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S03.E08: Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt

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On 7/5/2019 at 5:12 PM, piperkat said:

 OK, I have to call BS on one tiny, but critical point – no one in 1985 would’ve referred to the original Star Wars as “A New Hope”.  Nope, not even pretentious video rental clerks.  

Yes, there was a limited release in the early 80s that tacked on that extra title,  but anyone who was around for the original Star Wars run in ‘77 would refer to it as “Star Wars”. 

It's still Star Wars to me. As well as to my grown children - I raised them right. 😉

On 7/5/2019 at 7:57 PM, mmecorday said:

The ending was brutal. I'm so invested in these characters, I felt like I was watching my good friends move away. (That was always my biggest fear when I was their ages -- that my best friend would have to move because of her father's job. She never did, thank God.)

I was sobbing like a child. Not only because it was a touching moment with the characters - but I said goodbye to my friends so many times in my young life because my Dad could not stand to be in one place for long, that this really hit home.

On 7/5/2019 at 10:01 PM, Dev F said:

And that's a pretty cool and fairly uncommon message -- that it's OK to feel like an outsider even among other outsiders, and that even if you find yourself growing apart in small or large ways from the people you once shared everything with, it doesn't mean you have to stop caring about them or supporting them in their times of need.

Loved this. Given what I said above, it hits home too.
 

On 7/6/2019 at 5:44 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

While I understand Joyce following through with her plan to leave Hawkins (and who can blame her after losing Bob and Hopper?), I thought it wasn't necessarily the best choice for Will and Eleven who have been through a lot and need the emotional support of their friends. Sure, kids can make new friends, but it's not like Will and Eleven can tell their new friends about demogorgons, mind flayers, and secret Russian bases under the mall.

But they'll have each other - and they're the two who encountered the Upside Down and Mind Flayer more directly.
 

On 7/6/2019 at 1:58 PM, MissL said:

Is it awful that when I saw Joyce hugging Will at the end I got totally pulled out of the moment and mumbled “Joyce you have TWO sons are you concerned about Jonathan at ALL?”

The thought might have passed through my mind.

On 7/10/2019 at 10:12 AM, foxfreakinmulder said:

Hopper stepped on it. But Billy found Eleven's blood on the floor when he was looking for them so I don't know if that blood morphed into something or not.

In a miss it if you blinked moment, the Mind Flayer sucked it up - or it was absorbed - into one of its appendages.

On 7/10/2019 at 10:22 PM, Katsullivan said:

Billy was flat out abusive to Max and in the After-Show they were doing for Season 2, the producers clearly explain that BIlly was: racist, and abusive. He hated Lucas for being black but he would basically look for any reason to hurt Max. It's also stated that they haven't been family for long - looks like their parents just got married and decided to "start new" in Hawkins. But in season 3, they're suddenly close siblings who've known each other since Max was a baby. 🙄🙄

All I wanted was for that abusive, racist piece of shit Billy to die and I got that. Of course they had to woobify his ass first because heaven forbid we should be happy that a POS got what was coming to him. I noticed that they entirely retconned his relationship with Max so that his victim could cry over his dead body, while also sweeping that small matter of "beat up a child for being black" under the rug. Typical.🙄

In the flashback memory El accessed this season, Max was a few years younger than she is now when she was introduced to Billy. So, not a baby. I don't think there was any retconning - abused people often still love the abuser. But @The Companion says it better:

On 7/15/2019 at 8:08 AM, The Companion said:

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.

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2 hours ago, Clanstarling said:

But they'll have each other - and they're the two who encountered the Upside Down and Mind Flayer more directly.

What is kind of funny is that everyone who is living in Joyce's new house will have gone into the upside down except for Jonathan. And the only other known, living person who has visited the upside down is Nancy  (if you assume Hopper is dead).

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OK, I have to call BS on one tiny, but critical point – no one in 1985 would’ve referred to the original Star Wars as “A New Hope”.  Nope, not even pretentious video rental clerks.  

THIS!  This definitely annoyed me.  I still call the original Star Wars "Star Wars" though I do occasionally specify.  But that naming convention didn't come around until the late-90s.

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Did the Russians say the American or the Americans at the end when picking a prisoner to feed to the Demogorgon? I don't recall seeing Murray in the flash-forward. I know he was with Joyce after but is it possible he's the one in the Russian prison (along with Hopper, please, please, please!)

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1 hour ago, theredhead77 said:

Did the Russians say the American or the Americans at the end when picking a prisoner to feed to the Demogorgon? I

They said "the American." Singular.

On 7/14/2019 at 9:16 AM, Spartan Girl said:

So I guess Scoop Troop needs a new name

How about the vid kids?  

