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    • I'm a bit unclear about the timeline. Is this the summer vacation time directly following season 2 - which, if I remember correctly, ended with some school's out celebration - or has more time passed since then? Depending on that, how does the first russian scene relate to past seasons? Is this something that happened after the events we saw, or concurrently or even leading up to them?

      I did some reading to understand the timeline better myself. From what I understand, season one happened in 1983, ending around Christmas time. Season two happened the following year (1984), occurring around Halloween. Season three starts in June 1985, where we see the Russians trying to reopen the portal that Eleven closed. And we jump forward a year later (1986) where we catch up with the entire cast.

    • Thank you so much for starting this discussion! So I binge-watched 5.5 episodes of Stranger Things Season 3 yesterday on a cross-country flight (very long flight) and LOVED it. Season 3 is so much stronger than Season 2! We've beaten that Sophomore slump!

      Ok, now to episode 1 of Season 3:

      Interesting zombie movie callouts... I wonder where this is going?

      I want Dustin's Camp Know Where t-shirt. But seriously, it seems like he's picked up a lot of skills (and mature wisdom) over the summer. While Cerebro appears to be a bit of a disappointment at first, it does seem to be connecting to ... something.

      As you mentioned @JazliAziz Mike and El's relationship has grown so much! They're super-cute together, but you do empathize with Hopper who's trying to figure out teenager / parental boundaries.

      Apparently the Starcourt Mall was filmed in an actual mall on the outskirts of Atlanta that was completely re-done from the inside by the Stranger Things team. They did a great job! (spoilers in this article about how they did it).

      Even though I didn't go to the mall a lot as a young child, we did go once every blue moon, so I did feel a twinge of nostalgia seeing the exuberant joy of the 1980's - early 1990's mall scene.

      I watched so much Stranger Things 3 last night that I'll probably be mixing up episodes, so I'll stop there, but excited to re-watch episode 2 to discuss in your next thread!

    • That makes it about 1.5 years between seasons 2 and 3 (the main action, not the first scene)? Hmm, I really didn't expect that to be the case.

    • I've now rewatched the start of episode 1, and it states "June 1984" for the soviet scene, and "one year later" for the actual story. That would mean that about 8-9 months have passed since the end of season 2. I think that's a good compromise between believability (the actors have grown; a mall needed to be built or at least opened) and not letting too much time pass (so much happens at the age of the main characters; we hopefully need to stay in the 1980s for some more seasons).

      It would also put the first soviet attempt of opening their portal somewhere between seasons 1 and 2, so concurrently to the events in Hawkins. Could this play a role in explaining what happened, or why their attempt didn't work at the time?

    • Thanks for the clarification. Not sure why the Russian portal wasn't open, or who closed it in the first place, or if it was even open to begin with for that matter, because El only closed the Hawkins portal at the end of season two, which was around October 1984. Maybe we'll get the answers later in season three.

    • I want Dustin's Camp Know Where t-shirt.

      [...] an actual mall on the outskirts of Atlanta that was completely re-done from the inside by the Stranger Things team. They did a great job!

      The work of the props department has been incredible in the past, and still is. On top of all those shirts and the mall with all their properly 80's-dressed extras, in the first episode I especially noticed:

      > Soviet-style gas masks very similar to those seen in many Chernobyl photos. I didn't immediately make the connection that the first scene did not take place in Hawkins - but when I saw those gas masks, I knew that we weren't currently in the US.

      > A can of "New Coke" - because, obviously that debacle needed to be referenced at some point. :)

      > Especially Mrs. Wheeler being the most stereotypically 80's-styled person I've seen in... well... the last 30 years. :D