This review contains minimal spoilers!
What a ride! After two very impressive seasons I was more than curious what the third season would bring and I speculated about it two post earlier. My speculation was not correct, which is a good thing.
The third season really delivers on all fronts: There is action, there is romance, there is humor, there is horror, there is despair, there is joy, and all of that sometimes within three minutes. I say it again: What a ride!
On top of that, the music selection is once again perfect and brings back memories for ’80’s kids like me… The season once again plays with ’80’s tropes beautifully and this time adds its own twist to the cold war (something I did not expect at all) and this delivers us another great character whom I will briefly mention right at the end.
The Joy and despair comes in many layers, this season is as much about the cosmic horror creeping in from the Upside Down as it is about the horrors of puberty in general and the horrors of your first relationship in particular. It is also about not-first relationships which injects a lot of humor. Here
Pacing: Hold on to your seats and buckle up!
Character development and relationships: Broke my heart!
And we are of course introduced to a few new characters I want to mention:
Firstly, there is Robin, Steve’s boss at the ice-cream parlor in the mall and eventual love interest, the resolution of that story line broke my heart, too (but in a good way).
Secondly Dr. Alexei, a Russian scientist, I will not say more because of spoilers.
Thirdly, two supporting characters of season two really came into their own and were major forces in driving the plot: Billie (he deserved better) and Murray, the hidden bad ass.
Lastly, Erica should not go unmentioned, also someone we know from last season and she really came into her own. What an annoying pack of dynamite!
And now two tiny spoilers:
1. Suzie is real!
2. Rest in peace, Dr. Alexei, I had hoped you would become a regular in season 4 and Murray’s boyfriend…
And I just want to say (harking back to my first-ever celebrity crush): Winona Ryder looks really good in a Russian uniform!
To sum up: The Duffer Brothers really outdid themselves with this season. It is a roller-coaster of emotions, action, horror, humor and surprises (did they invent the jump-laugh as opposed to the jump-scare or is that an older thing?). The story arc and character development, the interaction of the characters, this includes the mindflayer in all its incarnations, all this keeps you glued to the screen in full binge-watch mode. I did not expect the end to be like that and I cannot wait to see what season four will bring.
10 out of 10 screaming abominations for Stranger things Season 3!