In response to those wondering why El went with Joyce -- they set it up in prior seasons (though subtlely) that Joyce is the best mother figure El has had.  While she met her aunt and mom, Joyce is the one who has comforted her and hugged her and looked out for her.  In Season two, remember the big hug Joyce gave El when she returned to the cabin? El dissed Max in favor of giving Joyce a great big embrace. I think it's only natural that El would want to live with Joyce as a default. 

Edited by Cowgirl
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On 7/11/2019 at 6:34 PM, kieyra said:

Oh, and I’ve been convinced since the pilot that they primarily cast the actor who plays Jonathan because he looks like a young Stephen King.

OMG! This!!  I have been trying for four years now to figure out who he reminds me of, and you hit the nail on the head!  Now I wonder how on earth I didn't make that connection.  Thanks!

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Well, I'm glad there is hope for Hopper. I love him. That said, the scenes between Hopper and Joyce were the weakest of the season, too long and too histrionic. I liked that the letter at the end did address some of Hopper's feelings but it was too little, too late for me. 

It was exciting and watchable-I liked all the Russian throwback plotlines and the focus on the mall. I didn't like how separate the storylines were and that they all only came together for a hot minute. It also felt repetitive that the kids went under the mall to the Russian HQ, came back out, then Hopper et all went back in again....I enjoyed it but not as much as the 2 last seasons.

I suppose Steve and Nancy are never happening again but I kind of wish they would. Like the rest of the world, I love Steve. 

The kids seemed like they grew from ep 1 to 8! I hope they are seniors in HS next season and there's a big jump and new hair.

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Though I hated Hop dying, I personally think it would better to make those final moments count. Those were just brilliant and heart rending.

Reviving him would feel like Bobby in the shower for me. The teaser certainly wants us to think it's Hop. And maybe by the time the next season rolls around, it won't feel like a cheat to me.

BTW, if the next season will take place Thanksgiving/Christmas, I wonder if there's any way it will be this year. It would keep the kids growth spurts at a minimum at least.

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The only reason I could see him not dying is that he's one of the very few people who has survived through the upside down, so if the Russians were able to get to him and he's in the cell, I can see he would be a valuable intelligence source for them based on the tag scene. 

3 hours ago, Clanstarling said:

Reviving him would feel like Bobby in the shower for me.

That also fits with the heavy 80s theme of the series though. 

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On 7/17/2019 at 1:46 PM, Cowgirl said:

In response to those wondering why El went with Joyce -- they set it up in prior seasons (though subtlely) that Joyce is the best mother figure El has had.  While she met her aunt and mom, Joyce is the one who has comforted her and hugged her and looked out for her.  In Season two, remember the big hug Joyce gave El when she returned to the cabin? El dissed Max in favor of giving Joyce a great big embrace. I think it's only natural that El would want to live with Joyce as a default. 

I don't doubt they have a warm relationship. Aside from Benny, she was the first adult to treat her with kindness, but there was a good amount of warmth between her and Aunt Becky, especially at the kitchen table when Becky had tears in her eyes, telling her that her mother never doubt that El was alive. She might of bolted because she was afraid that Becky was, ironically, sending her back to Hopper, but it was on negative terms on Becky's side.

And I would also like to point, while I don't doubt that Joyce cares about her, in season one and season two, she also needed her to help with Will (admittedly in dire straights both times). I am sure she was happy to see Eleven alive after a year, but did she ask what happened to her the year she was missing. 

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10 hours ago, Ambrosefolly said:

I don't doubt they have a warm relationship. Aside from Benny, she was the first adult to treat her with kindness, but there was a good amount of warmth between her and Aunt Becky, especially at the kitchen table when Becky had tears in her eyes, telling her that her mother never doubt that El was alive. She might of bolted because she was afraid that Becky was, ironically, sending her back to Hopper, but it was on negative terms on Becky's side.

And I would also like to point, while I don't doubt that Joyce cares about her, in season one and season two, she also needed her to help with Will (admittedly in dire straights both times). I am sure she was happy to see Eleven alive after a year, but did she ask what happened to her the year she was missing. 

I'm pretty sure El felt betrayed by Aunt Becky, who didn't really know the stakes. And though I don't remember it clearly, even before the call Becky made, I never got the sense that Becky wanted El to stay.

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10 hours ago, Clanstarling said:

I'm pretty sure El felt betrayed by Aunt Becky, who didn't really know the stakes. And though I don't remember it clearly, even before the call Becky made, I never got the sense that Becky wanted El to stay.

I thought the scene at the kitchen table was quite touching. She seemed pretty apologetic about not believing Terri. She was also blindsided that the baby she thought was miscarried was alive and had superpowers. Then they ramped up "Eleven goes to find Eight" quickly.

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I just finished this season. It was excellent. I think this season’s storylines tied together better than last, which made it a much better season. Though I was confused as to why the Russians wanted to open the gate and how the heck did they build a multi-billion dollar facility beneath the town of Hawkins without anyone knowing? I came to understand in the end what they were/are trying to do. It’s the old tired trope of attempting to use alien biology to create what I’m guessing is some kind of army of super soldiers. 

