Stranger Things season 3 plot pleases viewers

Story by Anthony Rodriguez, Staff Writer

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Stranger Things 3 brings a new take on the city of Hawkins, Indiana. After the chaotic events of season two involving the Demogorgon, the characters expected things to calm down. However, things are not as they seem as a new monster takes shape.

The first characteristic of the third season is multiple storylines. The relationship that many fans had fantasized about has become a reality as Mike and Eleven display their affection for one another. They find themselves acting rebelliously while being angry towards their significant other’s actions before a conflict arises that causes them to be more cautious.

After returning from summer camp and finding his friends in new relationships, Dustin goes to the Starcourt Mall to find support from Steve Harrington, an old friend who is also an employee at an ice cream shop in the mall. The Scoops Ahoy group, including Dustin, Steve, and others seek to find out information on suspicious activity in the new Starcourt Mall.

Beneath Starcourt Mall a secret Russian lab base has been established, attempting to reopen the door to “the other side,” also known as the upside-down. 

Hopper, along with Will’s mother, Joyce has a similar goal to the Scoops Ahoy group. Gaining information from one of the Russian intelligence workers, they head to the mall and eventually the base, aiming to shut down the operation.

Returning character Billy Hargrove is the focus of the third season. After hitting a mysterious object while driving his car, Billy pulls over near an old abandoned building and freaks out as he hears noises. The noises come closer as he is attacked by a non-human entity and becomes more or less possessed by the being. The goal of the being is to gather as many people as possible to create a large enough monster called the Mind Flayer that, when molded together, can defeat Eleven. 

Eleven and her group find themselves searching for Dustin after receiving a message from him via a walkie talkie. Since Hopper and Joyce were already headed to the Starcourt Mall, both groups meet up in the mall. The Mind Flayer, along with Billy as the host, appears in an attempt to take down Eleven.

The third season does not disappoint as it is well balanced between comedic dialogue and dramatic events. From heartwarming introductions to saddening events, the directors are able to capture the attention of the audience for much longer than in the previous seasons of the series. After the second episode, the show becomes hard to pause, due to the added intrigue. There are cliffhangers in almost every episode waiting to be revealed that may affect the future of the series, forcing viewers to stay focused while craving answers.

The plot of the season flows seamlessly. Making Billy the focal point of the show is something that took an episode or two to adjust to but paid off well in the final episodes. Following his introduction in season two of Stranger things in which Billy had a smaller speaking role, his larger role was a good choice by the writers as Billy is often seen as the strongest person in the cast. Therefore, the Mind Flayer choosing Billy would be a power move as he would be much harder to take down when his strength is combined with that of the host organism of the Mind Flayer. 

The special effects related to the Mind Flayer are unique in the sense of there being a new way to create the monster. In previous seasons, monsters were brought up through the door to the other side or by Will having visions of the other side. In season three, the monster is created from the bottom up by having the Mind Flayer take control over the minds of many citizens, having them walk to the abandoned building that Billy was first attacked near, and basically melt into a blob and join with the main monster. The animations are smooth and the special effects are pretty realistic.

The introduction and usage of new characters also make for great entertainment, A prime example is the Russian intelligence worker, Alexei, a character who brings a subtle joy and playfulness to the plot on his trips with Joyce and Hopper. The development of the character causes the viewers to become emotionally attached to someone who was originally supposed to be the villain, which is a well thought out flip on the typical scenarios of film.

Among other newly introduced characters are Steve’s coworker at the ice cream shop, Robin, and Lucas’ sister Erica who both provide comedic dialogue and fresh takes on the situations occurring. Erica is used to pointing towards the point of view of a child while Robin is a supporting older teen role in the development of romance as Steve tells her that he has feelings for her before she reveals that she is gay in an empowering moment.

Erica’s dialogue being that of constant scrutiny of their situations and the other characters provides necessary comedic relief in order to balance out action and comedy. While Dustin was typically the character used for this in the previous seasons, having the point of view of new characters brings a unique taste to the show that is more enjoyable than that of season two. 

Overall, Stranger Things 3 brings both tears of joy and sadness throughout the eight episodes and brings anticipation for the fourth season with a post-credit cliffhanger. The arrival of the fourth season was recently announced by Netflix, saying “we’re not in Hawkins anymore”.