A new teaser for Netflix's Stranger Things 4 reveals the big non-secret that fans have been speculating about since the end of season 3: That Chief Hopper (David Harbour) is alive, but maybe not so well, having been transported to Russia where we now clearly see him imprisoned and working on a chain gang. Hopper may look a little worse for the wear here, but based on other teasers we've seen for Stranger Things season 4, he also might be perfectly placed to help discover what's going on with Russia's own experiments with the realm of the Upside-Down, as well as their possible psychic soldier weapons, a la Eleven.
Netflix has been building hype for Stranger Things 4 in recent weeks, as production on the season is underway. The writers room was back to its usual pre-season hijinks, tweeting out a photo of Dustin, Mike, Will, and Eleven together in a scene from season 3. As usual, fans were buzzing about whether the photo meant something deep or nothing at all where season 4 is concerned. There's also been rumor that Stranger Things 4 will get a nine-episode count - same as season 2, but one more than the eight episodes of season 3.
David Harbour has been very coy about whether or not Hopper would return, telling The Wrap the following in a previous interview:
"So [creators Matt and Ross Duffer] told me the arc of the season, and then I think we got Episode Eight like a couple months before we shot it," Harbour admitted. "And I remember reading that episode, and they hadn't told me this whole thing about this Russian facility at the end and how that was gonna be the sort of teaser and like 'The American' and the Demogorgon. They hadn't told me about any of that, actually, and I just read it in the script and I thought it was amazing... And I really thought I was 'The American,' and then I haven't heard a lot from them," the actor confessed. "So I really don't know if I am. But I thought I was, but it was never discussed. I didn't ask [The Duffers], 'cause I felt confident I was — and now I'm not so confident."
Well, it seems that Harbour can now feel a little more, confident, as this new teaser clearly spells out that he is indeed "The American"