In the final episode of Stranger Things season 3, Max, Lucas, Erica, Will, Jonathan, Nancy, Dustin, Steve, Robin, Mike, and a completely exhausted EL meet up at Starcourt Mall. They all start shouting the information they know. When El’s leg starts to pulsate.
Remember, the Mind Flayer injured her leg during their fight at Hoppers cabin in the woods and now she’s infected!
Jonathan runs to grab a hot knife to remove the little flayer out of her leg. El, exhausted and in immense pain, decides she is going to use her powers to remove it.
She’s been overdoing it all season, to be honest.
Anyway, she throws the little flayer across the floor and who steps on it but Hopper!
Joyce, Hopper, and Murray made it to Starcourt. Everyone is accounted for and they commence plan “get the keys, turn off the Russian power beam, and close the portal to the Upside Down”.
Dustin and Erica convince Hopper and Murray that Alexei’s plan is too dangerous. They should know because they’ve been in the secret facility. Hopper agrees that they can navigate but they can’t go down into the hive.
So Dustin, Robin, Erica and Steve drive off to the hill where Dustin set up his satellite earlier in the season to make sure they have a dependable signal and connection with Hopper’s group.
Hopper can tell that El is out of energy and tells her to rest rather than come down into the base with his group. His group leaves the mall and El’s group of Mike, Max, Lucas, Nancy, Will, and Jonathan prepare to take a separate car (Nancy’s mom’s car), but the car doesn’t start.
Unfortunately, Billy is still connected to the Mind Flayers conscious from when she looked at Billy’s memories. Billy sits in his car and scares them back into the mall and the group tries to flip over a car into order to scavenge a part for their car. El once again tries to use her powers but they don’t work.
Just as El is realizing her powers have taken a nap, the Mind Flayer comes crashing through the roof of the mall.
Mike, Max, and EL get separated from Lucas, Will, Jonathan, and Nancy. They try to escape through the gap, but the Mind Flayer so close to catching them that Lucas has to use his slingshot to distract it.
Off the back of the distraction, Lucas, Will, Jonathan, and Nancy escape out of the door to fix the car.
In record time, might I add.
Billy, still in his car, drives full speed ahead and tries to crash into their car. He fails because Steve manages to make back to the mall in time to save the day!
Let me back up.
Steve left with Robin, Erica, and Dustin but while they were sitting on the hill, but Mike sent a distress call to the Scoop Troop due to Billy’s arrival, so Steve sped back to the mall, in the same yellow convertible that Hopper stole, to help. Good thing he did because the Mind Flayer was about to ruin everyone’s life.
His actions allowed Lucas, Jonathan, Will, Nancy, and himself to get away in Nancy’s mom’s car. The Mind Flayer chases after Nancy’s car. But Billy, who is clearly superhuman right now, spots El, Mike, and Max trying to get out of the mall and chases them into the back area.
Meanwhile, Dustin and Erica are navigating Murray, Joyce, and Hopper without a hitch.
Joyce and Hopper go to get the keys from a safe and Murray climb the vents to reach the generator for the beam. When it’s time to open the safe, there is a discrepancy with Plancks Constant, which puts the entire operation in danger.
However, Dustin is finally able to get in contact with his girlfriend Suzie using his satellite. After a sweet and precious moment of them singing ‘Never Ending Story’, Hopper and Joyce are able to open the vault. Which allows Murray to fry the servers powering the beam.
Back at the mall, Bill catches up with Mike, Max, and El. He punches his sister (Max) and knocks out Mike too! He picks up El and takes her to the middle of the mall just as the Mind Flayer arrives to FLAY HER!
All seems well with Hopper’s group though, until the terminator shows up. He knocks out Hopper and Joyce just as they are about to turn the keys to shut down the beam.
He and Hopper get into a huge brawl that takes them down into the area of the beam. Joyce has to turn the beam off on her own, but she tries to wait for Hopper to get back to safety. He’s too engaged in his fight with the terminator. He slams the terminators face into the beam effectively sawing him into pieces, but this forms an electric fence of sorts.
Hopper’s inability to get passed the electric fence causes him to self-sacrifice staying put in the room him the beam explosion while Joyce turns the keys.
“…the wave was 7 feet.” – Eleven
Once again, Lucas causes a much-needed distraction by using the fireworks he and Will took from the supermarket to bomb the Mind Flayer. Billy is trying to pen El down but she uses the pleasant memories of his mother to break the mind control that the Mind Flayer had on him.
Billy is freed from the Mind Flayer and stands up to fight it. Unfortunately, he gets killed in the process.
As the night ends, the government finally arrives HOURS after Hopper and Joyce called and everything gets locked down. Three months later, Joyce follows through with moving out of Hawkins.
I’m not surprised. She loved two men and they both died due to conspiracy.
Wrapping things up, El still can’t use her powers. Mike and El are back together. Will is okay with growing up now (per his temper tantrum about Dungeons and Dragons). Larry Klein got arrested! Joyce moves with Will, Jonathan, and El, while Lucas, Dustin, Nancy, Max, and Mike stay behind in Hawkins.
El also reads a heartfelt letter from her father, Hopper, who is presumed dead. And everyone breaks off into their new directions.
However, in an end-credit scene, we are shown another underground facility in Kamchatka, Russia. Prisoners are being held and used for testing and food.
You see two guards trying to choose who to pick for this round. One guard says, “Not the American”. They do choose another prisoner and of course, he’s thrown in a cage where a hybrid Demo-dog/Mind Flayer thing most likely consumes him.
Thoughts and Questions
Was Jim Hopper sucked into a vortex when the beam exploded? Is he the American that the Russians are holding prisoner at the end of Stranger Things?
Also, will Eleven every be as strong as she was at the end of season 2? She literally exhausted herself throughout the entire season. Honestly, Max made Mike feel like he was wrong for managing her power use, but in the end, he was right. El ended up overdoing it.
How will season 4 bring El, Joyce, Will, and Jonathan back to Hawkins?
Season 3 of Stranger Things was amazing. I was on the edge of my seat from episode one. Even though you don’t have to have seen seasons 1 and 2 to understand what’s happening. I appreciate callbacks to those seasons that reward you for following the series.
Each character served a purpose. Of course my favorites Dustin and Steve stole the show. But, the addition of Erica and Robin was great their plot. Plus, I really enjoyed the quarreling between Hopper, Joyce, Murray, and Alexei as well.