“We’re thinking it will be a four-season thing, and then out,” director of Stranger Things, Ross Duffer, told Vulture.
Great news. It looks like there will likely be a season 4 to one of our most favourite shows. Dates haven’t been confirmed yet (it’s still early days, obviously). But with the ending we saw in this season’s finale, it’s reassuring to know that this isn’t the end.
So, how exactly will TV giant Netflix continue the series? What can we expect to see in the final season? In this blog post, we answer just that, sharing 5 predictions about what we might see, while going over some of our favourite moments from season 3.
1. Hopper isn’t dead
This has been probably the biggest question about season 3: Is Hopper alive?
In the last episode, we saw Hopper saving the day, nodding to Joyce to turn the keys, ultimately (and supposedly) dying in an epic explosion as the machine was destroyed. But did he really die?
Just as the machine is about the explode, we see black, and the other scientists disintegrating. So no, we don’t actually witness Hopper dying. It just suggests that he did. Joyce also closes her eyes, so she definitely doesn’t know if he survived the mighty explosion.
So, where did he go? There’s a couple of options.
1. He escaped, only to be caught by the Russians.
If you watched the end credit scene (and I’m assuming you have – if you haven’t, go watch it now), then you’ll have heard one of the Russians say: ‘No, not the American’ when selecting a human feed on the Demogorgon. This could potentially be Hopper. How did he escape the explosion, though? Through the door that Joyce and Murray ran through at the end.
2. He jumped through the portal, and is in the Upside Down.
Just before he nods at Joyce, you can see Hopper glance at the portal. This could be a subtle hint that he jumped through the portal to avoid getting blown to smithereens. And would set season 4 up quite nicely.
This might explain why they decided to take El’s powers away. If she had them, surely she would have looked for Hopper, and this would have spoiled the surprise for season 4.
2. The gang will leave Hawkins
This idea was explored quite a bit in season 3, with Joyce umming and ahhing to whether or not she should take her kids to another city. Right at the end of the season, you see her, Jonathan, Will, and El all packing their stuff and moving town, with a heart-breaking split of the team (an emotional roller-coaster for most).
This could be a foreshadowing of the next season, breaking away from the beloved small town and exploring new areas. If the above prediction is true (with Hopper being held captive by the Russians), you may even see the gang travel internationally, taking their final battle to Russia, where we can assume they’re either opening their own portal, or breeding their own demi-what-knows.
3. El won’t get her powers back
Or at least won’t get them back properly for a while. As badass as El is, we’ve seen a slightly more overpowered character these last 2 seasons. The choice to take her powers away was probably for the best, as to avoid a repeat of season’s 2 epic ending and keeping the show fresh. It also allowed Stranger Things to develop the other characters more, showing just how strong the team are, rather than letting Eleven have the entire spotlight.
Which may lead to her taking more of a back seat in the next season, and adding more suspense and tension to the show. That being said, it’ll be a big (and not necessarily great) step for the directors to take if they don’t give her her powers back.
After all, with so many thrilling moments throughout the show, fans would be feeling left unsatisfied and disappointed if they don’t see their favourite character throw other-dimensional monsters through walls with her mind. (If you’re anything like me, you probably would have wanted a tad more telekinetic fighting in this season, but that’s by-the-by.)
4. We’ll return to the Upside Down
With the gate pretty much shut (or at least unaccessible), season 3 was very much set in our dimension, with only small snippets and glimpses into the upside down. Leading on from point two, it’s likely that the producers may want to take a step away from Hawkins, so this may include bringing the audience back to where it all started – The Upside Down.
And this also leads on from point one. If Hopper is still alive, and if he is in the Upside Down, then we may see the team heading back there one more time to save the beloved cop, and fight the Mind Flayer head on – leading to the ultimate ending that we would all be waiting for.
5. We’ll meet more kids from Project MKUltra
In season 2, we met number eight, Kali. Although it was extremely interesting to learn about the facility and El’s past, we still know little about what’s happened throughout those years, and where those other nine children ended up. If season 4 is going to be the last, we’ll surely meet a few more of these children while they tie up loose ends.
We’ll likely meet more new characters, too. Over the past two seasons, we’ve been introduced to a number of new characters in the town, all of which had interesting and solid back stories, and all of which have contributed to the primary plot.
But with the team split up and heading in different directions, there’s a chance we’ll see new teenagers and kids introduced into the gang, which may create a sense of conflict. El and Mike are living in different states. And as we saw in season 3, El is very much in a stage of making her own friends and becoming more independent. It wouldn’t be surprising if there’s a tinge of jealousy and a splash of resentment among the lovebirds in the group (Nancy and Jonathan included).
Not that this is a love story. But the show has done particularly well in incorporating teenage drama in to one of the best thriller and horror stories about.
As to who these new characters will be, our bet is on:
1. A rival to Mike
Whether this is a bad boy, a sweetheart, or a nerdy replica of Mike, there’s a chance we’ll see a new love interest in the mix.
2. Even more female characters
Netflix has been brilliant with representing strong female characters in this show. From Nancy challenging her superiors, Erica sneaking into a secret base, Robin translating and figuring out the Russian code, to El just being an out-right badass. It wouldn’t be a surprise if more female leading characters are introduced. And of different sexualities. Good job, Netflix.
What are your predictions?
It’s still very early days, but these are just a few of the predictions we have for the next season. We’ll be reviewing and debating the show on our next podcast, so make sure to listen to us natter about it this weekend here.
If you think we’ve missed anything, or would like us to discuss something in particular on this week’s podcast, tweet us at @Byte_This_ and we’ll make sure to mention it.