'Stranger Things' Season Three Recap

April 23, 2022 1:00 AM ‐ Stranger ThingsTelevisionNetflix

This article is more than two years old and was last updated in February 2024.

Stranger Things Season 3
With just over a month until the fourth season of 'Stranger Things' drops on Netflix, it's time to remind ourselves what happened in the last season.

It's been two and a half years since Netflix brought us any new adventures in Hawkins, Indiana, so you might need a bit of a refresher before the return of the much-loved supernatural series on May 27.

Luckily, Netflix have a series of recaps for each season to remind us of the story so far. You can watch the recap of season one here and the recap for season two here, or if you're ready watch the season three video below.

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There's loads more from Hawkins on our 'Stranger Things' pages including playlists of music from the show, and you can test your knowledge of 'Stranger Things' with our trivia quizzes. Plus check out our complete 'Stranger Things' episode guide for all four seasons.

The third season began with an introduction to Hawkins' newly-opened Starcourt Mall, where Steve is now working with season-newcomer, Robin, in an ice cream parlour called Scoops Ahoy. Young love is blossoming between Mike and Eleven, but Hopper who is still taking care of her disapproves and this is putting a strain on their relationship.

Since the events of season two, Dustin has been away at camp, where he met a girl named Suzie. While trying to communicate with Suzie via a CB radio, Dustin intercepts a message in Russian. The gang translate the message and learn that Russian gents are hiding out under the town's new mall. This leads Dustin to the mall with Steve, Robin and Lucas' younger sister, Erica, where they infiltrate the Russian's secret bunker.

Despite having closed the portal to the Upside Down in the previous season, it soon becomes clear that the threat from this alternate reality remains, when Eleven and Max sense something is off about the town's residents.

It soon becomes clear that as the Mind Flayer grows stronger it is possessing the people of Hawkins. She soon realises that Billy, has been possessed. She enlists the help of his younger sister, Max, to confirm this theory. Knowing that the Mind Flayer doesn't like heat, together they trap Billy in the sauna at the pool where he works.

After the town experienced one of many strange power fluctuations, Joyce notices that her fridge magnets have become demagnetised and starts to investigate its cause with Hopper. They eventually gain some Russian allies, and with the help of local conspiracy theorist, Murray, they learn that the Russians are trying to reopen the gate to the Upside Down in their secret bunker below the mall.

Later, Eleven is with some of the gang at Hopper's cabin, but the Mind Flayer finds them and bites Eleven's leg, which becomes infected. Later at the mall, Jonathan cuts her leg open and Eleven uses her powers to throw a piece of the Flayer from the wound, before losing her powers.

While some of the gang fight off the Mind Flayer, who has tracked them down to the mall. Hopper, Joyce, and Murray fend off Russian agents to infiltrate the underground base. With some help from the rest of the gang on Dustin's radio, Joyce and Hopper make it to the control room. Joyce is able to close the gate, but Hopper is seemingly killed in an explosion.

Three months late, Joyce, who is now caring for Eleven, decides to leave Hawkins for a better with Jonathan and Will. The season ends with the gang going their separate ways.

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It was July 4, 2019 when we were last enthralled with new episodes of the hit supernatural series. It returns next month, with the first half of the fourth season premiering on May 27, followed by the second part that will drop five weeks later on July 1.

The third season came to an end with Hopper and Joyce bravely fighting their way into the Russians' secret bunker under Starcourt Mall an an attempt to put an end to the Russians' attempt to re-open the gate to the deadly realm that is the Upside Down.

Other than what appeared to be the demise of Hopper, the story was wrapped up nicely at the end of the third season. Although we saw the gang go their own separate ways, it was inevitable that something would bring them back together for at least one more adventure.

The action will pick up six months after the epic Battle of Starcourt, which brought terror and destruction to Hawkins. Struggling with the aftermath, the gang of friends consisting of Mike, Will, Dustin, Lucas and Eleven, are separated for the first time.

The kids find themselves navigating the complexities of high school, something which will be especially tough for Eleven, who is now living like a normal kid in California with Will and his older brother, Jonathan. Presumably their mother Joyce adopted Eleven in Hopper's absence.

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