Stranger Things…went there. Warning, this is your only spoiler alert for season three!
The eight-episode romp ended with quite a big hero moment for both Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Hopper (David Harbour), as they infiltrated the Russian base beneath the mall and closed the door to the Upside Down. Well, Joyce closed the door as Hopper fought for his life against the Terminator-like assassin. And because Hopper was so close to the machine opening the door, he was not safe from the blast generated by Joyce shutting it down.
That's what Stranger Things wants you to believe. However, viewers didn't see him disintegrate, like the Russians near the machine. And then there's that whole credits scene. Hopper isn't seen, but the Russians do have "the American" as a prisoner.
Months after Hopper "dies," Joyce has taken in Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and decides to leave Hawkins with Will (Noah Schnapp) and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton). Nothing ever stays the same.
We asked Harbour for some words of encouragement after that cliffhanger.
"I mean, it's the most moving thing I think we've ever shot. There's a profundity to the season in terms of change, movement and the passage of time even, that's even bigger than monsters and things like that," Harbour told E! News. "I will say that there's a great Heraclitus quote which is like, ‘Nothing endures but change. Things have to change.' And the weird thing about doing a television is you fall in love with people, you fall in love with the things about it, and you want them to always to be that thing. And then sometimes life doesn't go the way you want, and things have to change. Part of that can be painful, and part of that can be miraculous and wonderful."
On his Instagram, Harbour posted an image from The Neverending Story, which is referenced in the series, with a poignant caption: "Cinema has its own language. Furry dragons, quests to overcome the nothing, magical books. Certain films get so scratched into our souls. Episode 8 of #strangerthings3 is my newest. The sounds, the colors, the heroism, the pathos, the humanity, the love. May it be so for you. It soars with laughter and tears. You'll feel like a kid again (or a kid, STILL.) Happy season 3, everyone. Now streaming on @netflix. What a dream come true to play a part in making this season for you."
Click play to hear more from Harbour about Hopper's relationship with Eleven this season.
Stranger Things season three is now streaming.