May 16, 2022
Stranger Things Season 3

Stranger Things

Stranger Things Season 3 has a lot to like, but it all starts with the younger characters, who are attempting to just be kids after sealing the gateway to the Upside Down last year

The following contains SPOILERS for the whole season 3 of Stranger Things on Netflix. For those who want a more focused look at a specific chapter.

Stranger Things’ adolescent cast members have undergone a dramatic transition over the years – both physically and as individuals – in the same way that Game of Thrones’ adolescent cast members have. Season 3 effectively illustrates the significant changes that are affecting Hawkins’ children as they prepare for high school while simultaneously attempting to figure out how to grow up without growing apart. The Duffer brothers, who created the series, succeed in their narrative mission by providing a darker, scarier, and more action-packed season than its predecessors.

Season 3 Timeline

Season 3's cast

Season 3 has a lot to like, but it all starts with the younger characters, who are attempting to just be kids during the summer of 1985 after seemingly sealing the gateway to the Upside Down last year. Will’s (Noah Schnapp) desire to play Dungeons & Dragons with the boys is thwarted by Mike’s (Finn Wolfhard) and Eleven’s (Millie Bobby Brown) repeated make-out sessions, while Dustin’s (Gaten Matarazzo) return home from a month-long summer camp does not result in the pleasant reunion he expected. While it’s terrible to witness hormones disrupting long-standing friendships, the group’s split leads to a few interesting collaborations.

Dustin and Steve (Joe Keery) are the ideal comedy coupling in Season 3, with their blossoming bromance leading to some emotionally touching situations. Both young men are having to adjust to their new situations: Steve not being accepted to college and being forced to work at the local ice cream parlour, and Dustin’s buddies showing no interest in his new innovations. Steve and Dustin’s mentor/mentee relationship is endearing and entertaining throughout the season.

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Newcomer Robin (Maya Hawke), who works with Steve at Scoops Ahoy, joins the dynamic combo. Robin, like Dustin, is a mentor to Steve “The Hair” Harrington, posing unanticipated challenges to the former high school heartthrob. Hawke fits right in with the rest of the cast, and he’s a standout.

Without going into detail, we can say that the Upside Down, the Mind Flayer, and their minions are still alive and well, bringing with them some horrifying new creatures and exciting action moments later in the season. The new creatures are unlike anything we’ve seen before, and you can tell Netflix went all out to make them a reality. “The Battle of Starcourt,” the season finale, is an 80-minute supernatural suspense roller coaster with big-budget production qualities. And we’re delighted to report that each of the eight episodes is essential viewing, with none of the “Netflix bloat” we’ve come to expect.

Stranger Things Season 3 Review

Bobby Brown

On the adult side, both Police Chief Hopper (David Harbour) and Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) are undergoing major character transformations. Joyce is still grieving the loss of her beloved Bob Newby, who died in Season 2. The Duffers’ creative decisions behind the camera, which use flashbacks and brutal visuals to underscore Joyce’s shattered state of mind, heighten Ryder’s poignant performance.

With his adopted daughter, Eleven, Hopper is going through the school of hard knocks of parenthood. Harbour gives an outstanding performance as an overprotective father who struggles to accept his child’s maturation. Hopper and Joyce are a fun couple to see together, and their “will they/won’t they” connection is adorable.

Stranger Things Season 3 features a badass human villain named Grigori (Andrey Ivchenko), who eerily resembles Arnold Schwarzenegger from the first Terminator film. Grigori doesn’t say much, but his intimidating appearance and ’80s hairdo tell enough. The mystery Russian spy has a few noteworthy fist fights with Hopper, which are a great change of pace from fighting slimy monsters.

Cary Elwes, who plays Hawkins’ smarmy Mayor Larry Kline, is one of Season 3’s more forgettable arrivals, sadly. Elwes does a good job as the villain, but his character lacks subtlety – he’s exactly who you expect him to be, which is a shame because Elwes is such a talented actor.

Stranger Things’ cast and story scope continue to expand, so it’s understandable that not every character will receive the attention they deserve… However, it is still evident. Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) and Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton) fall into this category, with their respective narratives feeling insignificant in comparison to the rest of the Hawkins crew. Despite the fact that Nancy and Jonathan are crucial to the primary plot, the season would not suffer if they were absent. Hopefully, in Season 4, the two wannabe reporters will have more to do. We’ll have to wait and see.

The Final Word

Stranger Things Season 3 final word

Stranger Things Season 3 on Netflix is the best installment yet, with more stakes and better character development than the previous two seasons. As the children grow older, so do their stories, and the young performers continue to deliver. Maya Hawke is an excellent addition to the already impressive cast, with David Harbour’s Hopper and Winona Ryder’s Joyce providing emotional depth to the film’s gripping tale. Season 3’s production value has also been improved, making it feel more like something you’d watch in a movie theatre.

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