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Stranger Things season 3 review: the best yet

Reading time: 6 minutes

We’ve been waiting for what felt like a decade (it was just over a year), but 4th July didn’t disappoint. Stranger Things season 3 is on now on Netflix! And I binged it in one sitting. 

I have a lot of thoughts, but instead of doing a deep dive into each episode, I decided to share my original, scrappy, authentic notes I took while watching. If you’re after a deeper dive, listen to Duane and I chat A LOT on the Stranger Things Cinemania podcast

So sit back and relax – it’s time for coffee and contemplation…

Suzie, do you copy?

  • Set one year after the events of season 2
  • The gang sneak in to see George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead – an apt movie as it’s about a group of military officers and scientists in an underground bunker as the world above is overrun by zombies
  • Loved seeing the Corey Hart mixtape
  • Mike stopping to break into song is amazing
  • Hopper is angry and seemingly lacks purpose
  • Dustin’s been away for a month and has missed out on a lot
  • Farrah Fawcett spray is back!
  • There’s still a strong connection with Will and the Upside Down
  • LOVE the sexual chemistry between Billy and Mrs Wheeler (glad she’s got a more significant part)
  • Hopper is jealous of Eleven and Mike? He’s angry because he hasn’t got a purpose and is jealous of the love Mileven have
  • Even though last season events are still raw, most characters seem to be moving on (apart from Hopper)
  • Nancy is rocking the 9-5 vibe (the Duffers missed a trick not adding this to the soundtrack or maybe it’s too obvious?)
  • This episode is full of nods to previous characters and relationships – nice opener for die-hard fans and newbies
  • Joyce’s house looks nicer?
  • Joyce is mourning Bob
  • Main theme is ‘change’

The Mall Rats

  • Billy is becoming more of a central character
  • Ironic that Hopper stopped Mike from seeing El, now he feels how she feels after being stood up by Joyce
  • Joyce is afraid to get close to someone again in case she loses them
  • “Ask for forgiveness, not permission” – basically covers anything any character does
  • I’m loving the teen drama (nice to see the gang can still be teenagers even when crazy things are happening
  • Larry Kline = asshole
  • The pacing is brilliant, lots of things happening in the background, nicely knitting together
  • Humour is just right
  • Curiosity door is OPEN – love Mr Clarke
  • Will Billy die? Case of the ‘B’ name: Barb, Bob… Billy?
  • It’s not my fault you don’t like girls.” – this line has to be significant, is Will gay?

The Case of the Missing Lifeguard

  • I’m loving the pairings – Jopper, Jancy, the Scoops Troop
  • Will missed out on a childhood thanks to the Upside Down – this is why he’s struggling to adjust when the others have girlfriends, he still wants to be a kid
  • Hopper is very selfish and angry – he cannot get over the past
  • Joyce has put her house up for sale NO
  • I’d like to see more scenes between Jonathan and Will
  • Nancy is really living up to the ‘Nancy Drew’ nickname
  • Nancy’s character development is great – she’s grown so much

The Sauna Test

  • The Endless Summer poster on Max’s wall is COOL
  • Heather the lifeguard – a possible link to Heathers?
  • The Russian hitman is giving off STRONG Terminator vibes
  • Die Hard reference with Erica in the air vents
  • It’s great to see the secondary characters getting more of a platform!
  • Brilliant performances in this episode
  • Love Maya Hawke as Robin

The Flayed (previously known as The Source)

  • The girls are so strong and AMAZING this series
  • Omg Steve is the best babysitter, still
  • Each ‘flayed’ person feels the pain of the others
  • Teamwork is key – Jancy always takes on the boss level monsters

E Pluribus Unum (previously known as The Birthday)

  • Meaning: out of many, one (relating to the flayed people exploding and forming one HUGE monster)
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers references galore
  • Ironically, Mayor Kline isn’t flayed, but still acts evil
  • Hopper is often too old school, but sometimes it pays off (Alexei not driving off)
  • Steve laughing with the Russians is very similar to the final moments in Die Hard
  • Scoops Troop is the ultimate gang of misfits, I love it
  • The hostage/drugged up scenes are so funny, the chemistry between Steve and Robin is amazing
  • Billy’s backstory makes a lot of sense – never thought I’d actually feel sorry for him! He is season 1’s Steve Harrington
  • Everything starts and ends with Eleven – can she be in the real world? Does she belong in the Upside Down to save Hawkins?

The Bite

  • Lots of Jurassic Park themes – the trees moving while the Wheelers are on the ferris wheel(er)
  • Every single member of the cast are INCREDIBLE
  • Favourite episode, couldn’t stop watching
  • The Jopper pep talk from Murray was perfect and needed to happen!
  • Robin is a lesbian – glad they didn’t force a romance between her and Steve
  • Steve handles it so well, a stark contrast to how he would have in season 1 – he even suggests the girl she likes isn’t good enough for her!
  • Enjoying pacing, editing and transitions, hard to believe there’s just one episode left
  • Love the camera work when Hopper is in the fun house

The Battle of Starcourt

  • “We do know it’s our kids” – momma Joyce KNOWS
  • SO gory, could hardly watch
  • I think Hopper is going to die – he’s planned a date with Joyce and is at peace with Mike and El ITS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE
  • Love that Murray is in this season more
  • Can’t stop laughing at the other characters waiting for the duet to end
  • HOPPPPER :(((((((((( I AM SOBBING
  • No death scene… is he really dead?
  • Lots of people know now – the whole of Hawkins is aware, what happens next?
  • Spotted the Drew Barrymore Firestarter poster at the video shop
  • Omg a post-credits scene!!!!!!
  • “The American”… is it too obvious to be Hopper?

Thoughts and theories

  • What about Papa (Dr Brenner)? The Duffers specifically said he wasn’t dead – could he be ‘the American’ the Russians are referring to?
  • What about 008 (Kali)? Did the Duffers drop this as most people seemed to dislike the story (I liked it)? Or are they saving this for the fourth season?
  • Will season 4 feature more of Will and his new sister El? Will felt very quiet this season.
  • Will El get her powers back? Does she even want them back? Or would she like to be ‘normal’ for a while?
  • I think Hopper is alive, but I don’t think it’s ‘the American’ mentioned… surely the Duffers won’t make it that obvious?

What did you think of season 3 of Stranger Things? Want to share your thoughts and theories? Tweet us at @flick_whatUK.

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