It’s summer, which means it’s finally time to gather your best friends and ride your bikes back in time for a for a new season of Stranger Things! The third installment of Stranger Things drops July 4th on Netflix, so skip the barbecues and fireworks for a good ol’ holiday binge watch.
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For a sense of how upside down things will get, check out the Season 3 trailer if you haven’t already:
Can’t recall what happened in Stranger Things 2 and don’t have time to rewatch? Here’s what you need to know:
- The season begins with Eleven still out of the picture, although Mike is secretly communicating with her. The boys are spending a lot of time at the arcade and trying to figure out the person known as MADMAX who is taking all of the high scores. It turns out there are some new kids in town: Max, and her older brother, Billy.
- Will Byers may be back home, but somehow is still connected to the Upside Down. A Dr. Owens at Hawkins Lab is trying to help Will with his PTSD, but there is so much more going on. Plus, Will’s mom, Joyce, has a new man in her life — Radio Shack manager, Bob.
- Eleven is alive and well, and living in a secret cabin in the woods with Hopper to avoid government agents who are trying to find her. Cabin fever gets to Elle and she heads into town where she sees Mike with Max and uses her telekinesis on the new girl. Mike isn’t actually into Max, but Lucas and Dustin are vying for her attention.
- Dustin finds a weird salamander-like creature in the trash and decides to keep it. He names it Dart, short for d’Artagnan of the Three Musketeers. It turns out that Dart is a BABY DEMOGORGON! And when the critter escapes, Dustin and Steve team up to recapture him, which leads to Steve becoming a bat-wielding super babysitter/hero.
- Joyce and Hopper work together to make sense of Will’s drawings of the Shadow Monster. With the use of a video recording and tracing paper, Joyce is able to see the “shadow in the sky” that’s haunting her son.
- Nancy and Steve are dating when the season begins, but their relationship ends when Nancy teams up with Jonathan Byers to seek justice for Barb. They go to Hawkins Lab for answers, and Dr. Owens ends up showing them the portal to the Upside Down to try to stop them from snooping around.
- Crops are dying en masse in Hawkins, and Hopper discovers the growing threat beneath the town. When he heads underground to investigate, he’s captured by the monster. Luckily, Joyce and Bob find Hopper and free him while government agents attempt to burn the tunnel since the monster hates heat. They stop when they realize that the flames are causing Will pain due to his connection with the monster, and Will is hospitalized.
- Elle is looking for answers and visits her birth mother, who is catatonic. She learns that there are other kids like her, and goes to the big city where she meets Kali, also known as Eight. Kali is on a mission with some others to kill the people who experimented on her and Eleven. Elle’s not into murdering and senses something is wrong at home, so she heads back to Hawkins.
- While in the hospital, it’s revealed that Will has become a spy for the Shadow Monster. Mike, inspired by Dungeons and Dragons, starts calling it the Mind Flayer. Demodogs, controlled by the Mind Flayer, are on the loose in the hospital, killing everything in their path.
- Bob uses his tech skills and clears a path for everyone to escape, but is tragically killed by the demodogs. (RIP Bob.) The others head to the Byers’ house as demodogs follow, and Elle returns just in time to fend them off while Joyce, Jonathan, and Nancy attempt to exorcise the Mind Flayer from Will before the Upside Down takes over their town. Elle goes to the portal in Hawkins Lab to use her powers and close it for good while Hopper fights off the demodogs.
- One month later, Hawkins Lab is shut down and they’re forced to admit responsibility for the deaths of Barb and Bob thanks to Nancy and Jonathan. Oh, and our teen sleuths are also the new couple in town.
- The season ends at the school’s Snow Ball. Elle and Mike dance and they finally share a kiss. Lucas and Max also become an item, and Dustin gets to dance with his long-time crush, Nancy. It looks like order has been restored to Hawkins, but the final shot shows the darkness still lurking below the town.
We’ll find out what the Mind Flayer has in store for Hawkins when Stranger Things 3 kicks off July 4th. Join us for a Watch Party starting Thursday, July 4th by adding Wiretap to Chrome. Share reactions with fans and friends around the world, and even add your own take as you binge the third season.
For a recap of Stranger Things 1 and 2, check out this video featuring some of the cast:
(Photos and Videos Courtesy of Netflix)