The first trailer for Season 3 of Stranger Things has officially dropped and all our favorite Hawkins residents are back, including Chief Hopper, Eleven (with even more hair!), and, of course, Steve Harrington. A lot happens in the nearly-three-minute trailer, so let’s break down everything that is going on.
The trailer opens with Dustin believing that his toy robots have been taken over by an evil force when really it’s just Eleven and the gang surprising him with a ‘Welcome Home Dustin’ banner. Unfortunately for Lucas, Dustin gets so startled that he accidentally sprays his best friend with what appears to be spray paint. Ouch.
We then cut to the Fourth of July weekend, where, for a brief moment, it looks like everyone might get to enjoy a (relatively) normal holiday. The gang hikes up a hill to put up some kind of antenna, Nancy and Jonathan are impatiently waiting to talk to someone at the Hawkins Post, and Max’s abusive brother Billy is officially the hot new lifeguard. Summer!
But even without the monsters, there’s still plenty of conflict. It appears that Hopper and Joyce were supposed to go on a date but she left him to smoke in the restaurant by themselves.
“I want you to feel safe. I want you to feel like this can be your home,” he tells her, while she looks at him in a way that suggests that might not be possible.
Meanwhile, the gang seems to be getting attacked by a new monster: puberty. And the trailer seems to suggest that as these kids are growing older, they may find themselves drifting apart.
“We’re not kids anymore. I mean what did you think, we were just going to sit in my basement all day? Play games for the rest of our lives?” says Mike, as his best buddy Will morosely looks at a photo of the original four in the Ghostbusters costume. Meanwhile, Dustin still looks like he’s very much not over Lucas and Max being a couple.
Of course, this is Stranger Things, so all interpersonal conflict ultimately takes a backseat to the fact that monsters from another dimension are trying to invade their town. And we get to see a few brief glimpses of some freaky supernatural stuff. Eleven sees some scary lights in the sky and then spends some time in the Upside Down. Will is once again dealing with some very strange (non-puberty) things happening to his body. And a new monster pops up that makes the original Demogorgon look like a house pet.
But more important than all those things is what happens at the end of the trailer, as we get to see Dustin and Steve (in a gloriously ridiculous work outfit) exchange an elaborate dorky handshake at the mall, while his coworker asks, “How many children are you friends with?” Never change, Steve.
All eight episodes of Stranger Things: Season 3 will be available on Netflix July 4.