July 02, 2019 – Vinz Lamorena
The kids are growing up. Our favorite monster-hunting bunch from Hawkins has inevitably reached the cusp of adolescence. They’re awkward. They’re feisty. They’re in all sorts of trouble—and all we gotta do is sit back and enjoy the entertainment. The pilot episode of the third season brings us up to speed by showing tons of making out and comedic couple ticks.
But more than the teenage love affairs, there is no boring moment in “Suzie, Do You Copy?” Early on it revives the scientific fascination on the Upside Down, linking this small Indiana town to the other side of the globe once again. While its ending immediately builds up its newest otherworldly villain and doesn’t waste any time in revealing one of the greatest shockers of the show. Spoiler alert: Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) still doesn’t get a freaking break from this nightmare!
Knowing the Duffer Brothers, it’s bound to show us sci-fi tropes that we’ll surely brand as easter eggs. The new 8-episode season will reinvent notions of fear and fright, but it’ll probably underscore that the scariest thing is still change—after all, it’s still a coming-of-age story.
We’re sure we’ll end up binge-watching the season when it finally drops on Netflix this July 4—just like the Duffer Brothers intended us to. But before that, we’re left with these few bits that we’ll obsess over until everything will all finally make sense:
Upside Down origins
There is still little knowledge about the Upside Down. The past seasons have shown us that it is an exact replica of the real world, except the fact that it’s completely devoid of life other than the uncharted monsters that lurk all over this dark dimension.
What’s important to remember is that Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) first came into contact with the creatures of the Upside Down when she was made to spy on Russians. She was able to do so while navigating “The Void,” which allowed her mind and senses to be present even in different locations.
It was explained that this technology formed a riff between the two dimensions. While the beginning of this alternate world doesn’t have to be tackled, it’s important for fans to know why authorities keep on tapping into the power of the portal they discovered. For obvious reasons, the military wants to weaponize it, but maybe this season will make more sense of how they plan to utilize the Upside Down to their advantage.
Messing with Chief Hopper
One of the most endearing story developments of “Stranger Things” has to be Chief Hopper’s transition to becoming El’s adoptive father. They don’t always agree on things, but all he wants to do is protect her from the cruelties of the world—and for a father, that means keeping her away from boys (at least 3 inches, he says).
It’s absolutely frustrating to play the role of the parent who has to keep calm knowing that your kid is on a kiss fest right in the next room. What’s surprising here is the newfound gutsiness of Mike (Finn Wolfhard), and the disrespect on the screen is effectively annoying.
Let’s just say there’s nothing more satisfying than watching Hopper (David Harbour) snap and become the ultimate terror in this young boy’s life (yes, even with bloodlust creatures in the picture).
Our favorite babysitter gets a new job! Steve (Joe Keery) didn’t get as much air time on the pilot episode as expected, but it did give us a glimpse on his dynamic with the newest character on the show, Robyn (Maya Hawke). Their brief appearances on screen are hilarious, and it’s exciting to see if their resentful banter will transform them into a chummy couple by the end of the season.
But that’s not the only thing that piqued our curiosity. It seems like Steve is being punished and we have no clue why. The boy is also in a slump. He isn’t much of a charmer to the ladies anymore—maybe divulging his Farrah Fawcet secret was the ultimate jinx!
Rooting for Nancy
So we know the hormones are running a little wild for Jancy. But more than that, Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) and Nancy (Natalia Dyer) are interning at the Hawkins Post. It’s the 80s so the gender inequality at the work place is a nightmare. Of course, Jonathan has it easy—he’s a wonder boy. But our girl Nancy is eager to earn the respect of the male-dominated newsroom and we can’t wait for her story to land on the front page.
The pop that won’t stop
More than the vintage robots we saw in the trailer, “Stranger Things 3” packs another lineup of retro pop culture references. The most obvious ones in the first episode has to take inspiration from Stephen King’s “It.” The youngsters’ climb up the hill is strikingly reminiscent of the scene where the kids make a pact to protect the town from Pennywise’s comeback.
The Duffer Brothers also use the cinema to set the time frame of the show. The Starcourt Mall has “Day of the Dead” in its theaters, a film that premiered in the middle of July in 1985. This part shows a scene with the October page of the calendar all marked with X’s. This might signify that season 3’s plot will unfold in a matter of three months. Or something great will come the fans’ way by the October of this year. We have to see the rest of the season to find out if this scene ties up to anything.
More than setting a familiar pop horror environment, the show also names Dustin’s (Gaten Matarazzo) science camp invention “Cerebro.” If we’re not mistaken, that’s an obvious nod to the X-Men comics!
Strange and shocking
Now it’s time to talk about Billy (Dacre Montgomery). From what the trailer suggests, he’s a candidate to be the Mind Flayer’s next host. What we didn’t expect, though, was how soon he’ll fall into the grips of this monster. His character’s fate is definitely the reason why the one-episode-at-a-time game plan just won’t work for us Netflix-loving folks.
Photos courtesy of Netflix. You can start streaming “Stranger Things 3” this July 4!
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