|“||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|
Lawrence "Larry" Kline is a major antagonist in the third season of Stranger Things. He is the former mayor of Hawkins, having served for an indeterminate amount of time before 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).
He was portrayed by Cary Elwes, who also played Lawrence Gordon in the Saw film franchise, William Boone in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, and Sir Edgar in Ella Enchanted, He also voiced Paxton Powers in Batman Beyond and Aquaman in Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox.
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.
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.
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.
So as 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 Fun 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
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.
|“||"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, bringing 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 in 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 image than with the people of the small town he governs."
- 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 opposite characters; 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.