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S03.E08: Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt

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6 hours ago, Robert Lynch said:

Being a Russian-Romanian Jew descent, I thought the Russian angle was the worst part of this season. I know this was based on 80s tropes in movies about big bad Russians in films like Spies Like Us and others made in that era, but I was annoyed how that took over the aspect of the show.

I’m plain old American and couldn’t be arsed with any of that. Between Alison Brie’s fake Russian villain character in GLOW and the recent Chernobyl, I’ve already seen the full spectrum of “80s Cold War redux” too recently.

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Watched this last episode with the husband and two of our teenagers.  It was a fast hour and seventeen minutes of stress.

I had tears streaming down my face during Hopper's letter voiceover.  His face when he's giving Joyce the okay to turn to the key,  I was heartbroken.  I don't even care if it's a convenient cheat for him to be the American in the Russian prison, I'd be thrilled if Hopper is still alive.  And if he is, I want an epic reunion scene between him and Eleven.  Now I'm wondering if the last line in the letter, about leaving the door open three inches, is some sort of foreshadowing.

I really loved that Eleven and Max bonded and became best girlfriends.  I may have also teared up when Eleven cradled a grieving Max after watching her brother die.  I want to see more of their friendship in the future. Truthfully, I care more about that relationship than I do about Eleven and Mike...whose hair I can't stand.

Eleven's face when she realized that Hopper was dead was another stab to the heart.  C'mon, Joyce, give the girl a hug already.  I'm still not clear on why she seemed to lose her powers. 

Robin was a good addition and I'm glad it looks like she'll be sticking around.  Steve needs a friend his own age. Erica was okay but she did start to get annoying in larger doses.  Though really I felt like that whole Scoops Troop adventure in the Russian underground went on a little too long. 

Even though I never really liked Billy, I was glad he came through in the end.  

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20 hours ago, iMonrey said:

I've seen an awful lot of comments about how Winona Ryder looked this season and yet I didn't notice anything unusual. I have not, however, seen a single comment on how David Harbour looked, and he was noticeably heavier than in the first two seasons.

Agreed. Ryder had a different haircut; but, otherwise, looked fine to me. 

Harbour definitely had more of a schleppy look this season. 

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6 hours ago, rove4 said:

Watched this last episode with the husband and two of our teenagers.  It was a fast hour and seventeen minutes of stress.

I had tears streaming down my face during Hopper's letter voiceover.  His face when he's giving Joyce the okay to turn to the key,  I was heartbroken.  I don't even care if it's a convenient cheat for him to be the American in the Russian prison, I'd be thrilled if Hopper is still alive.  And if he is, I want an epic reunion scene between him and Eleven.  Now I'm wondering if the last line in the letter, about leaving the door open three inches, is some sort of foreshadowing.

I really loved that Eleven and Max bonded and became best girlfriends.  I may have also teared up when Eleven cradled a grieving Max after watching her brother die.  I want to see more of their friendship in the future. Truthfully, I care more about that relationship than I do about Eleven and Mike...whose hair I can't stand.

Eleven's face when she realized that Hopper was dead was another stab to the heart.  C'mon, Joyce, give the girl a hug already.  I'm still not clear on why she seemed to lose her powers. 

Robin was a good addition and I'm glad it looks like she'll be sticking around.  Steve needs a friend his own age. Erica was okay but she did start to get annoying in larger doses.  Though really I felt like that whole Scoops Troop adventure in the Russian underground went on a little too long. 

Even though I never really liked Billy, I was glad he came through in the end.  

Erica took me right out of the show. I felt like I was watching a Martin/Wayon Bros. show when she was there. It did not belong there at all.

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9 hours ago, rove4 said:

I really loved that Eleven and Max bonded and became best girlfriends.  I may have also teared up when Eleven cradled a grieving Max after watching her brother die.  I want to see more of their friendship in the future. Truthfully, I care more about that relationship than I do about Eleven and Mike...whose hair I can't stand.

Unpopular opinion: I thought Lucas' story took a hug hit in favor of Mike/Eleven & Max/Eleven, which is a waste of Caleb McLaughlin. His little sister seemed to have given more of a point of view then him. The only touched on the Max/Lucas relationship barely. I think, with out doing too much damage to other arcs, they should have driven home the fact that Lucas is the closest person to Max.  He knows about her somewhat shitty homelife and was the person that really went out his way to make her feel at home in Hawkins. I think a focus that Lucas actually has conversations with Max could have smoothed out her 180 on Billy this season.

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43 minutes ago, Ambrosefolly said:

Unpopular opinion: I thought Lucas' story took a hug hit in favor of Mike/Eleven & Max/Eleven, which is a waste of Caleb McLaughlin. His little sister seemed to have given more of a point of view then him. The only touched on the Max/Lucas relationship barely. I think, with out doing too much damage to other arcs, they should have driven home the fact that Lucas is the closest person to Max.  He knows about her somewhat shitty homelife and was the person that really went out his way to make her feel at home in Hawkins. I think a focus that Lucas actually has conversations with Max could have smoothed out her 180 on Billy this season.

Caleb was really brushed aside this season. He could have been window dressing and who would notice? No one.

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On 7/6/2019 at 5:41 PM, backhometome said:

Hopper 😞 he has to be alive. Though he could have made it back with Joyce before she  turned the keys

This is bugging me so much. There was literally no reason he couldn't have sprinted back to Joyce during the 15 seconds they gazed sadly at each other. That made absolutely no sense and spoiled the big dramatic moment for me. Instead of thinking, "Oh, how sad and touching!" I was thinking, "What's wrong with you? Run the 40 feet to safety NOW!" 

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6 hours ago, Melina22 said:

This is bugging me so much. There was literally no reason he couldn't have sprinted back to Joyce during the 15 seconds they gazed sadly at each other. That made absolutely no sense and spoiled the big dramatic moment for me. Instead of thinking, "Oh, how sad and touching!" I was thinking, "What's wrong with you? Run the 40 feet to safety NOW!" 

No, he couldn't sprint back.  After he threw Russian Ahnold into the gun it was shooting electrical arcs between Hopper and the control room, blocking him from returning.

