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In a move designed to turn Stranger Things audience excitement levels up to Eleven, Netflix released a brand-new season three teaser over the weekend — albeit, one that may not exactly be what it appears at first glance.
Released Sunday, the teaser emulates the iconic opening title and credits sequence from the Duffer Brothers drama, with the synth score and neon red lettering swirling together against a pitch black abyss of a backdrop. Eight sets of words come together, presumably representing the titles for season three’s eight new episodes (watch the video, above):
• “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”
It’s not the first time Netflix has unleashed this kind of tease about a future Stranger Things season. Indeed, a very similar sequence was released simultaneously with Netflix’s announcement of a season two renewal, leaving many fans with the impression of knowing all nine episode titles. Alas, it was not as it seemed. While two phrases did indeed line up with the eventual episode titles — “MADMAX” and “The Pollywog,” specifically — the others never saw the light of day: “The Boy Who Came Back to Life,” “The Palace,” “The Secret Cabin” and “The Brain” as examples. The final title, “The Lost Brother,” was close, but not quite; season two’s most divisive episode was “The Lost Sister.”
Can we trust that the latest season three teaser is telling us the exact names of the episodes ahead, then? In short: absolutely not. But we can trust that we’re gleaning important information all the same, as even in the case of the parallel season two teaser, the fake-out episode titles hinted at some key plot points: “The Pumpkin Patch,” for example, paid off in the form of the rotten earth covering up a new passage into the Upside Down, while “The Boy Who Came Back to Life” laid track for the increasing importance of Noah Schnapp as Will Byers.
When it comes to the new season three teaser’s series of phrases, here’s what seems likely: “Suzie, Do You Copy?” feels like a good bet for the season three premiere title, as “MADMAX” was one of two phrases consistent between the season two titles teaser and the final product itself; the new setting of the Starcourt Mall (previously revealed in the first season three teaser) will host at least one climactic battle, potentially at the end of the season; someone’s going missing a la Will, potentially this person named Suzie or the quasi-titular “missing lifeguard,” assuming they’re not the same person; someone will be celebrating a birthday, and it won’t be Will, since he was born on March 22 and the season is set to take place in the summer; and either somebody’s taking a page out of the Bob playbook and is about to get bitten, or they’re about to bite someone else — or something else.
It’s not impossible the eight newly released phrases will indeed correspond directly with the eight final titles for Stranger Things season three’s episode roster, but word of caution: don’t etch anything in stone just yet. Season two’s episode titles teaser debuted more than a year before season two itself, and the titles simply did not line up perfectly. With Netflix only confirming a general 2019 release date, it would stand to reason that there’s both history and time on the side of season three’s final array of titles looking rather different than the list we’re living with now.
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