How ‘Stranger Things’ Outrageous ‘Terminator’ Homage in Season 3 Was Outdone by the Very Next Installment

Published 08/01/2023, 6:43 AM EDT

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The Netflix series, Stranger Things, is famous for many things. For instance, the characters, their stories, the horrific elements, supernatural elements, the overall plot, and most importantly, homage to the ’80s’ music. Moreover, the third season also paid homage to a fan-favorite franchise, Terminator, with reference to the portrayal of the Russians. While the third season misplaced it, the very next installment made it better.

The awkward Russian reference confused the plot of the third season. However, the fourth season enhanced them and portrayed the Russians with a well-rounded plot. The portrayal of Soviet characters reeked of Russophobia, as if the Netflix Original was mocking some old stereotypes from the anti-Communist 80s. While Erica praised capitalism, Hopper fighting the Russians felt like a direct reference to James Cameron’s iconic original The Terminator movie.

via Imago

It seemed the fourth season would repeat the same mistake. But it did not. As ScreenRant pointed out, in Season 4, the audience saw Russian generals sharing amusing moments with Yuri. Hopper opened up to his cellmate named Enzo as well. He also took accountability for Agent Orange’s attacks in Vietnam. All these things depicted the Cold War as more complicated than it seemed.

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These references made the Russian reference more humane and well-rounded than the immature depiction in the third season. While portraying Russian characters in a positive light, the fourth season made the Terminator reference even undone in the next season. The portrayal of Grigori as a villain also weakened the plot of the third installment of the Netflix drama.

How did Stranger Things worsen the Terminator reference with Grigori in season 4?

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The Netflix sci-fi supernatural drama has introduced the audience to many powerful antagonists, and Grigori was one of them. The walking Terminator clone seemed cartoonish in the third season and he reeked of Russophobia. Therefore, not having him around in the fourth season seemed the right decision the showrunners made. Russians’ good portrayal and helpful nature in season four made season 3’s cartoony villain all the more out-of-place.

But now, the entire fandom is waiting for the last season as the fourth season left them with many cliffhangers. Although because of the ongoing strike, the production of the final season is on pause, fans can not wait to see what happens next in their favorite show.

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Are you also excited about the last season? What do you think about the Terminator references in the show? Tell us in the comments below.

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Neha Chande

1879 articles

Meet Neha Chande, an entertainment writer at Netflix Junkie, who has written more than 1100 articles. With a Master's degree in English Literature, Neha believes in unbiased journalism. Before delving into her passion for writing and cinema, she taught English and communication skills as a facilitator and lecturer.

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