Edited by QuantumMechanic
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On 7/6/2019 at 1:18 PM, QQQQ said:

Is the video store clerk (Keith?) the same actor from this AT&T commercial  (carnival worker who assembled ride himself)?

Didn’t he work at the arcade last season? Wanted a date with Nancy?

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1 minute ago, SoWindsor said:

Didn’t he work at the arcade last season? Wanted a date with Nancy?

Yes, he did.  And he is the same actor that's in that AT&T commercial.

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Something that just occurred to me...

With the gates closed, how is it that the Russians have a living demogorgon?  And if the Russians have opened a gate, why isn't the Mind Flayer sending all sorts of crap after El and company?  (I wonder if the MF's actions are limited to the area of the gate or if it can influence any part of the world from  any open gate?)  Season 4's plot, maybe? 😁

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On 7/5/2019 at 8:23 PM, Armchair Critic said:

I binge watched this so maybe it started running together for me, but at the end was some of it out of sequence? First they showed El/Joyce and Jonathan/Will driving away from Hawkins, but then in scenes after that they are still home and haven't left yet.

I was confused by this too. I guess it was just an editing choice since Eleven was reading the letter he wrote.

Anyhow, I finally got around to watching the last episode. I enjoyed it but totally cried at the end when Eleven saw that Hopper wasn't there. I agree that he probably is the prisoner in Russia. But I don't understand how'd he get there. The only way out was to go past Joyce. Unless he got pulled into the upside down either in the explosion or before.

It was sad seeing the Buyer's move but I can't say I blame them. It was nice that they they took Eleven with them as she really has no where to go. I do wonder if her powers will come back. It didn't really explain why they disappeared. She used it to get the thing out of her and to shatter the glass that was after it had already bit her. And three months later, she clearly recovered from her injuries.

I also have to say I was glad that Suzzie was real after all and that scene with her and Dustin was cute.

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I loved this season and I've already watched it twice. It might even be my favorite season of this show. That said, I'm seriously baffled by the lack of attention given to Max's home life.

In season two we saw Billy get slapped by his dad with his stepmom present which clearly telegraphed this was par for the course in their house. But it was still ambiguous whether he physically abused Max or her mom which still allowed the audience to shrug it off because Billy was written so stereotypically. Then in this season, we saw him being abusive to both Billy's mom and kid Billy, showing that he's been a POS for a long time and that he clearly doesn't have any misgivings about hurting women or children. So what does that mean for Max and her mom? Was he only a dick to Billy? And even so, Billy clearly modeled his misogynistic, homophobic and racist behavior after his father. So Max has just been living in this household for years, watching her stepdad beat up his son whom she was terrified of last season? And has she spent the past year sneaking around with Lucas out of fear that her dad will find out she's dating someone who's black? Does Billy no longer care? How does Lucas feel about that? And how did they manage to keep it secret from Mr. Hargrove in a small town where everyone knows everyone's business? 

This is the problem with making the stereotypical Stephen King bully a family member to one of the (now) main kids. The Duffer brothers said Billy was added to have a human villain in the story, but that doesn't work when you have a bigger monster in Billy's dad, who's also stepdad to a core member of the group who's best friends with a super-powered girl who's the daughter of the chief of police. And they must have realized that with the way they retconned Billy and Max's dynamic.

The writing for Billy is just all over the place. They should have either written him more sympathetically last season and made his dad the true villain, or at least have Hopper actually intervene in some way and ensure that Max wasn't being abused. Because watching El, a kid who was abused for most of her life, have a sleepover at Max's, knowing as a viewer that Max too is living in an abusive household made me very uncomfortable. And I have a very hard time believing Hopper is oblivious to what goes on in that house.



 

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I loved this season, but did it seem like there were more comedic moments (sometimes out of place) than in past seasons?

I refuse to believe Hopper is dead. Though I hope he isn't actually in the Upside Down because he can't possibly survive for very long in that inhospitable environment. I'm about 90% sure he's the American in the Russian prison. I think he may have jumped off the platform and was clinging to that ladder that was between the machine and the gate to the Upside Down. It's possible the surviving Russian soldiers that showed up to chase Joyce and Murray went down to the platform and found a wounded/barely conscious Hop and took him with them when they made their own escape from the mall. Hopper is probably my favorite character on the show, and I don't think I can enjoy the show as much if he is truly and most sincerely dead.

I'm happy El is going to live with the Byers (I love mama bear Joyce) but I did find it odd that she didn't go to her Aunt Becky & Mama instead. I guess the show wants to keep El connected to the Hawkins crew, and sending her off with the Byers achieves that better than living with her aunt. As someone who is not fond of Mike (God, he was an annoying little shit this season) or the Mike/El relationship, I hope living with the Byers allows El to bond with Will & Jonathan as friends/brothers, and with Joyce as a mother-figure. My sad little wish is for Joyce and El to lead the charge to find/rescue Hop and for the Hopper-Byers to become one big happy family. Mike can cry outside their window as he watches them have family game night. 

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Well, that hurt like hell. 

RIP Hopper, unless you are a Russian prisoner, in which case I hope you come back soon.

LOVED The Neverending Story bit.

So I guess Scoop Troop needs a new name?

Give us season 4 now.

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10 hours ago, bunnyblue said:

I loved this season, but did it seem like there were more comedic moments (sometimes out of place) than in past seasons?

I refuse to believe Hopper is dead. Though I hope he isn't actually in the Upside Down because he can't possibly survive for very long in that inhospitable environment. I'm about 90% sure he's the American in the Russian prison. I think he may have jumped off the platform and was clinging to that ladder that was between the machine and the gate to the Upside Down. It's possible the surviving Russian soldiers that showed up to chase Joyce and Murray went down to the platform and found a wounded/barely conscious Hop and took him with them when they made their own escape from the mall. Hopper is probably my favorite character on the show, and I don't think I can enjoy the show as much if he is truly and most sincerely dead.

