Today, Netflix dropped the first piece of footage from Stranger Things 4. And not just any footage, but a revealing clip that finally confirmed that Jim Hopper survived the events of the end of season 3 and is now caught doing manual labor in Russia. Even when his loved ones cried for him, with the Byers moving away from Hawkins, fans were not convinced that Hopper had perished in the explosion of the Russian portal opening machine. Now we know we were right, but how did Does the chief of police manage to survive?
Well, Thomas Bacon of ScreenRant has put together all the pieces and developed an exhaustive work theory that looks like it could be an explosion in money. First, it depends on that ladder in the Hall of the Russian Gate. If you are familiar with all of Hopper's "death" analysis, you will know that a ladder, which comes down from the porch, can be seen behind it just before the explosion. This theory offers that the initial shock wave of the destruction of the machine blew Hopper backward, over the edge of the porch, thus protecting it from the vaporization energy of the explosion.
So, that explains how he survived, but how did he end up in Russia? Well, remember that Hopper was wearing a Russian uniform at the end since he and the others had infiltrated the facility. Then, when the Russians searched the room to find one of their needy comrades, they had to locate the unconscious Hopper and take him with them. After all, it was established at the end of season 3 that all Russian operatives managed to flee Hawkins without being captured.
Clearly, at some point, presumably once they returned home, it was discovered that Hopper was a fraud. However, with him knowing too much to let him go, he was locked in the Russian bunker, as seen in the scene after the credits of the end of season 3. Interestingly, the Russian officers decided not to feed him with his Demogorgon pet in this same scene, which means they might be trying to find a way to make it useful. Until then, they seem to put him to work on the railroads with other prisoners.
However, the question remains: how will Hopper escape from Russia and travel to the other side of the world and return to Hawkins? Hurry up, Strange things season 4, so we can find out.