This article comes from Den of Geek UK.
Warning: contains spoilers for all episodes of Stranger Things season 3. Do not read until you’ve seen the whole season! We have a spoiler free review right here.
And that’s a wrap on season three. Hawkins’ gate to the Upside Down is closed once again. The Flayed Soup Monster is now a pile of old gloop left for the US military to clean up. El’s lost her powers. Billy is no more. Hopper was turned to dust (or so it seems). The Byers family plus one – or plus Eleven, to be specific – is leaving town. And Erica’s a dungeon master.
If you’ve emerged blinking into the sun after an eight-hour binge-watch and still have nagging questions, then we should have you covered below. See you on the other side, nerds!
Why do the Russians want to re-open the gate?
Because they’re Evil Russians™ who, like The Company in Alien, want a terrifying nightmare monster to use as a weapon against their enemies, presumably. They tried to open the gate to another dimension in Russia many times but because the Hawkins gate had already been opened once and was still “healing” in the words of Dr. Alexei (RIP), it was more vulnerable to the Russian-made Key machine.
The more pertinent question is…
How did the Russians know about the Hawkins gate?
Spying is one option. They may well have secret labs filled with stolen superpowered children who can eavesdrop on anywhere and anything just like the USA, or indeed, a more down-to-earth variety of microfiche-smuggling agent.
There is another option though…
Is Dr. Brenner really dead?
According to the show’s producers, no, Eleven’s former “Papa” is definitely still alive. This presents the possibility that evil scientist Brenner is working with the Russians and is their source of information on all things Upside Down.
In fact, if you watched all the way to the season three post-credits sting then how about Dr. Brenner being “the American” in the prison cell that the Russian guards deliberately don’t feed to their Demogorgon?
Is Hopper really dead?
We didn’t see a body, so by the rules of television, Hopper may have – in the millisecond between giving Joyce the okay to explode the Key and her doing it – escaped (to the Upside Down? Through a secret hatch?).
That said, the reason we didn’t see a body may well be because the Russian scientist killed by the explosion in the cold open died very messily and left a decidedly not-good-looking corpse. As Hopper’s such a beloved character, it could have been a taste decision. Additionally, him not being dead would undermine the emotion of Eleven reading his moving letter to her in the season’s closing moments.
Why wasn’t Eleven’s “sister” Kali in it?
The super-powered teen could have been some use against Billy and the Flayed soup monster no? Perhaps, but seeing as the Chicago gang scenes were some of the least popular moments with season two viewers, the whole Kali storyline wasn’t even referenced this time.
How old are the kids in season three?
Eleven, Max, and the boys are all between 13 and 14 in season three, while Nancy, Jonathan, and Steve are between 18 and 19.
What song were Eleven and Mike singing in episode one?
“Never Surrender” by Corey Hart (1985), including the lyric “just a little more time could open closing doors,” just like the evil Russians are trying to do!
Why did the town’s electricity keep going out?
Because the Russian “Key” needed so much to power it, the Evil Russians™ stole from the Hawkins’ power grid.
Why did Joyce’s magnets fall off her fridge?
Sadly, not because she was being haunted by the poltergeist of Bob Newby, but because (as explained by Mr. Clarke) the Russian “Key” is a huge version of an AC transformer using billions of volts of electricity and thus creating a large scale magnetic field around it which demagnetised everything within its sphere when activated.
What was the green gloop being delivered to the mall?
Sci-fi juice used to power the Russian “Key”. Helpfully, it burns as corrosively as Xenomorph blood, which enabled Dustin and Erica to use it to escape through several floors and rescue Steve and Robin from their truth serum torture.
Who plays Steve’s co-worker Robin?
Maya Hawke, who you may have seen stealing the show as Jo March in the BBC’s Christmas 2017 Little Women adaptation. She’s the daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke.
Why were the Flayed drinking chemicals and eating fertilizer?
Like the rats who were infected by the little bit of the Mind Flayer left behind in this dimension when it was exorcised from Will last season, the Flayed were compelled to drink pool and cleaning chemicals to aid their bodies in creating the chemical reaction that would ultimately turn them into gloop absorbed by the Flayed Soup Monster.
What did the message Billy received from his doppelganger mean?
