Stranger Things 3: Why Steve and Dustin’s bromance is the low-key highlight of the latest season

Spoilers ahead – obviously!

Clear your weekend plans, close the curtains and get ready for eight hours of non-stop binge-watch. Finally –FINALLY – Stranger Things has returned. Dropping onto Netflix yesterday morning (‘cos it was Independence Day in the US), Eleven and the gang took us back to Hawkins where everything is getting a bit strange (again).

If you’ve not watched it, stop what you’re doing immediately, because here be spoilers. If you have watched it (already? Don’t you have work to go to?!) let’s just discuss what’s probably the highlight of the season: Dustin and Steve’s blossoming bromance.

It all started in Stranger Things 2, when Steve offered Dustin some solid advice on what haircare products to use, and they teamed up to get rid of Dustin’s pet-turned-demonic-Demodog Dart. Back in 2017 we called for a Dustin and Steve spin-off series, because who wouldn’t want to watch all the calamities and capers the dynamic duo got up to. And it looks like our prayers have been noted in some way, as Stranger Things 3 has come with a whole lot more Stustin (Stevustin? Deve?) action. From being the ultimate wingman to their long-awaited reunion, here are their best moments.

The reunion

After Dustin gets back from camp he tries to hang out with his pals (and convince them his new girlfriend Suzie, who he met at Camp Know Where, does exist), but they all end up sacking him off. So he heads to Scoops Ahoy, the ice cream shop where Steve works, to tell him all about his new bae and catch up.

The combination of the excitement on their faces when they see each other, the joy Dustin has that his big bro has got “the job”, and look on Steve’s colleague Robin’s face when she realises Steve’s best mate is a teenager, all make this one of the most wholesome moments of the series.

The ultimate wingman

Last season Steve got dumped by Nancy, leaving him single and ready to mingle. Only throughout season 3 his luck with the ladies seems to have run dry. But have no fear! Dustin is here, and ready to try and persuade him to chat up his ice cream shop colleague Robin at any opportunity he has.

The wannabe spy capers

After Dustin hears a Russian message on his new, ultra-powerful radio, he takes it to Steve. The two of then decide they can be heroes if they can only translate what the message is saying, and report it. Thus ensues some of the most delightful moments of the season, with Steve and Dustin trying to translate this message (with the help of the show’s best new character Robin) in the back of Scoops Ahoy.

Later the lads follow a man in Starcourt mall who Dustin decides must be an “evil Russian”…only it turns out he’s just an exercise instructor. It’s as brilliantly ridiculous as it sounds.

The actual spy capers

Thankfully the boys have Robin on their side, who manages to decode the Russian message so the real spy business can start. Realising it says: “The week is long, the silver cat feeds, when blue meets yellow in the West. A trip to China sounds nice, if you tread lightly,” she starts to work out how it relates to the shops in the Mall, which leads them to a group of Russian guards bringing inconspicuous (but obviously filled with very bad things) boxes into the mall.

Thus the spy activity ensues. From Steve attempting to shove Dustin into the mall’s tiny air ducts, to Dustin refusing to step back when Steve opens a box of probably-very-dangerous items (“if you die, I die”), the two of them navigating and infiltrating the network of “evil Russians” is an utter delight.