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Home TV Series Stranger Things: Season 3, Episode 3 “Chapter 3: The Case of the Missing Lifeguard” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Stranger Things: Season 3, Episode 3 “Chapter 3: The Case of the Missing Lifeguard” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

by Amari

The Russians land in Hawkins, and alongside them, the Mind Flayer’s plans begin to come to fruition.

Community Rating: 100% (2)


Director(s)Shawn Levy
Writer(s)William Bridges
Air Date7/4/2019
Introduced This Episode
TomMichael Park
HeatherFrancesca Reale

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The Way Things Used To Be: Will, Lucas, Mike, Hopper, Joyce

As you can imagine, with no one trying to be with Will, it makes Lucas and Mike obsessing over their on again and off again girlfriends annoying. Especially since it is becoming clear, since Will isn’t into chasing girls, they are leaving him behind – development-wise. So, since he is recognizing his childhood is over, so comes him destroying Castle Byers.

But Will isn’t alone in missing how things were. Hopper, who perhaps misses simpler times, before he and Joyce had PTSD, just wants normalcy. The possibility of Joyce and him having a date without her hitching onto a conspiracy theory and blowing up any possibility of getting to how things could have been. Though it seems alongside the Mind Flayer, now the Russians, who whoop Hopper’s behind, will now get in the way of him finding peace.

The Investigation Continues: Robin, Steve, Dustin, Nancy, Jonathan

Robin with a stunned face.

Robin cracks the code from the Russian tapes, and alongside Steve and Dustin, they have a stakeout and get proof Russians are planning something. However, what to do with said proof is a whole different thing. Much less if they can report it before their evidence is dated.

They aren’t alone in discovering something major, by the way. Nancy Drew and Jonathan uncover one of the newest possible members to the Mind Flayer’s crew. Someone who is caught eating manure so we’re left to wonder if they will allow Nancy and Jonathan to leave alive, or without being indoctrinated.

There Is Something Strange About Your Brother: El, Max, Billy, Tom, Heather

Speaking of indoctrinated, El finds herself, alongside Max, discovering Billy may not be up to snuff. All they have is El’s visions, and how weird Billy is acting, but considering how Hawkins is, that’s more than enough. However, while more than enough to create suspicion, with the Mind Flayer having Heather and Tom, maybe soon Tom’s wife, it seems the population of Hawkins will eventually outnumber our heroes.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Why didn’t El use her abilities to check in on Mike rather than call him, before he lied?

Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments

  • When scared, Steve and Robin hold hands and, since clichés exist for a reason, there is hope Robin and Steve might become a thing. Though considering we usually see one beloved character die every season, maybe we shouldn’t get too attached?


The Mind Flayer

Heather (Francesca Reale), Tom (Michael Park) and Tom's wife in a family portrait.

Heather (Francesca Reale), Tom (Michael Park) and Tom’s wife

Escalation is an issue all shows face, especially if they are like Stranger Things and maintain the same villain year after year. However, with the Mind Flayer taking over multiple bodies, creating an army, and currently only El in the area to stop them, the setup is wonderful. Especially when you consider the people El met last season, Kali and the rest, could come to Hawkins and assist. Maybe even settle down and provide Will a girlfriend. Assuming we weren’t supposed to take Mike saying Will not liking girls as him telling us Will is gay.

Will’s Breakdown

Speaking of Will, you have to appreciate the show not only having diverse women, of all ages, but also giving us diverse boys too. Will stands out the most though since we don’t too often get guys like him who seem to be late bloomers. The kind who enjoy being a kid and don’t necessarily want to throw themselves into the hormonal rage which is puberty. Leading you to wonder how long will this last?

