Courtesy of Netflix

Will the hit show's new season take place in the mall?

Elisabeth Sherman
July 16, 2018

Though the new season of Stranger Things won’t be premiering until summer 2019, Netflix has dropped a teaser giving us just a taste of what to expect in season three, and it leaves us with more questions than answers—most importantly, will all the action take place in a food court?

The teaser centers on the newly built Starcourt Mall, the first mall to come to the small, monster-infested town of Hawkins, Indiana. There isn’t a hint of the terrors that have haunted the town in the past, just a glossy pastel fantasy land where teenagers can shop, make out in front of the fountain, listen to their Walkman, and of course, eat tons of junk food in the food court, where you can find a Burger King and an Orange Julius.

It’s at this food court that we meet just one familiar face: Steve, who acted as a sort of guardian to the crew of supernatural-fighting middle schoolers in the last season. We also get to briefly meet the show’s newest character, Robin, played by Maya Hawke. Robin and Steve work together at Scoops Ahoy ice cream shop.

The opening of the mall is supposed to be cause for celebration, but one can’t help but wonder what’s lurking under the surface of this idyllic scene. Maybe a portal to another dimension? Given Hawkins’ history of hosting beings from alternate realities, that doesn't seem unlikely. 

There’s no sign of Eleven, the crew (Lucas, Dustin, Mike, Will, and Max), or Sheriff Jim Hopper, so we don’t have much of a sense of what the town is up to, but it might be safe to assume that most of the action will take place at the Starcourt Mall—maybe even in the food court where Robin and Steve work.

For teenagers, malls are already a minefield, a petri dish where all the growing pains of youth collide at once. An awkward encounter with your crush. Begging Mom for money for a new pair of sneakers. Trying to look cool while milling around the long corridors aimlessly with your friends. The Hawkins kids are older now, and whether there are monsters involved or not, life is about to get way, way scarier. But given that they do live in Hawkins, chances are they’ll be fighting puberty and some ghoulish creature from the Upside Down dead set on destroying their town. Who knows, maybe it lives in the soft serve machine.