Stranger Things 3 continues to be brilliant storytelling. It hits all the right emotional highs and lows. The visual effects are stunning. The 80s nostalgia and callbacks shine. The scifi creature is gross and disgusting.
At the end of season 2, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) thought she’d closed the gate on the creature. Spoiler: the creature was still around.
When the season began, everyone thought they were safe. Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Eleven spent their time working on their kissing skills. Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) was away at camp. Hopper (David Harbour) asked Joyce (Winona Ryder) out on a date. I was thinking, This season is a bore.
But wow, when the action hits the fan it is nonstop excitement.
As in past seasons, there are four separate storylines involving four sets of characters. They are all working on the same problem, but their efforts don’t coincide until the end when all the threads come together.
The grown ups are after the Russians and the big electrical gizmo that has something to do with how strong the creature gets. Or maybe it contains the creature. Whatever. The science parts of science fiction have always been murky for me in Stranger Things.
The grown ups are mainly Jim Hopper and Joyce. Jim’s pal Murray (Brett Gelman) helps out, too.
There are two sets of older kids. Joyce’s son Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) and girl reporter Nancy (Natalia Dyer) get into the action because of some gross goings on that change people into minions of the creature.
Steve (Joe Keery) and Robin (Maya Hawke) work in the ice cream shop in the mall. The mall is actually a huge shopping center built to hide the actions of the Russians in the sub sub sub basements who keep the generator gizmo going. These two eventually end up teamed with Dustin and Erica (Priah Ferguson). They are after the secrets the Russians are bringing into the mall back entrance.
Priah Ferguson is wonderful here – she’s a scene stealer and a gem. She made the most of her scenes in season 2, but she’s a major player in season 3. I love her and want her to have all the ice cream in the world – for free.
Maya Hawke as Robin is another bright spot in season 3. After going through all kinds of trauma together investigating Russians, then escaping from said Russians, Steve admits to Robin that he has a crush on her. It’s a beautiful scene acted out while leaning on toilets huddled on a colorful public bathroom floor. The twist is that Robin admits to Steve that she has a crush on a girl named Tammy.
The youngest set of characters are the D&D playing foursome Dustin, Mike, Erica’s big brother Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), and Joyce’s son Will (Noah Schnapp). Eleven is part of this group, as is Max (Sadie Sink). Dustin is stuck deep under the mall, while the rest of this bunch deal directly with the creature. The big, scary creature.
Eleven and Max become best friends this season, a new experience for Eleven. Well, to be accurate, almost every normal experience is a new experience for Eleven.
Max’s big brother Billy (Dacre Montgomery) is also important in the story, but he isn’t part of the group fighting against the creature or the Russians.
Matt and Ross Duffer are the creators, writers, and frequent directors of Stranger Things 3. Slowly, slowly, they are adding more female characters and this season’s number of women directed episodes is 2/8. Uta Briesewitz directed two episodes of season 3.
This show must have an enormous budget, because the sets and special and visual effects are outstanding.
If you watched previous seasons of Stranger Things, I’m sure you’ll be interested in this one. It as good or better than earlier seasons. By the way, don’t turn off episode 8 when the credits start to roll. Stick around for some important scenes.
Watch the Trailer for Stranger Things 3
Did you watch Stranger Things 3 yet? What did you think of it?