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.
There’s a lot to like about the show.The ‘80s aesthetic provides a level of comforting nostalgia that many more modern sci-fis and horrors lack.
Which isn’t to say it’s a cozy watch.There are a lot of aspects of the show that make for less than feel-good viewing - including terrifying monsters and heartbreaking storylines.
Last week, the much anticipated third season of the show dropped on Netflix.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.
So, there was a certain aspect of the show that has left fans scratching their heads.It regards the incredibly shocking final scenes of season three - and speculation that things are not all they seem.
Particularly, the fate of one fan favorite character.Since episode 1 of season 1, Jim Hopper, Police Chief of Hawkins, has been a good-hearted and kind gent.
But season three wasn’t easy for the poor guy.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.
Or, at least, trapped in the Upside Down.Because the machine that was in place to ensure that the gate to the other realm stayed open was destroyed in the final episode.
The culprit for the explosion?It was the long-suffering Joyce Byers who did it - although she was forced to detonate the machine and bring on the deadly explosion.
The explosion was pretty brutal.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.
Until now.Because there’s a new theory out there that had many Stranger Things fans believing that Hopper is, in fact, living on.
The reason for the theory comes after the credits.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.
The scene takes place in the USSR.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.
Here’s the scene.
IF THIS AIN'T SOMEHOW MY JIM MOTHERFUCKING HOPPER THEN BET I'LL BE THROWING HANDS WITH THE ENTIRE GODDAMN CREW OF S… https://t.co/LbUqYAhrq5— Tera🐋🌊 (@Tera🐋🌊)1562478028.0
Fans of the show have an answer to the bigger questions.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.
Surely, there’s one man who would have the answer.
via: Getty ImagesFans looked to David Harbour, who plays Hopper, to find out whether or not they need to mourn their favorite character.
But even Harbour has no idea!
via: Getty Images"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.
And that’s not all he said.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." Mind. Blown.
Although not everyone is convinced.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.
Although there’s one thing that the internet can agree on.
jim hopper. that’s it. that’s the tweet. #StrangerThings https://t.co/ofy3YHZjIm— tarabeth looney (@tarabeth looney)1562447526.0
But that's not the internet's only crazy theory.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.
Although there's one other overriding suspicion.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.
Because there's one other missing "American" in the series.But, to remember the other, you may have to cast your mind a little bit farther back, to what started all this whole mess.
Dr. Martin Brenner was really the impetus for the whole events of the series.
via: IMDBHe'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.
He met his demise at the end of season one.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.
But Brenner's death hasn't been confirmed.
via: IMDBAnd, in fact, in episode seven of season two, Roy Carroll explicitly tells Eleven that Brenner is still alive.
And, if this is true, we're left with a big question.
via: IMDBWhere 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.
Some think that the story checks out.
@Andrew_C_Brooks @Stranger_Things I actually think that "The American" is Dr. Brenner. We know he's alive and it wo… https://t.co/LsOqBzreUV— Andrés Aubague (@Andrés Aubague)1562281435.0
The theory is gaining traction.
Just watched @Stranger_Things and I think the locked up American (in the post credits scene) is Dr. Brenner https://t.co/ZUL7YAgt2A— Vanja Hamdahl (@Vanja Hamdahl)1562454587.0
Brenner's being alive would mean one thing, though.
via: IMDBThat 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.