So sad to see Hopp die. He was one of my favorite characters. I’m assuming though he might still be with us, being as they referenced an American being held captive in the Russian prison. 

Glad to see Joyce take the kids and leave town. Really who would continue to stay there after all the hell they’d been through? Was so happy that by episode three everyone was on to what was happening and at least had bits and pieces of the full picture. 

El and Mike were more tolerable this season I think because after the first couple of episodes they didn’t spend a whole lot of time basking in their love. Lol. And when they did get close it wasn’t icky like last season as now they are older. 

I really liked that they let El branch out more and learn some things beyond Mike. Though brief, I liked seeing Nancy bonding with her mom. I was pleasantly surprised when they didn’t take the predictable route in having Steve and Robin fall in love. I enjoyed the twist with her being gay. Also, though it’s great seeing El kick ass, I thought it was a nice change that in the final battle, others had to save her. Great idea from Lucas about the fireworks. Lastly, I’m so glad they didn’t go the route of Will being kidnapped or tortured again by the Mind Flayer. If they’d taken that path I would’ve stopped watching. I couldn’t take watching another season of him being tortured. 

Things that still didn’t make sense, what is the the Mind Flayer’s end game? If it managed to kill El and all her friends as planned what was next? To turn everyone on earth in to stepford beings, doing its bidding until it was ready to transform them into a pile of goo that would be apart of his anatomy?

Didn’t understand why the kids remained at Hopp’s cabin when they knew the Mind Flayer was in route there. It would’ve made more sense for them to leave there immediately rather than stay and fight, then be forced out after the cabin was destroyed and El injured. 

Again great season. I’m not sure where they can go next with this, but then I said the same thing after watching Season 2 and look how that turned out. So I’m definitely in for another season.

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9 hours ago, Enero said:

Things that still didn’t make sense, what is the the Mind Flayer’s end game? If it managed to kill El and all her friends as planned what was next? To turn everyone on earth in to stepford beings, doing its bidding until it was ready to transform them into a pile of goo that would be apart of his anatomy?

Didn't the MF spell it out when Billy spole to El inside her mind? I thought the idea was that El was the only thing stopping it from taking over, so it would kill her then hwr friends. Then i think the idea was that with the gate open it could take over the world and make it into something like the Upside down.

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...I wasn't crying...your crying...

Oh God, I know lots of other stuff happened this episode (and in this season in general) and I will get there, but I am really emotional you guys. I admit I put off watching this because I didn't want the season to end (it takes so long to get more!) but I did get to live in a world where El still had her father and the party wasn't split a little bit longer. Does anyone have a mountain of tissues place?!

I am holding out hope that maybe Hop could still be alive. Holding out hope damn it!

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The story is at a point ending Season 3 where they can really have a much bigger gap when Season 4 picks up. I think it should go 3-4 years to 1988-89. It would be intriguing for the story to jump to either the last part of the kids' Senior year in HS, or the summer after their HS graduation. That would also catch the biological age of the actors to the story. Then have a short time frame between 4 and 5 and end it about 1990 or '91. I don't think the show would go beyond five seasons. 

Much can happen in 3-4 years. They can do a lot with the story and restart it at a future point that would be interesting. If Hopper is being jailed than it would make sense that his status wouldn't change for 3-4 years. You can have the Byers family either move to their new location and become established, or move and decide to come back during that "hiatus". Jonathan, Steve and Nancy would all be young adults in their early 20's as well. 

I think the girl that plays Eleven is the best of the child actors...by far. Next I would put the Dustin and Max actors followed by a gap to all the rest.

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1 hour ago, BigDfromLA said:

The story is at a point ending Season 3 where they can really have a much bigger gap when Season 4 picks up. I think it should go 3-4 years to 1988-89. It would be intriguing for the story to jump to either the last part of the kids' Senior year in HS, or the summer after their HS graduation. That would also catch the biological age of the actors to the story. Then have a short time frame between 4 and 5 and end it about 1990 or '91. I don't think the show would go beyond five seasons. 

Much can happen in 3-4 years. They can do a lot with the story and restart it at a future point that would be interesting. If Hopper is being jailed than it would make sense that his status wouldn't change for 3-4 years. You can have the Byers family either move to their new location and become established, or move and decide to come back during that "hiatus". Jonathan, Steve and Nancy would all be young adults in their early 20's as well. 

I think the girl that plays Eleven is the best of the child actors...by far. Next I would put the Dustin and Max actors followed by a gap to all the rest.

I think a time leap would be a good idea, you make excellent points.

Because I'm bored, I decided to look at the age and experience levels of the child actors (well, main band of kids). I counted their credits up to Stranger Things, and am using only IMDB information. Finn and Caleb's ages aren't listed in IMDB, though I'm sure some of you know it.

