This is a spoiler-free review for the Stranger Things Season 3 premiere, titled “Suzie, Do You Copy?” All 8 episodes will be available to binge on Netflix on Thursday, July 4, 2019. If you need a refresher, be sure to check out our Stranger Things Season 2 Ending Explained.
It’s been an agonizing year and a half since we were last in the imaginative world of Stranger Things, and a lot has changed for both the characters and the small town of Hawkins, Indiana. For one thing, the kids are older, and with that particular change comes a level of maturity, which gives the Season 3 premiere – titled “Suzie, Do You Copy?” – a darker tone and a more complex narrative that’s refreshing to watch. Creators Matt and Ross Duffer wisely focus their creative attention on how the passage of time has affected our favorite characters, relegating the Upside Down stuff to the fringes… For now.
Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) is a great point-of-view character for this episode, as he returns home from summer camp, eager to see his friends. Like us, Dustin has missed out on some of the profound changes his companions have gone through over the summer, like Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Eleven’s (Millie Bobby Brown) constant making out, and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Max’s (Sadie Sink) on-and-off-again relationship, among other things. It’s equal parts melancholy and intriguing to watch this honest portrayal of time and how it can impact a group of friends as close as the Hawkins crew. It’s refreshing to see the band of misfits just being kids for a little while, even if they’re growing apart.
Netflix kicks off its third Stranger Things season with a fabulous episode that focuses its attention on the Hawkins kids as they struggle with the process of growing up while trying to retain their established friendship. It’s quickly apparent that creators Matt and Ross Duffer have a strong understanding of their characters and how best to use them. The only worrisome aspect is the ever-expanding ensemble and whether or not there’s enough compelling story to go around.
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