Stranger Things Season 3 has come and gone with a BANG worthy of its July 4th Debut, as Netflix dropped the entire season (8 episodes) on the holiday and gave Stranger fans like my friends and I a chance to binge to our hearts content. If you’ve completed the season already, you’re surely experiencing a sense of What’s Next? Euphoria as, in true Stranger Things fashion, Season 3 flayed our minds with ever more possibilities of what could happen in the future as this popular franchise races into the unknown.
In this article, we’re going to give you 10+ questions to ponder coming off of ST3 as we try to help get you through the void of waiting till Stranger Things 4 arrives (and right now it seems only the Mindflayer knows when that might be).
SPOILER ALERT! This article is intended for viewers who have already completed the entire Season 3 of Stranger Things. Nearly every question on our list contains a SPOILER. Please do NOT read this article if you don’t already know what happens! You’ve been warned.
10 Unanswered Questions about Stranger Things 3 – Do YOU Know the Answers?
BONUS – you can WATCH this article as a video is you prefer – here’s our YouTube vid about all these questions…
Still reading the old school way?
That’s cool. Then let’s start with the most obvious question (and again this is a MAJOR spoiler so stop reading NOW if you haven’t watched the ST3 Episode 8 season finale called “The Battle of the Starcourt Mall”)…
Question 1 – Did Hopper really die?!?
There’s no sense making you wait for us to ask this question. It’s the #1 question on the mind of very Stranger Things fan as we all saw Hopper’s Indiana Jones-esque fight seen with that Terminator-looking Russian named Grirogi where our favorite Hawkins lawman vanquished his season 3 nemesis but had to sacrifice his own chances for escape in order to allow Joyce a chance to destroy the Russian’s interdimensional portal opening device before the Red troops barged in and foiled their plans. If a single picture speaks 1000 words, how many does this gif say?
Oh what might have been for Joyce and Jim, right?
And yet, is it really over for Hopper? If you watched past the credits for the episode 8 finally then you’ve also seen this little nugget.
Question 2 – Who is “The American?”
Trying to guess the identify of ‘The American” is by far the #1 most debated theory about the show and is an obvious follow-up question to the “Did Hopper really die?” question.
“Just Who is the American the Russian prison guards were talking about?”
- If so, how did the Hawkins’ sheriff get all the way to the Gulag?
- Did Jim get thrown by the explosion into some hidden corner of the lab and wake up later to the discovery that he’d been captured by Russian? But then why didn’t the US Troops who raided the Russians’ secret lair beneath the Starcourt Mall find Hopper instead? And just how did the Russians secret Hopper away?
- Or did Joyce’s explosion of the portal-ripping device cause Hopper to be somehow be shifted through space (and time?) to Russia?
- Or do the Russians have another interdimensional machine that was somehow connected to their device in the US that provided a portal through which Hopper (and anyone else who was present) in the portal room when the device exploded were magically transported to Russia?
- Or perhaps Hopper rode Falkor the Luck Dragon from The Neverending Story and got lost on the ride in Russia?
We just don’t how Hopper might have gotten to Russia, but we also don’t know that ‘the American’ is even Hopper.
It could be someone else. But who?
Some suggest it’s actually Dr Martin Brenner – Mathew Modine’s character from Seasons 1 & 2.
Recall that Dr. Brenner was the man behind the ‘development’ of Eleven’s powers and whose been referred to as El’s de facto ‘father.’
We saw (or that we saw) Dr Brennar die in Season 2 Episode 9 but some suggest that we didn’t really SEE him actually die (which is true).
Even the ST2 Director says Brenner isn’t dead.
So it is possible that Dr Brennar is the American in a Russian prison – but then how did HE get there? Alas, more questions, no answers.
But wait, there is another…
Could The American be Murray Bauman?
Remember Murray was the third wheel to Joyce and Hopper as the trio infiltrated the Russian base beneath the Starcourt Mall. Murray’s ability to speak Russian and his causing of distraction to the guards was critical to the mission’s success. Yet while Joyce and Hopper completed the goal of blowing up the the portal opening device, and while we saw Joyce escape, and Hopper perish (or did we?), we never saw what happened to Murray.
Did Murray escape with Joyce? Was he captured by Russians who escaped with him and took him back to a prison in the gulag? Did the US Black Helicopter troops take Murray into custody instead? Just what happened to our boy Murray? We don’t know. That means he could be the American as well.
And then there’s Murray’s voicemail – perhaps the biggest easter egg from ST3 that’s been discovered so far.
