"Stranger Things" is back. Here's where we left off in Season 3.

When the fourth season of “Stranger Things” premieres on Netflix on Friday, nearly three years will have passed since the release of the...


When the fourth season of “Stranger Things” premieres on Netflix on Friday, nearly three years will have passed since the release of the previous season, but only six months will have passed in the fictional town of Hawkins, Ind. Viewers may wonder why their favorite young characters age like the cast of “Grease,” but when you spend your childhood running from predatory humanoid creatures rampaging through an alternate dimension, you tend to grow up in a hurry.

The break between hauntings might not give our heroes much time to catch their collective breath, but three years is a generally long interval between seasons, especially for a serialized show as dense with supernatural mythology, set relationships, and open-ended questions as “Stranger Things.” If you don’t have 449 minutes to spare to catch up on the third season in its entirety, here’s what you need to remember.

Set in the summer of 1985, the third season took place during the height of Cold War tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, before Glasnost and Rocky Balboa began to unfreeze their relationship. Seeking an advantage beyond nuclear proliferation, the Soviets sneaked into Hawkins, where they deployed a giant laser beam to open the same door to the Upside Down as Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and his friends worked so hard to seal.

It was kind of like the vindication of Paul Reiser, who was introduced as Dr. Owens in the second season, used as a corporate villain in “Aliens”: if this powerful otherworldly force could be harnessed, it could be deployed as an unstoppable weapon of war. Who needs hydrogen bombs when the Mind Flayer is terrorizing the Heartland?

Luckily for the citizens of Hawkins, the new Starcourt Mall has opened outside of town, a pastel-colored shopping oasis complete with a Sam Goody, Jazzercise venue, and multiplex showing “Back to the Future.” Unfortunately, all of the downtown ma-and-pa businesses also begin to close, including the general store where Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) is employed. And it turns out that those pesky Russians, through secret dealings with the corrupt mayor (Cary Elwes), have engulfed the Starcourt and surrounding properties for their nefarious purposes.

Thanks to intercepted and decoded Russian communiqués, Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) and Steve (Joe Keery), along with Robin (Maya Hawke), Steve’s colleague at the Scoops Ahoy ice cream parlor, discovered the operation under the mall.

As he prepared to once again exert his psychic force on Hawkins, the Mind Flayer began possessing rats and humans, melting their biomass and combining it to form a spider-like monster used to wreak havoc on earth. . Some of the possessed, including villainous lifeguard Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery), returned to life as sacred clones of themselves, who became “active” at the malevolent entity’s discretion.

As interns at The Hawkins Post newspaper — the only downtown business that still seems to be thriving — Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) and Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton) tried to get the scoop, but their deranged rodent story s turned out to be unsuitable for printing.

As the main characters entered deeper into adolescence, marathon sessions of Dungeons & Dragons were reserved for the romantic plot – much to the chagrin of dungeon master Will Byers (Noah Schnapp), who would have preferred life to return. back to normal after going Upside Down. Dustin returned from science camp raving about Suzie, who was reportedly “hotter than Phoebe Cates” but whose existence has been questioned. (She exists. And loves the “Neverending Story” theme.)

Eleven and Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard) played all summer until Chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour), El’s adoptive father, put his foot down. That left Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), who had his own recurring fling with Max (Sadie Sink), to offer terrible advice based on how little he understood about girls. Steve used to understand a lot about girls, but he sniffed around with Robin, who likes them herself.

It took most of the season for the kids to come together, so they have the Mind Flayer to thank for saving their fractured relationships. Nancy and Jonathan were left to simmer as they investigated the rat and human ownership story, and the want or don’t vibe between Hopper and Joyce continued, despite their obvious feelings. one for the other.

But they also had to put their love on hold after kidnapping a Russian scientist and recruiting Murray (Brett Gelman), the former journalist-turned-private detective, to translate information on how to infiltrate the Soviet operation and stop the machine that opened the transdimensional door.

The weather episode turned Starcourt Mall into a multi-tiered battleground on July 4, with some of the fireworks moved inside. In the mall atrium, the Mind Flayer, through the spider monster, clashed with the madly outmatched children.

A weakened El summoned every last drop of energy to fend off the monster. At the same time, his friends destroyed it with a cache of stolen fireworks. For a moment, El manages to loosen Billy from the Mind Flayer’s psychic grip, and in a final moment of heroism, he sacrifices himself to save her.

While this was happening, Dustin and Erica (Priah Ferguson), Lucas’ little sister and avid ice cream shopper, used Dustin’s radio to guide Hopper, Joyce and Murray through the tunnel system under the center. commercial, where they posed as Russian agents to gain access. giant laser. Although Hopper successfully battled a superagent, which was Robert Patrick’s T-1000 doppelganger in “Terminator 2”, he was also vaporized during the destruction of the machine. Or so it seemed…

Earlier in the season, Hopper vowed to make Joyce feel like Hawkins was a safe place for her. His presumed death ending that promise, Joyce finally decided to leave the cursed town that tormented his family relentlessly. She and her boys moved to California, joined by El, who had lost both his adoptive father and his powers fighting the Mind Flayer.

In a postscript set in a Russian military compound, the guards searched for a prisoner to feed a Demogorgon, somehow captured from the Upside Down and kept in an enclosure, like a velociraptor in ” Jurassic Park”. The guards were told not to choose “the American” for the Demogorgon’s lunch, which left fans with the obvious question: who is the American? Is it Hopper?

An early 2020 trailer confirmed it was indeed Hopper. Based on Netflix’s release last week of the first scene (a video since taken down), he and El will have a lot of catching up to do if they manage to reunite.

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Newsrust - US Top News: "Stranger Things" is back. Here's where we left off in Season 3.
"Stranger Things" is back. Here's where we left off in Season 3.
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