A small part of me thought I’d just be making “KEEP THE DOOR OPEN THREE INCHES” jokes for the next few weeks but then the final episode of Stranger Things 3 happened. Final warning, there are mad spoilers ahead.
In ‘Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt,’ Hopper presumably dies in the team scramble to shut down the Russian lab built underneath Hawkins’ shiny new mall. When Joyce pulls the switch, that big gate-destroying machine explodes, obliterating anything nearby. We see a bunch of scientists get blown to bits and – presumably – Hopper dies too. But he dies OFF-SCREEN which can never ever be trusted. We didn’t see him melt or disintegrate or anything – no Hopper bits strewn about.
AND THEN, in the post-credits scene we’re transported to a prison in Kamchatka, Russia and one of the soldiers refers to an American prisoner. Could be Big Jim, could be someone else entirely.
Season three’s end is very suss with now-you-have-to-wait-another-year-and-a-half-for-season-four vibes, leading fans to discuss whether or not Hopper is actually dead.
Following the season finale, Hopper actor David Harbour spoke to E!News about its end and surprise, surprise, he was just a tad vague.
“I mean, it’s the most moving thing I think we’ve ever shot,” he said.
“There’s a profundity to the season in terms of change, movement and the passage of time even, that’s even bigger than monsters and things like that.”
“I will say that there’s a great Heraclitus quote which is like, ‘Nothing endures but change. Things have to change.’ And the weird thing about doing a television show is you fall in love with people, you fall in love with the things about it, and you want them to always to be that thing. And then sometimes life doesn’t go the way you want, and things have to change. Part of that can be painful, and part of that can be miraculous and wonderful.”
Surely the Duffer Brothers wouldn’t let a main character die off-screen? Or maybe I just have a very strong case of deni – NOPE, HE’S NOT DEAD.
In hindsight, I should’ve known shit was going to go down after Harbour posted this thoughtful post on Instagram to celebrate season three. Against a picture from The NeverEnding Story, Harbour wrote about films and TV shows that “get so scratched into our souls.”
“Episode 8 of #strangerthings is my newest. The sounds, the colours, the heroism, the pathos, the humanity, the love. May it be so for you. It soars with laughter and tears. You’ll feel like a kid again (or a kid, STILL).”
The stars are obviously keeping things spoiler-free on the ‘gram but Millie Bobby Brown did post this picture and WELP, tears.
Stranger Things 3 is available on Netflix now.