On Sunday, Netflix kicked off an apparent week's worth of news with the episode titles for Season 3 of Stranger Things, the hit retro sci-fi series that returns in 2019. The eight titles got us a-speculatin', because there are some mysteries in there — and some revelations, too. Here's what we think they mean.
1. "Suzie, Do You Copy?"
There's a Susan on Stranger Things — Susan Hargrove (Jennifer Marshall), Max's (Sadie Sink) mother and Billy's (Dacre Montgomery) stepmother, who briefly appeared in Season 2. Maybe she'll play a bigger role in Season 3, helping the kids with something that requires walkie-talkies. She definitely seems like a Susan and not a Suzie, though. Another possibility is that Suzie is a codename for someone, and the most likely person to need a codename is Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown).
2. "The Mall Rats"
As we saw in the first Season 3 teaser, the newly-constructed Starcourt Mall will play an important role. The Mall Rats could be the kids, who are getting to the age where the mall becomes an integral part of their social life, or Steve (Joe Keery) and Robin (Maya Hawke), both of whom work at the mall. Or they could be ratlike creatures from the Upside Down who live at the mall. The 1995 Kevin Smith movie is Mallrats, one word, so with its destabilization of a familiar phrase the title "The Mall Rats" feels similar to T.S. Eliot's poem "The Waste Land."
3. "The Case of the Missing Lifeguard"
The lifeguard is a new character played by Francesca Reale named Heather, who Deadline describes as "a popular lifeguard at the Hawkins Community Pool who becomes the centerpiece of a dark mystery." So somebody is going on a Nancy (Wheeler) Drew mission to find her. We can't have another Barb (Shannon Purser)!
4. "The Sauna Test"
This makes me think of John Carpenter's The Thing, where a scientist tests blood to see if there's an alien in it by touching it with a heated coil, especially because creators the Duffer Brothers have cited The Thing as an influence on Season 3. Maybe we're going to find out that certain creatures from the Upside Down react a certain way to being boiled. Fans on Reddit think the lifeguard gets infected with a parasite from the Upside Down, and this how our heroes confirm that. Another possibility is that it's a sequel to Season 1's "The Bathtub," where the gang built Eleven a makeshift sensory deprivation tank so she could focus her psychic powers.
5. "The Source"
This sounds to me like the source of whatever thing from the Upside Down is plaguing Hawkins, Indiana this season, like the gate in the lab where all the bad stuff was coming from in the first two seasons. Or maybe it's a source like a journalist's source, and someone is feeding information to Murray (Brett Gelman) and/or Bruce, the journalist for the Hawkins Post with "questionable morals and a sick sense of humor" who will be played by Jake Busey.
6. "The Birthday"
The character with the most notable birthday would have to be Eleven, since her actual birthday is a mystery beyond that it happened in 1971. What does the birth certificate Sheriff Hopper (David Harbour) helped procure for her say? Is it the date she was found? Did he somehow find out her actual date of birth? Is it a randomly chosen day? Is it Nov. 11? That would be cute! Another theory on Reddit is that this is the Fourth of July, a.k.a. America's birthday, since Season 3 will be set in the summer of 1985.
7. "The Bite"
Fans on Reddit are drawing a connection between the Starcourt Mall and George Romero's mall-set zombie classic Dawn of the Dead, especially since Romero is another cited influence on Season 3, as is body-horror maestro David Cronenberg, which indicates that this bite is going to be really gross.
8. "The Battle of Starcourt"
Finally, an easy one! The season's final showdown is gonna go down somewhere between the Waldenbooks and the Sam Goody.
What do you think the titles mean?
Stranger Things Season 3 is coming to Netflix in 2019.