Stranger Things season 3 is the best season out of all the others and is the result of careful planning and wonderful storytelling. From Steve Harrington continuing to be the best mom to El and Max having the kind of friendship that I’d want at that age, there’s so much we can talk about Stranger Things. And in an effort to contain ourselves (for now) here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly of Stranger Things season 3!
El and Max Friendship
THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR SINCE MAX APPEARED IN SEASON 2. Friendships are important and El’s got plenty of them in Dustin, Will, Lucas, and Mike. But sometimes a girl needs a girl. And that’s what Max was for El.
Max was a companion who championed El to choose the kind of young woman she wanted to be and not the one others wished her to be. Max helped her draw a line in the sand when it came to the way that Mike was treating her. And Max helped show El the complexity of friendships and how you can always have another one because there are actual people out there that will give you the chance and care for you.
And at the end of the day, this right here might be my favorite part of Stranger Things. Female friendships that don’t spend their time just talking about the guys in their lives. Female friendships where they solve crimes together and follow leads like they’re the 80’s Sherlock and Watson. Female friendships that lift you up, even in your weakest moment and that can actually work with your loved one since we don’t have real time for bitter rivalries. That’s what I saw with El and Max and I can’t wait to see more!
El Not Being the Only One Fighting
For two seasons El has been the powerhouse. Sure, everyone else pulls their weight, but it’s always been El taking on the BIGGEST and BADDEST things that go bump in the night. Stranger Things season 3 sees a change to that. No longer is El physically taking on the BIGGEST and BADDEST. Her friends strength is the reason El survived for so long and especially when she was out of commission due to the mind flayer.
My surprise MVP is Nancy Wheeler. That girl went for a weapon as easily as we breathe and had no problem using it against the enemies they faced. Also, while Steve was taking care of Dustin and Erica with Robin, I feel like the “kids” became hers. She was the mom as shit got real and needed to find solutions asap. Everything that Nancy did during season 3 is proof of how far she’s come and how much she’s grown.
Second MVP of season 3 is Lucas Sinclair. When the Mind Flayer had El and everyone was trying to hold onto her, he jumped into action and went to town with that ax. Same thing happened when he used the fireworks from the supermarket on the Mind Flayer. El would’ve not survived long enough to remind Billy of what truly mattered and how love was still alive and well in his heart.
At the end of the day, all of these young adults are a found family. And I’m a super for those, every day of the week and twice on Sundays!
Will’s Continued Development
Everything that was done with Will was unexpected and so on point. We’re all afraid to grow up and change. No matter who you are, changing friendships and the death of things you loved to do as a kid, really really hurts. It burns and it scars until we’re left a bitter husk if we allow ourselves to be consumed by the jealousy we feel at those that have moved forward while leaving you behind.
Will felt left behind, like the time in the Upside Down made him different or pushed him behind when it came to his development as a young man. That’s why he’s been dismissive and giving up on things in his life, he’s scared and alone. And it’s also the reason why he destroyed Castle Byers. It wasn’t until after that moment that I think Will realized that yes, he has changed, but his path is just as valid as those around him. And that’s ok.
As things progressed I was really proud of Will for the active role he took in speaking up when he felt the Mind Flayer and in helping out El when she was going through the hardest battle of her life. More than anyone, he understands the loneliness of the Upside Down and what it does to your mind after long exposure. Here’s hoping that, and the fact that they moved away together, means we’ll get some Will and El brother/sister moments. I’m down.
Steve Harrington Goodness
Here we have Steve Harrington proving that he’s my favorite mom on Stranger Things! He’s really blossomed since his first asshole appearance in season one and now he’s the one Dustin goes to when he needs help. And that matters big time, especially for Dustin. Our curly haired young adult feels a bit abandoned and alone but he knows that Steve has his back because he’s surprisingly a caring mom.
This season we saw a strangely charming and wonderful relationship between him and Robin blossom. Not going to lie, a tiny bit of me shipped it. I’ve always had a soft spot for goofballs with the ability to sass and that’s what I saw with these two. When it was revealed that Robin was queer, Steve proved that I put my faith into the right man by acting like there was nothing different about Robin. He even started teasing her about her crush and how she can do better. And Steve doesn’t mean himself. He’s a wing man/ride or die.
Also, kudos to Joe Kerry for wearing the exact same costume for the entirety of season 3 of Stranger Things. It was Scoops Ahoy! all the way! It was iconic, wonderful, and I can’t wait to see people dressed up like him at SDCC!
Watching El and Mike Kiss
Even though they’re teenagers, El and Mike are still my children (they’re everybody’s children and you’re lying to yourself if you don’t love them as your own) and it’s so awkward watching them kiss. I was basically Hopper 75% of the time, yelling, “FIVE FEET!” I have no shame and would do the same thing if my kid was making out with another teen I’ve known for ages.
And yes, I know people grow up, fall in love, and do great things in their lives that make us go, “Woah.” But El and Mike are my kids and I’m not ready for them to grow up, especially because half of them have stretched out and grown like weeds. Oh puberty, you bastard. Taking away my baby El and Mike from season one.