I'm happy El is going to live with the Byers (I love mama bear Joyce) but I did find it odd that she didn't go to her Aunt Becky & Mama instead. I guess the show wants to keep El connected to the Hawkins crew, and sending her off with the Byers achieves that better than living with her aunt. As someone who is not fond of Mike (God, he was an annoying little shit this season) or the Mike/El relationship, I hope living with the Byers allows El to bond with Will & Jonathan as friends/brothers, and with Joyce as a mother-figure. My sad little wish is for Joyce and El to lead the charge to find/rescue Hop and for the Hopper-Byers to become one big happy family. Mike can cry outside their window as he watches them have family game night. 

The Duffer brothers wrote Finn Wolfhard's character really bad this season. I know he is a teenager, but come on. Have an ounce of sympathy, writers. I just hope the reboot of Ghostbusters will be good, but I am looking forward to Paul Rudd. 

Edited by Robert Lynch

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On 7/12/2019 at 1:34 AM, Robert Lynch said:

Being a Russian-Romanian Jew descent, I thought the Russian angle was the worst part of this season. I know this was based on 80s tropes in movies about big bad Russians in films like Spies Like Us and others made in that era, but I was annoyed how that took over the aspect of the show.

I hated everything to do with the Russians. There was absolutely no reason given explaining their motivation for wanting to open the Gate other than “they are Evil Russians who must do things that are Evil.” That’s just lazy writing. Yes I get that they are using the tropes of 80s movies, but this is a show created in the present day and that just looks like shit writing. And they built that whole underground complex with miles of tunnels (Erica said it took them 3 hours to walk down that hallway) under a city with no one knowing anything!?

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43 minutes ago, Cotypubby said:

I hated everything to do with the Russians. There was absolutely no reason given explaining their motivation for wanting to open the Gate other than “they are Evil Russians who must do things that are Evil.” That’s just lazy writing. Yes I get that they are using the tropes of 80s movies, but this is a show created in the present day and that just looks like shit writing. And they built that whole underground complex with miles of tunnels (Erica said it took them 3 hours to walk down that hallway) under a city with no one knowing anything!?

I was kind of questioning Erica's math when she calculated that it would take them 12 days and change (some very precise figure) to get back.  But Dustin seemed to accept it, so either I missed something, or he's not as much of a math nerd as he thinks he is.

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11 hours ago, Robert Lynch said:

The Duffer brothers wrote Finn Wolfhard's character really bad this season. I know he is a teenager, but come on. Have an ounce of sympathy, writers. I just hope the reboot of Ghostbusters will be good, but I am looking forward to Paul Rudd. 

I didn't mind it, because, like I said in the unpopular opinion thread, he is a very young teenage boy who amazingly managed to score a very cute girlfriend that wants to make out with him all the time. It isn't pleasant, but it is very true to life so I don't completely blame him since he probably was resigning himself to single nerdhood before Eleven came into his life. I know a kid the same age Mike is that had to be put in a mental hospital because of a bad breakup with his first girlfriend. His parents still lock up the knifes. And they weren't in love.  

Here is another unpopular opinion: I thought Mike was as right about Max turning Eleven against him as Hopper was about Mike corrupting Eleven. I thought she was acting like a straight up brat in regards to Mike and was projecting her own feelings about her relationship with Lucas onto Eleven. She still insulted Mike unprompted when she was cleaning up Eleven in Mike's bathroom after he was the only one that stepped up to stop Flayed!Billy from chocking Eleven to death. 

Edited by Ambrosefolly
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On 7/13/2019 at 11:21 AM, QuantumMechanic said:

Yes, he did.  And he is the same actor that's in that AT&T commercial.

Looked up the actor. He’s 36 years old!

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2 hours ago, SoMuchTV said:

I was kind of questioning Erica's math when she calculated that it would take them 12 days and change (some very precise figure) to get back.  But Dustin seemed to accept it, so either I missed something, or he's not as much of a math nerd as he thinks he is.

I was confused by this scene too. It may have taken them three hours to walk down the hallway. Therefore it would take them the same amount of time to walk back (maybe even less considering they stopped a few times). Did she mean to get help? Because assuming they still have the card, they can just open it and get out fairly quickly. Still wouldn't take 12 days.

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1 hour ago, Ambrosefolly said:

I thought Mike was as right about Max turning Eleven against him as Hopper was about Mike corrupting Eleven. I thought she was acting like a straight up brat in regards to Mike and was projecting her own feelings about her relationship with Lucas onto Eleven.

I came off feeling that Max's "girl power" bonding with Eleven was more for the sake of the writing shitting on Lucas than anything to do with either Mike or Eleven.

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1 hour ago, bettername2come said:

Looked up the actor. He’s 36 years old!

He is the same age as me! I only knew part of the 80s and most of the 90s. Yes, that shows my age.

Edited by Robert Lynch
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Great season.  I thought the 80s references throughout were terrific, from Fast Times to Back to the Future to the Neverending Story scene, which was inspired and hilarious.  Steve and Dustin were my favorite pair all season, and my favorite story arc was the two of them with Robin and Erica in the secret Russian facility.  Steve and Robin were way more fun than Nancy and Jonathan, who are frankly kind of a bore, and I'm glad they focused more on Steve this season than Jonathan.  Eleven was very touching and you felt for her at the end.  Conspiracy Guy and "Smirnoff" were funny with Joyce and Hopper, and I cracked up at his "Bald Eagle" code name.  

Several things about the season are hard to explain away, like how the Russians managed to build a top secret underground facility on American soil that would have taken an incredible amount of manpower and equipment, and the construction of which would have been highly visible.  And the creature dying at the end because Joyce closed the portal didn't make sense to me, since it appeared to have survived and grown after the original portal was closed by Eleven.  But whatever, the season was a blast.  The obvious cliffhanger at the end suggests that Hopper is indeed alive in a Russian prison cell.  Of course, how they managed to get him out of that mall when it was surrounded by the American military is a total mystery and will never be adequately explained.

