If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably watched Stranger Things season 2 again (and possibly another time), fallen in love with certain characters, investigated theories, and realized you’ve come to appreciate and like some of the “flaws” that people on the internet are complaining about. So let’s chat about the show and by this point, you should be aware spoilers are ahead.
The Build Up… One of the biggest complaints I read online and heard from folks was that it took too long to get into the series. Sure, it might have been a little slow in the build-up but the build-up was freaking worth it. It laid the groundwork for Will’s haunting Mind Flayer virus. It showed the boys starting to expand their world to first loves and awkward teen moments. It took the time to show us that Hopper and Eleven were still trying to heal their past wounds and their new bond allowed them to become their own father/daughter team while realizing their personal strengths. Joyce decides to give love a chance again even though her family isn’t “normal.” And we see the character growth of Steve Harrington growing a heart the size of his hair.
Justice for Barb… The Duffer Brothers and Stranger Things promised that we would see justice for Barb this season since the first season tossed her away like yesterday’s trash without an afterthought. And yes, we all felt a pang for Barb that no one saved her or seemed to care about her mysterious disappearance. But the fallout of constant Barb jokes on TV and that Emmy bit, sort of made me not care about Nancy and Jonathan getting justice for Barb. I really could have done without this whole storyline, no offense Barb (Shannon Purser you are amazing, please don’t hate me for this). It might have had something to do with Nancy and Jonathan sort of being a bore as they went all espionage. Jeez, you guys date in real life but you can’t seem to bring that chemistry on screen? You had it for the first season!
New Kids on the Block… Billy and Max are the newest residents of Hawkins and they thought they just had troubles at home. Max aka MadMax, is the tomboy that grabs the attention of our young heroes, especially that of Dustin and Lucas. Of course, Max wants nothing to do with the group at first and that’s partially due to her brother. But soon the boys start to win her over and she joins the group in their fight against the demo-dogs. And adds to the dynamic that the ladies of the group are the badasses, while the boys still have some growing up to do. I’m hoping next season Max and Eleven can become friends. Now as for her step-brother Billy, he’s a grade-A jerk and we can blame a good chunk of that on his father being abusive and strict. He’s meant to be the bad-boy Rob Lowe type and he pulls it off. He sets his target on knocking Steve off his popularity pedestal and they come to blows when Steve is sort of babysitting Max. I was sort of hoping that Billy would join the fight against the demo-dogs and sort of start turning his bad boy butt around. Maybe next season? And maybe next season, a certain fan theory about him actually wanting Steve will become a reality?
Eleven Becomes an MTV VJ… I’ll admit that I wasn’t completely crazy about the one-off episode at first. But going back and watching it after finishing the season made me appreciate it a little more. I’m definitely intrigued by Eleven having an MK-Ultra sister with powers and making her feel less alone in the world. And it really allows Eleven to tap into her power that she’s sort of been on the edge of using. Which the end of this season proves Hawkins needs. Plus, Kali aka Eight is pretty damn amazing in her own right. She’s like a freaking X-Men character with her ability to warp minds, punk rock style, and a band of misfits that follows her. I think it’s safe to say we will see her again, as Eleven leaving her seems to really gut her. But this leads us to…
Are There More Powerful Siblings Out in the World?… I’m sure quite a few kids didn’t make it through the program alive but there has to be more than Eleven and Kali. And there’s one theory floating around the internet that the Mind Flayer and Demogorgon are the earlier children tested by Papa and the shady government. Which I’m actually digging that theory. It’s creepy and effed up.
Love Triangles Everywhere!… This season was chock full of love triangles. Let’s count them, shall we? Steve and Nancy break up, throwing her into the arms of Jonathan. Joyce finds happiness with Bob but after his demise, it seems that Hopper might be the one to light her heart like a cigarette. Dustin and Lucas fight for the affections of Max. Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler and Billy. Sure, Mr. Wheeler might not realize what’s going on right in his foyer but Mrs. Wheeler sure has the hots for teenage Billy. Eleven thinks Mike and Max are an item. Dustin’s demo-dog takes out the competition of the cat for Dustin’s affection. Steve and Dustin both love Farah Fawcett hairspray.
Also, RIP Bob… You’re the new Barb. Gone too soon.
Steve and Dustin Steal the Show…Seriously, I love these characters so much. Their big brother/little brother bonding truly became the heart of this season to me. The way Steve turned into a caring babysitter was not something I was expecting but the fact that he took Dustin under his wing after all the fighting was over melted me. Steve wasn’t a character that I cared that much about in the first season but way to go Duffer Brothers on making him grow from a teenage boy obsessed with popularity to a young man opening up and taking responsibility. As for Dustin, there’s no doubt he was adorable last season, but his constant cursing, snappy lines, and heart for others (even if they were a creature from another dimension) had me cheering for him. Plus, his whole experience at the school dance brought tears to my eyes!
Speaking of Shining Characters… Hey there, Erica! Lucas’ little sister stole the spotlight with her mean lines to Lucas and Dustin. She’s just doing her sisterly duty and I am here for it. Although she should cut her brother some slack, he does protect his family and the entire town from demo-dogs and enslavement by the Mind Flayer.
Hopper Has the Moves… I just wanted to shout out Hopper’s fantastic dance moves.
Eleven and Mike Reuniting… is pretty damn adorable! Plus, her badass entrance into the Byer’s house made the reunion that much cooler.
I can’t wait for season 3, I guess I should rewatch seasons 1 and 2 over and over and go crazy thinking of theories until season 3 hits Netflix in like a year.