Call the number and you’ll hear what Murray Bauman’s voicemail says…
“Hi, you have reached the residence of Murray Bauman. Mom, if this is you, please hang up and call me between the hours of 5 and 6pm as previously discussed, ok? If this is Joyce, Joyce, thank you for calling, I have been trying to reach you. I have an update. It’s about, well, it’s probably best if we speak in person. It’s not good or bad, but it’s something. If this is anyone but my mother or Joyce, well, you think you’re real clever, getting my number, don’t ya? Well, here’s some breaking news for you: You’re not clever. You’re not special. You are just simply one of the many, many nimwits to have called here, and the closest you will ever get to me is this prerecorded message so at the beep, do me a favor and hang up and never call here again.”
That voicemail would seem to indicate the Murray is NOT the American because he’s still in the US. Then again, it could all be a ruse, right?
So could the American in Russia be someone else instead? There are other theories that the American is the long-lost Barb, or Joyce’s old beau Bob, or that perhaps the Russians discovered another child like El with superpowers capable of communicating with the demigorgon.
Alas, we just don’t know and in spite of all our theories or what Stranger Things actors like David Harbour may tease, we’ll never know until ST4 drops.
Meanwhile…let’s move on. After all, that was only Question 1!
Question 3 – Relationships: Who’s In? Who’s Out?
ST3 was a whirlwind of relationship madness. What’s up with…
- Joyce and Hopper?
- El and Mike?
- Max and Lucas?
- Steve and Robin?
- Dustin and Suzie?
- Nancy and Jonathan?
- Will and ??
Obviously we all wanted to see Joyce and Hopper finally get together.
It seemed like this just might happen (as they finally made plans for a formal date in episode 8 with a Enzo’s redux), but unfortunately Jim’s ‘situation’ at the end of the season put a bit of damper on things – being dead or stuck in a Russian prison are both not very conducive to dating. And so we wait.
Meanwhile, after starting ST3 constantly lip-locked (much to Hopper’s chagin), El and Mike spent most of the season ‘on a break’ after Max helped El realize there was more to life than Mike. Leading to this rather famous GIF…
Although they made up by episode 8, it’s clear that Mike and El are growing apart and when he didn’t take the olive branch from EL’s I love you, AND given the little fact that El moved away to God knows where with Joyce’s family, we have to wonder if El and MIke are done?
Lucas and Max’s on-again-off-again relationship still seems strong, and among everybody on this list, they’re probably the most sure-thing as a couple – of course given the fact that they’re also the only ones who actually live in the same town doesn’t hurt.
Meanwhile there’s Steve and Robin – and it’s complicated. After first be introduced to Ethan Hawke’s daughter Maya as the new Robin character, we watched as the actress quickly integrated herself into the cast as a new fan favorite and then we spent the whole season watching Steve and Robin (seemingly) flirt, develop an amazing rapport, and grow closer through a series of shared stress and trauma.
We saw the climax of Steve finally realizing and admitting his feelings to Robin on the floor of a bathroom stall at The Starcourt and yet Steve’s hopes did NOT lead to the first kiss we all thought was coming.
Instead Robin took the moment to deliver one of the shockers of the season – in spite of her obvious attachment to Steve, Robin actually likes girls. Kudos to the writers of ST3 for giving us a twist nobody saw coming.
That said, Steve and Robin clearly have an affinity for one another and even if it’s just as friends, let’s hope their ‘relationship’ continues.
That brings us to Dustin and Suzie.
Dustin endured an entire season of laughs behind his back from his friends as clearly not a single one of them really thought that “Suzie from Camp” actually existed. While most fans believed that Suzie probably did exist and that the ST3 directors were waiting for an opportune time to reveal her, nobody could have guessed that Suzie would be revealed in such dramatic fashion – becoming the key to solving the riddle that led to the climax of entire season. (For more on this, see question 6 below). Suzie rocks? Literally!
But will Dustin and Suzie’s love survive even with the help of high powered ham radios? 10-4, good buddy.
Next we have Nancy and Jonathan. Outside of El and Mike, Nancy and Jonathan have the longest running love story on Stranger Things.
We watched the seeds develop in ST1 and their love bloom in ST2, however in ST3 things faltered. Like many young couples they experienced the hardships of trying to find their way in the harsh realities of a cruel world (jobs aren’t easy, money is tight, and the every day realities of relationships are not always easy). Their story line played second fiddle the entire season but they both played key roles at crunch time – joining the rest of the gang of kids and doing battle against Russians, Billy, & even the Mindflayer.
When it was all said and done, Nancy and Jonathan remained together.
That’s until Jonathan decided to leave with Joyce and the rest of the family to who knows where.
Now presumably over 18 and free to go where she pleases, we have to wonder why didn’t Nancy go away with Jonathan? Or perhaps he didn’t invite her?
Can their love survive? Or will young hearts move on?
At last we come to Will. For the first time in two seasons, Will didn’t spend the entire season in the (Upside Down) and instead got to live among his friends. Unfortunately for him, while Will still wanted to dress up and play D&D his buddies had other things on their minds (girls!).
