THE eagerly-awaited third season of Netflix hit Stranger Things dropped today – but fans who have already devoured the new episodes are outraged that fan-favourite couple Eleven and Mike split in episode two.
Early viewers took to social media in their droves to voice their disapproval.
Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) shared a kiss at the end of the second season of the cult series, and as season three opens, the first post-titles sequence sees the pair snogging in Eleven's bedroom.
But any delight that the pair are an item in season three – which is set a year after the events of the last season and has garnered mixed reviews – is tempered as Eleven's surrogate dad Hopper (David Harbour) catches the duo getting hot and heavy.
Worried about his young daughter getting too serious too soon, he is seen later in the premiere putting pressure on Mike to cool things down.
"There is something very wrong with this things between you and El," he tells the lad during a man-to-man chat.
Then, in episode two, a stressed Mike bows to the pressure and lies to his girlfriend, telling her he can't see her because his grandma is unwell.
But when Eleven later spots him at the mall with his friends, she realises he's been lying to her and promptly ditches him.
Getting right up in his face, she defiantly tells him: "I dump your ass," before turning and boarding a bus with newfound pal, Max (Sadie Sink).
The girls then laugh over the dumping, high-five and finish the ice creams they are eating.
But while telekenetic Eleven seems empowered by her sassy move, fans who have rooted for her and Mike since season one were devastated.
One fumed on twitter: "When Eleven said 'I dump your ass' the level of shock I was on is astronomical".
Another could barely contain their anger, venting: "I wanna punch tf outta Eleven rn how you finna dump my mans like that #strangerthings3"
And it didn't stop there.
Fan @sangirawhy said: "I will DIE for Eleven and Mike" after seeing the devastating development.
The pair's slowburn romance has built steadily over the two seasons until they eventually kissed at the school dance in last season's closer.
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But while we won't spoil whether Eleven and Mike patch things up as the third season continues, many fans who have yet to see the rest of the episodes are holding out hope.
"I'm still ride or die for these two, not gonna lie" posted @jkozal. "May only good things lie ahead for them."
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