So much happened in this season of Stranger Things! It is a truly exciting episodic adventure and I am glad I watched it. However, there was so much happening that I decided to break up the review into two parts. It’ll be easier to follow that way I’m sure.
Let’s catch up on Stranger Things episodes 1 through 4 in season 3.
Everything is going somewhat well in Hawkins, Louisiana when we meet back up with Eleven (El) and the gang. Hopper is miserable because El and Mike are getting more action than him every night. Local businesses, including Joyce’s, are closing or suffering because a new mall has opened called Starcourt. The entire community is spending time there at the new mall and people are losing work too. But, overall things seem normal.
That is until a blackout in Hawkins knocked out the power for a moment and rats start gravitating toward a warehouse in town. Joyce notices and tries to get Hopper to help her investigate with her, but he’s too preoccupied with trying to date her. Eventually, he comes around and they follow a lead to find out if Hawkins Lab, which was destroyed last season, is the root of this issue.
Not too much is happening until we catch up with Billy, Max’s older brother. He’s a lifeguard this summer and has the hots for an older woman. They plan a date and Billy takes his car to pick her up, but he never makes it because he drives past the warehouse that is giving off weird vibes and attracting crazy amounts of rats at this point.
Somewhat of a shock wave knocks Billy off course and causes an accident. A shadowy figure drags Billy into the warehouse and I assure its all bad from there.
As a result of Billy’s abduction, the older lady is stood up, sort of. It’s okay though because she has a husband and children. One of those children is Nancy.
Nancy is dating Jonathon Byers. They are interning at the Hawkins post this summer, but the editors treat her like she’s incompetent. Nancy comes across a story regarding rabid rats eating chemicals around the town. The editors don’t take her seriously, so she decides to investigate on her own with Jonathan.
Let’s jump back to 1 year before these events. In a place that looks a lot like Siberia, Russian scientists tried to reopen a portal to the Upside Down. They were given a year time frame to open it and keep it open by an unnamed General who was awfully sweaty.
At first, I thought they were trying to weaponize the portal and its beings, but then I realized the General was sweaty!
Let me explain.
Next time we see Billy, he is a sweaty, nasty, violated mess. That’s when it hit me. Billy is infected by the Mind Flayer and so was the General who gave the order in the previous year!
We find out that the Mind Flayer wants to spread himself across Hawkins and the rest of the world by infecting more people. He tells Billy this much. It sends Billy on a rampage to abduct people and take them back to the Mind Flayer for infection.
We meet back up with El, Mike, Max, Lucas, Will, and Dustin. Dustin recently returned from a camp where he made a high powered satellite to talk to his girlfriend, Suzie.
When he uses it, Suzie doesn’t answer, but he overhears a secret Russian transmission.
Transmission: The week is long, silver cats feed, when blue meets yellow in the west (playing over Indiana Flyer Much)
Mike, Lucas, and Will are caught up in the boyfriend, girlfriend drama with El and Max. So Dustin takes his findings to Steve and his co-worker, Robin, at the ice cream parlor in Starcourt. They begin to decode the message and they discover it’s a message telling the people involved when and where to meet underneath Starcourt.
At the same time, Billy has abducted his lifeguard co-worker, Heather.
El ends up having a weird feeling about Heather and Billy so sure uses her powers to spy on them and sees Heather in trouble. Max and El run over to Heather’s house to find Billy is over for dinner.
Billy almost convinces El and Max to back off, but then Mike, Will, and Lucus call for a code red the next day.
Let me back up.
During that same rainstorm, Mike and Lucus are trying to figure out how to get back with their girlfriends. Mike is broken up with El because he lied to her after Hopper threatened him. And Max and Lucas are on the outs because of El and Mike.
Will just wanted to play Dungeons and Dragons but Mike and Lucas wanted to win their girls back. Will threw a tantrum and ran out in the rain. During Will’s tantrum, Billy and Heather abduct her parents and give them to the Mind Flayer. Will recognizes an all too familiar feeling and alerts his friends that that Mind Flayer is back.
Turns out, Heather’s dad, Tom, the boss of Nancy and Jonathan. The next day he turns up to work looking all sweaty, nasty, and like a violated mess. He fires Nancy and Jonathan for continuing their investigation after they were told not to mess with the rats anymore.
He’s been infected!
Nancy still feels compelled to do this story despite pretty much breaking up with Jonathan due to class issues and losing her internship. With the encouragement of her mother, she sets up to continue investigating the rats.
Remember, the rabid rats are feeding on chemicals around town. Jonathon and Nancy previously met with a little old lady, Doris Driscoll. She caught one in her basement. When they came back to check on her during the rainstorm, they found her eating the rat. That’s what ultimately got them fired.
Back with Dustin, Steve, and Robin, they hatch a plan to get into the secret room that the Russians are using under Starcourt by using the vent system. Dustin can’t fit so they bribe a little girl named Erica to help.
Erica shimmies her way into the room and opens the door from the inside. They find cases of vials filled with green liquid. They try to leave with a sample but the room begins to move. The room is actually an elevator to an underground facility.
My guess is that it is the same facility that they are trying to open the portal to the Upside Down from.
Joyce and Hopper were attacked while visiting the Hawkins Lab by a man on a motorcycle. Hopper followed his intuition and managed to get some addresses from Larry, a real estate agent working with the Russians to acquire land and buildings in Hawkins.
Larry tells Hopper that the people he’s working with are not to be messed with. Hopper beats him up after they exchange jabs about Hopper’s past substance abuse issues and go to follow the address trail with Joyce. Larry makes a phone, most likely to the same people he just told Hopper not to mess with.
Meanwhile, Max El Mike, Will, Lucas, and Max plan to lock Billy in a sauna to confirm that he is infected.
Of course, he is and he ends up getting into a fight with El. She almost wins, but she throws him out of a window allowing him to escape.
Billy runs back to his warehouse hideaway to find Heather waiting for him. He tells her how Eleven almost killed him. Heather says it’s okay because “She can’t beat us.”
The final shot of episode four is an entire group of people that they’ve abducted and fed to the Mind Flayer. They are all sitting in wait!