|“||Tell that stupid man it is not the same in the slightest, and I would like the cherry I requested.||”|
–Alexei to Murray
Alexei, portrayed by Alec Utgoff, is a recurring character in the third season of Stranger Things. He was a Russian scientist who was forced into working on the Key beneath the Starcourt Mall. Alexei has no fluency in English and can only speak Russian.
After Alexei’s co-worker failed to get the Key to work he was executed by Grigori, Alexei and a fellow scientist were then given one year to have the Key work properly.
Alexei communicates with the other characters with the help of Murray, who is fluent in Russian. Alexei later explained the reason for the secret Soviet presence in Hawkins was because of a device known as the “Key” that he and his colleagues were trying to construct, which they had failed to do Russia on numerous occasions. The “Key” was able to unlock a “doorway between worlds”, Alexei’s way of articulating the concept of a Portal to Murray. Upon this being translated, Hopper, Joyce, and Murray then proceeded to return to Hawkins with Alexei with the intent to close the Russians’ Gate.
Later Alexei, Murray, Jim and Joyce went to the Fun Fair to search for the kids, Alexei thought he couldn’t go in the Fun Fair because he wasn’t American. Murray said he didn’t have to be American to go in, and they both entered the Fun Fair. Alexei later won one of the carnival games, and he got a Giant, Stuffed Woody Woodpecker. He was later killed by Grigori, a Russian hitman, after he attempted to defect to the United States and was briefly left unattended by Bauman.
Alexei had a very childlike personality. During his brief partnership with Hopper, Joyce and Murray, he was shown to enjoy Slurpees and cartoons (such as Woody Woodpecker and Looney Tunes) and longed to join in the festivities at the Hawkins 4th of July Fun Fair. Alexei was also overjoyed to win a giant stuffed Woody Woodpecker at the fair moments before his death.
Whilst Alexei was mostly friendly to his captors, at times he was shown to have a cunning side, only offering his knowledge of the Russian's operations in exchange for things that benefit him, such as his favourite cherry-flavored Slurpees. When he received a different flavor, Alexei refused to help until he got what he wanted.
Despite this, the second Alexei is threatened or physically assaulted by Hopper his cocky side instantly drops and it is revealed Alexei is very fearful of authority figures punishing him. This is shown again when he decides against trying to escape back to his comrades, as he is smart enough to recognize that if he returns alive (but still harmed), they'll know he has been giving secrets away and likely torture and kill him.
Alexei was easily entertained, amazed at the sight of the 7-Eleven and the numerous items for sale, as well as the 4th of July Fun Fair and winning a prize, likely due to these absent luxuries in the USSR. He also shows great accuracy and precision, as he won a game of Balloon Darts without missing a single balloon. Alexei enjoyed the American way of life and was willing to defect from the USSR and even asked Murray about becoming a US citizen after helping them stop the Russians.
Being his captor during the search to find out more about the Russian's plan, Hopper was quite hostile towards Alexei for most of their time together, often manhandling him and occasionally physically assaulting him, as well as mockingly referring to him as "Smirnoff" rather than his actual name. Hopper would also avoid trying to talk to Alexei until they reached the residence of Murray Bauman, often berating Joyce for trying to communicate with him despite the language barrier.
Eventually the tension between Alexei and Hopper ended with the latter beating Alexei up after he refused to help them over his Slurpee being a different flavor than what he asked for. After this interaction, Alexei was much more cooperative with Hopper and didn't try and provoke him again.
Joyce remained on friendly terms with Alexei during their time and was more sympathetic towards him than Hopper most of the time. She often tried to communicate with him with sound effects and exaggerated arm movements due to the language barrier, much to the annoyance of Hopper. Joyce, alongside Murray, defended Alexei when he refused to help due to his Slurpee being strawberry flavoured, pointing out that he did indeed request it to be cherry.
After his death, Joyce was shown to be shocked and upset and couldn't bring herself to tell Hopper the news and instead shook her head remorsefully in indication instead.
Out of his three situational allies, Murray is the one whom Alexei grew a bond with the fastest due to him knowing fluent Russian, allowing them to communicate. They quickly became friends after Alexei revealed his wish to become an American citizen in order to enjoy the luxuries he didn't have access to in the USSR, to which Murray responded to by telling him he didn't have to be American to join in the fun and took him to the Fun Fair. He then left Alexei with some tickets and set off to find food, leaving him to freely explore the fair.
After Alexei is shot by Grigori, Murray leaves him to find Hopper and Joyce. Murray is then devastated to return and find that Alexei has died and laments over how he had left for just a minute to get two corn dogs.
|Season Three appearances|
|Suzie, Do You Copy?|| || || |
|The Flayed||E Pluribus Unum||The Bite|| |
|For this subject's gallery, see Alexei/Gallery.|