A teaser trailer dropped by Netflix on Valentine's Day for the upcoming fourth season of Stranger Things reveals that one of the show's best-loved characters did not die in the previous season as we were led to believe.
Jim Hopper has been protecting the town of Hawkins since the very first episode of season one, but sadly, it looked like he may have met his maker in the season three finale. However, a new teaser trailer has confirmed what fans had hoped all along.
The new trailer was dropped on social media on Valentine's Day 2020 with the captions "from Russia with love..."
Within minutes of the trailer being posted online, the word "Hopper" was the top trend on Twitter, being posted along with "#StrangerThings4," "#StrangerThings," and of course "HOPPER IS ALIVE."
Set to the haunting sounds of 'The Red Army Is Strongest', we're shown a snowy scene in an unnamed Russian location. A previous teaser clip has already confirmed that the action in season four may take place outside of Hawkins, by dropping the line "we're not in Hawkins anymore
The new clip appears to show prisoners being held by the Russian military and being forced to carry out hard labour. Watched on by armed guards, we see several men working to lay a railway track through the snow-covered landscape.
As the trailer comes to a climax, it's revealed that one of the workers is Hopper, played by David Harbour. We see him very much alive, but looking angry and with a shaven head.
In case you've forgotten the emotional ending to last season, Hopper and Joyce bravely fought their way into the Russians' secret bunker under Starcourt Mall in Hawkins. Their mission was to try to put an end to the Russians' attempt to re-open the gate to the deadly realm that is the Upside Down.
The duo had managed to get all the way to the main chamber of the bunker where the Russians' huge particle accelerator-like electromagnetic weapon was carving a portal into the rock below the town. Just as they were about to shut the experiment down Hopper was jumped by a Russian assassin who dragged him into the line of fire.
Joyce had no choice but to shut the experiment down, which resulted in a fatal explosion that killed several of the Russian scientists in the chamber, as well as Hopper. At the end of the episode we're taken three months forward in time and are shown local news reports that confirm that Hopper had been killed in the line of duty... or so it seemed.
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The reason some fans of the supernatural Netflix series doubted what they had seen is because we saw a similar explosion in the opening minutes of the last season. In this first explosion, which took place in a base in Russia, several scientists were killed and their gruesome-looking remains were left on the floor of the lab. After Hopper is seemingly killed by a similar explosion, Joyce runs over to the spot where he was stood and there are no remains to be seen.
During the finale's explosion we see the Russian scientists being blown apart, but we didn't actually get to see what happened to Hopper due to the angle of the shot. So it seems that some how he avoided the blast and has landed in Russian captivity.
In the final episode's post-credit sequence we see inside a secret bunker in Kamchatka, Russia where two guards in military uniform drag a prisoner from a cell and feed him to a demogorgon that they are holding captive in the base.
As one of the guards goes to open a cell door, the other says to him "No. Not the American," revealing that the Russians have an American prisoner in captivity. This could well have been a clue to Hopper's survival.
But how did he end up there? Well, remember that assassin who was after him in season three? What if in the final few seconds they stopped fighting and he dragged Hopper to safety and put him under military arrest.
Hopper could have then been secretly deported from the US so that the Russian's could keep an eye on him, or perhaps even exploit his expertise and knowledge of the American's experiments with the Upside Down at Hawkins National Laboratory.
It all makes sense, but we're going to have to wait until season four to find out exactly what happened to Hopper after the battle of Starcourt Mall.
The trailer doesn't give any other clues to the nature of the construction work, or a date for the fourth season.
Can't Wait For Season 4?
So you've got to the end of Stranger Things, but you're suffering withdrawal symptoms from life in Hawkins. Well, we have a cure for you, a list of all the films and TV shows that have influenced the show in some way that you can go and watch again. Or, if you're really lucky, see for the first time!
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