Eagle-eyed fans believe that Chief Jim Hopper is alive in "Stranger Things" Season 4 because his death scene in Season 3 supposedly says so.
Fans claimed that Joyce Byers' (Winona Ryder) reaction during Hopper's death is already a clear indication that he is alive. Reddit user @gabbiegabbie noted something upon rewatching the scene and pointed out that Joyce purposely closed her eyes.
"So I was rewatching the latest episode and thought to myself 'we didn't see Hopper die but Joyce did and she would have known if he was still alive,'" the user wrote, adding "But, Joyce was closing her eyes when she shut down the machine and didn't open them until Hopper was already supposedly dead."
Another fan chimed in and said Joyce's reaction was done on purpose so viewers will think Hopper is dead.
"The way the scene is cut is meant to do exactly that- make us think he might have gotten out but.. maybe didn't. The cut to black for dramatic effect also mirrors Joyce's eyes being shut- she doesn't see it= we don't see it... She thinks he is dead= we think he is dead," the fan replied and pointed out that there was a 15-second lapse between Joyce closing her eyes and the explosion.
That being said, Hopper could have found a means of escape with the ladder going down to the cavern as one viable option. Hopper had the blueprints to the Russians' secret lab at Star Court mall so perhaps he knows about the cavern.
Yet again, it is not known if Hopper is alive or dead. David Harbour, who plays the character, does not know if he will reprise his character in "Stranger Things" Season 4. He admitted that The Duffer Brothers have not told him anything about the installment.
The "Hellboy" star initially thought that he was the American captive teased in the Season 3 end-credits scene when he read about it from the script. But he never heard back from the showrunners about it.
Harbour has since expressed his interest to reprise Jim Hopper in "Stranger Things" Season 4. But he also accepted the possibility that Hopper could be dead, which he said would be a fitting end to the character's story arc.