What to Expect from ‘Stranger Things’ Season 3

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It’s officially the start of summer, so what better way to celebrate the hot weather by staying indoors and binge-watching the upcoming season of Stranger Things?

In the previous two seasons, we saw Eleven/Jane (Millie Bobby Brown), Mike (Finn Wolfhard),  Lucas (Caleb MacLaughlin), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Will (Noah Schnapp) and Max (Sadie Sink) all work together to stop nightmarish creatures from the Upside Down. The town’s Sheriff, and Jane’s newly adopted father, Jim Hopper (David Harbour), Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder),  Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton), Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) and #ProtectiveFather Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) were also included in this mission.

Set in the summer of 1985, the third season of the fan-favourite Netflix show once again focuses on this core group of kids and adults from Hawkins, Indiana. We know they will once again prevent evil creatures from ‘The Upside Down’ from taking over their town, but what else should we expect to see in this upcoming season?  Here are our predictions based on the trailers, press releases, and cast-interviews. 

The Core Group 

When we last saw the core group of characters, it was generally on an upbeat note with the kids celebrating together. Eleven, now officially ‘Jane Hopper’ was able to reintegrate herself into society with her newly adopted father Jim Hopper and form a relationship with Mike. Steve and Dustin’s friendship had hit a high note, with the former giving his protege all the best tips regarding hair products. Max and Lucas became a couple, as did Jonathan and Nancy – and Will was able to have a normal day for once in his life.

A year later, it looks as though these core relationships and friendships may be fracturing under the pressure of looming adulthood. Stranger Things has never been shy of depicting realistic friendships, which includes the arguments too. It’s nice to see Dustin and Steve’s friendship being a vital part of the marketing for this season, and it looks as though this will be the main thread throughout season three.

While we don’t see much of Joyce and Hopper, we do get to see the father-daughter relationship between him and Jane as they try to live a normal life. It’s great to see Max becoming friends with Jane, as opposed to the initial “new girl, therefore threat” interaction we saw in the finale last year. It’s going to be interesting to see how that progresses, seeing as this season looks to be a tough one for Max.

Upside Down Threats

Each season of Stranger Things amps up the stakes with its core villain with season one focusing on the Demogorgon while season two expanded the threat by introducing Demodogs and the evil telepathic creature ‘The Mind Flayer’. While it looked as though the latter was trapped in the Upside Down in 1984 after Jane shut the gate, the trailer for season three seems that this may not be the case.

“What if he never left? What if we locked him out here with us” queries a frightened Will, still terrified of being possessed by the creature last year. The trailer suggests that the being is looking for a new host to take over, as we see hordes of rats scattering throughout the town like the Black Death is hitting it.

The best guest for the Mind Flayer’s new host would have to be that of Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery), Sadie’s abusive step-brother. We’ve already seen a heavy focus on how Billy’s attractiveness comes across to the mothers of Hawkins, so what better way to counter-balance that by turning him into a giant monster? It takes one of the vital human threats to the gang and gives him this extra level of menace, while also providing some conflict for Sadie.

Aside from the supernatural threats, the Government will likely be up to no good manipulating the power of the Upside Down – but to what extent? We see Steve pick up a glowing green core and multiple hazmat-suited agents. While this could be the same antics seen throughout previous seasons to exploit Hawkins’ relation to these events, maybe they want to tie up loose ends instead. With respect, it does seem to be a yearly occurrence.

New Additions to the Cast

After an all too brief appearance in season two, Lucas’s sister Erica (Priah Ferguson) will have a more prominent role this time around – as she’s seen with the other kids defending off against this brand new threat in the mall setting. Also joining the show this year are a plethora of brand new characters including Robin (Maya Thurman-Hawke) who works at the ice-cream parlor with Steve.

Press releases for Stranger Things season three say that she will discover one of Hawkins’ darkest mysteries, most likely spending most of her screen time with the older kids – and Dustin. Cary Elwes plays Mayor Klines and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he has a rivalry with Sheriff Hopper over what’s best for the residents of Hawkins. Jake Busey will also be tagging along with this season playing “Bruce”.

Did Someone Say Nostalgia?

Of course, it wouldn’t be a season of Stranger Things without numerous references to the era in which it takes place. From the surroundings, advertisements, and most importantly – the music, the 80s era is in Stranger Things’ DNA. This time around, we have the introduction of a brand new mall introduced to Hawkins – acting as one of the critical settings for the show during the summer.

New Coke is going to make a big appearance in the show, given the substantial marketing around the beverage and the show recently. Not to mention other well-known names like “The Gap” which decorate the Mall.

Music wise, we’ve only really heard Baba O’Reilly in the teaser trailer, so perhaps we can expect to listen to an eclectic mix throughout the season. Maybe some classic pop for the mall sequences and a melancholic selection for the tense teen-angst sequences?

The most exciting aspect of this season is seeing the Mind Flayer and the residents of the Upside Down finally personified with the ability to speak back and relay their nefarious goals. Before, we had to rely on the kids’ intelligent deductions – but now we might be getting some solid answers about the Demogorgons backstory. Either way, it looks as though Stranger Things will deliver even more laughs, heartwarming moments and scares.

Don’t forget to let us know what your predictions are for the upcoming season in the comments below!

Season three will be available to watch on Netflix on July 4th.