A new video for Stranger Things Season 3 has been released, and with it are several phrases which appear to be the episode titles for each of this season's eight episodes. Each title is pretty cryptic, but I've managed to craft some theories regarding what each new episode could be about, as well as some additional insight on potential episode details based on what we've learned so far.
"Suzie, Do You Copy?"
Stranger Things has yet to reveal a character by the name of Suzie, but the phrase "Do you copy?" is one that's been heard before. This quote could be uttered by one of the kids via the two-way radios they use, which may mean that this Suzie character is somehow tied into the central cast. Is the gang about to get yet another member added to the mix?
Possibly, although there have been theories on Reddit that "Suzie" is a codename for Eleven. That doesn't make much sense considering Season 2 revealed her actual name is Jane Ives and is currently Jane Hopper thanks to the sheriff's adoption. Perhaps Suzie is a character the gang is familiar with, but only through their communication system? If so, the mystery of Suzie and what her deal is could be one the show is planning to stretch out throughout Season 3.
"The Mall Rats"
As past reveals on Season 3 have informed us, Stranger Things will bring a new shopping mall to Hawkins, Indiana. The title of this episode likely isn't a nod to Kevin Smith's film, but rather an episode that focuses on the same premise. It appears the new mall may be the place to be for the kids of Hawkins, and a place they'll be hanging out for at least this episode.
If that's the case, children of the '80s should be prepared for a heaping dose of nostalgia. A video teasing the mall was released earlier in the year that showed classic stores and eateries with their old designs may be seen around Starcourt. It also showed Steve and a new character Robin (Maya Hawke) working at an ice-cream shop, so it wouldn't be surprising if a healthy amount of mall scenes happen around that specific area.
"The Case of the Missing Lifeguard"
Deadline reported prior to this episode title's reveal that actress Francesca Reale had been added to the cast to play a lifeguard named Heather. Additionally, it was said that Heather was set to play a big part in what was going to be a "dark mystery" in Season 3. From the sound of this title, it appears the darkness of that mystery may have something to do with Heather's sudden disappearance.
Typically when folks end up missing in Hawkins, the Upside-Down is to blame. This could be what's happening with Heather, and I'm betting dollars to Dungeons & Dragons the folks in the know may think the same thing. That said, people do sometimes disappear for less supernatural reasons, so perhaps this is just a red herring with something or someone else being the cause for Heather's disappearance?
"The Sauna Test"
Of all the episode titles revealed for Stranger Things Season 3, this has to be the most bizarre. A sauna has never played a big role in Stranger Things, so it's hard to speculate why one might come into play now. Saunas are occasionally linked to swimming pools, however, so perhaps Heather's disappearance is tied to an on-site sauna at the place she was a lifeguard?
For example, it's possible another portal to the Upside-Down has opened up within this sauna. The kids could issue a "test" to see if a portal will indeed open under certain conditions. "The Sauna Test" might also be the kids testing a method that shows steam and heat can have an effect on the supernatural creatures of the Upside-Down? Really, all I can feel certain on confirming is that it's a "test" of some sort. The rest is a mystery.
This title following "The Sauna Test" gives a bit more weight to speculation that the sauna could be a source of the problems going down in Hawkins. If not that, it appears as though this will be an episode that reveals the root of some of the season's big mystery, and set the stage for the final stretch of episodes.
That seems like a safe bet considering Stranger Things Season 3 will be close to two-thirds of the way completed at this point. One would expect the main mysteries of the season will be out in the open, and the gang will have an idea of the threat they'll be facing down. There might even be a fight scene or two, and perhaps even an unexpected death? Let's just hope these new characters aren't as lovable as Bob!
Birthdays typically are a fun event, and if this is to be someone's party, let's hope it's Eleven's. She probably never got a proper birthday celebration in her time as a test subject, and if she did, it wasn't nearly as cool as the average kid's birthday party. Here's hoping Hopper can make up for that with some over-the-top extravaganza and plenty of dancing music!
There's a chance, of course, this "birthday" isn't in reference to a specific character, but rather the birthday of something else. Perhaps it's the birthday of the time the Upside-Down first emerged, although something like that may be better suited to be called an "anniversary." Another theory is that this "birthday" is actually a specific birthday that took place in the past. If that's the case, perhaps we'll be treated to one of Eleven's depressing lab birthdays.
Uh oh! Typically when verbs like this get thrown into a title, it means they're pretty serious. For example, a simple dog bite probably doesn't warrant the episode title here, so one would think it's a bit more serious than that. Does someone get mortally wounded in the episode prior? Is it someone in the central cast?
These are all possibilities, although the biggest question may be what effect this bite may have on whoever was bitten. We've seen humans get devoured by Upside-Down inhabitants, but has someone been bitten and lived to tell about it? Is this some type of zombie deal where a person bitten becomes an Upside-Down creature? That's probably not the case, although this bite is significant enough to get an episode named after it, so expect it to lead to something big.
"The Battle Of Starcourt"
We've reached what is presumably the episode title of the Season 3 finale, and it looks like things are going down in a big way at the Starcourt mall. That must mean the mall is home to some Upside-Down forces unless these beings are sentient enough to accept a challenge from humans to meet in a food court. One thing we can speculate for sure is that this affair won't end well for the Starcourt Mall.
That's a shame, but the prospect of a big mall fight scene makes it worth it even if it destroys what appears to be the coolest thing to come to Hawkins in a long time. Who knows, maybe the damage won't be all that catastrophic and the mall will return in Season 4 with a slightly updated design? After all, most battles with the Upside-Down haven't resulted in a ton of structural damage to buildings, so why start thinking that now?