Point is, I felt like too much of a parent when El and Mike were kissing and I ain’t ashamed of it. I’ll work through it. I know I will. But right now I’m stuck and going to be saying, “Ewww cooties” at all my children kissing others, holding hands, or being lovey dubey with each other.
Knowing That Joyce and Hopper Never Got That Date
Joyce and Hopper were teased to kingdom come when it came to their feelings and possible date. And honestly, I feel robbed and a little pissed. I also feel like TV/movies/books have taught me to never want anything or plan a date for the future because it’s written on the walls that you’re going to die in the next scene or episode. It’s red shirt syndrome from Star Trek all over again!
But seriously, arguing is fun and hot for a little bit. It gets the blood pumping and it always leads to mad and woah kisses on TV. But we never got any of that. All it was was fighting, fighting, oh and more fighting. Even Murray got sick and tired of them and called them out on their bullshit and unresolved sexual tension.
Now that Hopper is “gone” we’re not going to get that date. We’re not going to get them talking about co-parenting El. We’re not going to get them working together as a family while on the magical road to dating and falling in love. We’re not going to get any of that because the Duffer Brothers want us to have ALL THE FEELS! Well, we have them! You’ve accomplished what you wanted. Now, what are you going to do next?
The Sexualizing of Billy
There was something so perverted and weird about these older women primping themselves up for Billy. It felt predatory and if it was a hot girl is a skimpy and tight bikini being hounded by older and married men, people would be up in arms about how dangerous behavior like this is. But do you hear anyone complaining? Nope. Because it’s just women and they can’t be predatory in their sexualization of a barely out of high school kid? Right? Wrong!
Mrs. Wheeler was two seconds away from entering into an affair with Billy. And it’s creepy as shit. Yes, she is being neglected by her husband and she’s a bomb af bae. But she was still planning to have an affair with a kid who just got done with highschool. (I assume he’s finished with highschool since Steven, Nancy, and Jonathan seem to be done.)
The way that Billy was sexualized is and will forever remain creepy AF. Doesn’t matter if he was a “bad boy” or liked to flirt with women left and right. He was a young man and these were older women with TEENAGERS THAT WERE BILLY’S AGE! Woah. I didn’t even catch that til now. Nancy and Billy are probably the same age and Mrs. Wheeler was lusting after Billy. Oh, hell no!
The Tragedy That is the Lack of Eleven & Hopper Family Feels
Stranger Things was a glorious beacon of amazing moments except for THE SERIOUS LACK OF ELEVEN AND HOPPER! Yes, I cried during the scenes that they had together and the letter he wrote to El. But I wanted more. I needed more.
Found families are my bread and butter and I was hanging onto every El and Hopper moment, hoping they would never end. They found love, a home, a family with each other and I’ve got to tell myself over and over that the scenes we got were golden because the dark and grumpy side of me is still ranting how we needed more of this family.
So, here’s hoping fanfic, fanart, and the creative minds over on Tumblr can help me with these feels until we really find out what happened to Hopper BECAUSE HE ISN’T DEAD! More info on that down below and after the Mind Flayer section.
The Mind Flayer
I have a high tolerance for creepy shit and disgusting shit. You could say that TV/movies/books have jaded me because nothing gives me the shivers or makes me want to gag. Then the Mind Flayer had to appear in our world made out of the various human bodies he absorbed….
I STILL FEEL DISGUSTED. There was something about the mind flayer that made me go, “OH, HELL NO!” Maybe it was all the teeth. Maybe it was him being all “moist.” (Which, that word should burn for the shivers it gives me. Ewww. Moist.) Or maybe it was his movements and how he was basically goop if he wanted to.
Either way, heebie jeebies all the way to the moon and back when the Mind Flayer made his appearance in season 3 of Stranger Things. It’s made sadder and more disgusting by the fact that about 30 people and tons of rats died to make up the Mind Flayer body. Just let that sink in while I sit here with a gross look on my face because I’m still thinking about the word “moist.”
The Duffer Brothers Letting Us Think Hopper is Dead
How very dare you Duffer Brothers. How dare you let us think that Hopper is dead. I know he isn’t and I’m not going to fall for your trickery! So, how do I know he’s dead? Let me explain.
They didn’t show his body being disintegrated. If I don’t see the death, there’s still a possibility he’s alive. It’s TV/movie/book 101.
While Joyce and Murray were escaping through that conveniently placed and forgotten for a hot second door, there was a pause, an extra second to focus on the door as if they were teasing us. Hopper could’ve been knocked over and towards that door during the initial shockwave and when he went towards that door those commie bastards grabbed him.
And that brings us to Exhibit C
In Russia, when they were picking out the person to feed to the demogorgon, they said to not pick the American. Throughout season three the Russians referred to Hopper as “the American.” Coincidence? I THINK NOT!
So, keep trying to fool others, Duffer Brothers. Because you ain’t fooling me!
Stranger Things season three is available to stream on Netflix.