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Season Reviews

Season 2

Check Out The TV Series & Specials Page
Season/ EpisodeSynopsisEpisode InformationTopics & Focused Characters
Season 3, Episode 8 "Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt" [Season Finale]While the finale sets up a season 4, it makes clear that things won’t be the same. Either because of what happens during the fight with the Mind Flayer or the decisions made after.
Director(s)The Duffer Brothers
Writer(s)The Duffer Brothers
Air Date7/4/2019
Introduced This Episode
SuzieGabriella Pizzolo
  • A Battle To End All Battles: Murray, Dustin, Lucas, Will, Jonathan, Nancy, Mike, Max, Billy, El, Hopper, Joyce, Robin, Steve
  • This Is The End: Billy, Hopper, Max, Joyce, Suzie, Murray, Dustin, Mike, El, Grigori
  • 3 Months Later: Hopper, El, Mike, Joyce, Max
Season 3, Episode 4 “Chapter Four: The Sauna Test”We’re halfway through the season and are treated to El’s first fight with the Mind Flayer. Which happens to coincide with a new development when it comes to the Russians.
Director(s)Shawn Levy
Writer(s)Kate Trefry
Air Date7/4/2019
Noted This Episode
Mayor Larry KlineCary Elwes
Mrs. DriscollPeggy Miley
Karen WheelerCara Buono
  • A Woman Ahead Of Her Time: Tom, Jonathan, Mrs. Wheeler, Nancy, Mrs. Driscoll
  • Starcourt Mall Controversy: Larry, Joyce, Hopper, Robin, Dustin, Steve, Erica
  • Battle 1: Billy, El, Mike, Max, Lucas, Will
Season 3, Episode 3 “Chapter 3: The Case of the Missing Lifeguard”The Russians land in Hawkins, and alongside them, the Mind Flayer’s plans begin to come to fruition.
Director(s)Shawn Levy
Writer(s)William Bridges
Air Date7/4/2019
Introduced This Episode
TomMichael Park
HeatherFrancesca Reale
  • The Way Things Used To Be: Will, Lucas, Mike, Hopper, Joyce
  • The Investigation Continues: Robin, Steve, Dustin, Nancy, Jonathan
  • There Is Something Strange About Your Brother: El, Max, Billy, Tom, Heather
Season 3, Episode 5 “Chapter Five: The Flayed”As the Mind Flayer shows both a weakness and strength, Hopper meets up with an old friend and Steve’s crew make a grand discovery
Director(s)Uta Briesewitz
Writer(s)Paul Dichter
Air Date7/4/2019
Introduced This Episode
GrigoriAndrey Ivchenko
AlexeiAlec Utgoff
  • A Wild Goose Chase To A Crazy Goose: Grigori, Murray, Joyce, Alexei, Hopper
  • Below The Starcourt: Robin, Steve, Dustin, Erica
  • The Contingency Plan: Tom, El, Mike, Lucas, Max, Jonathan, Nancy, Will
Season 3, Episode 6 “Chapter Six: E. Pluribus Unum”On top of learning why the Russians are in Hawkins, El ventures into Billy’s past and discovers why he is the way he is – in more ways than one.
Director(s)Uta Briesewitz
Writer(s)Curtis Gwinn
Air Date7/4/2019
  • Paging Dr. Owens: Alexei, Murray, Joyce, Hopper
  • Catching Up On Old Times: Erica, Dustin, Robin, Steve
  • A Mind Is A Terrible Place To Visit: El, Billy, Mike, Max, Nancy
Season 3, Episode 7 “Chapter Seven: The Bite”Two secrets are revealed, we experience the first notable death of the season, and the gang begins to converge as the Mind Flayer makes its first major move.
Director(s)The Duffer Brothers
Writer(s)The Duffer Brothers
Air Date7/4/2019
  • Goodbye Comrade: Alexei, Murray, Larry, Joyce, Hopper, Grigori
  • A Major Blow To El: El, Mike, Max, Lucas, Nancy
  • The Gang Is, Mostly, All Here: El, Erica, Steve, Robin, Dustin
Season 3, Episode 2 “Chapter 2: The Mall Rats”As Billy becomes a pawn to the Mind Flayer, Dustin helps integrate Robin into the crew. Also, El comes to Max about boy problems.
Director(s)The Duffer Brothers
Writer(s)The Duffer Brothers
Air Date7/4/2019
  • Raving Rabid Rats: Nancy, Jonathan
  • Stupid Boys: Robin, Dustin, Steve, Max, El, Mike, Lucas
  • It’s Something I Needed To Do: Joyce, Hopper, Billy, Mr. Clark
Season 3, Episode 1 “Chapter 1: Suzie, Do You Copy?” [Season Premiere]It’s the summer of love, and for those without someone warm to spend the cold nights with, desperation is sinking in. Also, the rats are starting to explode.
Director(s)The Duffer Brothers
Writer(s)The Duffer Brothers
Air Date7/4/2019
Introduced This Episode
RobinMaya Hawke
  • It’s A Lonely Life: Steve, Robin, Hopper, Joyce
  • To Be Young & In Love: El, Mike, Hopper, Lucas, Max, Dustin
  • Something Is Going On: Nancy, Billy, Will
Season 1/ Episode 2 “Chapter 2: The Weirdo on Maple Street”As Eleven begins to freak-out Lucas and Dustin, the search for Will leads to weird situations. All the while, Nancy might lose more than her virginity.
Director(s)Matt and Ross Duffer
Writer(s)Matt and Ross Duffer
Notable Guest Stars
LonnieRoss Partridge
  • A Family In Tatters: Joyce, Jonathan
  • So, My Parents Won’t Be Home: Steve, Nancy, Barbara, Jonathan
  • The Search Continues: Lucas, Dustin, Mike, Eleven, Sheriff Hopper
Season 1/ Episode 3 “Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly”The truth about Eleven lurks about as something is contacting Joyce through lights.
Director(s)Shawn Levy
Writer(s)Matt and Ross Duffer

