Not everything is making new friendships, loving relationships, work frustrations, and silent investigations. As anticipated by the “Every breath you take” from The Police, the paranormal threat continues and is complemented by unexpected enemies.
Watching the protagonists of a fiction grow keeps a certain charm. It happened in the literary and film phenomenon Harry Potter, which showed how an 11-year-old boy discovered how to be a magician and each year acquired new knowledge, faced more dangers, and developed as a person with his friends.
Many years before, far from the wands and the spells, Stephen King did his thing with a story of terror and suspense that had a murderer clown as an enemy. In IT, the group of pre-adolescents is forced to put aside the games and the problems of age to defend against a greater danger. Years later, they return and become adults to confront their childhood fears.
The love for the characters that the viewer knew at a young age when naivety prevails and the greatest source of stress and anguish was perhaps the school, it becomes even stronger when they are accompanied in that process when they leave behind being children to take the first steps to adulthood: the terrible adolescence.
But Stranger Things 3 is not a teenage drama. The doses of hormonal conflict are reserved for the beginning of the third cycle and some moments in the middle of the story, mostly to defuse the environment plagued by dangerous monsters that do not belong to this dimension.
Since the disappearance of Will Byers in the Upside Down, and the arrival of Eleven, his friends and family were not the same. Two years of terrible events forced them to pause their Dungeons and Dragons games in the basement to defeat “real” Demogorgons.
Therefore, in the 1985 Hawkins, apparently everything is fine, but logically it would not continue that way for long.
In the mid-80s, pop music, flashy clothes, make-up and the arrival of a shopping center gave joy to the adolescent group that seems to have left behind the shadow monsters that tormented them.
Without leaving aside the references to pop culture referents of the time, Stranger Things 3 takes a different route in this sequel – more than the third season – to take on its own personality, without relying so much on cameos-at times-forced.
Continuing the signs of love manifested at the end of Stranger Things 2, the set of friends is no longer the same. And how it will be, if Mike and Lucas – the natural leaders within the group – are in pairs with Eleven and Max, respectively, leaving Will and Dustin unconscious.
Note aside the feeling of Jim Hopper’s jealous father towards his adopted daughter Eleven. Not only is it a good reflection of the always difficult way in which a father deals with the first love of his teenage daughter, but we also have in Hopper and Joyce the only parents really involved in what happens with their children.
The role of Joyce is one of the best evolved throughout the three seasons. Portrayed in the first cycle as the hysterical mother, and requiring the help of her boyfriend Bob Newby in the second round, this time is empowered.
Referring to the “mother lion’s instinct” is little, because it is much more than that. Driven by her curiosity and intuition, the character incarnated by Winona Ryder takes the reins and does not let herself be instructed or shut up by others. Now it is Joyce who leads in a new investigation that places them in a Russian laboratory.
Dustin, feeling relegated by his friends, continues to rely on Steve. Their friendship forged in the second half of Stranger Things 2 is strengthened and integrate Robin, Steve’s co-worker in the ice cream parlor. The three are immersed in the same investigation Joyce and Hopper follow, but through a Russian signal the toothless child intercepts.
Again the Russians are the enemies in this American fiction, which is justified only by the Cold War that had not yet come to an end in those years. What do the Soviets have to do with the appearance of Demogorgons and mind flayers? The Duffer brothers can answer that.
Joyce is not the only female character that becomes more relevant. Nancy, Mike’s sister initially worried only about the studies and her relationship with the popular and handsome Steve. She graduated from school and dreams of being a reporter in the local newspaper.
Sharing an internship with her boyfriend Jonathan, she sees her dream crumble again and again in an office where they only see her as a coffee vending machine. “You were always a fighter,” says her mother, the same one who has a dangerous flirtation with the aggressive Billy, Max’s older brother. The times – still macho – are about to change.
The action scenes are no longer developed only battling monsters out of this reality. Jim Hopper goes ahead with the strength and authority that confers him to be chief of police and is not afraid to resort to blows or weapons, whoever is his opponent.
Children, not as children as they are now, fulfill a popular saying among parents: “young children, young problems”. In this fiction, the older the more extreme the type of danger they face.
Mixing the hormonal changes, the continuous learning of the parents regarding the upbringing, the fashion of the time and the dangers that seem to acquire new turns with each renovation of cycles; Stranger Things is claimed from the criticized second season and stands out from the obvious references that prompted its launch there in July 2016. Stranger Things 3 is available on Netflix as well as its first two seasons.