‘Stranger Things’ Season 3: Recap And Ending, Explained – What To Expect From Season 4?


“Stranger Things,” created by the Duffer Brothers, is as much about the supernatural happenings in the town of Hawkins, Indiana, as it is about the bonds of friendship that ultimately save it from the wrath of the creatures coming out of the other dimension named the “Upside Down.” Will, Dustin, Lucas, and Mike always had each other’s backs, no matter how unpropitious the circumstances got. The newest additions to the core group, Eleven, and Max, have become integral parts of it. Though there was a lot of enmity and misunderstanding between Max and Eleven at first, their united resilience in the wake of adversity had led to them resolving their issues, and it made sure that they were closer than ever. Though Eleven had closed the gate which led to the other dimension, the Mind Flayer was still alive, and it was just a matter of time before it would once again cause havoc in the lives of the innocent people living in Hawkins.

‘Stranger Things Season 3: Plot Summary – What Is Season 3 About?

Things were looking good in Hawkins, Indiana, and it felt like the town was done battling the horrors that had taken place in the past. Eleven was still living with Jim Hopper, who was quite stressed with her involvement with Mike. The teenage couple were inseparable, and Lucas, Will, and Max had become accustomed to them spending most of the time with each other. Steve Harrington had been working at Scoops Ahoy, at the Starcourt Mall, with his colleague Robin, who also happened to be his batchmate. Will, time and again, felt the eerie presence of something, but he refrained from telling anybody in the group. Billy had become the pool instructor, and Nancy Wheelers and Jonathan Buyers were working at the Hawkins Post, a newspaper.

The Gold Leader, a.k.a. Dustin, was finally returning after a month from his summer camp, and he was excited to meet his buddies again after a long time. He had stories to share, as always, and he also wanted to show off his invention, of which he was utterly proud. Dustin had invented a radio tower, and it also had a name: Cerebro. But he had bigger news that the group was shocked to hear. Dustin now had a girlfriend named Suzie, who belonged to a Mormon family and lived in Utah.

Dustin was trying to contact Suzie through his radio tower but was not getting any interception. The other members thought that Dustin was making up the whole girlfriend thing, and there was no Suzie in reality. As soon as the others leave for their home, Dustin hears a voice on his device. Somebody was speaking in Russian, and Dustin didn’t understand a word. He felt the need to confide in somebody, and as his friends had ditched him, he went to Steve and told him about the whole conspiracy.

Hopper had warned Mike to stay away from Eleven. It had put Mike in a very precarious situation. He was fabricating the facts, which led Eleven to believe that he might be lying. Eleven had grown up in an experimental lab, in adverse circumstances, and didn’t understand human behavior in its entirety. She tells Max about it, who tells her to ignore Mike as much as she can. With brooding romances, some misunderstandings, and newfound revelations, a dark shadow loomed over Hawkins. The Mind Flayer had returned, and the fate of the town was once again in the hands of the teenage investigators and those few who found themselves amidst the chaos and deepening mystery.

Major Spoilers Ahead

How Did The Mind Flayer Come Back?

Mrs. Joyce Byers was trying to decipher why her magnets stopped sticking all of a sudden. She found it very mysterious but, unable to find any reasonable explanation; she went to meet Scott Clarke, who was the science teacher of the teenagers. He told her that only a large-scale magnetic field had the potential to demagnetize her magnets. While investigating the demagnetizing phenomenon, Hopper and Joyce find a Russian scientist named Dr. Alexei, who reveals to them that the Russians were creating a key to access the Upside Down. The Starcourt mall was the epicenter of all the activities, and they had built a piece of complex machinery to open up the dimension that Eleven had closed in the previous season using her power. The Mind Flayer was possessing the bodies of humans and rats, and feeding them with chemicals and fertilizers, which then melted to form a mushy, semi-liquid substance. This melted substance then combined with the Mind Flayer and helped it regain its physical form. The Mind Flayer was growing in size every passing day, and was becoming potentially even more threatening. 

See More: ‘Stranger Things Season 2’ Ending, Explained – What Does Mind Flayer Symbolizes?

Why Did Mind Flayer Attack Billy? Is He Dead?