Notable Guest Stars

NicoleGlennellen Anderson
Terry IvesAimee Mullins
  • Have You Seen Barbara?: Barbara, Nancy, Jonathan
  • What Happens In Hawkins, Stays In Hawkins: Dr. Benner, Eleven, Hopper
  • The Body In The Water: Joyce, Eleven, Mike, Lucas, Dustin, Hopper
Season 1/ Episode 4 “Chapter Four: The Body”While one missing person we are given some hope for, it doesn’t look good for the other one at all.
Director(s)Shawn Levy
Writer(s)Justin Doble
  • A Body Is Found: Mike, Joyce, Eleven
  • Looking for Barbara: Steve, Nancy, Jonathan
  • And The Lie Detector Test Determined, That Is A Lie: Joyce, Hopper, Will, Eleven, Mike
Season 1/ Episode 5 “Chapter Five: The Flea and the Acrobat”It’s the day of Will’s funeral and while the fake body is being put into the ground, the search for the real Will intensifies.
Director(s)The Duffer Brothers
Writer(s)Alison Tatlock
  • Did You Ever Really Care?: Lonnie, Joyce
  • Don’t Ever Underestimate the Hopper: Sheriff Hopper, Joyce
  • The Upside Down: Eleven, Nancy, Jonathan, Mike, Lucas, Dustin
Season 1/ Episode 6 “Chapter 6: The Monster”As Hopper and Joyce meet Terry Ives, Dustin and Mike go on a search for Eleven. Also, Jonathan and Nancy grow closer.
Director(s)The Duffer Brothers
Writer(s)Jessie Nickson-Lopez
Newly Introduced Characters
Becky IvesAmy Seimetz
  • Love Makes a Boy do Foolish Things: Nancy, Jonathan, Steve
  • Jane: Hopper, Joyce, Terry, Becky
  • The Search for Eleven: Lucas, Mike, Dustin, Eleven
Season 1/ Episode 7 “Chapter Seven: The Bathtub”The penultimate episode of the season brings us one step closer to Will possibly being saved. But, with the way he looks, it seems time is running out.
Director(s)The Duffer Brothers
Writer(s)Justin Doble
  • The Bad Men Are Coming: Eleven, Mike, Lucas, Karen, Dr. Benner
  • Should I Stay Or Should I Go: Nancy, Jonathan, Hopper, Joyce, Mike, Lucas, Eleven, Dustin, Mr. Clarke, Will
Season 1/ Episode 8 “Chapter 8: The Upside Down” [Season Finale]And so Season 1 comes to an end with a few touching moments but some eyebrow-raising events and a sacrifice.
Director(s)The Duffer Brothers
Writer(s)(Teleplay) The Duffer Brothers | (Story) Paul Duchter
Characters Introduced
SarahElle Graham
  • Sarah & Will: Hopper, Joyce, Dr. Benner
  • The Hunt For The Demogorgon & Eleven: Jonathan, Nancy, Steve, Eleven, Mike, Lucas, Dustin, Dr. Benner
  • One Month Later: Will, Hopper, Mike, Dustin, Lucas, Joyce, Jonathan, Steve
Season 2/ Episode 1 “Chapter 1: MADMAX” [Season Premiere]The boys are back and there is a new girl who may tear them apart. That is, if this thing Will sees doesn’t get to them first.
Director(s)The Duffer Brothers
Writer(s)The Duffer Brothers
Characters Introduced
MurrayBrett Gelman
MaxSadie Sink
BobSean Astin
Dr. OwensPaul Reiser
KaliLinnea Berthelsen
MerrilFenton Lawless
  • Less Than Eleven: Kali
  • What Is Normal?: Dustin, Max, Lucas, Mike, Will, Jonathan, Nancy, Dustin, Joyce
  • Gone But Not Forgotten: Hopper, Joyce, Dr. Owens, Murray, Mike
Season 2/ Episode 2 “Trick or Treat, Freak”As Will confides in Mike, and Nancy gets tired of everyone acting like Barbara isn’t gone, something is afoot with the local plant life.
Director(s)The Duffer Brothers
Writer(s)The Duffer Brothers
Characters Introduced
EricaPriah Ferguson
Mrs. SinclairKaren Ceesay
BillyDacre Montgomery
SamanthaShea Jones
  • How Eleven & Hopper Met Up: Eleven
  • It’s Like Everyone Forgotten: Nancy, Steve, Jonathan
  • Welcome To The Party: Max, Lucas, Dustin, Will, Mike, Billy
