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Evan Rachel Wood, Among Others, Calls Out Hopper’s Bad Behavior in Stranger Things 3

He loses some of that signature charm.

Hopper (David Harbour) is less charming and more terrible in Stranger Things 3.

**Spoilers for Stranger Things 3 below.**

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When I said that I wanted more dad Hopper and more Joyce/Hopper, I didn’t quite mean that I wanted Hopper to be an overbearing, borderline abusive creep. Hopper spent what could possibly be his final season on the show yelling at Eleven’s boyfriend and yelling at Joyce because she bailed on a date that she didn’t even really know was a date. It’s not a good look for a character who was really well liked by fans.

Actress Evan Rachel Wood called out the behavior on Twitter, pointing out that you do not want to date a guy like Hopper.

Hopper is not particularly charming this season. Even Murray refers to him as a “brute” who reminds Joyce of her abusive marriage, but does so while telling her and Hopper to sleep together. That’s not a particularly nice description, especially not for a hero we’re supposed to be rooting for. Charming cantankerousness and overprotective natures can be passable in moderation, but they’ve become Hopper’s entire personality in the third season.

We can understand him being protective of Eleven, and maybe a little hung up on Joyce, but this behavior has been portrayed as a charming trait rather than a character flaw. If he were rightfully called out for his behavior and actually grew, it wouldn’t necessarily be a problem. There’s a difference between presenting bad behavior as a red flag vs. presenting it as something to laugh at or be charmed by.

Wood dealt with fans yelling at her for calling out the behavior, but she’s not the only person to point out Hopper’s character shift. Many critics I follow on Twitter were discussing this over the weekend, as well, stating that his behavior shows red flag after red flag. A man screaming and yelling and behaving angrily towards women can be a trigger for those who have survived abuse at the hands of men.

Hopper “dies” at the end of the season, though whether or not that will stick is anyone’s guess. Should he come back for a fourth season, hopefully his time in the Upside Down, or Russia, or wherever he is will mellow him into someone who’s not a complete jerk. If not, the Upside Down can keep him.

(image: Netflix)

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Kate Gardner
Kate (they/them) says sorry a lot for someone who is not sorry about the amount of strongly held opinions they have. Raised on a steady diet of The West Wing and classic film, they are now a cosplayer who will fight you over issues of inclusion in media while also writing coffee shop AU fanfic for their favorite rare pairs.

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