The marketing for Stranger Things season 3 is now getting underway, and already it's offered some tantalizing coded hints about a final battle at the Starcourt Mall. Set in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana, in the 1980s, Stranger Things is a sci-fi mystery saga that has garnered a huge fandom thanks to its nostalgic collection of pop culture references and influences, and its likeable cast of plucky young kids trying to unravel the strange goings-on in their town.
In Stranger Things season 2 we learned more about Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and her powers, and met a terrifying monster from the Upside Down called the Mind Flayer, which is set to return in season 3. Rather than releasing traditional trailers, Netflix has so far only shared viral marketing teasers like an extremely retro commercial for Hawkins' newest attraction, the Starcourt Mall, and a tape of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve blended with a screen showing a computer program starting up and eventually revealing season 3's July 4, 2019 release date. Another teaser revealed the episode titles for season 3, teasing mysteries like "The Case of the Missing Lifeguard" and an epic conclusion in "The Battle of Starcourt."
There's no official synopsis yet available for Stranger Things season 3, but by looking closely at the clues revealed so far in these teasers, we can learn a little about what fresh horrors might be on the way.
- This Page: Stranger Things Season 3 Episode Titles and Hidden Messages
- Page 2: The Hidden Messages Point To A Final Battle at the Starcourt Mall
What The Stranger Things 3 Episode Titles Mean
The third season of Stranger Things is comprised of eight episodes (unlike last season, which had nine) and a teaser released in December 2018 revealed the titles of each episode, which are:
- Episode 1: "Suzie, Do You Copy?"
- Episode 2: "The Mall Rats"
- Episode 3: "The Case of the Missing Lifeguard"
- Episode 4: "The Sauna Test"
- Episode 5: "The Source"
- Episode 6: "The Birthday"
- Episode 7: "The Bite"
- Episode 8: "The Battle of Starcourt"
The only "Suzie" that we know of in Stranger Things is Susan Hargrove (Jennifer Marshall), mother of Max (Sadie Sink) and stepmother to Max's mean older brother, Billy (Dacre Montgomery). If the "Suzie" in the episode title doesn't refer to Susan, however, fans have a couple of other key theories. Lucas' (Caleb McLaughlin) little sister Erica (Priah Ferguson) will have a bigger role in season 3 and will reportedly be recruiting an "army of friends" in a mission of her own to save Hawkins, so Suzie could be one of Erica's friends. It's also possible that "Suzie" is a code name used to contact Eleven over walkie-talkies, so that eavesdroppers won't realize the kids are talking to Hawkins National Laboratory's missing experiment.
"The Mall Rats" seems like an obvious reference to customers at the Starcourt Mall (Mallrats is also the name of a 1995 comedy directed by Kevin Smith), though with this being Hawkins, it wouldn't be at all surprising if the "rats" in question were miniature monsters from the Upside Down. "The Case of the Missing Lifeguard" refers to a new character, Heather (Francesca Reale), who according to her character description is "a popular lifeguard at the Hawkins Community Pool who becomes the centerpiece of a dark mystery." In season 1, fan-favorite character Barb (Shannon Purser) died after being dragged into a pool by the Demogorgon, but hopefully Heather will fare a little better.
"The Sauna Test" sounds like it may be a flashback episode revealing one of the experiments performed on Eleven (or one of her "siblings") at the Hawkins National Laboratory. "The Birthday" is fairly vague, and could refer to any one of the characters in the show having a birthday. "The Bite" is considerably more ominous, given that there are all manner of things in the Upside Down that have teeth, and a bite from one of them could lead to a mean infection. Finally, "The Battle of Starcourt" almost certainly refers to some kind of final showdown at the Starcourt Mall - perhaps another round against the Mind Flayer.
Netflix Is Using Morse Code To Tease Stranger Things
In October 2018 a tie-in book titled Stranger Things: Worlds Turned Upside-Down was released that offered behind-the-scenes details on the first two seasons of the show, and hints about what was the come next. The biggest hints came in the form of morse code messages that spelled out a series of bizarre messages:
- The week is long
- The silver cat feeds
- When blue and yellow meet
- In the West
- A trip to China sounds nice
- If you tread lightly
The phrases "silver cat feeds" and "when blue and yellow meet/In the West" cropped up again in the New Year's teaser trailer for Stranger Things. First, a computer screen with a series of letters and numbers pops up, and the "blue and yellow" message is highlighted. In the next computer screen, there is a command to "RUN PROGRAM SilverCatFeeds.exe" and references to a company to Lynx Corp. (a lynx is a big cat that sometimes has silver or grey fur). Shortly afterwards we hear Mike screaming Eleven's name, and then the release date is revealed. But what does it all mean?