Alright, fellow arithmophiliacs. We now have the official word on Stranger Things' season 3 episode count.
The hit Netflix series will return to its season 1 structure of eight episodes, TVLine reported Friday. Season 2's nine-episode story, it seems, will become the exception and not the rule. Production on the Duffer Brothers insta-classic kicks off in April.
The latest batch of '80s-set Hawkins adventures is set to drop later this year or, if David Harbour's recent assessment is accurate, at some point in 2019. Executive producer Shawn Levy teased to Glamour just last month that this season will give one usually-in-constant-danger character a little downtime. "We're going to give Will a break," Levy said. "We're not going to put Will through hell for a third season in a row. He'll be dealing with stuff, but he won’t be at rock bottom the way we forced the amazing Noah Schnapp to play."
As for what will befall a 1985 Hawkins, Levy revealed only that "forces of evil that are new" will play a part.
The confirmed eight-episode count for season 3 should stand as good news for fans. After all, the only real problem critics had with the largely well-reviewed second season was the "Lost Sister" episode. That chapter, which introduces Eleven to Kali's crew, was described by Vulture's Kathryn VanArendonk as "distinctly out of step with the way the rest of the show works." With one less episode to worry about, the show can avoid a similar misstep in season 3.