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3 hours ago, Dobian said:

 And the creature dying at the end because Joyce closed the portal didn't make sense to me, since it appeared to have survived and grown after the original portal was closed by Eleven.  But whatever, the season was a blast.  The obvious cliffhanger at the end suggests that Hopper is indeed alive in a Russian prison cell.  Of course, how they managed to get him out of that mall when it was surrounded by the American military is a total mystery and will never be adequately explained.

Agree about the Mindflayer. I don’t understand how it survived outside the first time the gate was closed, but bit the dust when the gate was closed this time. 

I can buy the Russians sneaking Hopper out of the mall. The underground lab was labyrinthine. There had to be extra exits in those miles of tunnels.  

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5 minutes ago, DietCokeJunkie said:

Agree about the Mindflayer. I don’t understand how it survived outside the first time the gate was closed, but bit the dust when the gate was closed this time. 

I think the theory the kids had that the mindflayer survived in the world after the gate was closed was just a theory. I think in reality the mind flayer was able to come back because the Russians opened the gate. But since the kids didn't know that they just took a guess.

Plus at the very end of season 2 they showed that the mind flayer was back in the Upside down not in real world Hawkins.

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2 hours ago, Kel Varnsen said:

I think the theory the kids had that the mindflayer survived in the world after the gate was closed was just a theory. I think in reality the mind flayer was able to come back because the Russians opened the gate. But since the kids didn't know that they just took a guess.

No, the kids were right. When El closed the gate at the end of season 2, the parts of the Mind Flayer that were joined to other creatures in our world (the demodogs, the vines) all died, but the part that had already been exorcised from Will and was flying across Hawkins just fell dormant. It ended up on the basement floor of Brimborn Steel Works, where it lay inert until the Russians cracked open their gate. At that point, its connection to the Mind Flayer was restored and it came back online.

That's the scene we see in the first episode of season 3: the power goes out as the Russians turn on the portal drill, the shadow particles on the floor of the mill swirl back to life, and they possess all the rats.

Edited by Dev F
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31 minutes ago, Dev F said:

That's the scene we see in the first episode of season 3: the power goes out as the Russians turn on the portal drill, the shadow particles on the floor of the mill swirl back to life, and they possess all the rats.

Agreed. The Russians have likely had the portal in Hawkins cracked open since the power outage in Ep 1 as you say.

I still want to know where the demogorgon in the credits scene is from. Did they get it in Hawkins? Cuz it looked like the portal under the mall never got that wide open. We didn’t even see tentacles around it. Or did they finally get a portal open back home? Actually, doesn’t there have to be a current portal open for the demogorgon to even remain alive?

And what does that mean for Mind Flayer particles in Hawkins? Presumably when the gate under the mall was closed any MF particles in Hawkins went dormant again.  Can a gate in Russia reactivate them or does it have to be more local?

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Well after the rest of S3 being all over the place and making me zone straight out in some places, I didn't expect the finale to kick me in the feels quite this hard, but here we are.  I was flat out ugly crying pretty much the entire time after Hop "died".  Even Billy's sacrificial death made me cry, although I totally agree that they really retconned his character from last season to now to try to make us feel sorry for him at the end.  (Not saying it worked, but the scene itself was well done and hit some nice points emotionally.)

Dustin and Suzie singing together was cute but went on way way WAY too long.  The Mind Flayer ponderously trying to keep up with the car made me LOL though.

I'm 100% on board with Hopper being 'the American' in the Russian prison.  I'll have to rewatch with the whole story in mind to make more sense of it all, but I like the theory that he deliberately jumped into the Upside Down to keep from being disintegrated by the explosion.  It was extremely obvious that he wasn't standing on the platform anymore when the other guys were dusted (heh) so that makes the most sense IMO.  And hey, it's a crazy thought but maybe stepping on the piece of the Mind Flayer that El expelled from her leg allowed a bit of her powers to pass onto him somehow?  Since distances don't really seem to matter in the Upside Down, he could have been watching for an open doorway (three inches, El, three inches!) and managed to slip out when the Russians were messing with the new demogorgon we saw at the end, only to be captured by them in our world.

Oh, and the Mind Flayer reabsorbed the part that had been in El's leg into itself while it was stalking the kids.  I don't know if that will come up later or not but I did notice it.

All in all, I'm really glad the finale was as good as it was.  I was getting really upset with this season as a whole not being nearly as good as the first two seasons.  Just IMO of course.

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18 hours ago, Spartan Girl said:

I guess Scoop Troop needs a new name?

Due the Scooby gang on BtVS, I mentally referred to the Scoops Ahoy group as the Scoopy gang this season. I feel like there should be an obvious nickname for the new video store group but it hasn't hit me yet.

My biggest disappointment is that we won't get to see Robin and Steve running around in their sailor uniforms next season. Watching them sneak around in those outfits totally cracked me up!

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On ‎7‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 8:46 PM, Ambrosefolly said:

Unpopular opinion: I thought Lucas' story took a hug hit in favor of Mike/Eleven & Max/Eleven, which is a waste of Caleb McLaughlin. His little sister seemed to have given more of a point of view then him. The only touched on the Max/Lucas relationship barely. I think, with out doing too much damage to other arcs, they should have driven home the fact that Lucas is the closest person to Max.  He knows about her somewhat shitty homelife and was the person that really went out his way to make her feel at home in Hawkins. I think a focus that Lucas actually has conversations with Max could have smoothed out her 180 on Billy this season.

Yeah, I also thought that Lucas was pretty much pushed to the background this season and got lost among the whole Mike/Eleven/Max stuff.

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You can already see how next season is going to shape up.  They had Eleven lose her powers obviously so she can't "see" Hopper, but at some point early next season she is going to get those powers back.  But are the writers planning on getting all those kids over to the Soviet Union to rescue him?  LOL!

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Poor Caleb

You could tell he was not satisfied with how his character was shoved in the background by Season 3. He put such a brave front mentioning the Duffer brothers in high regards, but you could hear his disappointment with the Lucas character.

Edited by Robert Lynch
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On 7/5/2019 at 7:23 PM, Armchair Critic said:

I binge watched this so maybe it started running together for me, but at the end was some of it out of sequence? First they showed El/Joyce and Jonathan/Will driving away from Hawkins, but then in scenes after that they are still home and haven't left yet.

