Stranger Things Season 3 Review: What in the World Just Happened!?

I just finished binging season three of Netflix’s Stranger Things, and boy am I impressed. I wasn’t sure what would happen this season, or if there would even be another after this one (more on that later), but what I do know is that once again I am left speechless and wanting more so obviously Netflix killed it yet again.

The Cast

Our entire cast returns to season three, all having aged quite a bit. This falls perfectly in line with the story though as they are all aging and their interests (cough cough, girls) are changing, or at least for some they are. We see Mike and Lucas both much more interested in their girlfriends, while will is still clinging on to the groups younger ideals. Even Dustin has seemed to move on somewhat when we find out he got a girlfriend when he was away at summer camp, but he of course still acknowledges the fact that he is a nerd. Nancy and Jonathan have also grown up, now both with an internship and attempting to be adults after high school. While Jonathan’s character didn’t seem to change all that much to me, I noticed quite a change in Nancy’s. She was much more fierce this season, as was Joyce, and I absolutely loved it. My favorite character arc of this season however was probably Steve’s, as he realized that all of the popularity he had during high school didn’t really mean anything. A lot of this of course was brought on by one of the new characters Robin, who I thought was a nice addition to the already stacked cast. And of course we have Billy, what a character he was last season. I thought his character was incredible in season three, so shouts to Dacre Montgomery.

The Story

As I mentioned earlier, I had zero clue as to what would happen this season when I started my binge yesterday. I somewhat avoided the trailers when they came out this year just because I wanted it to be more of a surprise, and I now can say that this season was quite the surprise. Billy’s role as the villain who saved the day towards the end was awesome. I had a feeling early on that he would somehow snapback to reality, and this was all but confirmed when Eleven sees all of those memories when she is in his head. This mixed with the introduction of the secret Russian re-opening of the upside down was just what I needed for season three. Netflix did an excellent job in creating two entirely separate stories that merged into one, in fact so excellent that at one point I didn’t think it would end up being one! I was almost convinced that Steve and the underground gang would stop the machine and everyone else would hold off The Mindflayer above ground. But I was wrong, and instead we have Hopper, Joyce, and Murray who delve down into the Russian depths. The whole Hopper storyline this season was superb as well, and I found myself tearing up when the machine goes haywire and he realizes that he isn’t going to make it out alive.

The Mind Flayer

I don’t even know where to begin with how creepy The Mind Flayer was this season. It looked like something straight from a survival horror video game and gave me the chills every time I saw it. It was almost as if I was connected to The Mindflayer the same way Will was with all of the goosebumps I got! Anyways, not only was the monster of the season creepy, but the way he was “assembled” was creepy as well. It was having people basically melt down their bodies with chemicals and fertilizer so that when it needed them they would become one with its body, thus making The Mindflayer even larger and more grotesque. And all of those elongated tongues that it could just shoot out of its body brought me straight back to when I watched Alien with my dad as a child. Even though I was beyond creeped by this thing, I did like this rendition better than the upside downs in which it was made entirely out of clouds/shadows. If there was one thing I would’ve liked to see regarding this creature though, it would’ve been that he grew to be even larger than what we saw in the finale. Let’s be honest, if an evil slime monster was going to attack, wouldn’t you think it would get as large as possible to ensure its success? Besides that though I thought the concept and story of The Mind Flayer was great this season and I can’t wait to see how (or what) they bring back for the possible fourth season.

One Last Season?

So far… all of my research concludes that Netflix has not yet renewed Stranger Things for its fourth and final season. I obviously want another season since this show has been flawless over the last few years, but at the same time I wouldn’t hate it ending where it did in season three. My main concern with another season basically revolves around the entire final sequence we see over in Russia, and of that scene the issue is the one sentence regarding the American. This of course makes everyone’s brains jump straight to Hopper, but there is literally no way he could’ve survived that explosion down in the Russian lab. And even if he somehow did, how would he end up in Russia? There’s no way the Russians would’ve had time to search for his body and grab it to transport it out of the lab before the U.S Military arrived. And if they somehow said he was transported through the upside down and out of the other portal in Russia, which I believed was closed in episode one, I would probably just stop watching the show. So as long as something too far fetched doesn’t happen, I cannot wait to see what the fourth seasons story will look like.

At the end of the day, season three of Stranger Things will probably go down as my favorite season of the franchise. It was jam packed with splendid character arcs, deaths that tugged on my heart strings (R.I.P Hopper/Billy), and stunning cinematography… Plus it also didn’t waste time with random storylines that didn’t matter (I’m looking at you Season Two, Chapter Seven). This season is a MUST watch though, and I highly suggest you drop everything your doing to catch up on what may be Netflix’s show of the summer.

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