, a new motivation, to try and stop the kids from moving on and getting older, but in turn, as the season progresses, it provides them with new opportunities. Heartwarming endings, a lot of singing, and the thrill and anticipation of what is coming next made for an amazing season, but a bittersweet end.
There is no doubt in my mind that this season was significantly better than the Season Two. As I have mentioned in some of my previous reviews, I am a big fan of Sean Astin, and as you might expect, I was stoked to see him join the cast as Joyce’s boyfriend in last season. Then I was of course extremely disappointed that they killed him off by Demidog attack. Not to mention the weird story with El and Eight that we never saw again, and the one tracked plot of Will and the Mind Flayer, Season Two overall was a bit of a let down. This season we got to see more of Mike and Jane together as a couple with a few hints at Jopper, and as soon as that happened Hopper died leaving El without a dad and the Byers family leaving town, with El joining them. Why would they ever be happy? Billy, who I loved to hate last season, was back and better than ever… this time as the mind flayer’s muse. The plot, character development, comedic timing, and pretty much everything about the show is better in season three.
Eleven spends the season with her on and off boyfriend Mike, that we all have been waiting for with plenty of drama, comedy and romance. Fans have been anticipating this super couple for years and this storyline definitely lived up to my expectations. I absolutely loved the little quips that each character had from the Duffer Brothers. I think that the writing in this season really made it relatable and come to life. I wish that we would have had more time with Nancy and Hopper together, but like most other Stranger Things conspiracists out there, I believe there will be plenty of time for the two of them because Hopper didn’t die.
A portion of the fandom believes that when Hopper was next to the nuclear machine, he was somehow transported to the upside down and was kept safe by some other unknown being. At the end of episode eight we all saw that the Russins had an American locked up, but who was it? Could it be Hopper? Was it Eleven’s sister? Some other unknown person? Most fellow fans are hoping that it is Hopper and that he can reunite with Joyce and Eleven. But where did Joyce, Will, Jonithan, and Eleven go? They left Hawkins, but where else is there to go? What will life be like without Jim?
Having a character as strong as Robin join the cast at such a changing time in history was a bold and smart move on behalf of Netflix and the Duffer Brothers. Although I was sad that she and Steve didn’t get together, I was happy with where they took the character, and I think that there should be even more empowering people to fight alongside Elven.
How would Stranger Things be complete without a spunky side character providing some comic release? This season Alexi and his Cherry Slurpee was what everyone fell in love with. The innocent Russian scientist with plenty of personality shown through the language barriers of the characters was just what the show needed. His personality developed through his interactions with Hopper, Joyce, and Murray, as he let his actions speak louder than words. I love characters that are strong enough to stand on their own and not have to use a lot of dialogue to find out about them. As you may expect, I was very sad to see him pass away in the final episodes of the season. I have a fear that season four may be overloaded with conspiracies and Cold War.
Overall this season was, in my opinion, the best season yet. They just released a teaser for season four, and I am more hyped than ever. If you want to stay updated with the Stranger Things news, you should follow @StrangerThings on Facebook from this link, or on their other socials. I can’t wait to see what the Duffer Brothers have in store.