  •  Millie Bobby Brown (El): B. 2004, age15. Eleven (hah!) tv or film credits (2 series), first credit in 2013 at age 9.
  • Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin): B. 2002, age 17. Three tv or film credits, first credit in 2015 at age 13.
  • Sadie Sink (Max): B. 2002, age 17. Seven tv or film credits (2 series), first credit in 2013 at age 11.
  • Finn Wolfhard (Mike): Sixteen tv or film credits (2 series), first credit in 2013.
  • Caleb Mclaughlin (Lucas). Thirteen tv or film credits. Significant stage credits on Broadway, including Young Simba in the Lion King. First tv or film credit in 2012.
  • Noah Schnapp (Will):   B. 2004 age 15. Ten tv or film credits, first credt in 2015 at age 11.
  • Bonus – Priah Ferguson (Erica) (age also unlisted) has twelve tv or film credits, starting in 2015.

Millie was chilling in an NCIS episode when she was only 10 years old. At the same time she was playing an old man in a child's body in her first series. Seriously talented, that girl.

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On 7/15/2019 at 5:40 PM, Miles said:

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.

And this right here is why I hold the unpopular opinion that I hated the Suzie/Dustin duet. That little bit of bullshit was the 30 seconds that killed Hopper and Billy. 

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1 hour ago, Pixel said:

And this right here is why I hold the unpopular opinion that I hated the Suzie/Dustin duet. That little bit of bullshit was the 30 seconds that killed Hopper and Billy. 

Hopper has no one but himself to blame for not putting a bullet in Russian Ahnold’s head when he had the chance at the funhouse and also when he literally had a gun to the guy’s head and futzed around.

Also, they could have just turned the keys right away instead of the “Threeeeeeee, Twooooooo, Onnnnnnnnnnne” slow count.

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On 7/18/2019 at 8:59 AM, Clanstarling said:

Reviving him would feel like Bobby in the shower for me.

I don't see it that way because this is sci-fi/fantasy and people come back all the time. Dallas was a totally different genre.

13 hours ago, Clanstarling said:

At the same time she was playing an old man in a child's body in her first series.

I watched that show and was disappointed when it was canceled, though I can't remember its name.

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10 hours ago, Pixel said:

And this right here is why I hold the unpopular opinion that I hated the Suzie/Dustin duet. That little bit of bullshit was the 30 seconds that killed Hopper and Billy. 

I thought there was a lot of unnecessarily long "fluff" scenes including the ones with Steve and Robin and Hopper and Joyce.  They dragged on while real stuff was going down elsewhere.

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2 hours ago, AngelKitty said:

I don't see it that way because this is sci-fi/fantasy and people come back all the time. Dallas was a totally different genre.

I watched that show and was disappointed when it was canceled, though I can't remember its name.

Fair point, regarding the genres. I grabbed from my mind the first example I could think of. But I also tend to dislike it in sci-fi/fantasy, unless there's been a good deal of groundwork laid prior to the "death," or if it's an amusing twist. I don't really want Hop to be back because the moment was beautiful and final, but I know if he does come back, I'll probably be on board despite myself.

I can never remember the name either - even though I JUST saw it. The Intruders? Very creepy show.

Edited by Clanstarling
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11 hours ago, Pixel said:

And this right here is why I hold the unpopular opinion that I hated the Suzie/Dustin duet. That little bit of bullshit was the 30 seconds that killed Hopper and Billy. 

I didn't hate the duet - it was kind of sweet - but it went on too long.

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I liked the duet I just hated the timing of it. I feel like Hopper will be back because we didn't see him die. There was nothing there where he used to be, not little chucks of Hopper or splattered Hopper blood, it literally looked like he just walked off somewhere when we weren't looking. 

I finished the whole thing in a day. I wasn't feeling it in the first couple eps but after that I started to enjoy this season. Loved Max and El, loved the Scoop Troop. Could have done without Mike and El being total dicks at the beginning, but luckily it didn't last long and gave us some great El/Max and Mike/Lucas stuff. 

I was unfortunately spoiled about Hopper dying so I didn't quite get the emotional impact I would have expected I would. I did, however, get emotional when Billy sacrificed himself. I'm a sucker for the asshole who, in the end, takes the bullet to save others. Also, Max's reaction was breaking my heart. 

I have no idea what a fourth season would look like. This feels like the perfect series finale. El lost her powers and can now be "normal", she rode off into the sunset with a new family who care about her. I feel like her "Stranger Things" story is over. I really have no interest in seeing the Mind Flayer come back again.

I would, however, watch the hell out of Steve and Robin and their little gang of weird children spying on suspicious members of the Hawkins community, and for Steve to find a girl he loves who loves him back. I love him, but I am way out of his age range so, sadly, it won't be me. lol 

I will say I love Steve and Robin's friendship and how, once he figured it out, he was totally cool with her sexuality and even teased her about her choice in girls. I will miss their adorable little sailor uniforms though. 

