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Breaking down the Stranger Things 3 trailer: More Upside Down drama than ever
There's a good chance you spent your morning jamming out to The Who's "Baba O'Riley" in the wake of Stranger Things 3's new trailer. Often mistakenly referred to as "Teenage Wasteland," the song is a fitting one for this new trailer, as we see the kids of Hawkins, Indiana, dealing with the realities of oncoming teenagedom and new threats both painfully real and reality-bending.
Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), and Will (Noah Schnapp) are back for the summer of '85, with their new friend Max (Sadie Sink) in tow. They're facing all kinds of new challenges, and this new trailer drops a number of hints at what we can expect for Stranger Things Season 3.
Before we dive into the Upside Down of it all, let's watch the new trailer one more time.
So, you're growing up but can't let go of your childhood. Relatable, especially when your childhood became as supernaturally screwed up as the Hawkins' kids childhoods. Between a Demogorgon and Demodogs and telekinesis and another dimension and secret government experiments and bullies and the Mind Flayer, it seems pretty reasonable that you'd be wary of the future. What else could the universe possibly throw at you?
But the kids are trying to make the most of their summer. Proving that they're all still the AV nerds we know and love — just older — they erect a concerningly large antenna on a hill. If aliens somehow get involved with Stranger Things 3, I'm really gonna have to insist on y'all moving the f**k out of this town (or at least stop creating giant apparatus through which they could communicate with you).
As the kids/teens enter summer vacation, the OG teen brigade is working on grabbing summer jobs. Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton) and Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) look to be interviewing for jobs (maybe the same job?) at The Hawkins Post; Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery) is the local lifeguard; Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) is working at an ice cream shop.
Meanwhile, Jim Hopper (David Harbour) and Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) seem to be almost-dating, as we see Hopper potentially abandoned as a restaurant while Joyce eats by herself on her couch, looking morose. Later on in the trailer, Hopper says he wants "you to feel like this can still be your home." The trailer cuts to Joyce again, but it's fair to say that this is the kind of thing he'd also say to Eleven.
The conflict is two-sided this time around. It seems that as the kids get older, their town is dealing with more harsh reality than ever before.
The mall with which the kids — especially Eleven and Max — seem to be enamored is a hot point of contention in Hawkins. We see locals rallying outside Town Hall with "recall the mall," "protect established businesses," and "Mom & Pop got kids to feed" signs, implying that Mayor Kline's plans for gentrifying a section of Hawkins are hurting Hawkins' local shop owners.
Some things never change.
And then there's all the Upside Down-y stuff we're used to. And there's a lot this time.
First up is Billy's arm. Stranger Things 2's resident bully and tragic villain is still around in Season 3, and this time he's in even more trouble. We see a couple of brief shots of him finding some Upside Down-y looking growth on his arm. There's no telling what this is, but given how much interacting Billy did with the Upside Down and that he even got injected by Max with some sort of mystery drug from the lab at the end of Season 2, this could mean just about anything.
Maybe Billy even turns into the new, screaming monster from the trailer, Venom-style. We give this shot two tongues up!
This monster probably isn't the final boss this time around. If Stranger Things 3 is gonna outdo Season 2's finale, it's gonna need something big. Something like a The Flash-style lightning battle?
Do we know these gas mask people? Is this the kids wearing their Ghostbusters jumpsuits? Unclear.
What is clear is that Eleven is dealing with even more drama. She crashes through a ceramic bathtub and dives through water in the trailer, all in the negative space we got to know so well in Season 1. Will Season 3 finally reveal more about her powers? We hope so.
Oh, and the… hitman… who's wandering through a hall of mirrors? Yet another plot line to untangle. Who is he after? Is this a government scheme? Something from the private sector? Something to do with Eleven's sister, Twelve, who is suspiciously missing from this trailer?
Speaking of sisters, Lucas' little sister Erica (Priah Ferguson) is getting in on the adventure this time? Hell yeah.
Also, Steve is still the best mom. That's all.
Stranger Things 3 premieres on Netflix on July 4.