Thus, once again, Will was on stuck in his own world without his friends. Kind of sad really. For a character that’s endured so much attacks on his childhood innocence, to see it continue to be destroyed is heartbreaking.
Question 4 – Did El really lose her powers?
Fighting against the Mind Flayer and it’s minions for three seasons takes a toll. Does this look easy?
By the end of season 3, El couldn’t even move a small teddy bear.
Will El ever get her powers back?
If not, how who will protect humanity from The Mindflayer?
Can El get her powers back? Does her relationship with Mike help or hinder this? Will Hopper’s death or return make a difference? What do YOU think?
Question 5 – Is Billy really dead?
Dacre Montgomery as Billy was downright awesome. He was a fan favorite for many reasons…
In ST2, Billy was a minor problem. In ST3, the Mindflayer took full control of Billy and used him as a pawn to lead an army of The Flayed in an effort to take control of our world.
All season, Billy tormented the Stranger Things cast. But in the end, Billy turned out to be a hero – standing up to The Mindflayer and protecting the kids when all hope seemed lost. For this he paid the ultimate price.
Although it’s unlikely, given the death, we have to wonder – could Billy possibly have survived? Hey, maybe Billy is the American in the Russian prison?!? I haven’t seen anyone talk about that yet? Maybe the Mindflayer sucked out his soul and transported him through an interdimensional portal to Russia? Hey, stranger things have happened, right? (You see what I did there? haha)
Question 6 – Was The Neverending Story the Highlight of Season 3?
C’mon, admit it. You loved the Neverending Story montage song, right?
As someone who grew up in the 80’s, I remember the story of Atreau and the Luck Monster vs The Nothing. Was the movie cheesy? Sure. Did I watch it every time it was on? Well, let’s not get carried away.
But the point is that I had no idea that Suzie and Dustin would use the Neverending Story song to unleash the secret to the Russian key code (it was Planck’s Constant) that would allow Joyce and Hopper access to the area where the interdimensional portal device was located.
And it was awesome!
Question 7 – Who is the REAL Monster?
OK, let’s get real – we’ve now seen three seasons of The Mindflayer and it’s minions. Although the demogorgon was absent from ST3 until the very end, we were treated to The Mindflayer and some crazy mix of fertilizer + body parts….
Eventually both were vanquished.
Yes we saw the demogorgon in that famous end scene in the Russian prison. But still, one has to wonder, how much mileage does the Mindflayer and its minions have for audiences? Is there more to the Mindflayer? Is there another ‘monster’ behind the monster?
For that matter, has anyone ever thought to ask if perhaps the Mindflayer is actually nice? Maybe it’s a case of Androcles and the Lion – where the lion had a thorn in his paw and he was mean because his paw hurt? Or maybe the Mindflayer is like one of Asimov’s characters in The Gods Themselves and is looking for resources he can’t find in his dimension?
Maybe the Mindflayer just wants to borrow a cup of sugar? 🙂
Or maybe the Mindflayer isn’t the real monster at all?
Maybe it’s the Russians?
Or maybe it’s a US Government Conspiracy?
Or maybe it’s the Illuminati?
Hey, you never know? But it’s gotta be something more than just The Mindflayer, right? What do YOU think?
Question 8 – Where are Joyce and The Byers and El moving away to?
If you watched episode 8, after all was said and done, we saw Joyce packing up the U-Haul and all the kids saying goodbye.
The way everybody was talking it sure seemed like it was a FAR AWAY move. So where the heck are they going to? Any ideas?
Question 9 – Is Camp Know Where the ‘must-have’ merch of Season 3?
Every season we’ve had some must-have item, right? First it was the Hawkins High T-shirts. Or Hopper’s Sheriff’s hat. Then it was Dustin’s red, white, and blue hat from ST2. But what about this year?
Is it Dustin’s Camp Know Where Hat or T-Shirt?
Or do you think it’s Steve and Robin’s Scoops Away costumes?
What’s YOUR vote?
Question 10 – WHEN will we see Stranger Things Season 4?
This is the most important question right?
If you recall, Stranger Things Season 1 came out mid-July 2016.
And Stranger Things Season 2 was late October, 2017.
We had to wait nearly 2 years until Stranger Things Season 3 was released to the fireworks of a July 4, 2019 debut.
So when will we get Stranger Things Season 4?
I’ve gotta give some credit to my wife on this one – she picked up on a possible Easter Egg in that final scene with Mike and El…
In this scene, Mike talks about how far away El is moving (but not where!) and during the conversation he says how they might see each other at THANKSGIVING or CHRISTMAS.
Could we get a holiday release for Stranger Things 4?
When do YOU think ST4 will drop?
Sadly, we’ve reached the end of our Stranger Things debate. But the story doesn’t have to end here – be sure to let us know what YOU think about these questions or anything we might have missed.
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