Stranger Things 3: The Sauna Test

Season 3, Episode 4

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Well… after expressing misgivings about the last episode, Stranger Things has come roaring back into form in episode four. Hopper’s despondency only made his triumphant return here even more satisfying. His buddy cop movie dynamic with Joyce Byers was a joy to watch and their joint interrogation of Mayor Kline was one of the highlights of season three so far. Seeing Hopper all worked up like that brings to mind the sublime majesty of a bear hunting its prey. I also feel like Hopper would give a really great hug.

Elsewhere, Nancy and Jonathan find some shaky common ground based around his struggles with class and her constant battle with everyday sexism (although having said that, that guy Bruce is a hilarious throwback to classic ’80s slime balls – he has a hint of the Biff Tannen’s about him). Meanwhile, the sauna test of the title involves our now reunited young heroes locking Billy in a sauna, only for him to escape after a brief but thrilling encounter with Eleven.

The episode concludes with a glimpse behind the curtain of the Mind Flayer and the terrifying realisation that there is an army of brainwashed Hawkins residents amassing underground. And breath….


  • There wasn’t loads of Steve Harrington in this installment, but there was just enough of his flowing locks to keep me invested.
  • Will Byers has always been a bit of a nothing character but he has come into his own in the last two episodes. Let’s hope for more of the same going forward.
  • After Hopper hints that he would love Joyce to join Hawkins Police Department I will be the first to state that I would watch the shit out of that spin off.

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