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Finally finished watch this. I’m going with no way Hopper is dead. I felt that blast and the “poof disappeared” was very reminiscent of what happened in season one when Eleven destroyed the demogorgon the first time. She disappeared into the upside down. I think that’s what happened to Hopper. 

Or, it’s all a lie because “Heroic Sheriff Dies in Fire” was in the newspaper headline just like “30 Dead In Mall Fire”. Obviously a cover up. Maybe he’s working with Paul Reiser.

Or in a Russian Cell.

Someone on a different website also commented that the last time they used the song “Heroes” in the show was season one when they pulled the fake Will out of the water, so maybe that is a hint it’s a fake out?

Any way I look at it, I just don’t think he’s dead. He’s too important to the show.

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29 minutes ago, Ilovepie said:

Finally finished watch this. I’m going with no way Hopper is dead. I felt that blast and the “poof disappeared” was very reminiscent of what happened in season one when Eleven destroyed the demogorgon the first time. She disappeared into the upside down. I think that’s what happened to Hopper. 

Or, it’s all a lie because “Heroic Sheriff Dies in Fire” was in the newspaper headline just like “30 Dead In Mall Fire”. Obviously a cover up. Maybe he’s working with Paul Reiser.

Or in a Russian Cell.

Someone on a different website also commented that the last time they used the song “Heroes” in the show was season one when they pulled the fake Will out of the water, so maybe that is a hint it’s a fake out?

Any way I look at it, I just don’t think he’s dead. He’s too important to the show.

Now that is laying some (very subtle) groundwork. 😉

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3 hours ago, Mabinogia said:

I really have no interest in seeing the Mind Flayer come back again.

They could spend the next season trying to stop the Russians. They don't need the mind flayer to come back.

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On 7/9/2019 at 10:27 AM, Robert Lynch said:

That is what happens when a teen actor peaks at 17 or 15. They no longer are invested in their characters and it becomes a chore all of a sudden. Take a good at Modern Family. Out of all teen actors that passed awkward phrases in later teens, River Phoenix, Fred Savage, and Jason Bateman were the only ones that achieved that obstacle. I am not sure how Finn will do after Stranger Things since he has so much on his plate: his band and other film projects on his lap. Either way, I wish him luck.

Actually Finn is far and away the most productive and sought after actor on the show right now.... even more than Millie. He'll have a big part in The Turning which Steven Spielberg is executive producing. Has landed a role in the new Ghostbuster 2020 movie which will be directed by Ivan Reitman who did the first two original films. Also will be in The Goldfinch which stars Nicole Kidman and  Ansel Elgort .

With the resume he's collecting I see Finn being the first of the group to go big IMHO.

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I love how even the greater world has noticed all the weird shit going on in Hawkins, and are trying to investigate its Hell Hole nature! Weird deaths (RIP Barb and Bob) explosions, corruption, its a whole lot for just one seemingly normal little town. Honestly, its amazing that even more people arent getting the hell out of dodge. 

I thought this was a really good season, you could really see the bump in the budget (the even bigger soundtrack of 80s classics, the shooting style, the effects on the monsters and the hole to the Upside Down) and I thought it mostly continued the story really well. Lots of great characters dynamics and 80s tropes, all the stuff I want from my Stranger Things. My two main criticisms are that I didnt really care much for the focus on the Soviets, and while I liked that they gave a bit more depth to some of the minor and supporting characters and we got some good new characters, I thought that a few characters got pretty short changed. The Evil Commie bit was so over the top ridiculous that it seemed like some kind of 1950s Red Scare propaganda film, I mean we never even know what the fuck they are even DOING opening that hole to the Netherworld, just that they're evil and thats how they roll. We can guess why they are doing what they're doing (like the Americans, presumably trying to weaponize the Upside Down and its creatures to get a leg up in the Cold War) and the US is also obviously up to its own sketchy stuff with 11 and the Upside Down, but they were pretty weak antagonists. And like I said, the multiple plots and characters meant that some plots were just kind of abandoned (does Nancy still have a job at the paper now that her boss is dead?) especially poor Lucas, who hardly got to do anything beside be a sounding board for Mike and his girl troubles. I mean, Erica got more screen time than he did! 

I am fully on board the "Hop isn't dead" train. As @Ilovepie pointed out very cleverly, Heroes* was played when they gave Joyce Wills fake corpse. I suspect that he is "The American" in the Russian prison was Hop, and hopefully El can save him by next season and he and Joyce can finally go on their date. Hey, no body, so let me have this! I feel like they wouldn't have added that bit about The American if it meant nothing, so maybe he got sucked into into a portal that took him to the USSR?

I got so used to Steve and Robin in those hideous sailor outfits, that when they showed up in their non uniforms at the end, I was kind of shook at how much they pull off their 80s clothes! I would totally watch a web spin off about Robin and Steve working at the video store, hanging out, bantering, playing wing man/woman when they both try to pick up girls, it would be great.

