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Warning: This piece includes spoilers from “Stranger Things” Season Three.
“Stranger Things” is back, and it has not come back quietly. On Feb. 14, a surprising new trailer dropped for the next season of the Netflix original series “Stranger Things,” and with fans around the world weighing in with their opinions on its content, it’s time to break down what exactly the trailer means for the series going forward.
Last year, Season Three ended with an emotional sendoff for one of the show’s most important and beloved characters. In the season’s climax, the protagonists fought off the newest incarnation of upside-down terror while Joyce and Hopper tried to shut down a dangerous Russian experiment aiming to break into the upside-down. Amid the chaos and destruction, it is heavily implied that Hopper sacrificed himself to shut down the Russian experiment. In the aftermath, the show delivered one of the most emotional moments in its history when Eleven read a heartfelt letter from Hopper, who had become a father figure in her life. The letter reads like a goodbye, and it was surprisingly emotional despite the fact that Hopper had written it while trying to explain his anxieties over Eleven’s first romantic relationship. In any case, the letter left audiences tearful as the group of young protagonists split up. Eleven joined the Byers family in their departure from both Hawkins and the pain they had experienced there.
The new trailer, however, exposes a crucial piece of information. In only 50 seconds, the trailer reveals that Hopper is, in fact, still alive and appears to be living as a Russian prisoner. Oh, and he’s bald now too. The finale of Season Three alluded to his potential survival when a Russian prison guard revealed that they were holding a captive American prisoner. Although it’s too early to say how this revelation will affect Season Four, it’s hard to accept that this discovery, which mitigates the emotional effects of the Season Three finale, would be thrown into the trailer as a mere marketing tactic. Perhaps the status of Hopper’s vitality won’t be a major plot point in Season Four, but regardless, the show needs to handle this reintroduction carefully — after all, his “death” was a major turning point for Eleven and the rest of the group.
The trailer doesn’t clue audiences into much more than Hopper’s survival and the fact that the Russian storyline will probably be getting more attention in Season Four. Fans will have to wait for a more expansive and informative trailer to drop. In the meantime, however, “Stranger Things” devotees can look forward to the return of a beloved character.
— Staff writer Joseph P. Kelly can be reached at email@example.com.
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