The anticipation for Stranger Things has never been more intense, especially after Netflix dropped another teaser for the third installment of the series over the weekend, with episode titles to match. Of course, since this is one of the most popular productions from the streaming giant, the teaser is cryptic and doesn’t reveal much about the upcoming season of Stranger Things.
What we do know for sure is that the new season will feature a lot more Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) and his magnificent, gravity-defying hairdo. When Netflix dropped a teaser for Stranger Things 3 in July, a lot seemed to be set in the new local shopping mall called the Starcourt. That particular clip amped up the nostalgia for those halcyon days of shopping at the Gap, Waldenbooks, and Sam Goody, but also introduced a “state-of-the-art food court,” with a Scoops Ahoy ice cream shop. And who seems to be holding down a summer job at Scoops Ahoy? Steve Harrington, of course, and he’s joined by another bored teen named Robin (played by Maya Hawke).
Now that it’s 1985 in Hawkins, Indiana, you’d best believe the Duffer brothers are probably going to lean in extra hard to the mid-decade nostalgia. And even though it’s been months since Eleven and Mike kissed (which means it’s also been months since Lucas and Max smooched) at the Snow Ball, that doesn’t necessarily mean all is well in this sleepy yet puzzling Midwestern town. Will Joyce let Will out of her sight long enough for him to visit the new shopping mall? Are Jonathan and Nancy still a match made in heaven? Whatever happened to the rest of Eleven’s “siblings”? Who is Suzie? School may be out, but the unexplained happenings of Hawkins are still in. Here’s how it could all go down, based on nothing more than the episode titles and our general obsession with this show.
Chapter 1: “Suzie, Do You Copy?”
The Demodogs remain vanquished to the Upside Down, and all appears to be normal in Hawkins. But once Eleven and the gang get a hold of Hopper’s police radio, a mysterious message comes through on the speaker, with a voice asking, “Suzie, do you copy?” The Dungeons & Dragons–loving crew scrambles to uncover the source of the voice, but not before Joyce Byers and Hopper accidentally get in the way.
Chapter 2: “The Mall Rats”
Jonathan Byers wouldn’t be caught dead at the mall, Steve Harrington works at the mall, Eleven has never seen a shopping center so big, Nancy Wheeler can’t wait to get her hands on some new Claire’s earrings, and Max and Lucas are just loving the fact that the Starcourt has an arcade. The introduction of the Starcourt is changing the town of Hawkins, Indiana, one shopping experience at a time, but Will, Dustin, and Mike won’t be fooled. Is the Starcourt a Hawkins Laboratory cover-up, or is everyone just so bored they can’t help but shop ’til they drop?
Chapter 3: “The Case of the Missing Lifeguard”
It’s summertime in the Midwest, and the swimming pool is competing with the Starcourt to be the official Hawkins watering hole, so to speak, but chaos ensues when a lifeguard at the Hawkins Swimming Pool goes missing. Hopper jumps on the case, but the rest of the police department reacts at a staggeringly slow pace.
Chapter 4: “The Sauna Test”
Dustin attempts to MacGuyver another type of sensory-deprivation tank in order to harness Eleven’s powers. This time, instead of using a bathtub, the gang finds a sauna and attempts to test out the waters, but, of course, nothing goes according to plan.
Chapter 5: “The Source”
Will discovers “the source” of the cryptic voice that came through on Hopper’s police scanner, leading to the reveal of nefarious activity at Hawkins Laboratory, but the rest of the crew won’t believe him. Only Eleven takes him seriously, further pushing a chasm between Will and Mike.
Chapter 6: “The Birthday”
Though she possesses psychokinetic powers, Eleven is still a human being, and human beings celebrate birthdays. Eleven celebrates turning 14, but the flashbacks to her childhood abduction intensify.
Chapter 7: “The Bite”
Eleven’s “siblings” return, and with them comes a never-before-seen creature, presumably from the Upside Down.
Chapter 8: “The Battle of Starcourt”
Remember how Steve didn’t appear to be very happy that he was forced to scoop ice cream for the summer? He’ll probably be even less happy when a Demagorgon inevitably invades the Starcourt mall and the gang has to fight it to the death before it opens up another portal to the Upside Down right in the middle of the food court. Finally, a battle royale in a location we can all get behind.