As awful and abusive as Billy was, I did end up feeling sorry for him in the end, and the little boy that loved surfing and who he could have been if his dad wasn't so cruel and if his mom hadn't left. It doesn't excuse what he did and how he was, but it still makes me sad. Plus, being possessed and then sucked dry by the Mind Flayer is just a nasty way to spend your last week on Earth, and then die. 

*Unfair use of Bowie song song! That song always gets me right in the feels, and even if Hop isn't dead, everyone's reactions and his Heart to Heart (which was actually pretty good!) just killed me dead. "Your poor old dad..."

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2 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

The Evil Commie bit was so over the top ridiculous that it seemed like some kind of 1950s Red Scare propaganda film, I mean we never even know what the fuck they are even DOING opening that hole to the Netherworld, just that they're evil and thats how they roll. We can guess why they are doing what they're doing (like the Americans, presumably trying to weaponize the Upside Down and its creatures to get a leg up in the Cold War) and the US is also obviously up to its own sketchy stuff with 11 and the Upside Down, but they were pretty weak antagonists.

Yeah, as I mentioned elsewhere, they don't even try to give the Russians the typical Stranger Things twist on a familiar idea. Whenever they're on screen, it's like all the deeper thematic and character work dries up so we can have a dumb '80s moment about evil Commies.

And it's not like they couldn't have tried harder to integrate them into the more nuanced story they were telling elsewhere. One of the main things this season was about was the insidious evil of conformity and the value of setting your own path. What if in the very first scene, the Soviets were presented not just as snarling villains who wanted to do an evil thing but as anxious warriors who were terrified that the Americans were developing this fearsome gate technology that they didn't have? Thus, they would set the whole story in motion through their desperate need to conform, to do what the Americans do.

And what if Grigori were the most fearsome Russian not because he's a big, muscly thug who stomps toward you with his gun drawn, but because he's a shrewd infiltrator and master of disguise who can disappear into a crowd and ambush you unawares -- less Arnold Schwarzenegger, more Matthew Rhys from The Americans. In other words, what if conformity, fitting in and blending in, were his superpower? Just little connecting threads like that would've done a lot to make the Russian storyline feel like part of the greater whole.

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1 hour ago, tennisgurl said:

I didnt really care much for the focus on the Soviets,

Me either. Unfortunately, I fear we’re stuck with them next season based on that last scene. I would have preferred if they had left the upside down and all it entails as the main problem. I think the mind flayer was enough of a problem in and of itself.

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Was that the Russian general who tortured the kids who was fed to the beast?

The beast looked like the one Duncan had as a pet a few seasons ago.

Did they say where Joyce and the kids are moving to? (The next town or further away?)

We finally met Susie! 😍

I thought that they were ending everything (the show) and then.....

Who is "the American" in the cells? (My husband thinks it's Hopper.)

El has lost her powers! Why? They don't come from the other dimension. Will they come back?

Will there be another season? Will we have a reset with new characters (Erica, Susie, etc.)?

Where were all the Russian soldiers and scientists when the Americans stormed the underground installation? Did they have a bolthole we don't know about?

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46 minutes ago, Tyro49 said:

El has lost her powers! Why? They don't come from the other dimension. Will they come back?

I think she depleted her powers fighting the Mind Flayer at the cabin and then getting scratched/bitten by it likely affect her powers negatively as well.

By the time they got to the mall she was barely able to extract the piece of the Mind Flayer from her leg and was unable to turn over the car so that Jonathan could retrieve the ignition cable.

Why she still doesn't have her powers three months later? Again it could be the after effects of the scratch/bite from the Mind Flayer along with her grief over Hoppers death. 

16 hours ago, Littlebitofcheese said:

With the resume he's collecting I see Finn being the first of the group to go big IMHO.

 Though its true Finn's cup is running over with projects and IMHO Millie Brown is the most talented out of the youngsters (with Noah Schnapp also being extremely talented IMHO) and thus has the most potential, I think its a little early to be predicting who will be breakout stars from the show. They are all still very young and will have to make that transition from child/teen star to an individual who can carry an young adult/adult role. So many have had great success as teens, but are unable to to make that transition to adult roles. Time will tell though how things will pan out for all of them. Though I do hope they all have great success once the show is over. 

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4 hours ago, Enero said:

I think she depleted her powers fighting the Mind Flayer at the cabin and then getting scratched/bitten by it likely affect her powers negatively as well.

By the time they got to the mall she was barely able to extract the piece of the Mind Flayer from her leg and was unable to turn over the car so that Jonathan could retrieve the ignition cable.

Why she still doesn't have her powers three months later? Again it could be the after effects of the scratch/bite from the Mind Flayer along with her grief over Hoppers death. 

