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Your priest, your postman, your teacher, the world at large. They won't believe any of this.
~ Murray Bauman

Murray Bauman is a recurring character in the second and third season of Stranger Things, as soon to be a major character in the upcoming Season 4.

He was a former investigative journalist, he is hired by the Hollands to investigate their daughter's disappearance in 1984. His thorough research leads him to believe that there will be a Russian invasion taking place in Hawkins, due to finding leads about a mysterious girl with a shaved head. But the chief of Hawkins police, Jim Hopper, remains skeptical and shuns him. Nancy, Barbara's best friend, and her friend Jonathan arrive at Murray's home to take down Hawkins Laboratory, giving him a rundown of the past events that caused Barbara to disappear. Murray soon assists the pair into taking down the lab but soon questions why the two aren't together romantically, laughing at their resistance to enter a relationship and giving them the advice to stop avoiding their feelings. One month later, Murray parks outside of Hawkins Lab as it shuts down from the exposure of Barb's death. He laughs gleefully as the Army drives past him, flipping him off as he sips his drink.

Six months later, in July of 1985, Jim Hopper, his friend Joyce Byers, and a kidnapped Russian scientist named Alexei arrive at Murray's home in need of Murray to translate Alexei's Russian dialect, but Murray is resistant, believing Alexei to be Soviet scum. But soon the two bond over making fun of Hopper and Joyce, who, similar to Nancy and Jonathan, have sexual tension with one another. He, along with Joyce and Hopper, learn that the Russians are building a gate to the Upside Down and attempting to weaponize the creatures withheld in the dimension. After Alexei's death, Murray continued to help Joyce, Hopper, and the kids to close the portal to the Upside Down underneath Starcourt Mall in order to kill the proxy body of the Mind Flayer.

He was portrayed by Brett Gelman in his first Netflix drama series.

History

Background

Murray was originally an investigative journalist for the Chicago Sun-Times. At some point, he became a private investigator and was hired by Mr. and Mrs. Holland to investigate Barbara Holland's disappearance.

1984

On the morning of October 30, 1984, Murray met Jim Hopperoutside the police station where he tried to convince Hopper of a Russian spy presence in Hawkins. Hopper initially dismissed him, but once he mentioned a theoretical “Russian girl with psionic abilities”, Hopper agreed to give Murray five minutes to talk.

Murray told Hopper of how he had spoken to a former Bradley's Big Buy employee who claimed to have witnessed a girl smash the front doors with only her mind. He also told of how a co-worker of Ted Wheeler said he claimed to have harbored a “Russian” girl with a shaved head in his basement, but later retracted this claim. These reports led Murray to believe that, not only were there Russian spies in Hawkins, but they were responsible for the disappearance of Barbara Holland. As Murray was talking, Hopper received a phone call and had to leave, cutting their time short.

Hoping to find a way to expose Hawkins National Laboratory, Nancy and Jonathan traveled to Murray's residence in Sesser, IL. After listening to their tape recording of Dr. Owens revealing the truth of what happened to Barb, Murray explained that though he believed their story, the tape wouldn't be enough evidence as it could easily be destroyed and the public would not find it believable. He then proposed to Nancy and Jonathan that they “water down” their story in order to make it more appealing to the public. After altering their story to say that Barb died from a chemical leak originating from the lab, they placed the evidence in several envelopes to be sent to the Chicago Sun-Times.

A month later, Murray watched as military personnel left the shut-down Hawkins National Laboratory.

1985

After taking Alexei hostage, Hopper and Joyce Byers traveled with him to Illinois to meet up with Murray, who was the only person Hopper knew who could speak Russian. Murray was none too pleased that Hopper brought a Russian to his residence, but agreed to serve as their translator, in the process learning about the Russian complex underneath Starcourt Mall designed to open a portal to the Upside-Down. He tagged along with the group as they returned to Hawkins, in the process of bonding with Alexei as he taught the Russian scientist about American culture and they both mocked Hopper and Joyce for failing to recognize their attraction to each other.

Murray joined the group as they arrived at the Hawkins Independence Day Fair, where he showed Alexei the carnival games and left him alone momentarily to get them both corn dogs. Just as Alexei was headed to reunite with him with his carnival prize, he was quickly shot in the stomach by an assassin. Despite Murray's best efforts to find help, Alexei ultimately bled to death, leaving Murray devastated.