I took that to be El remembering the letter. The scenes were interspersed with her staring out the window, so I believe it was intended to be a flashback.

On 7/6/2019 at 2:36 AM, VCRTracking said:

Well I'm a wreck.

Unfortunately I was spoiled on Hopper's death just before watching the first episode.  I heard in weeks prior from that this season was sad and that a "major character" dies. Then before streaming the show on Thursday morning I stupidly went on Twitter and number one thing trending was "Hopper" and I went "Awwww fuck."

On 7/6/2019 at 3:52 PM, lightbeam said:

The way the regular media and social media spoil shows/movies infuriates me (particularly regular media). I was looking at a news app and I saw "Stranger Things: RIP..." in a headline, and I was super pissed. Some articles flat out say it in the title of the article. Basically you have to completely stay away from the internet.

(as an aside, I still haven't seen the movie "Avengers End Game" and was watching an totally unrelated youtube video on tarot and the dude in the video spoils the movie! GRRRRR...)

The spoilers drive me insane, and it is one of the things I dislike about streaming seasons. We can't binge watch because we have a 5 year old, but I also don't like to binge watch because I don't have time to process the episodes, and therefore end up missing stuff. Also, I like some anticipation. With something like GOT, where it is one episode at a time, I can stay off the internet for a day if I miss it for some reason. With this show, you have to binge watch it, or you are going to have some level of spoiler. 

I went on no major news sites and looked at no major television sites other than these forums by episode. Still, I got pushed articles on Google and similar sites that spoiled Robin's coming out and a major death (with pictures that made it clear it was either El or Hopper). How hard is it to had something non-spoilery in your headline and picture? 

On 7/6/2019 at 9:34 PM, Quilt Fairy said:

Yes.  Although we've never seen any interactions between Joyce and El, Joyce should have opened her arms to her.  Which brings me to an important question:  Why is Joyce getting custody of El?   Financially she is in the worst place of the four families to take in an extra child.  Is this something Hopper would realistically even accounted for?  He was still trying to keep El's very existence a secret.

From a practical standpoint, Joyce is the best choice. She is the only one who understands what El has been through. I don't even know if El has met everyones' parents, and she certainly has no pre-established relationship with them. 

From a legal standpoint, there are a couple of answers. The first is that Hopper "legally" adopted El, which makes him her father. End of story. Adoption terminates all legal rights with regard to her birthparents/mom. While it varies from state to state what has to be done to name who you would like to care for your children should you die, typically it is as simple as a clause in a will. The Courts will honor that designation almost every time. They still do a best interest of the child analysis, but El, as a 14 year old, would have also had a lot of say in that. That is, of course, assuming that it ever went before a judge. Given that the government also has a vested interest in keeping El low profile, it is very possible that a friendly judge or even forged papers are the real answer. However, I think that this could have done above-board without too many extra steps. 

I know Hopper is a bit of a mess, but I would find it harder to believe he hadn't accounted for this. Specifically, as a law enforcement officer, he would have been very aware of the potential that something happens to him. Beyond that, it would have come up during "adoption" arrangements (it came up when we adopted our son), and if there is one thing he pulls it together for it is looking out for his daughter's well-being. There is nobody Hopper would have put before Joyce, given that he relied on her heavily for parenting advice and she knew El's history.

On 7/6/2019 at 10:06 PM, Blue Plastic said:

Yes.  If there had ever been any scene that indicated he did treat her well sometimes even if he was also abusive, I could buy that Max would be conflicted and confused about their relationship and maybe miss the nice times they had.  But since we only ever saw that she was scared of him and in season 3 was never shown with him, I think they hoped we'd forget season 2 or something.

Abuse is complicated. People often feel loss and grief when losing an abusive spouse or parent. It isn't at all uncommon. Beyond that, I think we can take Max's word over the course of the season when she defended Billy that there was something beyond fear and dislike between them. They are both victims as well, and that would have formed a bond, whether or not it was a healthy one. 

On 7/7/2019 at 5:31 AM, Sakura12 said:

It makes complete sense to me that Joyce would take El in. She's the only parent that knows El's story about where she came from. The other parents don't know anything their kids have done or that El has powers. Did Mike's mom even know he was dating El? It seems like she wasn't allowed to go out much. She was never in the basement until Will said the mindflayer was back. 

El can talk to Joyce about everything that happened and about Hopper. She wouldn't be able to that with if any other parent took her in. And Hopper could've made arrangements that if anything happened to him Joyce would get custody. Again because she knows everything. 

Agree. I can't see anyone else as a reasonable choice. I also can't see El choosing anyone else.

On 7/7/2019 at 10:44 AM, Quilt Fairy said:

I understand that Joyce is the realistic option, but this is 1985, not 1885.  You can't just say "We have an extra bed, you can sleep there."  There are legal custody considerations. Unless Joyce was savvy enough to talk to Dr Paul Reiser (who just happened to be in town) and get it taken care of.  

It IS 1985 and we are talking about a girl who has almost 0 presence in public records. I don't know if she was attending school, but the first public record of her that we know if is the birth certificate that was forged and given to Hopper. As I note above, I suspect the legal custody considerations were taken care of during the cover up stage, but even if they weren't, Joyce probably wins on a best interest of the child analysis and would have likely been named by Hopper anyway. Also, I will note that there are plenty of children being cared for by someone without legal custody. It really only comes up when medical care is needed, during school registration (and maybe not even that in 1985), etc. 

On 7/8/2019 at 11:21 AM, SeanC said:

Noah is actually the least-challenging actor in that regard; he's the same age as his character right now, roughly.  The "kid" actors are divided into two age categories:

2002 births (all 16/17 now):  Caleb, Sadie, Finn, Gaten

2004 births (all 14/15 now):  Millie, Noah

The characters are all implicitly the same age as Eleven, who was born in 1971, so they're 14-ish as of Season 3, set in 1985.

It blows my mind that these kids are so young, particularly Millie. She is so incredibly talented. It reminds me of the GOT kids. 

