We kinda knew this might be coming. Yesterday Netflix released a short teaser for season 3 of its hit series Stranger Things, hinting, “It’s almost feeding time.” Today we got our first full look at what’s in store for the teens of Hawkins—and it looks like it will be one wild and crazy summer.
(Some spoilers for first two seasons below.)
Stranger Things was an instant hit when it debuted on Netflix the summer of 2016. Set in the rural town of Hawkins, Indiana, in the early 1980s, it was a love letter of sorts to a more innocent era, when films like The Goonies, Ghostbusters, and E.T. led the box office. But all was not normal in this sleepy little town: an accident at a secret government lab opened an inter-dimensional portal and unleashed a supernatural threat from a different dimension.
The town’s only hope: a young girl, known only as Eleven (Milly Bobby Brown) with psychokinetic powers. Eleven is befriended by a group of preteens whose friend Will (Noah Schnapp) has mysteriously disappeared into an alternate dimension dubbed the Upside Down. They team up to find Will and defeat the monster that took him (plus a few other local residents—R.I.P. Barb). In season 2, we learned that monster was just the tip of the iceberg, and an even more powerful entity, dubbed The Mind Flayer, threatened the town. Eleven eventually manages to close the portal, but the season ended ambiguously. The Mind Flayer still lurks in the Upside Down, no doubt plotting a way to get back out.
The original cast is back again for season 3, with a few additions. It looks like Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) has just returned from camp and is feeling a bit neglected, until he gets a surprise welcome from his best pals: Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Will, Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), Max (Sadie Sink), and Eleven. Life seems to be returning to normal for the residents of Hawkins, but Will’s mother, Joyce (Wynona Ryder), for one, is struggling to cope, having suffered the greatest personal loss in season 2. “It’s important to me that you feel safe,” we hear Chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour) say—perhaps to Joyce, it’s unclear. “I want you to feel like this can still be your home.”
And the gang is growing up, too, with all the adolescent angst that goes with it. This seems to hit Will the hardest. We see him tearfully looking at group photos from the first two seasons—which frankly weren’t as happy as his nostalgia suggests. “We’re not kids anymore,” we hear Mike say in a voiceover. “What did you think? We’re just going to sit in my basement all day and play games for the rest of our lives?”
Other big changes are afoot this summer of 1985, namely the opening of the Supercourt Mall, eliciting protest from local business owners downtown, who really don’t want the competition. And the town has a new leader in Mayor Kline (Cary Elwes), who oozes insincerity and a hint of corruption. We know a lifeguard at the local pool mysteriously disappears, marking the onset of a new supernatural threat. We’re pretty confident Eleven and her team are up to the challenge. But as we’ve learned in prior seasons, Stranger Things is prepared to break your heart if necessary for the sake of a powerful story.
Season 3 of Stranger Things hits Netflix on July 4, 2019.
Listing image by YouTube/Netflix
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