 Though its true Finn's cup is running over with projects and IMHO Millie Brown is the most talented out of the youngsters (with Noah Schnapp also being extremely talented IMHO) and thus has the most potential, I think its a little early to be predicting who will be breakout stars from the show. They are all still very young and will have to make that transition from child/teen star to an individual who can carry an young adult/adult role. So many have had great success as teens, but are unable to to make that transition to adult roles. Time will tell though how things will pan out for all of them. Though I do hope they all have great success once the show is over. 

I think she was drained like a battery, and that given the extent of her powers, she would need far more than three months to recharge. Plus the wounds - look how long it takes for someone to recover from a "normal" serious injury and/or infection.

I agree that it's a little too soon to predict who'll be a star. For that matter, they're still young, and maybe they won't want to continue acting. That's happened to kid actors before. It's a little hard to determine who has the chops. Millie and Noah are clearly great, and Finn's good too. The Lucas and Dustin story lines didn't give them a chance to do much with nuanced drama - they were mostly action and comic relief. They may be wonderful if they're given a solid storyline to raise them up - just as Noah did in Season 2.

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15 hours ago, Tyro49 said:

Was that the Russian general who tortured the kids who was fed to the beast?

The beast looked like the one Duncan had as a pet a few seasons ago.

Did they say where Joyce and the kids are moving to? (The next town or further away?)

We finally met Susie! 😍

I thought that they were ending everything (the show) and then.....

Who is "the American" in the cells? (My husband thinks it's Hopper.)

El has lost her powers! Why? They don't come from the other dimension. Will they come back?

Will there be another season? Will we have a reset with new characters (Erica, Susie, etc.)?

Where were all the Russian soldiers and scientists when the Americans stormed the underground installation? Did they have a bolthole we don't know about?

-No, it looked like someone else

Whose Duncan? Do you mean Dustin? 

No, there is no mention of where the Byers and El were moving to

It's either Hopper or Brenner

She overused them and maybe they'll return

Yes and filming begins in Oct.  Maybe.

Probably managed to get away before the Americans stormed the underground lab

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With respect to the “how could the Russians have gotten away (potentially with Hopper) when the US military was all over the place” question...

The under-mall base was HUGE. And I would be shocked if there wasn’t at least one “emergency exit” that came up above ground a good distance from the mall. The Russians who escaped could have escaped that way, bringing Hopper with them if they had captured him.

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3 hours ago, QuantumMechanic said:

The under-mall base was HUGE. And I would be shocked if there wasn’t at least one “emergency exit” that came up above ground a good distance from the mall. The Russians who escaped could have escaped that way, bringing Hopper with them if they had captured him. 

I see what you're saying, but it still seems implausible to me. They weren't exactly subtle, you know? Not much effort to blend in. I think a bunch of Russians in full military uniform would stick out like a sore thumb outside of the mall. Then again, a terminator with a GIANT GUN walked through the carnival and shot a person and nobody saw it. Ditto a giant shootout in the fun house.....

I read an interview with the Duffers and they mentioned portals. I think it's more likely they went into the upside down and used a portal to get to Russia, taking Hop with them.......

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I could see Hop getting shoved into the Upside Down and finding a portal out which brings him into Russia. I'd rather not the Upside Down be used as a transport system that everyone is using though because it takes away from the value that he's one of the only few people to get through the Upside Down and survive. 

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13 minutes ago, Ilovepie said:

I see what you're saying, but it still seems implausible to me. They weren't exactly subtle, you know? Not much effort to blend in. I think a bunch of Russians in full military uniform would stick out like a sore thumb outside of the mall. Then again, a terminator with a GIANT GUN walked through the carnival and shot a person and nobody saw it. Ditto a giant shootout in the fun house.....

I read an interview with the Duffers and they mentioned portals. I think it's more likely they went into the upside down and used a portal to get to Russia, taking Hop with them.......

In reality, if a person bleeds to death from a silencer and someone saw that, there would have been chaos already. A wave of hysteria. It was not believable what happened.

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21 minutes ago, Robert Lynch said:

In reality, if a person bleeds to death from a silencer and someone saw that, there would have been chaos already. A wave of hysteria. It was not believable what happened. 

Yeah, and know that I think about it, how did they explain away all the dead bodies in the fun house? Was there a fake headline in that newspaper about that?????

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1 hour ago, Ilovepie said:

I read an interview with the Duffers and they mentioned portals. I think it's more likely they went into the upside down and used a portal to get to Russia, taking Hop with them.......

I've seen a lot of people interpret the Duffers' interview comments that way, but when they talked about the new season "allowing portals into areas outside of Hawkins," I assumed they were speaking figuratively, not literally. I figure the "portals" are just the fact that Hopper is probably in Russia and the Byerses are moving who knows where, which gives the writers the opportunity to expand the world of the show. I don't think they're saying that the characters will literally be jumping through magic portals to other places on Earth.