On 7/9/2019 at 2:23 AM, Ravenya003 said:

There were a couple of loose ends (why were the Flayed eating chemicals?)

. . . 

Nice of the air ducts to magically expand themselves to accommodate Murray when it was a big plot-point that only a child Erica's size could fit (okay, so Erica's ducts were in the ceiling and Murray's were in the floor, so maybe that accounted for the difference. BUT STILL).

I thought they were eating the chemicals to break down their bodies into goo. Wasn't that the implication, supported by the fact that they stopped when they had built a sufficient amount of mass for the mindflayer?

The air ducts didn't expand. They were two very different systems. The air ducts that Erica had to crawl through were regular commercial air ducts in the mall connecting the ice cream shop with the storage room. The air ducts that Erica and Dustin crawled through were in the compound below the surface. They were more typical of industrial air ducts with fans and access for maintenance below the floor. 

On 7/10/2019 at 4:43 AM, thuganomics85 said:

Jonathan performing emergency surgery on Eleven's leg to get the part of the Mind Flayer out and then freaking Eleven doing it herself really set the tone about how real and gruesome shit was going to be getting for this one!

I could not watch. The emergency surgery was what got me, even more than exploding rats and melting people. 

On 7/10/2019 at 3:16 PM, foxfreakinmulder said:

 I kept wondering if we were going to see Steve in anything other then that sailor suit and knee high socks and we didn't until the very end. Poor Joe.

I realized I might be too obsessed when I saw my son's Stay Puft Marshmallow Man toy and wondered why he was cosplaying as Steve. 

On 7/10/2019 at 8:13 PM, Ambrosefolly said:

I am sorry, I didn't read all the comments, but watched the show. I know people are pretty jazzed for El to be a member of the Byer Family, partly because of Jopper shippers, partly because of Millie's and Noah's real life and legendary close friendship, but what about her Aunt Becky that offered her a home last year? Her sister's name is still on the birth certificate. I could understand her continuing to leave with Hopper and Hopper adopting her; she had spent a year with him and and El really wanted to stay with Mike, but Hopper is, er, "dead" and she is now being sent away from Mike. Shouldn't El go and live with her biological mother's family. I know that things would be difficult because she cationic, but it isn't like Joyce is overflowing with resources either.

Assuming that Hopper was actually legally recognized as adopting El, they wouldn't have any superior legal rights. Beyond that, how would they know? El doesn't have some strong desire to live with them, and she doesn't know them at all. Being biologically related to them doesn't really make them the better choice over a family that she knows and trusts (and also a family who understands the trauma she has lived with). 

On 7/13/2019 at 1:13 PM, QuantumMechanic said:

Something that just occurred to me...

With the gates closed, how is it that the Russians have a living demogorgon?  And if the Russians have opened a gate, why isn't the Mind Flayer sending all sorts of crap after El and company?  (I wonder if the MF's actions are limited to the area of the gate or if it can influence any part of the world from  any open gate?)  Season 4's plot, maybe? 😁

This, I think, is a critical question. Did opening the gate on one end of the world give them some way to open it on the other? Did they biologically engineer their own? 

18 hours ago, blueray said:

I was confused by this scene too. It may have taken them three hours to walk down the hallway. Therefore it would take them the same amount of time to walk back (maybe even less considering they stopped a few times). Did she mean to get help? Because assuming they still have the card, they can just open it and get out fairly quickly. Still wouldn't take 12 days.

The critical difference was that they were walking down a straight path in the first instance, and they were crawling through a maze of airducts having to stop so that Dustin could disable the fans in the second. It would take way more time to crawl through the air ducts. 

15 hours ago, Dobian said:

Several things about the season are hard to explain away, like how the Russians managed to build a top secret underground facility on American soil that would have taken an incredible amount of manpower and equipment, and the construction of which would have been highly visible.  

They built the mall, which would have sufficiently covered a pretty substantial construction project. They also owned several properties throughout the area that were fairly remote, which also could have been used to cover their operations/provided for additional exits. 

I loved this season. It was more intense and definitely more horror. I enjoyed the ensemble aspect and the fact that we got away from a plot where it was about one character being in mortal peril/suffering substantial trauma. 

Steve and Dustin continue to be highlights for me. I love both of their characters. There is something particularly delightful about Dustin's unapologetic nerdiness and sunny optimism.

I thought Maya Hawke/Robin was a great addition and breakout star this season. I enjoyed her character and her relationship with the Scoops gang. Being gay in the 80s was a minefield, and I actually thought her coming out was handled really well (down to the look of nausea and fear). I enjoyed that she got a good scene at the end of this episode. 

I will happily hand wave Hopper back to life. I am still reeling from a character death in another show, and I need some sci fi resurrection please. :) But, if that is the end, I did love it. 

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2 hours ago, Dobian said:

You can already see how next season is going to shape up.  They had Eleven lose her powers obviously so she can't "see" Hopper, but at some point early next season she is going to get those powers back.

I wonder if El's power loss is also meant to set up a more personal story, with her and Will finally taking the opportunity to be "normal" and escape the trauma of their pasts. I could see them reversing the direction of the Will/Mike/El triangle, with Will and El returning to Hawkins as cool, simpatico siblings who finish each other's sentences and giggle over the fun, normal teen adventures they've had together, and Mike, the kid who always wanted to be involved in supernatural shenanigans because they made him feel special and needed, worrying that he's losing the two most important people in his life to each other.

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MVP of Season 3: Steve “The Hair” Harrington

Totally agree and not because I may or may not have a huge crush on the actor who plays him. 😉

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On 7/5/2019 at 10:14 AM, domina89 said:

So the 80's movie references and homages were plentiful this season.  Day of the Dead, Jurassic Park (not really 80's but close enough), Terminator, Rambo, Neverending Story, Aliens, The Lost Boys (the shots of the fair reminded me of the Santa Carla boardwalk), Back to the Future, Red Dawn, Gremlins, and all the movies referenced by Steve and Robin during their interview at the video store.  Any more I missed?