In a vision after being the first human infected by the Mind Flayer, Billy was approached by a zombie horde led by his doppelganger and told “I want you to build what you see.” The Mind Flayer was telling Billy to go out and recruit more people to be infected and create a zombie horde that would ultimately be absorbed into the Flayed Soup Monster as a weapon against Eleven.
What was the significance of Billy’s surfing memory?
“I think I see it, the source,” said Eleven on her telepathic holiday to Billy’s mind. She was both talking about the Mind Flayer possessing Billy, and the source of the character’s general assholery: namely, his physically and verbally abusive father and the departure of his beloved mother. Billy’s father was violent towards his mother, and the kid took out his anger on other children.
The memory becomes relevant because it’s one of Billy’s few happy childhood recollections, and Eleven is able to use it much in the way that Joyce, Jonathan and Mike used Will’s childhood memories to draw him out of his possessed state in season two. Eleven reaches Billy, who stands up to the monster, sacrificing himself in the process.
Why did Eleven lose her powers?
One answer is because she’s basically a comic-book superhero, and losing your powers for an issue or two is a rite of passage for those guys.
The last time we saw Eleven use her powers was to get the Soup Monster slug out of her leg wound, so it seems the infection affected her telekinesis in some way. Perhaps, seeing as the Soup Monster, the Flayed and the Mind Flayer are all linked telepathically, when Eleven was bitten by the monster, it messed up her brain signals and what have you. Science!
Why could Will sense the Mind Flayer when it’s close?
It’s a Harry Potter/Voldemort kind of deal. Since Will was possessed by the Mind Flayer in season two, the hairs on the back of his neck stand up whenever the monster, or its weapon is nearby or “activated” rather than dormant in one of the Flayed.
What condition affects Dustin’s collarbones?
Dustin told Steve that he could fit inside the air vent because he has no collarbones – this is due to medical condition cleidocranial dysplasia which affects the development of bones and teeth. Actor Gaten Matarazzo has the condition in real life and it was written into his character’s backstory.
Are the Flayed all dead now?
Their bodies all melted into a disgusting salsa that fed into the Flayed Soup Monster, which was created to kill Eleven. There’s no way they’re coming back from that are they?
What were the gang’s various radio callsigns?
Murray was Bald Eagle (self-explanatory), the gang at the radio mast were Scoops Troop (named for nautical-themed ice-cream shop Scoops Ahoy) the gang at the mall were the Griswold Family (a reference to 1983 film National Lampoon’s Vacation).
And earlier in the season premiere, Dustin referenced Star Wars when he referred to himself as Gold Leader.
What happened to the little slug that was in Eleven’s leg wound?
After she used her mind powers to suck it out, the little slug was seen being reabsorbed into the Soup Monster. Did it take her powers with it?
What song did Suzy and Dustin sing over ham radio?
As if you didn’t know! That’s the theme to The NeverEnding Story by Limahl, released in 1984. Turn around, look at what you see-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee.
What was Nancy and Jonathan’s reference to “shared trauma”
It’s a reference to something conspiracy theorist (and fluent Russian speaker) Murray said in season two. He told Nancy and Jonathan they were clearly attracted to each other, saying “You’ve got chemistry, history, plus the real shit: shared trauma.” He’s quite the relationships whiz.
Why did the monster die when the gate closed?
Kill the brain, the body dies, just like how all the Demodogs dropped dead when the gate closed at the end of season two.
The Terminator-looking Russian assassin dude. Dr. Alexei. Hopper. Billy. Everyone that was Flayed. The Russian soldiers Hopper shot with that machine gun. And presumably, the guy in the cell with the Demogorgon from the post-credits sting.
Did the gate finally close?
Yes, it seemed to heal up.
Is there going to be a season four?
At the time of writing, one hasn’t been officially announced, but come on, a show this big with this many tie-in product deals? Of course there’s going to be a season four. Anyway, you saw the post-credits sting.
When Mike and Eleven are talking about meeting up next, he mentions coming to visit her and the Byers at Thanksgiving, and her coming to stay with his family in Hawkins at Christmas, two potential backdrops for a fourth season.
Stranger Things season three is out now on Netflix. Keep up with all our coverage right here!
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