These 'Stranger Things 3' Theories Will Change What You Think About 'The American'

Spoilers, obviously.
PHOTO: Netflix

[Warning: spoilers for Stranger Things season three ahead]

I bet you think you're so smart after finishing season three of Stranger Things last weekend. Okay, let's be real, you binged it all on the day it was released and now you're on rewatch number three....Four? Dang.

Anyways, at the end of Stranger Things: Summer Edition, a post-credits scene took us way out of Hawkins, all the way to snowy Kamchatka, Russia. There, two soldiers revealed the Russians have collected not only a Demogorgan, but an American citizen as well. Take a look.

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But who is the prisoner? I'm sure you think you know, but here are some theories to change your perspective.

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  1. Hopper

    How many of you shouted "Hopper!!!!!" at your screen right in the middle of that bonus scene? All of you? Well, you could be right. If you click over to this post, here, you can read all the reasons I believe Chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour) is definitely alive. There may even be screen grabs that show he's missing from the explosion all together.

    If the theory that Hopper was pulled into the Upside Down is correct, then how would he have been captured by the Russians? Well, considering they have a Demogorgon of their own, it's probably safe to say that our comrades have managed to create a portal back home.

  2. Dr. Brenner

    You may know Dr. Brenner (Matthew Modine) as Eleven's evil "papa." Though it seemed unlikely he could have survived the Demogorgon attack in season one, we never saw the body or the actual kill. In Stranger Things land, that pretty much means he's alive.


    Sure enough, "I would say that if we were going to kill Brenner… as an audience member watching the show, if that was his death, that would be very unsatisfying to me," co-creator Matt Duffer told IGN. "He would deserve much more than that as an ending. So yes, there's a possibility of seeing him again."

    In season two, an ex-employee of Brenner's lab confirmed to Eleven that "papa" is alive, and out there somewhere. Russia, perhaps?

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  3. Murray

    Well, now that the two most popular theories are out of the way, what do you think about Murray (Brett Gelman)? The man speaks the language, has believed Russians were after him since season two, and is probably the smartest person they could choose to interrogate. What if they found him between the explosion and the three-month time jump in the finale?

    Take a look at his voicemail message (you can actually hear it IRL if you dial his number, 618-625-8313):

    "Hi, you have reached the residence of Murray Bauman. Mom, if this is you, please hang up and call me between the hours of 5 and 6 p.m. as previously discussed, okay? If this is Joyce, Joyce, thank you for calling, I have been trying to reach ya. I have an update. It's about, well, its probably best if we speak in person. It's not good or bad, but it's something. 

    "If this is anyone but my mother or Joyce, well, you think you're real clever, getting my number, don't ya? Well, here's some breaking news for you: You're not clever. You're not special. You are just simply one of the many, many nimwits to have called here, and the closest you will ever get to me is this prerecorded message so at the beep, do me a favor and hang up and never call here again. You are a parasite! Thank you and good day."

    Sounds like he's discovered something important. Perhaps big enough to warrant his kidnapping?

  4. The other psychic kids

    Everyone's least favorite season two characters could be the very ones to unlock the mystery of season four. According to Reddit user @skeletonabbey, Hopper, and Dr. Brenner are def dead (I doubt it, but let's hear them out). Even if they are alive, neither men can give the Russians what they ultimately want: a portal to the Upside Down.

    "The Americans were only able to open a gate because of El's powers," the theory reads. "We're shown at the beginning of season three that the Russians CAN'T open a gate over there, hence coming to Hawkins. So how do they have a living Demogorgon if the gate is closed here again? They opened their own gate, and the only way they could do it is with one of the psychics."


    Okay, I'll bite. The theory continues to suggest that they discovered Eleven's powers during the events at Starcourt Mall, conducted an investigation, and found at least on of her sisters and brothers.

    For all our sakes, let's hope not.

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This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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