WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Stranger Things Season 3, streaming now on Netflix.
The release of Netflix's Stranger Things Season 3 saw the return of everyone's favorite Hawkins residents as they attempted to live day-to-day lives following the events of the show's second season. In a somewhat unexpected twist, conspiracy theorist Murray Bauman (Brett Gelman) returned in the show's most recent season after thinking that Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) was a Russian spy and convincing Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) and Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton) to explore their feelings for one another in the last season.
In Season 3, Police chief Jim Hopper enlisted the help of Bauman after he'd captured the Russian scientist Alexei (Alec Utgoff) because he was the only person he knew who could speak Russian. Bauman joined Hopper and Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) on their mission to uncover why Russians were infiltrating Hawkins, which eventually led to Hopper seemingly dying in the explosion that closed the gate to the Upside Down.
Some eagle-eyed Stranger Things fans spotted Bauman's phone number (618-625-8313) in Episode 6 of Season 3 and decided to give it a call. To their surprise, they were greeted with a message from the paranoid conspiracy theorist:
"Hi! You have reached the residence of Murray Bauman. Mom, if this is you, please hang up and call me between the hours of 5 and 6 PM as previously discussed. OK? If this is Joyce, Joyce, thank you for calling, I have been trying to reach ya. I have an update. It’s about, well, its probably best if we speak in person. It’s not good or bad, but it’s something. If this is anyone but my mother or Joyce, well… you think you’re real clever, getting my number, don’t ya? Well, here’s some breaking news for you. You’re not clever. You’re not special. You are just simply one of the many, many nimwits to have called here, and the closest you will ever get to me is this prerecorded message. So, at the beep, do me a favor and hang up, and never call here again. You are a parasite. Thank you and good day!"
Now, some fans are theorizing that this message is an attempt by Bauman to update Joyce on the status of Hopper. While Harbour has played coy about whether or not Hopper is alive, many fans believe that he could be trapped in the Upside Down or who many believe is the "American" that was referenced in the Soviet facility in the post-credits scene of this season. If Hopper is still alive, it's possible that Bauman has learned of his imprisonment at the hands of the Russians and is turning to Joyce for help.
However, Mashable pointed out that Bauman's message could be in reference to an augmented reality game that was released concurrently with Strangers Things 3. In the game, players solve puzzles by using codes hidden in the real world. The ARG was discovered after fans found morse code hidden in a Baskin Robins promotion that features the fictional Stranger Things ice cream store Scoops Ahoy.
Whether that is the case or not, the next season of Stranger Things will have to address the status of Hopper. As arguably the most popular character on the show, fans will start another Justice for Barb-sized campaign if the police chief of Hawkins remains dead.
Created by the Duffer Brothers, Stranger Things stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, Priah Ferguson, Cary Elwes, Jake Busey, and Maya Thurman-Hawke.
KEEP READING: Stranger Things Season 3's Biggest Unanswered Questions