The new season of 'Stranger Things' explains how Hopper survived — and it's obnoxiously simple
- Warning: Spoilers ahead for "Stranger Things" season four, part one.
- Season three ended with everyone believing
Hopperwas dead, leading to many fan theories.
Many people (us included) didn't believe Hopper was truly dead. There were over a dozen compelling clues that indicated he had survived the explosion in the Russian's underground lab.
However, the details of how Hopper survived were still a mystery. Maybe he had jumped into the Upside Down through the Gate the Russians had opened, protecting him from the explosion's blast while also sealing him away from the real world? Or maybe he had found a secret escape route that led right into a Russian trap for prisoners? That would have explained why Joyce and Murray couldn't see any sign of him before they fled, and why the US government employees who entered the underground facility also failed to find Hopper alive.
Instead of bringing any interesting theories to life, 'Stranger Things' had an absurdly simple reveal
But no. "Stranger Things" season four, episode two, shows that Hopper merely jumped off the platform where the big laser machine was, and landed on a different platform below the jet of light. He was shrouded in smoke, and unconscious. But when he came to, and tried to climb back up to the walkway where Joyce had last seen him alive, Hopper was met by a group of Russian soldiers.
The Russians knocked him out, and then transported him to their country and imprisoned him.
His survival had nothing to do with the Gate or the Upside Down, or any secret tunnels. He was just lying there, unconscious, where anyone could have looked down and seen him.
Within the show's logic, it makes sense that Joyce and Murray didn't have time to go look for him. They were running for their lives, trying to escape the Russian soldiers still in the underground bunker. But the timing of Hopper's survival and capture is confusing, and just makes the season three finale more frustratingly opaque in retrospect.
Hopper being discovered by Russians inside the underground facility just raises more questions
How did the Russians have enough time to casually walk up to Hopper and capture him? In the season three finale, there doesn't seem to be much time between when the explosion happens and the US military arrives at the bunker. They sweep the place and didn't encounter a single Russian.
So did the US soldiers just miss Hopper? How could they have not thoroughly searched the area? That would be woefully incompetent behavior.
Or, as seems to be the case, if the Russians found Hopper before the US soldiers arrived, how would they have had the time to stand around and wait for Hopper to haul himself up the platform? How did they even know he was there? Weren't they in a huge rush to escape undetected? And how did they escape that bunker without any US military personnel spotting them?
There are so many more interesting, and logical, ways that Hopper might have survived. But the way it played out was dumb and makes all of the drama and emotions around his fake "death" feel cheap instead of meaningful.
Oh well. At least Hopper's alive, and can hopefully redeem himself as Eleven's adopted father in the final episodes of "Stranger Things" season four.
The final two episodes (which Netflix is calling "part two") premiere on July 1.
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