Stranger Things 3 finale: Is Hopper really dead? And more questions answered


Put on a brave face, Stranger Things 3 viewers.

You’re probably going through many emotions upon learning that David Harbour’s Hopper might(?) be dead. After the Russian lab beneath Starcourt exploded, Hopper was nowhere to be found leading everyone, including Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) to think he was dead.

But, since we didn’t ever see his body, is he actually gone? Harbour won’t really say. Teases the actor, “What can I tell you? What can’t I tell you? I mean I don’t really know but we will have to see together. It’s a pretty serious situation that he gets himself into there at the end and it’s a pretty moving arc in terms of the way this all plays out. So I think we’ll sort of leave it at that and see if there is a life beyond, but I’m not sure yet.”

Then, in the post-credit tag, viewers learn that the Russians have an American in captivity. Could that be Hopper? “You definitely should not assume anything,” says co-creator Matt Duffer. “The line that Russian guard said is purposely intended to spark debate. We need people to ask the very questions that you’re asking.”

But, speaking of that post-credits scene, what the hell does it mean? Inside a military base in snowy Kamchatka, the Russians are in possession of a Demogorgon (remember when Erica sees the cage in the mall basement?) and throw a prisoner into a cell with the aforementioned creature. Are they weaponizing the Demogorgon? Creating their own creature fight club? Just really bored? “Assuming there’s a season 4, obviously the question of who that American is in that cell and then also what they’re doing with the Demogorgon, that is a tease,” says co-creator Ross Duffer. “We try to tee up some season 4.”

Amidst all of this, Hopper’s adopted daughter Eleven seems to lose her powers. “We didn’t want an ending again this year where Eleven comes in the last second and holds out her hand and saves the day,” says Ross. “Moving into season 4, how much more vulnerable does that make our characters in a group? Inevitably, evil resurfaces that they can’t just lean on Eleven to come in and save the day. We think it ups the scare factor in a big way.”

It’s also unclear what a season 4 would look like now that the Joyce moves Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), Will (Noah Schnapp), and Eleven to a different town…one that is purposely not identified. “We didn’t want to box ourselves into a corner,” says Ross. Adds executive producer Shawn Levy, “And after this much tragedy and insanity, you’d think a family would consider moving. So it was time for them to do just that. But the other more arching aspiration was an ending that felt filled with the possibility of what might come next.”

So we could potentially be seeing Stranger Things 4: Newark.

Related content:

  • Millie Bobby Brown on Eleven’s Stranger Things 3 power struggle and Hopper’s letter
  • Stranger Things season 3 is ‘more intense, powerful, and terrifying than seasons 1 and 2 combined’
  • Stranger Things season 3 cast will turn your world upside down in exclusive EW portraits

Stranger Things

  • TV Show
  • 3
  • 25
  • Drama,
  • Horror,
  • Sci-fi
  • 07/15/16
  • Matt Duffer,
  • Ross Duffer
  • Winona Ryder,
  • David Harbour,
  • Millie Bobby Brown,
  • Finn Wolfhard,
  • Noah Schnapp,
  • Caleb McLaughlin,
  • Gaten Matarazzo
  • Netflix
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  • Stranger Things
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