Fans of Stranger Things were finally rewarded for their patience this week, as the much anticipated third season finally dropped on Netflix. And it seems like the verdict is in and no one is disappointed by the latest installment of the retro sci-fi horror. Well, except for one aspect – which we’ll get into below.
But now, eagle-eyed fans have noticed something that could put a whole new spin on the series’ ending.
Already binge-watched, or okay with a spoiler-filled read? Get scrolling.
Since its launch in 2016, Stranger Things has been a Netflix favorite.
The story starts with the disappearance of a young boy in a small, Indiana town – but quickly descends into something far more convoluted and fascinating.
The ‘80s aesthetic provides a level of comforting nostalgia that many more modern sci-fis and horrors lack.
There are a lot of aspects of the show that make for less than feel-good viewing – including terrifying monsters and heartbreaking storylines.
And fans were as thrilled as you may have expected. But there was one thing that a few were left a little disappointed by. Oh, and, in case you couldn’t guess, this post is going to be spoiler-heavy, so if you’re waiting on watching, you’ve been warned.
It regards the incredibly shocking final scenes of season three – and speculation that things are not all they seem.
Since episode 1 of season 1, Jim Hopper, Police Chief of Hawkins, has been a good-hearted and kind gent.
In fact, the ending of the season showed a pretty horrific scene in which it seemed almost sure that Hopper must have been killed off.
Because the machine that was in place to ensure that the gate to the other realm stayed open was destroyed in the final episode.
It was the long-suffering Joyce Byers who did it – although she was forced to detonate the machine and bring on the deadly explosion.
This meant that the vast majority of the online community, to their dismay, were pretty sure that there was no way that Hopper could have possibly survived.
Because there’s a new theory out there that had many Stranger Things fans believing that Hopper is, in fact, living on.
In the final seconds of the third season of the show, there was a potential clue that maybe all is not quite as it seems.
And, in it, two soldiers are discussing an unseen “American.” Many believe that this must be Hopper, having escaped into the Upside Down to avoid the explosion, re-emerging through another portal.
Many think that there’s only one reason that the scene would be relevant and that it’s there for the explicit reason of dangling Hopper’s fate before our very eyes.
Many think that the fact that Eleven can’t feel Hopper must be a sign that he’s gone for good – but others point out that Eleven’s powers have been depleting for a long time. This could explain her belief in Hopper’s death.
Fans looked to David Harbour, who plays Hopper, to find out whether or not they need to mourn their favorite character.
“I mean, I have no idea! I have no idea! I mean that, of course, is my hope too. It seems pretty crazy though. You know, that machine went off and blew up and Hopper seemed to be trapped there,” he revealed to Entertainment Tonight.
Harbour went on, “He did glance around a little bit, but he seemed to be trapped and the machine exploded. And then you cut to, what was it? It starts with a ‘K’ or something – some town in Russia, right? Where there’s some American and there’s some other prisoner. I don’t know, I mean it seems strange. I don’t know how though.”
Many are concerned that people are simply unwilling to let Hopper go – and that they’re only going to end up even more disappointed next season.
Jim Hopper was the absolute star of season three of Stranger Things – and we’ll either greatly miss, or eagerly anticipate the resurrection of, him.
While it seems like “The American” wasn’t just tossed in at the end for no reason, the true identity of this character is still very much up for debate.
And it’s not one that fills many with the same warm, fuzzy, feelings that the thought of the “American” being a resurrected Hopper inspires. In fact, it’s something far darker.
But, to remember the other, you may have to cast your mind a little bit farther back, to what started all this whole mess.
He’s the one who sort of acted as a “father figure” to Eleven – the man who raised her in the Hawkins facility and taught her how to cultivate her psychokinetic powers.
It’s thought that Brenner was taken out of the show when he was attacked by a Demogorgon. Most imagined that this sort of thing would be pretty hard to survive.
And, in fact, in episode seven of season two, Roy Carroll explicitly tells Eleven that Brenner is still alive.
Where exactly is Brenner? He’s been missing for a number of years now – and, feasibly, he could have spent at least some of that time being held captive by Russians.
Brenner was one of the most knowledgeable people concerning the Upside Down – and his capture may well explain exactly how the Russians managed to come upon all of this knowledge.
It also explains exactly why the Russians have had such an intense interest in Hawkins – even building their own facility in the small town.
That Jim Hopper is definitely (or at least, probably) dead. Either way, we can’t expect any more clues and will just have to eagerly anticipate the next season.