ETA: I forgot Karate Kid!

The 'children saving the day' reminds me a lot of the movie Toy Soldiers (starring our favorite Sean Astin!) although looking it up on wikipedia it looks like it was released in 1991 so not quite 80's.

I think there was a discussion somewhere within this thread about what ages the older teens are supposed to be, since Steve graduated already but it sounds like the others haven't even though Robin at least shared some classes with him.  I had several classes during high school with kids not in my actual grade, and so do my kids now as well.  Only the "core classes" tend to be with just your own grade, in my experience.

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Heven't read the other comments yet. Will do so shortly.

We are all clear on the fact that hopper dove through the rift into the upside down to escape the explosion, right? Right.

Edit: Seems like a lot of people think Hop is a prisoner in russia. I don't see how. His only way out was the rift to the upside down. Unless the russians somehow got their own rift going and pulled him out. Certainly would explain the demagorgon. But I think the upside down maps to our world geographically. So I don't think the russians pulled Hopp from a rift in russia. I rather think part of next season will be the gang figuring out that Hop is trapped in the upside down and their quest of getting him out.

Billie might have had the best redemtion story I've seen in years. I mean withstanding a mind flayer. That's some hardcore shit. If only Joyce had turned those keys like 30 seconds sooner.

I really liked this season. The nostalgia factor was never there with me, since I didn't grow up in the US or the 80s (born in 85, but when I was the age of the kids, it was the 90s). So I didn't get the big fuss around season one. It was good but not mind blowing to me. Season two, wasn't as good as season one. So this season might have been the best season so far for me.

My nitpicks:

- At the end of seaosn 1 El vaporised a Demagorgen, at the end of season 2 she closed a dimensional rift. So it's a bit hard to swollow that she is so much less powerfull now, for no discernible reason. She should have been able to atomise that monster, imo.

- Man the US military is slow as fuck. They get a credible report about russians on US soil opening an interdimensional rift (and remember, they know that's real) and they take like half a day to show up? Hop and Joyce drove back from Illinois and still had time to infiltrate a top secret russian base.

- An american speaking russian isn't going to fool anybody. I assume he had a very bad accent.

- That's not how radios work. There was a scene earlier in the episode where the mall group didn't hear what was going on with the bunker group, when they should all be on the same frequency to share information. Otherwise one group will scream into the void half off the time, since Dustin can only have his radio tower tuned to one frequency.

He even had to switch frequencies later to contact susie and then switch back with her, so the rest could hear.

It's really a stretch that Susies radio tower could penetrate as far as the bunker considering how far away she was. Realistically Dustin would have had to repeat the numbers for them.

But most of all, Only one person can talk at a time. So as much as I loved Dustin and Susie's duet of never ending story (theme song to an amazzing 80s movie, mostly shot in germany at Babelsberg studios [represent]), they wouldn't have been able to hear each other. Other people could have herd both of them, but there is no way they would have stayed in sync.

Also what kind of super battery did Dustin have in the 80s? That radio tower was switched on for days and still running, with a bitching transmission power that could penetrate like a hundret meters of rock and reach somebody half a continent away.

Whatever battery Dustin cooked up there, he could have ushered in the electric car revolution 4 decades early with it.

PS: All those kids are really good singers. Respect.

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On 7/5/2019 at 6:54 AM, Quilt Fairy said:

I'm a little confused by the monsters.  The one they battled in S2 and S3 was called the Mind Flayer and that's not the Demogorgon, right?  Because when the Demogorgon showed up at the end, it's a very different creature.  Are they related somehow?  (It's a bit like how I could never make sense of the aliens in the Alien movies.)  And they never explained why the monster needed fertilizer and pesticides. 

The mindflayer controls everything in the upside down, including the Demagorgon. The mindflayer itself is that weird black smoke monster.

The upside down is interesting. It looks like our world, just infested. From what we know now. how the mind flayer reshapes animals and people, it's possible that until recently tthe upside down was a paralel dimension that had developed exactly like our own, until the mind flayer got there and converted everybody into Demagorgons and the like. So it's a preview of things to come, if the mindflayer ever got here fully,

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7 hours ago, The Companion said:

The first is that Hopper "legally" adopted El, which makes him her father.

7 hours ago, The Companion said:

Assuming that Hopper was actually legally recognized as adopting El, they wouldn't have any superior legal rights.

I thought Hopper didn't adopt Eleven, but rather was listed as her bio father on her forged birth certificate? The Indiana Certificate of Birth Dr. Owens handed Hop listed El's name as Jane Hopper and her mother as Teresa Ives. If El is "Jane Hopper" on her birth certificate doesn't that mean that Jim Hopper was already recognized as her father from the day she was born? Otherwise wouldn't El have been listed as "Jane Ives" on the certificate? I thought that's also why Owens was impressed with his handiwork.

8 hours ago, The Companion said:

Being biologically related to them doesn't really make them the better choice over a family that she knows and trusts (and also a family who understands the trauma she has lived with). 

I wondered why El didn't go live with her Aunt Becky, but your explanation is a pretty solid reasons as to why El went with Joyce and her boys.

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43 minutes ago, Miles said:

Edit: Seems like a lot of people think Hop is a prisoner in russia. I don't see how. His only way out was the rift to the upside down. Unless the russians somehow got their own rift going and pulled him out. Certainly would explain the demagorgon. But I think the upside down maps to our world geographically. So I don't think the russians pulled Hopp from a rift in russia. I rather think part of next season will be the gang figuring out that Hop is trapped in the upside down and their quest of getting him out.

There was nothing paranormal about how Hopper got to Russia.  The big beam generator exploded, supposedly killing him in front of Joyce.  Conspiracy Guy then shows up and they escape right as Russian guards arrive.  Obviously to me, the guards found Hopper alive buried under debris or whatever and took him with them out some back tunnel exit, eluding the American military newly arrived on the scene.  How they smuggled themselves out of the U.S. will probably never be explained in detail.

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 frankly I’m tired of that balding guy with the long beard and glasses showing up in every single show I watch lately. (Okay, his character on Fleabag was despicable and that doesn’t help.)

