This Stranger Things season 3 recap contains major spoilers for Netflix’s third season of Stranger Things. You can check out all of our coverage of the show by clicking on these words.
stranger things Season 4 is right around the corner, and in the six (!) years since its debut, a lot has happened. With such a gap between seasons and a plot already shrouded in mystery anyway, chances are even hardcore fans will have a hard time remembering what. For the benefit of those who don’t have time to rewatch the previous three seasons, or even for those who haven’t watched them at all, here is the third of our story recaps giving you an overview of everything you have to know .
Needless to say, and as noted above, major spoilers for stranger things Season 3 follows.
Stranger Things season 3 recap
A year passed between the second season of stranger things and the third, after a year had already passed between the first and the second. Children age, naturally, and that would create problems even if it weren’t for the lingering existential threat of the Mind Flayer. Hopper still plays the role of parent to Eleven, who is in a relationship with Mike, while Lucas and Max are together and Dustin met a girl named Suzie at summer camp who he secretly radios to due to his parents strict Mormons forbidding their relationship.
It is via this radio channel that the plot of stranger things Season 3 starts. Dustin overhears a Russian communication that suggests the Russians are using the newly opened Starcourt Mall, where Steve works at an ice cream shop called Scoops Ahoy alongside a classmate named Robin, as a base of operations to reopen the Upside Down after Eleven closes the Interdimensional Gate. at the end of season 2.
Lucas’ sister Erica is also introduced and entangled in this plot, which sees Steve and Robin captured, interrogated, and fed truth serum by the Russians while Erica and Dustin escape. This leads to some solid character moments, such as Robin walking out of Steve after the two are saved by the kids.
One of the biggest ongoing storylines this season involves Billy. After being a relatively minor antagonist in the second season, he becomes the real deal here when the Mind Flayer possesses him in a manner similar to how it possessed Will the previous season. As Billy becomes the Mind Flayer’s agent, he is investigated by the others, including Nancy and Jonathan, who are now working as interns for the Hawkins Gazetteand Eleven, whom Billy tries to kill after the gang traps him in the pool sauna and tries to boil the Mind Flayer on him (again, reminiscent of what happened to Will last season.)
Season 3 is really able to build on its ties to the previous two seasons, both in terms of world-building details and also thematically. Possession is one such theme, and since we understand how the Mind Flayer works, we especially feel the danger of Eleven seemingly being infected by the creature when it attacks him in Hopper’s cabin. In the process of removing the Mind Flayer from her body, she also loses her powers, which the series has used as a handy plot-breaking card for the plot on several occasions.
The scale of the Russian conspiracy – which along with the mall and the sexism Nancy faces in the newspaper is one of the big ‘It’s the 80s!’ season details – is revealed when Hopper finds out that the mayor of Hawkins is allowing the Russkies to smuggle a liquid substance. Thanks to a Russian scientist named Alexei and with help from Murray, he is able to learn of the Russians’ intention to reopen the Upside Down.
This sets the stage for the finale – the door must be closed and the Mind Flayer, still operating through Billy, must be killed. This leads to a finale full of great moments and sacrifice taking place mostly at the Starcourt Mall. As always, the main cast split into fun groups, with Hopper, Joyce and Murray trying to close the door from the Russians’ underground base with the help of Dustin’s girlfriend on the radio, while Eleven tries to fight Billy and the Mind Flayer. There are two great self-sacrifices here. In one, Billy, spurred on by Eleven’s powers allowing him to recall a powerful childhood memory, sacrifices himself to the Mind Flayer to save Eleven. In the second, Hopper sacrifices himself so Joyce can close the door.
stranger things Season 3 ends with Joyce leaving Hawkins, taking Eleven along with the rest of her family, presumably for their own safety. This is where the fourth season will pick up and hopefully it will have been worth the long wait.
Thanks for reading our Stranger Things Season 3 recap. You can check out Season 1 of Stranger Things exclusively on Netflix.
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