Warning: the following article contains major spoilers for the third season of Netflix’s Stranger Things. Read at your own peril.
After waiting what felt like forever, the third season of Stranger Things dropped on Netflix earlier this month, and fans were left with their hearts in their mouths at that final episode.
Things are looking pretty grim for fan-favourite character, Jim Hopper, after “The Battle of Starcourt” ended with Winona Ryder’s Joyce detonating the machine that keeps the gate to the murky Upside Down open.
Jim’s fate was seemingly sealed as he was (presumably) turned to dust alongside the villainous Russians. However, eagle-eyed fans think they’ve figured out Season 4’s big twist.
In classic Marvel Cinematic Universe style, Stranger Things delivered a jaw-dropping post-credits scene that gave Hopper hopefuls a silver lining. As some shifty Russians discussed recent events, they made reference to “The American” locked in a cell.
Could Jim be having a little vacation against the snowy backdrop of the USSR? Considering Grigori frequently referred to Jim as “The American”, it isn’t too much of a leap to make.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Matt Duffer explained: “You definitely should not assume anything.
“The line that Russian guard said is purposely intended to spark debate. We need people to ask the very questions that you’re asking.”
Ross Duffer also added: “Assuming there’s a season 4, obviously the question of who that American is in that cell and then also what they’re doing with the Demogorgon, that is a tease.
“We try to tee up some season 4.”
That being said, the link between “The American” and Jim could be a little too obvious. In my mind, a better twist would a time jump that sees Joyce doing time for her crime in a cell, saving the big reveal that Jim is alive and kicking for much later in Season 4.
Elsewhere, some think “The American” is Dr. Brenner. After accidentally releasing the Demogorgon back in Season 1, Brenner seemed to meet his maker at the mouth of that murderous monster. Given that we never saw Brenner die, he’s another likely candidate to be “The American”.
Whatever’s on the cards, it seems that the Duffer brothers aren’t going to be letting go of Hopper quite yet…at least, I hope not!
Featured Image Credit: Netflix