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2 hours ago, Dev F said:

I don't think they're saying that the characters will literally be jumping through magic portals to other places on Earth.

Well, I think it could be taken either way, given the nature of the show. A magic portal isn't that far fetched when you're talking about show with a kid that has magic powers and another world under our world with creatures out of a D&D game..........

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The Upside Down has been portrayed as more of a mirror to the normal world.  Landmarks are different but they exist in the same relative space.  For example, Joyce and Hopper knew the way to Castle Byers in the first season because it mirrored their world.

I'm interested in the idea of Hopper being pulled into the Upside Down and surviving there.  How he would get to Russia would be hard to explain, unless he came out at another location in Hawkins that was under Russian control, and was captured there.

I suppose if the portal closed with him on the other side, he could still be stuck there, and the imprisoned American could be someone different.

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16 hours ago, Dev F said:

I don't think they're saying that the characters will literally be jumping through magic portals to other places on Earth.

I think that would be really cool so I hope it happens.

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On 7/20/2019 at 12:57 PM, BigDfromLA said:

The story is at a point ending Season 3 where they can really have a much bigger gap when Season 4 picks up. I think it should go 3-4 years to 1988-89. It would be intriguing for the story to jump to either the last part of the kids' Senior year in HS, or the summer after their HS graduation. That would also catch the biological age of the actors to the story. Then have a short time frame between 4 and 5 and end it about 1990 or '91. I don't think the show would go beyond five seasons. 

They won't take the show out of the 80s, it's too much a part of the show.  They might jump ahead a little, but I don't see the story ending past 1988.  The Americans was another show set in the 80s, it began in 1980 with Fleetwood Mac playing Tusk and ended in 1987 with U2's With or Without You.  If it had ended in 1991 with R.E.M.'s Losing My Religion it just would have seemed...off.

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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!

Sorry this is so long in coming but I just finished Chapter 8. This may have been mentioned already but I found a couple of references to National Lampoon's Vacation. When Dustin was calling the kids at the mall from his tower their call sign was the Griswolds. and When Nancy and the gang are driving down the road in the look alike station wagon. It looks like there is luggage on top of the car as in NLV. Also when Nancy did a three point turn to go back to the mall it was similar to when Clark Griswold pulled to a stop in the movie.

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I watched a video on YouTube about the season yesterday and it picked up on something I totally missed in the episode. 

When Paul Reiser and the military guys stormed the Soviet Compound, and they got to the room with the machine, there was a three inch opening. 

The door is open three inches. 

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As an aside, The Magicians on SyFy (which I can’t recommend if you happen to be a “shipper”-prone person, because heartbreak), has lots of magic portal action. It also has a side dimension called “the Poison Room” which looks a lot like the Upside Down, has identical weird floaty shit in the air, and quickly kills humans who spend too much time there.

(I’m new to Stranger Things, so I don’t know which show did it first. Surely I’m not the first person to bring it up, though.)

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3 hours ago, kieyra said:

As an aside, The Magicians on SyFy (which I can’t recommend if you happen to be a “shipper”-prone person, because heartbreak), has lots of magic portal action. It also has a side dimension called “the Poison Room” which looks a lot like the Upside Down, has identical weird floaty shit in the air, and quickly kills humans who spend too much time there.

(I’m new to Stranger Things, so I don’t know which show did it first. Surely I’m not the first person to bring it up, though.)

The way the show depicts the Upside Down has always most reminded me of the way the film Constantine depicted Hell as a sort of post apocalyptic mirror version of modern Earth rather than the traditional cavern filled with fire and brimstone.

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I've just been reading some of the posts from the Season 2 finale and saw this one from @nodorothyparker that really clarified why I was so disappointed in the way some of the characters were written in Season 3, especially Hopper:

"I know we've all written plenty of accolades for the truly amazing kid actors the show was lucky enough to find, but this finale left me feeling like not enough good things have been said about the relatively low-key performance David Harbour has been consistently putting in for two seasons.  His early in the episode scene with Finn Wolfhand where he mostly quietly let Mike rage at and against him was a thing of beauty in showing me with very few lines that he understood both why the kid was so angry and that he knew he had handled hiding Eleven from the other people who love her all wrong.  His later scenes with Millie Bobby Brown in the truck confirmed that.  He's really terrific acting off these kids and in showing us a man who knows he's faulty but is still trying his best to do right by everybody anyway."

Contrast the subtlety in the scene described above with the over-the-top (and, I think, out of character) anger and bluster that Hopper was showing throughout Season 3, especially in his reactions to Mike and El's romance. Some of his reactions were understandable for being a new father of a teen girl, but it was just too much. If Hopper is alive in Season 4, I hope the writers are able to present him in a believable way--even though his very survival is not believable--and that they do a better job with writing for the teen actors than they did in Season 3. And please, minimize the teen romance angle!

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