What does this mean? The theory (which is growing more plausible with each update) is that Harbour is slowly listing the phone number for Brett Gelman’s character Murray Bauman, as glimpsed in Season 3, Episode 6. Bauman’s full number was shown to be (618) 625-8313. And as it turns out, if fans dial that number they can hear an answering machine message where Bauman urges Winona Ryder’s Joyce Byers to meet him in person to discuss something important. The message cuts off before Bauman can elaborate, but many are speculating it has to do with Hopper’s fate.
Hopper seemed to perish in the Season 3 finale, sacrificing his life so Joyce could destroy the Russian machine opening a portal to the Upside Down. But given the lack of a body and the cryptic reference to a Russian-held American prisoner in the mid-credits sequence, many believe Hopper is still alive and will return in Season 4. This unusual bit of social media marketing is just adding further fuel to that fire.
Will Bauman’s answering machine message eventually change? Is this all building to a big reveal of some sort? For now, we’ll have to wait a few days and see what happens when Harbour’s account finishes cycling through the numbers.
For more on Stranger Things’ newest season, read our explanation of the surprise ending, then learn more about Hopper’s fate and see our theories about the mysterious American prisoner. And after that, check out everything we know about Season 4.
Jesse is a mild-mannered writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.