Finished this last night - really well done stuff; both wife and I were super impressed since there had been a backlash to the show, and we both thought S2 was fine but weaker than the first - if the trend continued this would have been really poor, but instead it was super-tight the whole way through - not a dull moment, no filler, had time permitted I could have easily watched it in one sitting. Loved the use of colour, loved the humour, and it was even quite touching.
The tender, well-done moments were not so much the “death” of Hopper, but the representation of some of the kids growing out of their toys, but Will not quite being there yet (wife and I both have distinct memories of being kids on school holiday and unpacking the toy collection to play, and feeling… nothing), and being a bit jealous of some of his pals having girlfriends.
Also, the way they dealt with Steve, who went from being the hot, popular guy at school to being kind of a loser once school was over. He peaked in High School - and he was aware of it. Such a great character and actor.
Now, with the “death”, apart from the mid-credits scene with Russians referring to “the American” in one of their cells, I had already assumed that Hopper had jumped through the Upside Down gate.