‘Stranger Things’: Season 3 Episode Titles Reveal Clues About What’s Coming

Fans are waiting with bated breath for any tiny morsel of information about Stranger Things Season 3. The show isn’t coming back until next year, but in the meantime, they’ve been eagerly speculating about what comes next. Now there’s a whole new theory of events to dissect.

An early Christmas present just dropped in early December: Netflix released the names of (almost?) all the episodes in Stranger Things Season 3, and just like last time, those names are clues into events that will transpire over the course of the next episodes. So, what are they and what do they mean?

What do we already know about Season 3?

Even before the episode names, fans were privy to a few concrete facts about the next season of the hit show. First, the whole thing will take place over the summer, rather than during the school year like the first two seasons. The setting is the summer of 1985.

Also new for Season 3 – Will won’t be the one in trouble. Remember, Season 1 featured Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) getting kidnapped in the upside down and Season 2 had him possessed by a monster. But this time, producer Shawn Levy told Glamour, “We’re going to give Will a break. We’re not going to put Will through hell for a third season in a row.”

That’s good for Will – but don’t expect a break in the action. Levy also said there will be “new forces of evil” to contend with.

What are the episode names?

The new Netflix trailer revealed the episode list for the next season. They are:

  • Suzie, Do You Copy?
  • The Mall Rats
  • The Case of the Missing Lifeguard
  • The Sauna Test
  • The Source
  • The Birthday
  • The Bite
  • The Battle of Starcourt

The first episode might be a flashback, but it also could be referencing one of the new characters that producers promised for this season. “Do you copy” likely has something to do with a walkie-talkie, which is the kids’ preferred method of communication.

There will be action at the mall

Two of the episode names – “The Mall Rats” and “The Battle of Starcourt” – imply a likely new setting for most of the series’ main events, which makes sense considering the action will be happening in the summertime when the gang is hanging out there. The Starcourt Mall is obviously going to feature prominently.

Who are the new characters?

“The Case of the Missing Lifeguard” most likely refers to another new character, Heather, who will be played by actress Francesca Reale. She’ll be serving as one of the lifeguards at Hawkins community pool, and apparently might even disappear? We’ll know soon enough.

Jake Busey (Cary Elwes) will also join the cast this season as a journalist for The Hawkins Post. Fans speculate that the episode entitled “The Source” will focus on him and whether he’s a friend or foe to the gang. Variety described his character as, “a journalist for The Hawkins Post, with questionable morals and a sick sense of humor.”

Will the episode titles change?

Just because the new trailer includes episode names, don’t assume we can figure out what’s going to happen. Co-creator Matt Duffer said of last season’s title reveal, “Some of them we didn’t put [online] because these people are smart on the f–king Internet. You’ve seen it with Westworld—they figured it out! I’ve seen videos analyzing the chapter titles, and they’re right on a lot.”

Because of that, many of the episode titles were changed after the Season 2 reveal. Plus, the new teaser only has eight episodes while the second season had nine episodes, leading some fans to wonder if some things are being held back.

Time will tell!