Stranger Things 3 is loaded with whimsical, hilarious, terrifying, and heartfelt moments, perhaps the most pleasantly overstuffed version of the show so far. We’ve already had fun discussing some of our favorite standout moments–like ranking the best team-ups and highlighting the best scenes–but we wanted to put a spotlight on what might just be the standout moment of the entire season, or at least the one that’ll elicit the biggest smile.
This post contains spoilers for the finale of Stranger Things 3.
At the beginning of the season, Dustin Henderson returns from his science-centric summer camp–Camp Know Where–where he met his “girlfriend,” Suzy. The gang immediately doubts Suzy’s existence, mostly because of Dustin’s wild claims–that she’s “hotter than Phoebe Cates,” that she lives in Salt Lake City–and they double-down on their suspicions when Dustin is unable to contain her with his walkie talkie radio, despite sending a transmission from the top of a giant hill in the outskirts of Hawkins. Even Dustin’s best pal Steve Harrington thinks Suzy might be a fabrication. She sounds just a little too good to be true.
Well, joke’s on them, because Suzy is real, she does live in Salt Lake City, and she’s exactly what you’d expect Dustin’s dream girl to be; her room is littered with telescopes, she has a Wizard of Oz poster on her wall, and she’s reading Ursula Le Guin when we finally meet her. Suzy also has a vital role to play in the finale. As Joyce and Hopper try to infiltrate the Russian bunker beneath the Starcourt Mall–where a new door to the Upside Down is in the process of being opened by a massive machine–they run into a snag: They need a special code to help them get in and power down the machine, but their smarty-pants assistance Murray doesn’t remember the exact order of numbers in Planck’s constant, the mathematical equation that’s guarding the Russian’s secret.
Cue Suzy, who just so happens to know the exact order. Only she won’t just give it out freely. As Dustin makes contact with her on the walkie talkie–successfully this time–she only agrees to give out the number after Dustin sings a duet with her. The song? “The NeverEnding Story,” which, if you’re unfamiliar, is the title track from the 1984 film of the same name, based on the book by Michael Ende. For the film’s soundtrack, the song was performed by English pop singer Limahl.
The coolest feature of the song is that it has no distinctive beginning, middle, or end. There’s no traditional chorus, no bridges, and it has multiple fade outs and fade ins. This was to give the song a magical illusion, making it–as the title implies–“never-ending.”
Its lyrics really fit the overall spirit of Stranger Things, with lines like “show no fear” symbolizing the brave kids at the story’s center, and others like “rhymes that keep their secrets/will unfold behind the clouds” conjuring up images of the Mind Flayer in the Upside Down. It’s a whimsical, strange song–one that accompanies an equally strange film–making it a perfect for this show.