There’ve been many high profile TV shows over the years that provoked a hugely emotional reaction to the supposed death of a major character, only to quickly reveal it as a red herring. For instance, millions of fans were wiping away tears when David Harbour’s beloved Hopper made the ultimate sacrifice during the climax of Stranger Things season 3, only for most people to figure out that he wasn’t really dead as quickly as the next scene.
The fake-out death is an infuriating trope that gets used far too often, and it’ll be interesting to see how the Duffer brothers explain Hopper’s whereabouts when he returns in the upcoming fourth season. Plenty of theories are already making the rounds online, of course, but with the production keeping everything as tightly under wraps as possible, we won’t be getting any definitive answers for a while yet.
Shooting on the next run resumed at the end of September after a six-month hiatus caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, and as far we know, Stranger Things still hasn’t wrapped on season 4. Netflix subscribers have their fingers crossed that the show will be back on their screens next year, though, and in a recent interview, Harbour teased that the latest batch of episodes is his favorite yet.
“And one of the great things that you can see with Hopper is that he was a protector, he’s a man of justice and he now has become a prisoner. He’s trapped and he’s isolated. And we get to see an entirely other color of him that has been hinted at. This season is my favorite because he really is going to show you some new colors and what he’s really made up of You really do get to see a lot of his backstory of who he was as a warrior in a sense and sort of the mistakes he made in the past come back to visit him. And he just sort of unfolds.”
The 45 year-old sounds hugely enthusiastic about exploring some uncharted territory with the character, and we could be seeing a complete shift in direction from the lovable father figure of previous runs to a more world-weary and hardened Hopper that’s been hugely affected by his imprisonment. In any case, expectations couldn’t be higher for the jewel in Netflix’s TV crown, so let’s hope that Stranger Things season 4 manages to live up to the hype whenever it arrives.