Warning: This post contains spoilers for the third season of Stranger Things. Stop reading NOW (!!!) if you haven't seen it yet.
• Billy dies after making a sacrifice in the Stranger Things 3 finale.
• But he made another move much earlier that significantly changed the way the season would play out.
• A user on Reddit drew attention to this interesting detail.
We're all still getting over the ending of Stranger Things 3, and coming to grips with how everything played out. While much of the discussion has been on Hopper, and the aftermath of his sacrifice-Is he really dead? Could he be coming back? was there a hint in the letter?-one Reddit user made a very astute point about something Billy did early in the season that had a major butterfly effect on the rest of the season.
The post starts out discussing Billy's sacrificing himself to the Mind Flayer, defying its possession as his final act, protecting Eleven and the rest of the others in the process. What is astutely pointed out was that this wasn't the first time Billy defied the Mind Flayer-as you might recall, earlier in the season, when he was first dealing with the possession, there was a moment where a vision flashed of Billy smacking Mrs. Wheeler in the head, presumably flaying her, adding her to the hive afterwards. He did not give in to this, instead resisting, and telling Mrs. Wheeler to stay away from him.
This is key, the theory states, because had Billy infected Mrs. Wheeler, it would've been a pretty easy next step to get the rest of the family, specifically Mike. If Mike had been flayed, that would've been a very easy way to reach Eleven, which would have doomed everything. By defying this initial urge, the theory state, Billy stopped a path to certain doom right in its tracks.
Other users commented on the theory, with one noting that Billy likely saw some of his own mother (who clearly was very important to him; Eleven letting him know that she knew about her was what got Billy to snap out of it) in Karen, which struck a chord. "It also speaks to his character because Karen with her blonde hair and of course mom aura likely reminds Billy of his own mother. After seeing the flashbacks it is apparent that he loved his mom dearly. So thank you inner Billy. You will be missed."
Obviously, Billy starts out the movie wanting to sleep with Mrs. Wheeler, and while tempted, she decides she couldn't do that to her family. While there are clear freudian elements at play here, another user noted the clear reference to the movie playing in Hawkins: Back to the Future, where the main character famously gets romantically tangled up with a younger version of his mother.
After a year as a secondary villain in his first season, it was compelling to watch Dacre Montgomery play the different versions of Billy this season, from the real version of him, to the possessed version of him, and finally the torn version at the end. The different layers revealed to the character were a great touch to what was a really entertaining season of television.
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