Does Hawkins, Indiana have its very own Indiana Jones? One of the Stranger Things cast seems to think so. The Netflix has always liberally homaged (or ripped off, if you’re feeling less charitable) iconic tenets of ’80s pop culture, from E.T. to X-Men comics to Stephen King. The show has never really paid tribute to Steven Spielberg’s Indy movies, though, with their treasure hunts and globe-trotting adventures.
Still, star David Harbour thinks the spirit of Harrison Ford’s archaeologist action-man can be felt through his character, former Hawkins sheriff Jim Hopper. For the Black Widow actor, Hopper has previously had an Indy-like vibe to him. However, this has been shorn off (along with his hair) in season four as Jim is now on pure survival-mode as he attempts to free himself from incarceration in a Russian gulag. As Harbour explained to IGN:
“Hopper has the Indiana Jones quality to a lot of what he does, but he is at his lowest point in Russia. It is sort of the Dark Night of the Soul where he needs to go through this really dark passage to get out to the other side. So yeah, it’s some of the most brutal things he’s ever been through, physically, and also mentally.”
Hopper’s season four storyline is actually the one we’ve been desperate to see for the longest time, as the very first ST4 teaser trailer — which debuted way back in the Before Times of February 2020 — revealed what really happened to him after his presumed death in the season three finale. Ironically, while Hopper might be less Indy-like in his personality, he will be battling communists this season, much as Ford’s character did in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, so there’s still a connection there. All we need now is for him to don a fedora and arm himself with a whip.
The Russian storyline is one of the three distinct plot-threads running through season four, alongside Eleven and the Byers adjusting to life in their new hometown and the rest of the gang investigating the latest mystery in Hawkins. With so many plates to spin, that’s why this batch of episodes is by far the longest to date, with each installment sporting a mammoth runtime.
Stranger Things 4 drops its first volume on Netflix next Friday, May 27. The second half then follows six weeks later on July 1.