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I’m gonna pull out all the stops. You know why? ‘Cause at the end of the day, that’s all the voters will remember.

–Larry Kline


Larry Kline, portrayed by Cary Elwes, is a recurring antagonist in the third season of Stranger Things. He is the former mayor of Hawkins, having served for an indeterminate amount of time prior to 1985, when he was arrested for a corruption scandal shortly after the 4th of July, due to his unfair land grants favoring the Starcourt company (and, in truth, his secret cooperation with Soviet operatives).

History

Background

At an unknown time, Kline was elected the mayor of Hawkins. During his term, he participated in several dubious activities; on one occasion the Chief of Police Jim Hopper had caught him partaking in illegal substances, and on another, caught him cheating on his wife with Candice, his secretary.

1984

At some point in 1984, Kline began leasing land in Hawkins to Starcourt Industries. This prompted the construction of a secret underground lab the Russians created in order to open a portal to another dimension, and by extension, the Starcourt Mall.

1985

With the opening of the Starcourt Mall, many shops and businesses in the downtown area were forced to close, causing friction between the mayor and the citizens of Hawkins. When a crowd of people was protesting outside of Town Hall, Larry insisted that Hopper remove them from the premises. While Hopper tried to decline his request, Larry was able to win the argument.

Hoping to find out more about his assailant from the lab, Hopper and Joyce visited Kline at his office in Town Hall. Larry initially tried to feign ignorance, stating that the man was simply there for maintenance. After Hopper broke his nose and threatened to crush his finger, Larry confessed that the person who had attacked him worked for Starcourt, and that the company wished to expand to East Hawkins.

In order to view the records for his transactions with Starcourt, Hopper, Joyce, and Larry traveled to the Kline residence. After handing the records over, Larry warned them that the people working for the Starcourt company were dangerous. Following an escape attempt, Larry was chained to his bedpost where he was later found by his wife, Winnie.

On the morning of July 4, while overseeing the preparations for the Roane County Fair, Larry met with Grigori where the two discussed Hopper and Joyce. Larry assured him that he was doing all he could to make sure they were found. Grigori threatened him, stating that he only had one day to find them.

That evening, Larry spoke during the fair’s opening ceremony. Later, when Hopper and Joyce arrived in search of the kids, Larry informed the Russians of their location. He was later kicked in the groin by Joyce as she, Hopper, and Murray were leaving the carnival.

Following the destruction of the Starcourt Mall, Larry’s scandalous activities were brought to light, presumably leading to his incarceration

Personality

On the surface, Larry appeared to be charismatic and dedicated to his job. In reality, he was immoral and self-centered, only caring about his public image while showing no concern for the town’s citizens. His arrogant attitude often made him a prime target for the rage of his enemies.

Relationships

Familial

Winnie is Larry’s wife. Unbeknownst to her, Larry is cheating on her with his secretary, Candice.

Non-Familial

Following his deal with the Russians, Grigori was employed to make sure Larry honored their deal and kept quiet about the activities taking place underneath the mall. When it was discovered that Larry had given information to Hopper and Joyce, Grigori responded by threatening Kline through physical violence, forcing Kline to find Hopper and Joyce.

Candice is Larry’s secretary and mistress. On one occasion, Hopper and his men caught her and Larry copulating in the back of his Cadillac.

Despite both being important figures in Hawkins, Kline and Hopper did not get along. Hopper was well-aware of Kline's true nature and caught him in illegal activities, but Kline managed to keep Hopper silent by threatening him. Hopper tried to Kline to deal with the Hawkins citizens' problems and well-being, but Kline always won their arguments. When Hopper remembered seeing Grigori at City Hall, prior to being attacked by him, he interrogated Kline, but Kline refused to give information as he mocked the Chief's deceased daughter. When Kline was physically threatened by Hopper, Kline gave up Grigori's identity and later called Grigori to go after Hopper and Joyce. Kline evens calls Hopper a "moron," when speaking with Grigori, showing his disdain for the Police chief. Later, when Kline notices Hopper and Joyce at the Fun Fair, he immediately calls Grigori to kill them. However, after the destruction of Starcourt Mall and Hopper's presumed death, Kline is finally arrested for his crimes.

Appearances

Season Three appearances
Suzie, Do You Copy? The Mall Rats The Case of the Missing Lifeguard The Sauna Test
The Flayed E Pluribus Unum The Bite The Battle of Starcourt*
*Seen in a TV commercial.

Memorable quotes

"They lost their jobs to the mall and blame me for making it happen. Now, you go ask anyone else in town. They all love the mall. It’s helped our economy grow, brought in new jobs, and just some incredible new stores. Which is why they all stopped shopping at their, uh, mom-and-pops.
"The Mall Rats"

Larry: "Do you know what’s in four days, Jim?"

Hopper: "Independence Day?"
Larry: "That’s right. And I’m gonna throw this town the biggest bash it’s ever seen. Fireworks, music, activities, you name it. I’m gonna pull out all the stops. You know why? ‘Cause at the end of the day, that’s all the voters will remember. But I can’t think, much less plan, with all that racket out there. So, if you don’t mind, please… just do your job. Flash your little gold badge, and get rid of them."

"The Mall Rats"


Behind the scenes

His character was first revealed on April 2018 when it was announced that he would be portrayed by actor Cary Elwes. His character was described as "a classic '80s politician -more concerned with his own image than with the people of the small town he governs."

Trivia

  • Kline is an archetype of corrupt mayors.
  • Kline's actor Cary Elwes is known for portraying Westley in The Princess Bride. Ironically, Westley and Kline are complete opposite characters where Westley is heroic and has a good moral code while Kline is corrupt and shows no concern for the well-being of others.
  • In nearly all of Kline's scenes, he gets injured, threatened, or beaten up by three major characters; first being Hopper, second being Grigori, and third being Joyce.

Gallery

View Gallery For this subject's gallery, see Larry Kline/Gallery.

References


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