** WARNING! The following article contains major plot spoilers for the latest season of Stranger Things on Netflix. You have been warned, dear reader. **
Now streaming, the third season of the '80s-set sci-fi series transpires over the summer of 1985, infusing a Red Dawn vibe into the nostalgic proceedings as our young Hawkins heroes attempt to thwart not only the Mind Flayer, but a high-reaching Soviet conspiracy.
In the final episode of the new season ("The Battle of Starcourt"), Jim Hopper (David Harbour) and Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) stop the Russians from opening a new portal into the Upside Down, but the plan comes at a grave cost: Jim is apparently killed, vaporized into dust just as his romantic relationship with Joyce was starting to take shape. The emotional fallout felt by Joyce and Hopper's adopted daughter, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), is enough to make the toughest individual weep bitter and salty tears of despair, even if they ate a bowl of nails for breakfast ... without any milk.
As the finale closes out, El reads a letter from her late dad, who tells her that she helped him feel again after the devastating death of his biological daughter. The police chief's note ends with "For the sake of your poor old dad, keep the door open three inches," a loving and poignant callback to the season premiere ("Suzie, Do You Copy?"), where the overprotective Hopper, wanting to keep a close eye on his kid, introduces a "three-inch rule" that slightly keeps open the door of Eleven's room, where she has tendency to make out with her boyfriend, Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard).
The alleged death of Hopper (although a post-credits scene hints that he may have survived) has destroyed the psyches of fans who were just getting over the death of Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) in Avengers: Endgame. To add insult to injury, the "three inches" comment stokes the tear-jerking fire of Tony's eerily similar phrase of "I love you 3000" line to his own daughter, Morgan (Lexi Rabe).
This was not lost on Twitter, which vented its unbridled feelings with a number of posts that compared Stranger Things 3 to the fourth Avengers film, which just left theaters.
Check out some of the best reactions to Season 3 below ...