Stranger Things has always had fight scenes—usually of Steve Harrington getting his ass kicked—and decent action, but in season three, under the influence of 80s spy caper tropes, the action ratchets up a level to good old-fashioned bare-knuckle brawling. There are a lot of good fight scenes throughout Stranger Things 3, here’s a look at few of the best.
Steve vs. Mall Russian
Steve Harrington’s history of fights in Stranger Things is basically a downward spiral of humbling loss, as he constantly gets his ass kicked every season. In season one it was Jonathan, in season two it was Billy, but in season three, things finally take a turn for Steve. He finally wins a fight! And he does it with efficiency and style, taking down a mall Russian with just one (lucky) blow with a telephone. Congratulations, Steve, on winning your first fight!
Eleven vs. Billy the Mind Flayer
Eleven spends much of season three absolutely f-cking up the Mind Flayer, but when it is embodying its human host, Billy, the Mind Flayer comes closest to actually taking out El. It manages to get its hands on her, which is more than it can do in its fleshy crab state. Maybe the Mind Flayer should have been Billy more, maybe then it would have stood a chance against Eleven.
Hopper vs. Grigori the Russian Terminator
Let’s be honest: Hopper straight up SUCKS in season three. Gone is the awkwardly charming cop dad, trying to get his sh-t together to help Eleven and save Hawkins. In his place is a total rage monster, constantly yelling at everyone and being super patriarchal toward Joyce and El. Hopper is so terrible this season, seriously so unhinged and, at times, repulsive, I don’t know why anyone is rooting for him to be alive. I mean, of course he’s alive. We never saw a body and the Russians have “the American” in their secret base. Season four is obviously going to feature the rescue of Hopper. It’s not even a cliffhanger, it is so apparent Hopper survived the explosion of the key. But why should anyone bother saving him? He was a dickhead to everyone.
Hopper is very undelightful in season three, but he does feature in the season’s best gag: Grigori the Russian Terminator and his relentless pursuit. Throughout the season, Hop and the Russian Terminator square off, and Hop, though he gets in a few licks, mostly just gets his ass kicked. The Russian Terminator cannot be stopped. Hop even pumps him full of bullets at one point and Grigori bounces right back and resumes his chase. The real supernatural mystery of Stranger Things is what the hell IS the Russian Terminator? Hopper was a drag this year, but his recurring fight scenes with the Russian Terminator are great.