As the portal to the other dimension widened, the Mind Flayer regained his foothold in the human dimension and started terrorizing the people of Hawkings. Like all evil spirits, Mind Flayer also targeted people with some kind of mental scar or trauma that had been haunting them for years. The creatures of the dark prey upon these memories, which is why Billy was the perfect host for the Mind Flayer to fulfill its ulterior motives. Billy’s mother had left him when he was still a kid. He was later raised by his abusive father, who, in the first place, was the reason Billy’s mother ran away from home. Growing up in such a toxic environment, in addition to the feelings of being abandoned by one’s mother, Billy had developed this ruthless demeanor for himself, beneath which he was hiding his vulnerabilities and inhibitions. The Mind Flayer knows exactly how to take advantage of that and transforms him into his most trusted agent and vests in him the responsibility of building an army.

Through Billy, the Mind Flayer wanted to possess more people, turn them on its side, and eventually achieve its main goal, i.e., killing Eleven. It was believed that Eleven was the only person who could actually stop it, and that is why she was the primary target. Eleven, during one of her psychokinetic visions, gets to know that the Mind Flayer was plotting to kill her and her whole friend group too. Maybe the ultimate goal of the Mind Flayer’s sinister plan was to rule the human dimension and reign over it, being its supreme lord.

During the final battle sequence, when the Mind Flayer in its ultimate form tries to kill Eleven and her friends, Eleven reminds Billy of his childhood, a small fragment of which she has witnessed in one of her psychic visions. She knew that even though the Mind Flayer had possessed him, the real Billy was still there, embedded deep inside the subconscious. Eleven’s voice reaches out to that scared kid who became a bully, maybe to only run away from his past. A fearless Billy battles his inner self and stands in front of Eleven and her doom. The Mind Flayer rips him apart, but before bidding adieu, Billy finds solace by doing the right thing and overcoming his own inhibitions.

‘Stranger Things Season 3: Ending Explained – Is Hopper Dead Or Alive? Has Eleven Lost Her Powers?

Eleven seemed to have lost her powers. She could control things through her mind and could apply such an enormous amount of force that even the Mind Flayer, at times, couldn’t stand in front of it. But towards the end of Season 3 of “Stranger Things,” we see that Eleven becomes powerless so much that she isn’t able to move even the slightest things. She was concentrating very hard to bring the power back, but somehow she just couldn’t do it. Mike tells her to not worry, and she will eventually get it back. Maybe the stress, the traumatic experiences, have led her to such a state. In multiple instances, we saw that Eleven had put each and every ounce of energy she had in her body, and maybe that led her to a state where she was scorched. But in all probability, she would get it back in due time.

Joyce saw that Hopper was standing near to the machinery from which the laser was coming out. But she had no option as lives were at stake. She hits the button, the machine explodes, and Hopper vanishes into thin air. The door to the “Upside Down” was closed, and the Mind Flayer’s connection between the two worlds was hindered. 

But there were two surprising revelations made in the mid-credit scene. In Kamchatka, a peninsula in Russia, they kept a Demogorgon in captivity. That means that creatures from Upside Down still exist in the world, and there might be a possibility of an active expansion of the species. Secondly, the troops put a Russian inmate in a cage with the Demogorgon. Another inmate was kept in the adjacent room, who was an American. This person could very well be Jim Hopper, considering we never saw the dead body of the man. He just vanished, and everybody presumed that he was dead. Maybe the Russians had captured him and brought him to this facility so that they could use him as leverage. The Russians had set up their base at Hawkins for a reason. The location was of utmost importance, and since Hopper had been there since the inception, maybe the Russians would have thought that they would get some valuable information from the man.

What To Expect From ‘Stranger Things Season 4?

The Byers family had relocated to California, and Eleven had moved with them, in order to keep Eleven out of the government’s sight, who might have perceived Eleven as a potential threat. But as a matter of fact, the impending doom now loomed over the whole world, and just because they had moved away from Hawkins wouldn’t keep them out of danger. Season 4 will put more light on why the Russians were building a camp in Kamchatka. Maybe they wanted to achieve world dominance, considering it was the same era in which the cold war between America and Russia was at its peak, and eventually led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. In all probability, they thought that the Mind Flayer would help them to achieve that feat. Now, if Jim Hopper was also in their captivity (as seen in the trailer for Season 4), then they would have something in mind for him too. They wouldn’t have brought him all the way to Russia if they didn’t think that he could serve some purpose.

It is also to be kept in mind that if any creature returned from the Upside Down and waged a war, or if the Russians somehow managed to expand the species, as they already had a Demogorgon with them, then they would be unrestrained and the war would become one-sided as Eleven had lost her powers. We would have to wait and see how Eleven would get her powers back: Will she have to revisit her tormenting past to figure out a way, or would she find somebody, a mentor of sorts, who would guide her to retrieve it.

Season 4 of “Stranger Things” will shed more light on what fate has in store for the people of Hawkins, Indiana.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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