Strangers Thing Season 2 Review.
This article contains some minor spoilers! However there is still much left out. Proceed at your own risk.
Stranger Things Season 2 launched on the 27th of October. The Netflix series has grown in popularity for the past year and the company decided to turn it into a Halloween treat. This season answered many of the previous seasons lingering questions. It was also a bit more suspenseful and the horror themes were on point. With the addition of new characters and a social media MEME being answered, this is one of the best follow-ups Netflix could have given us to the first season.
Getting back to Hawkins
Season 2 opens up with a mystery surrounding a video game machine. The boys have been frequently a local arcade lately and Dustin is the top of the leaderboard on some of the machines. Sadly, Dustin Hi-score has been taken over by a mysterious person calling himself Mad Max. Lucas and Dustin are wrapped up completely in figuring out who this mysterious player is. Will and Mike, on the other hand, are still dealing with the repercussions of last seasons ending. We are also shown a mysterious group of outlaws at the beginning who seems to have another talented child-like Eleven with them. Lastly, we are shown that two new kids have arrived in Hawkins one the age of the boys and one going to high school with Nancy, Jonathan, and Steve.
The story quickly takes a dark turn as it is shown that Will is suffering from what seems to be PTSD. The episodes take him back into what seems to be the upside down. There a shadow monster starts to torment him.Will, on the other hand, has been searching for El since the day they lost her. He tries to radio to her nightly and has done so for the past year now. Of course, he has had no answer-back. Jonathan is shown to be greatly bothered by Steven and Nancy still being in a relationship. On top of that Barb is still considered to just be a missing person by everybody else in town and her parents have gotten desperate somehow bring her home.
On the bright side, we do see that Joyce has gotten a new lover in her life named Bob. Bob is a really goofy guy who is more tech smart than anything else. He is trying to help the Byers get back to living a normal life. Joyce also has the support of Hopper who goes with her to Will’s psychiatric appointments. It is also soon revealed the Eleven is alive and Hopper has all but adopted the young girl. She has had to stay in hiding for the past year while Hopper takes care of her. The only problem is she is starting to grow impatient with not being able to leave the house.
Enter Mad Max
One of the distinct problems this season is caused by a girl. Lucas and Dustin soon learn that Mad Max is a girl who just moved to Hopkins with her older brother Billy. Billy is, of course, the king of pricks and Max is more chilled out. The duo starts to cause trouble in their respected schools that lead to some of the problems that develop over the season. Max is the object of both Dustin and Lucas’s affections making them go out of their way to impress her. The duo even ends up endangering everyone else involved due to their reckless actions. This causes issues with Mike who doesn’t want to be around another girl with Eleven still seemingly missing. The duo also puts Will’s issues on the back burner because of this.
Billy, on the other hand, is an antagonist who is out for challenging Steve. He makes fun of him for being so attached to Nancy and is shown to pretty much care for no one but himself. He even physically threatens Max throughout the show to not make any friends. When she does show interest he goes out of his way to scare the boys in order to try and keep them away. He also tells Max several times that she is pretty much just an unlucky attachment to him. This causes Max to be reluctant at first to warm up to anyone so she can avoid the coming conflict with Billy.
This also brings out the addition of Dart. Dart is a very obviously from the Upside Down creature that Dustin found in his trash. He decided to keep him as a pet in order to protect Max. Along the way, he even gets attached to Dart making him hide the creature from everyone else. This leads to Dart growing into a bigger problem for everyone later in the show. As it turns out Dart may just be the baby form of a Demogorgon like the one that was fought from last season. Dustin’s mistake does teach us more about how things work with these creatures, but it is still one of the dumbest moves he could have pulled.
The Love Triangle
This season has it’s fair share of weird love triangles. The most interesting is, of course, that of Nancy, Jonathan, and Steve. Nancy and Steve have been dating for about a year now and Steve is determined that the two are just going to live a normal life. Nancy, however, is still deeply disturbed over Barbs death and has frequent dinners with Barbs parents. This time when she and Steve go for dinner they notice a for sale sign in the yard. They ask Barb’s parents if they are planning to move. Nancy is then informed that the house is being sold to afford an expensive detective to look for their daughter. This causes Nancy to immediately become sick to her stomach
Steve still insists that the two should just ignore it and act like normal teenagers. This is when he convinces Nancy to go to the big high school Halloween party. As it turns out Nancy invites Jonathan to go as well. At the party, Nancy and Steve end up breaking up when Nancy gets drunk and tells Steve that everything about them is “bullshit.” This causes Steve to become furious and instructs Jonathan to take care of the girl. This only heightens Jonathan feelings towards Nancy and the two soon end up working together to reveal to the world that Barb is actually dead.
The dynamic between these three characters and their growth through the seasons is amazing to watch. I feel like a lot of fans will feel complete about the outcome of the love triangle. A few things still are open for discussion for the third season, but the whole thing is pretty natural. Steve also becomes a much more loveable character this season as he takes on an older brother role with Dustin. Honestly, we can’t help but hope all three of these characters get a happy ending at the end of Stranger Things.
This season eleven is shown to be at her wits in with Hopper as she is confined to not leaving the house. Eleven of course regularly disregards the rules set for by Hopper. This eventually causes her to wander off and start searching for answers on her own. This leads her to even find the file about her mother who we saw last season. Of course, the woman is still insane, but Eleven doesn’t find that out until she reaches her. Watching Elevens arc will hurt quite a bit this season as the girl searches for the place that is truly her home.
Hopper, on the other hand, is seen losing his mind trying to protect her. After losing his first daughter the sheriff is hell-bent on keeping Eleven safe. When he finds her in the woods shortly after the events of last season he even makes a home deep in the woods for them to live together. He also constructs a strict set of rules to ensure that no one else even knows she is still around. This, of course, falls apart as strange things start happening around Hawkins again and Hopper literally gets pulled into them.
The duo’s whole arc is about finding your family and overcoming the things that hold you back. Eleven ends up traveling around for a bit and growing as a person. Hopper comes to terms with his fears of losing another child. The two are a perfect family duo and the show really hits home with the themes surrounding their relationship. A lot of the questions from elevens birth are also answered during her screen time. This also makes some questions for the next season pop up in regards to the people El makes an impression on in her journeys.
The whole season feels great and in my opinion may even be better than the first. The character interactions are just amazingly done. The horror themes can really make you anxious at times and Barb gets her Justice. I look forward to the openings this season has left for season 3. It doesn’t so much feel like unanswered questions as it does things that are meant for later in the story. I just hope we can get #JusticeForMews in season 3!