Stranger Things is arguably Netflix’s most valuable property, having reached viewership levels on a scale nothing else produced by the streamer has been able to achieve. The show mixes classic horror tropes, inspired from the likes of John Carpenter and the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, and 80’s nostalgia to create an eclectic series that has a little something for everyone.
And the formula has paid off in spades, as fans are more invested in what’s to come for the small Indiana town of Hawkins than ever before. No one is quite sure when season 4 is even going to film, let alone air, but that didn’t stop the Duffer Brothers from dropping a little tease during the credits of the recent finale.
If you’ll recall, we cut to a scene set back in the Russian base in Kamchatka. Audiences follow a guard down the dark hallways of the facility, who retrieves a prisoner and leads him to a cage. The prisoner is then thrust inside and it’s revealed that the Russians have somehow captured a Demogorgon, who crawls out of a hole in the wall to feast upon its meal.
Now, this is certainly a chilling revelation that has serious implications for continued installments of Stranger Things, but past the knowledge that Russia has a beast from the Upside Down in their possession, there’s a hint that everyone’s favorite police chief, Jim Hopper, survived the explosion that seemingly vaporized him.
As the guard was going past the cells, a voice can be heard stating, “not the American.” While this isn’t definitive proof that Hopper is still alive, it is a good sign, especially given the fact that he was continually referred to as “the American” by his communist adversaries.
During a recent interview, actor David Harbour even seemed to confirm this when asked directly about his character’s fate, stating:
“This is the question I’m going to have to dance around—is there a way you can talk about the future of Hopper without… well, did you see the post-credits scene?”
Again, this doesn’t give a complete and honest answer, but the insinuation is there. Netflix and the showrunners clearly want us to think that the Chief is still alive. Harbour even followed this non-committal statement with a brief explanation of what his character needs moving forward:
“I think the tapestry of Hopper is so large and interesting, and I also think that Hopper has karmic debts to pay for how dead he’s been for a long time. We have to decide who this man is…Is he a man of justice? Is he a father? Which one is he? And I think those two things are not always compatible. I don’t know that you can stand for values or stand for relationships at the same time. At some point, you’re going to have to choose. So, I’m interested in that – in him as a human being, if he’s faced with that choice, what he would choose?”
The world won’t find out if Jim Hopper is indeed still alive for quite some time, but it’s clear that at least the actor thinks there’s more to his story. What do you think, though? Did Hopper miraculously survive during the climactic moments of the Stranger Things season 3 finale, or is he gone for good? Sound off down below with your thoughts.