Season 2/ Episode 3 “The Pollywog”As Will continues to deal with his ability to go to the Upside Down, Dustin discovers what came out of Will last year. Alongside that, Eleven meets Max.
Director(s)Shawn Levy
Writer(s)Justin Doble
  • I Thought We Had a Deal?: Dr. Owens, Hopper
  • The Truth Has To Be Told: Steve, Nancy, Jonathan
  • You Don’t Even Know What You Did: Will, Dustin, Eleven, Max, Mike
Season 2/ Episode 4 “Chapter Four: Will The Wise”As Eleven shows she cannot be tamed or punished, Will reveals his truth and Nancy seeks to expose Hawkins’ Labs.
Director(s)Shawn Levy
Writer(s)Paul Dichter
  • Raising a Child with Tekekinses & Who Hates Liars: Hopper, Eleven
  • We’re Going To Burn That Place Down: Nancy, Jonathan, Dr. Owens
  • Telling Your Secrets Don’t Always Lead To Answers: Max, Dustin, Mike, Lucas, Joyce, Will, Hopper
Season 2/ Episode 5 “Chapter Five: Dig Dug”As three new people learn the truth of what happened last year and now, there comes the question of who will suffer the consequences.
Director(s)Andrew Stanton
Writer(s)Jessie Nickson-Lopez
Characters Introduced
Mr. SinclairArnell Powell
  • The Return of Murray: Nancy, Jonathan, Murray
  • What Happened to Momma?: Becky, Terry, Eleven
  • Gain One, Lose One: Hopper, Joyce, Bob, Will, Mike
Season 2/ Episode 6 “Chapter Six: The Spy”The first major battle goes down against the shadow monster’s babies as new relationships, romantic and platonic, form.
Director(s)Andrew Stanton
Writer(s)Kate Trefry
  • Let’s State The Obvious Here: Murray, Nancy, Jonathan
  • You Got A Friend In Me: Max, Lucas, Dustin, Steve
  • Face-Off: Will, Max, Lucas, Dustin, Steve, Mike, Dr. Owens
Season 2/ Episode 7 “The Lost Sister”It’s a completely Eleven (Jane) focused episode and honestly, it makes you wish they mixed in the other cast members.
Director(s)Rebecca Thomas
Writer(s)Justin Doble
Characters Introduced
AxelJames Landry Herbert
DottieAnna Jacoby-Heron
RayPruitt Taylor Vince
MickGabrielle Maiden
FunshineKai L. Greene
  • Sister: Eleven, Kali
  • The Divergent Paths: Kali, Eleven
  • No One Can Save Me, But I Can Save Them: Eleven, Kali
Season 2/ Episode 8 “Chapter Eight: The Mind Flayer”Things get as bad as the last episode would make you think as you find yourself wondering how will the people of Hawkins, not just the cast, survive?
Director(s)The Duffer Brothers
Writer(s)The Duffer Brothers
Characters Introduced
SusanJennifer Marshall
NeilWill Chase
  • The Apple & The Tree: Billy
  • Why Can’t Joyce Have Nice Things?: Bob, Dr. Owens, Joyce, Hopper
  • The Mind Flayer: Will, Mike, Jonathan, Hopper, Eleven, Joyce, Nancy
Season 2/ Episode 9 “Chapter Nine: The Gate” [Season Finale]Unlike a lot of shows, Stranger Things: Season 2 ends with giving you something to get hyped about, a bit of fan service, and presenting a calm before the storm.
Director(s)The Duffer Brothers
Writer(s)The Duffer Brothers
  • The Bench Players: Steve, Mike, Lucas, Dustin, Max, Billy
  • The Exorcism of Will Byers & Closing of the Gate: Will, Joyce, Jonathan
  • Hawkins Middle School 1984 Snow Ball: Nancy, Dustin, Steve, Joyce, Hopper, Max, Lucas, Eleven, Mike
Season 1/ Episode 1 “Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers” [Series Premiere]Stranger Things begins with an odd monster lurking about a small town. One in no way prepared for its otherworldly powers.Creator: The Duffer Brothers
The Mind Flayer - 90%
Will’s Breakdown - 85%


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