LOL. Brett Gelman really is getting an awful lot of work lately. He seems to turn up in everything I watch too.

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2 minutes ago, bunnyblue said:

I thought Hopper didn't adopt Eleven, but rather was listed as her bio father on her forged birth certificate? The Indiana Certificate of Birth Dr. Owens handed Hop listed El's name as Jane Hopper and her mother as Teresa Ives. If El is "Jane Hopper" on her birth certificate doesn't that mean that Jim Hopper was already recognized as her father from the day she was born? Otherwise wouldn't El have been listed as "Jane Ives" on the certificate? I thought that's also why Owens was impressed with his handiwork.

I wondered why El didn't go live with her Aunt Becky, but your explanation is a pretty solid reasons as to why El went with Joyce and her boys.

For some reason I thought he adopted her (people keep saying he is her adopted father but I guess they mean through a forged birth certificate). It does change the legal analysis, but I still think there are multiple ways they might have circumvented it and I don't know that her Aunt is really going to complain anyway.

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There was nothing paranormal about how Hopper got to Russia.  The big beam generator exploded, supposedly killing him in front of Joyce.  Conspiracy Guy then shows up and they escape right as Russian guards arrive.  Obviously to me, the guards found Hopper alive buried under debris or whatever and took him with them out some back tunnel exit, eluding the American military newly arrived on the scene.  How they smuggled themselves out of the U.S. will probably never be explained in detail.

So he just survived a massive explosion paired with a massive electrical discarche, that tore the meat of everybody else in the room, while he was standing right next to the source of the explosion and then somehow the russians grabbed him, while the american military was storming the base, got him out of that base and smuggeled him back to Russia? Yeah, sure, sounds reasonable. /s

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55 minutes ago, Miles said:

So he just survived a massive explosion paired with a massive electrical discarche, that tore the meat of everybody else in the room, while he was standing right next to the source of the explosion and then somehow the russians grabbed him, while the american military was storming the base, got him out of that base and smuggeled him back to Russia? Yeah, sure, sounds reasonable. /s

Ummmm....you know how tv shows and movies work, right?  It's called plot armor.  Laws of physics, reason, and common sense don't enter into it.  Hopper survived that explosion.  Trust me.

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1 minute ago, Dobian said:

Ummmm....you know how tv shows and movies work, right?  It's called plot armor.  Laws of physics, reason, and common sense don't enter into it.  Hopper survived that explosion.  Trust me.

Only terrible shows employ plot armor this thick. This show hasn't been a terrible show thus far.

If Hopper just survived a flesh melting explosion, with no exit on his side of that electricity shield (apart from the rift to the upside down), this show has officially jumped the shark and I'm going to stop watching. But I have more faith in the Duffer brothers than you do. I don't think they suddenly had brain aneurysms and turned into terrible hack frauds. So I'll be able to enjoy future seasons as well. :)

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23 minutes ago, Miles said:

Only terrible shows employ plot armor this thick. This show hasn't been a terrible show thus far.

If Hopper just survived a flesh melting explosion, with no exit on his side of that electricity shield (apart from the rift to the upside down), this show has officially jumped the shark and I'm going to stop watching. But I have more faith in the Duffer brothers than you do. I don't think they suddenly had brain aneurysms and turned into terrible hack frauds. So I'll be able to enjoy future seasons as well. 🙂

Well I pointed out earlier that the Soviets being able to build a massive high tech underground facility underneath a shopping mall in America without detection is completely implausible.  Not to mention the massive amount of energy it would have to be pulling from the local power grid, again without detection.  But you just suspend disbelief and go with it.  

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9 hours ago, The Companion said:

 From a practical standpoint, Joyce is the best choice. She is the only one who understands what El has been through. I don't even know if El has met everyones' parents, and she certainly has no pre-established relationship with them. 

From a legal standpoint, there are a couple of answers. The first is that Hopper "legally" adopted El, which makes him her father. End of story. Adoption terminates all legal rights with regard to her birthparents/mom. While it varies from state to state what has to be done to name who you would like to care for your children should you die, typically it is as simple as a clause in a will. The Courts will honor that designation almost every time. They still do a best interest of the child analysis, but El, as a 14 year old, would have also had a lot of say in that. That is, of course, assuming that it ever went before a judge. Given that the government also has a vested interest in keeping El low profile, it is very possible that a friendly judge or even forged papers are the real answer. However, I think that this could have done above-board without too many extra steps. 

I know Hopper is a bit of a mess, but I would find it harder to believe he hadn't accounted for this. Specifically, as a law enforcement officer, he would have been very aware of the potential that something happens to him. Beyond that, it would have come up during "adoption" arrangements (it came up when we adopted our son), and if there is one thing he pulls it together for it is looking out for his daughter's well-being. There is nobody Hopper would have put before Joyce, given that he relied on her heavily for parenting advice and she knew El's history.

Except Terri's rights and by extension Becky's, weren't terminated. Technically Hopper is El's legal father, not adoptive, as he is named as the father on her birth certificate while Terri is now named her birth mother, which reinstates her rights. Because Terri's is permanently disabled, Hopper's "rights" supersedes Becky's, but once Hopper "died," custody should reverted back to El's biological maternal family as Becky is now the closest kin to her.  While I think Becky would agree to Hopper having El as his daughter because she had spent a year with him, he is better suited to protecting her from the people that initial took her away and El wouldn't want to be parted from Mike, no matter how nice Joyce is, Becky would now want El in her house in the room that Terri lovingly decorated and kept for her, especially now that Joyce is moving El away from Mike, her boyfriend, and now Max, the only girl that she made friends with, not to mention Dustin and Lucas who helped hide her when she escaped.  And I would like to think that for a man that had already lost a daughter, and since Becky is stable person with a house, I would think he would want to give Becky and Terri the girl that Terri spent years fighting for.

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There was a ladder down that faced the portal side that Hopper could have reached. My theory right now is that Hopper was saved by the Americans but can't go back home because Dr. Owens needs his help in shutting down the Soviet portal threats.

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