The show that swept the nation is back for Season 2. I still don’t know how Stranger Things became so popular. It’s one of the more impressive followings I’ve seen from a show because word of mouth was its biggest marketing tool. I remember my older sister saying to give the show a try in late July. After I was hooked, I had to tell everyone like I won the Golden Ticket in Willy Wonka.
Season 1 was a 99 mph fastball. It was that good. From the writing to the young cast, everything from top to bottom worked. If Season 1 was a 99 mph, I would say Season 2 was a 95 mph heater. It’s one of the best follow ups to season that I can remember in a long time especially with some much hype surrounding it. There were some minor issues I had, but as a whole, it was so enjoyable to watch.
My mind is racing all over the place. There is sooooooo much to talk about so I’m going to do my best to cover as much as I can. I know I will forget some stuff so please comment below or message us on social media. The more discussion, the better. To review the Season, I’m going to talk about what I liked, what was just ok, what I didn’t like, and some potential storylines / questions about Season 3.
WARNING: If you didn’t read my article about spoilers in TV, check it out. I think a week is a fair amount of time for this show. I will be mentioning spoilers so if you haven’t finished yet, bookmark the article and come back to it after. Let’s go.
What I Liked
– Hopper and Eleven’s Relationship: One of the strongest storylines of Season 2 was the relationship between Hopper and Eleven. All of the gang thinks Eleven is dead, but instead, she’s playing house with the Police Chief of Hawkins. I’ve always thought that Hopper and Eleven were two of the strongest characters on the show so it made sense to give them a storyline. In a way, they are both looking for “normal lives.” Hopper still struggles to get over his daughter’s death and Eleven just wants to be a regular kid. It’s these heartbreaks that draw them together. Hopper is now a father again and Eleven has a new “papa.” I’m sure you’ve already read about the blue bracelet. They both got what they wanted in the end, a family.
– Hopper Was The Best Character In Season 2: A lot of Hopper love being thrown around, but it’s well deserved. I think Hopper was the best character in Season 2. Tackling fatherhood all while trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with his town was a good balance of storylines. David Harbour should be nominated for a Golden Globe this year. He was that good. My top 5 characters this season were:
– Steve: I haven’t seen a transformation this impressive since Arod. What a season for Steve. In Season 1, he was the douchebag boyfriend who publicly called his own girlfriend a slut before turning face at the end. In Season 2, Steve became a lovable, older brother figure to the gang and I was all about it. His bromance with Dustin should not have worked, but I thought those two were at their best when they were together. I know a lot of people are going to say Team Steve > Team Jonathan. I look at it this way. For Nancy’s heart, it should be Jonathan > Steve. For individual characters, it’s Steve > Jonathan. Let’s not forget that Steve wrote “Nancy Wheeler is a slut” on the movie theater. He has to get more than just flowers in order to be forgiven.
– Episode 8, The Mind Flayer: The best episode of the season. I was giddy watching this episode. The whole gang (minus Eleven at the end) working together is what I wanted to see from the beginning. It’s arguably the best cast in television so whenever they work together, magic happens. This was a roller coaster episode. From Bob the Brain getting DECIMATED by the demidog to the gang trying to get information out of Will, I loved it from start to finish. Plus Eleven showing up at the end was super badass.
– The Season Finale and The Snowball Dance: I’m a softie for a school dance. Sue me. Another successful season finale capped off by a great 80s dance scene that put a smile on my face. Viewers got the action they deserved for 40 minutes, and then we got an ode to a John Hughes film at the school dance. Steve looking at Nancy as he drives off signifies he still has feelings for her. Lucas wins over Max. Will embraces Zombie boy. Dustin. Oh Dustin. Dustin went from rejection to dancing with hottest girl at the dance. Most importantly, Mike and Eleven finally got their moment together. If you haven’t been listening to Time After Time and Every Breath You Take this whole week, we’re not friends. IF YOU’RE LOST YOU CAN LOOK AND YOU WILL FIND ME, TIME AFTER TIME.
