Let's Break Down That Wild 'Stranger Things' Season 3 Ending

by Ani Bundel

Stranger Things Season 3 ended with a massive shakeup that was perhaps slightly overdue. More than a few people watching the series over July 4 remarked that it was high time the Byers moved out of Hawkins since the town kept threatening their kids. Turns out the show's writers, the Duffer brothers, agreed. Joyce was already fixing up her house to put it on the market before the Mind Flayer's return. After it was over, she, her sons, and El were ready to begin anew. But where did the Byers move in Stranger Things?

This may seem like an odd question, but did anyone else notice that no one actually said where the family was going? Mike talked about how "when you come back to visit at Christmas," suggesting that Stranger Things Season 4 would be a wintertime affair. But no one said where it was the Byers would be heading to, or where they might be visiting from.

Turns out, that was a deliberate choice. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Ross Duffer admitted. "We didn’t want to box ourselves into a corner."

Director and executive producer Shawn Levy pointed out it was the only logical outcome:

And after this much tragedy and insanity, you’d think a family would consider moving. So it was time for them to do just that. But the other more arching aspiration was an ending that felt filled with the possibility of what might come next.

With no precise location for the Byers to head towards, the possibilities for the next season open up. And that's a very good thing for the show. Though the new season mostly got good reviews, more than one critic noted that the show seems to have painted itself into a corner, unable to find more to do inside Hawkins. But that's true for many kids growing up, the small town gets too small, and moving to broaden one's horizons is the only answer.

Chances are, the Byers aren't going to move to the big city. Stranger Things already attempted a Chicago-based episode, and it went over rather poorly with just about everyone. But even the suburbs of a mid-sized Illinois berg like Champaign or Springfield would be enough to give Jonathan, Will, and El fresh starts.


But the real question isn't if the show is willing to take it outside of Hawkins, or even outside of Indiana, but outside the USA. The new season both opened and closest in the wilds of Russia, where scientists dedicated to winning the Upside Down race worked tirelessly. Season 3 was all about the need to open the gate in the place where it had happened before. But by the show's coda, it seemed like Russia had found a way to do it at home as well. The result was a Demogorgon, proving the USSR had reached Season 1 levels of experimentation.

But the other result was an "American" held in captivity. Fans hope this is Hopper, sucked into the Upside Down instead of killed, and then found by Russian scientists. The Duffers won't confirm or deny, but they will say this: "We try to tee up some Season 4."

Now all fans need is for Netflix to greenlight it.