Murray joined Hopper and Joyce as they arrived at Starcourt Mall and tried to formulate a plan to shut down the Russians' portal machine, but was interrupted by Erica Sinclair, who reminded him she had already been inside the complex and helped the group figure out a new plan. Murray insisted on joining Hopper and Joyce in entering the complex, where he used his Russian skills to sneak past various checkpoints, and helped set off the alarms to give Hopper and Joyce the freedom to shut down the machine. After Hopper sacrificed himself to allow Joyce to close the portal, Murray reunited with Joyce and they were met on their way out of the facility by American soldiers.

Personality

Murray was a quirky, but vigilant journalist for the Chicago Sun-Times. Although an investigative journalist, Murray was always ignored by others due to his eccentric behavior and strange reports in solving investigations. After being hired by the Holland family to investigate their daughter's disappearance, he started working as an investigator, following over 200 tips to deduce Barbara Holland'swhereabouts. While he's disgraced by most people, he was sure that the Hawkins National Laboratory was somehow responsible for the abnormal events occurring in Hawkins and the death of Barbara and was committed to uncovering the truth. He had a strong ability to recognize sexual tension, easily noticing Jonathan and Nancy's feelings for each other and calling them out for it, and succinctly calling out Hopper and Joyce for ignoring their feelings.

He was also shown to be very witty when he explained that the tape evidence provided by Nancy and Jonathan could easily be destroyed, but a modified one which was more believable to the public could expose the lab.

Despite his rough demeanor, Murray had a soft side to him, overcoming his hatred of Russians in bonding with the scientist Alexei, teaching him about American culture through cartoons, food, and carnival games. When Alexei was murdered before his eyes he was left devastated, trying to grapple with the fact he had left him unprotected just to get a corn dog.

Trivia

  • Murray can speak Russian, as shown in Season 3, in spite of “Russian spies” being a focal point of some of his paranoia and conspiracy theories in Season 2.
  • Judging by the scale of the Russian presence and infostructure shown in Season 3 and the short period of time between Season 2 and 3, Murray's accusation of an "invasion right here in Hawkins" would have been correct at the time.
  • It's possible to call his phone number (618-625-8313). When calling, the caller will receive a message from Murray:
    • "Hi, you have reached the residence of Murray Bauman. Mom, if this is you, please hang up and call me between the hours of 5 and 6 pm as previously discussed, okay? If this is Joyce, Joyce, thank you for calling, I have been trying to reach ya. I have an update. It’s about, well, its probably best if we speak in person. It’s not good or bad, but it’s something. If this is anyone but my mother or Joyce, well, you think you’re real clever, getting my number, don’t ya? Well, here’s some breaking news for you: You’re not clever. You’re not special. You are just simply one of the many, many nimwits to have called here, and the closest you will ever get to me is this prerecorded message so at the beep, do me a favor and hang up and never call here again. You are a parasite! Thank you and good day."
  • Murray hates children, but it's unknown if this is true or not as he said it when he's given the codename "Bald Eagle."
  • When originally being the character Terry Ives, his age was described to be 40. This is most likely the same age in Murray once he is introduced.
  • In Season 3, both Alexei and Erica made fun of Murray's baldness.
  • Murray is the fourth character in the series to make their debut as a recurring character, before being promoted to a main character, following Noah Schnapp's character Will Byers, who was recurring in Season 1, and Joe Keery's character Steve Harrington, who made his debut as a recurring character in Season 1, before returning as a main character in Season 2, and Priah Ferguson's character Erica Sinclair, who made her debut as a recurring character in Season 2, before returning as a main character in Season 3.
  • In addition, Murray is the first character to spend two seasons as a recurring character before coming back as a main character, as both Steve and Erica spent only one season as a recurring character before being promoted, Seasons 1 and 2 respectively.

Navigation

           StrangerThingsTitle.pngHeroes

Season 1
Joyce Byers | Mike Wheeler | Jim Hopper | Eleven | Dustin Henderson | Lucas Sinclair | Nancy Wheeler | Jonathan Byers | Will Byers | Steve Harrington

Season 2
Jim Hopper | Eleven | Will Byers | Joyce Byers | Mike Wheeler | Dustin Henderson | Lucas Sinclair | Max Mayfield | Nancy Wheeler | Jonathan Byers | Steve Harrington | Bob Newby | Sam Owens | Murray Bauman | Erica Sinclair

Season 3
Jim Hopper | Eleven | Joyce Byers | Mike Wheeler | Dustin Henderson | Lucas Sinclair | Will Byers | Max Mayfield | Nancy Wheeler | Jonathan Byers | Steve Harrington | Robin Buckley | Erica Sinclair | Murray Bauman | Alexei | Bob Newby | Sam Owens