– Will Became A Character Instead Of Doug From The Hangover: Really glad The Duffgods decided to make Will an actual character instead of an afterthought like Doug in the Hangover. I particularly enjoyed when Will was possessed by the Mind Flayer, injecting fear in everyone who looked at him including the audience. I thought they would get to a “We have to kill Will in order to stop this thing,” but that would be super, super dark so I don’t blame them for going the route that they chose.
Also, shoutout to Bob The Brain. I liked him. Most of you won’t like him. I’m a nerd so it explains a lot.
What I Didn’t Like
– Eleven’s Separation From The Gang: My biggest gripe of Season 2. What made Season 1 so spectacular had a lot to do with the interactions of the Core 4: Eleven, Mike, Lucas, and Dustin. Seeing the gang try to dress up Eleven, fight bullies, bike rides, basement talks, etc. The whole time I was hoping for a reunion and we didn’t get that until the very end. In Season 3, the gang needs to get back together.
– Episode 7, The Lost Sister aka Eleven’s Solo Episode: This episode is going to get a lot of heat from fans. To start this off, I commend the Duffer Brothers for taking a risk. I’m all for trying to veer off the proven formula every so often just to keep the audience guessing. I’m not going as far to say I hated the episode because the Internet has already said that. I felt it didn’t work, but I think if they made it half of an episode, it could’ve succeeded. Introducing Eight was a smart move because it sets up for next season, but I think it could’ve been presented in a different way without the backlash. Imagine the beginning scene of Episode 1 was the final scene of the season. Eight driving away with a bloody nose, showing that there are more kids from Hawkins lab out there. I think that ending would’ve made all the headlines.
– The Last Scene Of The Mind Flayer At the School In The Finale: Continuing off of the previous point, insert my ending with Eight instead of the Mind Flayer. Will spitting up a demidog at the end of Season 1 was a great cliffhanger. The Mind Flayer over the school in Season 2 was ok, but didn’t have the same impact as Season 1. Continuing along with Eight, imagine if Eight showed up in the parking lot at the end of Season 2 and said she needs help fighting in the Upside Down and says “Hello Eleven. I’m your sister.” Fade to Black. BOOM, bring on Season 3.
– The Lack Of A True Villain: Who is “The Bad Guy?” Season 1, it was Dr. Brenner, who was the perfect villain. He tortured Eleven and exposed Hawkins to the upside down. Who is the villain in Season 2? I really didn’t hate anyone this season because it’s hard to hate a supernatural force. Dr. Owens? Nah, he turned face at the end. The Demidogs? I wouldn’t really call them a villain. The Mind Flayer? Yes, but there needs to be a human villain as well. I hope Dr. Brenner returns in Season 3 to wreak havoc once again so Eleven finally can kill him.
– The Underutilization Of Billy: Billy is an enigma to me. He’s supposed to be this bully towards Max and the kids, but he doesn’t interact with them until the end. I’m assuming he was supposed to be the “human bully” just like Troy was in Season 1. Troy interacted a lot more with the gang and had a few pivotal scenes including the one that set up the famous 3-way hug. Billy has to get more involved next season. Perhaps the Mind Flayer takes over his body. I would be so down for that.
– The “It Scene” Didn’t Happen Until Towards The End: The Netflix slow burn. A tale as old as time. That seems to be the common theme when it comes to streaming shows on Netflix. It’s a slow burn before they hit you with the haymaker. In Season 2, what was the “It Scene?” The one that made you go, “Ok ok. Now we’re cooking.” I think I didn’t get that scene until episode 6 when the demidogs leave the junkyard and go right to the lab. In Season 1, the It moment for me (besides the pilot) happened in Episode 3 when Will’s fake body was discovered, which is my favorite scene of the series. THAT drew me in and it was early on. Season 2 brought the heat at the end, but I needed some in the beginning as well.
As a whole, Season 2 delivered. It lived up the ridiculous amount of hype it had and then some. The Duffer Brothers have said they have a four season arc for the show so Season 3 is going to happen. It sounds like it will be another time jump. Maybe some kids will move away and we’ll have more scenes outside of Hawkins? The logical move is to put the kids in high school and have the Mind Flayer terrorize the students. However, this is Stranger Things so expect the unexpected.
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