Stranger Things 3 Review
One week ago today, a glorious thing happened. After twenty-one long, agonizing, tantalizing months, Stranger Things 3 finally aired.
This post will of course contain spoilers, but if you haven’t watched yet and don’t continue reading after the spoiler mark, I will say this, sans spoilers:
I counted down to the release date all summer. Who am I kidding… I counted down all year. I rebinged the first two seasons a handful of times in preparation. I had my Hawkins Lifeguard 4th of July outfit ready well in advance. I went to bed early on Wednesday and set my alarm from 1:45 am est. I woke up bright eyed and excited, grabbed my snacks and beer, and settled in on the couch for the long haul. I pressed play as soon as the season was available on Netflix at 2:00am est, and watch all eight chapters in one sitting without pausing or stopping.
Here’s a little play-by-play of the experience from my Instagram story…
I was both physically and emotionally exhausted by the end of it (and hungry), and I took a very long nap in the afternoon and missed the fireworks. But a binge of that level of excitement and emersion was a surreal experience that I’ll never forget. I don’t regret a single second of it and I was never disappointed. Every chapter in this season is, in every way, perfect.
So perfect, in fact, that I can’t pick favorites.
Earlier in June, I made two posts dedicated to my top 3 favorite chapters from Stranger Things 1 and Stranger Things 2 and planned on doing the same for this season. But it is truly impossible for me to choose my favorites out of this season, so instead I’ll do a brief review of each chapter and how much I love it.
Chapter One: Suzie, Do You Copy?
The very beginning of this chapter mirrors the start of season 1 by putting us in a lab with little idea of what’s going on, and it’s fantastic. We also get an awesome first look at the brand new Starcourt Mall, and get quickly caught up with what has transpired in Hawkins and with all our favorite characters (and couples) since we last left off. But the star of the chapter is our favorite Chief of Police and helicopter dad, Jim Hopper. I would watch a whole season of Hopper trying to navigate parenthood and raising a teenager. 11/10 WHISTLES.
Chapter Two: The Mall Rats
Chapter one leaves us wondering what the hell happened to Billy, but we pick right up in chapter two with Billy coming back out of the warehouse and into the Upside Down. Dun dun dun. But while crazy shit is going down with the rats and the Mind Flayer, stuff in Hawkins is as fun and angsty as we could hope. Dustin and Steve reunite and it’s quite frankly adorable. Mike and Eleven’s relationship is on the rocks, and we get to see Mike and the boys struggle with adolescence while Max and Eleven bond and enjoy their summer. #bffgoals, honestly. 11/10 EXPLODING RATS.
Chapter Three: The Case of the Missing Lifeguard
Imagine having a sleepover with your new best friend and finding out she can spy on your ex-boyfriends without leaving the room. How cool would that be?! Eleven is really starting to get a taste of what it’s like to be a “normal” teen, sassy attitude and all, but then she finds Billy in the Upside Down. When all signs point to the worst, the bestie duo start tracking Billy while Joyce drags Hopper into her magnet conspiracy. Nancy and Jonathan are hot on the trail of a story that goes deeper than they realize, and Dustin and the Scoops Troop are busy looking for Russians. Totally normal everyday summer fun stuff. Totally normal. 9/10 SLEEPOVERS.
Chapter Four: The Sauna Test
Eleven and Max, the queens of sleepovers, enjoy some Wonder Woman comics in the safety of Max’s room while a storm rages outside and the Mind Flayer continues to collect victims. Dustin, Steve, and Robin try to find a way into the room that’s guarded by a gun and a keycard, while Hopper uses brute force to get info from Mayor Larry Kline on the goings on at Starcourt. While the Scoops Troop get themselves trapped in a rapidly descending elevator, the gang goes up against a flayed Billy and lock him in a sauna and we get to see Billy himself battle with the thing inside him. 10/10 ICE CREAM SCOOPS.
Chapter Five: The Flayed
The Scoops Troop is now trapped somewhere miles below Starcourt, and Joyce and Hopper are out searching for leads in basements of abandoned farmhouses. After finding and taking-hostage a Russian- Alexei (nickname Smirnoff)- and getting stranded in the woods, they steal a car and head to our favorite conspiracy theorist and hermit (Murray) in “Ill-annoy”. The Scoops Troop find a way out of the elevator and into an underground Russian lab. At Hawkins Memorial Hospital, the Mind Flayer is collecting more victims and we get to see just how evolved this thing has really become. 9/10 SMIRNOFFS.
Chapter Six: E Pluribus Unum
Steve tries to prove to the Russians that he works at Scoops Ahoy and is not a spy until he is literally red in the face while Alexei gets Joyce, Murray, and Hop all caught up. Eleven goes back into the Upside Down to find Billy again, and she ends up deep in the recesses of his memories. She then learns of the Mind Flayers true and ultimate intent, and we finally find out why he was collecting so many victims. 9/10 DEMOGORGON PRODS.
Chapter Seven: The Bite
The new and hugely improved Mind Flayer is out for blood and tries to attack the gang at Hops cabin, but Eleven and the others put up a fight and stop him one limb (and facehugging tongue) at a time. And while things are starting to get really real (or, realer than they already were), the highlight of this chapter is definitely the bathroom scene. That friggin’ bathroom scene, man. I love Steve. I love Robin. I want them to be my best friends. That scene was a whirlwind of perfection that warmed my heart and made me laugh in an otherwise tense and heavy chapter. 11/10 CONFESSIONS.
Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt
Easily the wildest ride of the whole season. Eleven uses her abilities to remove a part of the Mind Flayer from inside her leg. (Ouch.) The gang reunites. (Like, the whole gang). Sacrifices are made. (Tragic, tragic sacrifices.) Tears are shed. (So. Many. Tears.) And an end credit scene leaves us wanting to know so much more. (And gives us a teeny tiny sliver of hope in the form of a Russian command that I am holding on to for dear life.) But amongst all of the chaos and sadness and bittersweetness, Dustin and his GF steal the show for just a brief moment of hilarious relief in a rendition of Neverending Story. (I still can’t get that audio/visual out of my head…) 1111/10 FEELINGS.
As you can see by the ratings, there wasn’t an chapter that I didn’t love through and through. If you we able to pick a favorite chapter, tweet me! I’d love to hear!
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// GEEK :
(noun) obsessive enthusiast, or (verb) be or become extremely excited or enthusiastic about a subject
// ABOUT :
Morgan of House Geek, First of Her Name, Mother of a Ton of Funkos, Collector of Things, Writer of Stories, Designer of Websites, Watcher of Films, and Player of Games.
INTJ. Libra-Scorpio Cusp. Slytherin.
Jack of all trades, master of none.
// FUN FACT :
I prefer purchasing trades & volumes more than single issues. I find them to be more durable, so I can enjoy them more and they can easily stand on my display shelves without boards.