[Warning: The following contains spoilers for the finale of Stranger Things 3. Read at your own risk!]
Stranger Things has always been a bit of a bloodbath, but Netflix’s hit show took things to a whole new level in its third season.
Stranger Things 3 saw the return of the Mind Flayer thanks to some pesky Soviets, and this time the monster’s possession trick turned deadly for 30 innocent citizens of Hawkins, Indiana. Sure, most of those deaths were just nameless, faceless extras, but one of them was someone we knew and loved to hate.
Billy (Dacre Montgomery) was the first human to be possessed this season, and we spent most of the season watching him tear the town apart as a mindless agent of evil on the Mind Flayer’s behalf. At the last minute though, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) managed to get through to him thanks to some memories of his mother, and Billy finally broke free from the Mind Flayer’s control. He used his newfound freedom to take on the gargantuan beast (made of the exploded remains of its other possession victims), which eventually resulted in his death. In the end, Billy took a lot of hits and kept on coming, and though he didn’t exactly redeem himself in the eyes of the audience, at least he went own in truly heroic fashion.
Dacre Montgomery, Stranger Things 3
The town hottie wasn’t the only one to lose his life, though. In a much more surprising move, Stranger Things 3 also killed off its beloved chief of police, Jim Hopper (David Harbour).
While trying to destroy the Soviets’ machine that had cracked open the gate to the Upside Down and allowing the Mind Flayer to wreak havoc in the first place, Hopper found himself stuck in the room with the machine. Not a good place to be considering destroying the machine came with the nasty little catch of vaporizing anyone who wasn’t behind protective glass. In order to save their kids, Hopper gave Joyce the signal to kill the machine while he was still trapped inside , sacrificing himself in the process. When the dust settled, Hopper was nowhere to be found.
But is he really gone for good? In the world of Stranger Things, anything is possible, and even the touching letter he wrote to Eleven didn’t feel like a good enough goodbye for this wonderful character. We’ll just keep our fingers crossed that time and space and science will somehow allow for a way to bring Hopper back in Stranger Things 4.
Stranger Things 3 is now on Netflix.