The first teaser for the fourth season of Stranger Things has a big reveal buried inside it. In the clip, Russian guards are seen patrolling around a group of prisoners who have been tasked with building a railroad in the snow. At the end of the clip, viewers get a close-up that confirms that Hopper has returned.
The character, played by David Harbour on the show, had an uncertain future following the events of the season 3 finale. In that episode, it seemed possible that Hopper had died in an explosion, but a post-credits scene seemed to suggest that he may actually be a Russian prisoner, which this latest teaser seemed to confirm. In the post-credits scene, viewers see a facility where some unlucky prisoners wind up being fed to a demogorgon that resembles the one that terrified Hawkins, Indiana, in the show’s first season.
The video was tweeted out from the Stranger Things account on Friday with the message “From Russia with love…”
Although fans are still waiting on a release date for the next season of the Netflix show, CNet reported that the show’s writer tweeted out an image of the first script for Season 4 in November of 2019. The script was titled “The Hellfire Club,” which is a reference to a supervillain group from the X-Men universe.
Although little has been confirmed about the show’s fourth season, some rumors have suggested that it may be the show’s final season. In an interview on Lorraine, star Will Schnapp said that he doesn’t think the fourth season will be the show’s last.
“I’m sure there will be another one after that. I can’t imagine this is the last… I feel like we’d know if this was. I don’t want it to end!,” Schnapp said, per Radio Times.
While there’s still plenty of unknowns around the show’s new season, fans are thrilled by the return of Hopper to the show.
“oh boyyyyyy Eleven is gonna be mad when she finds out what those Russians have done to Daddy Hopper, I am ready for the carnage #StrangerThings,” one user wrote.
Other reactions theorized that the Russians have somehow wiped Hopper’s memory, according to We Got This Covered. The theory argues that Hopper will be like the Winter Soldier in the Marvel universe, and will become a brainwashed killing machine sent back to Hawkins to battle his former friends. While that’s just a theory at this point, it’s one that could devastate fans of the show who have come to love Hopper over the first three seasons.