A teaser to set up the future for Stranger Things undermines the beautiful payoff of season three – SPOILER WARNING AHEAD

Stranger Things has hit three seasons and are they ever feeling sequelitis. As someone who was hesitant to watch the first season because I am not a fan of shows that garner a massive following, I found myself loving that original season because of how great the young characters are and the relationships that are developed between them. They felt genuine and as though these friendships exist outside of the show. Millie Bobby Brown is one of the most talented actresses out there at only the young age of 15. David Harbour and Winona Ryder are two talents that have been overlooked by many. Harbour is perfect comic relief and Ryder can almost do wrong other than Alien: Resurrection. Dacre Montgomery, who portrays Billy, is going to have a very bright career given the versatile performances that he puts on in this season. He goes from being the aggressive bully from season two to a pacifist when he is compromised by the antagonist of this season – The Mindflayer. Season three also provides the best action, the best heartfelt moments and risks that could have capped this show perfectly, however, the show teases a fourth season in the end credits of the final episode, which makes the events of the final episode all for nothing.

In the final episode, “The Battle of Starcourt”, Hopper and Billie tragically lose their lives. Billie is penetrated in the chest by one of the Mindflayer’s mouths just seconds before Joyce Byers permanently closes the “Upside Down” and killing the Mindflayer. Hopper “dies” after we don’t see him in the area where the “Upside Down” was closed and we are to assume that he has passed away because, in the very last minutes of the season, the Byers move out of Hawkins and Joyce gives the heart-to-heart letter to El that Hop wrote to help him give a talk to both El and Mike. Harbour narrates the letter while El reads it and we get a montage of the gang saying their goodbyes. The letter delves into how Hop’s life took a 180 turn when he discovered El and raised her as his own daughter and how her growing up means he has to pull back the overprotection and let her do her own trial and error through life. It is one of the most gut-wrenching moments I have ever watched on TV or on film and I found myself in a flood of tears for about 15-20 minutes after I had closed my laptop. With that being said, the end-credits scene strips the show of the brilliant risks that we had just watched.

The end-credits scene takes place in Russia and deals with guards delivering a man to a Demogorgon and when the guards are picking one of the two men who are both locked in cells, one of the guards refers to one of the prisoners as “the American”. This scene would only be shown at the end of the show if this was a major character being teased at being “the American”. Thus, brings us to the likely fact that Hop is still alive…. All the tears and all the emotional goodbyes were meant to fool us as a season four will happen. The plot will involve the kids coming back together to save Hop in some way and it robs all the greatness we had in this season. The Duffer Brothers prove that they are not willing to take the real risks and are characters like consequences regardless of the situation. There is always a deus ex machina that saves a character and it is becoming tedious. Is this a great season? Yes, but when a perfect ending to a show is not the ending we are getting, it makes me wish that this season never happened. Season four has no intrigue because we know nothing of consequence is bound to happen.

Rating: 7/10

 

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