Season two of one of the most highly anticipated shows, “Stranger Things,” has been released, and fans are rushing to their Netflix accounts to watch it. This season takes off after the disappearance of Eleven and the defeat of the Demogorgon. “Stranger Things” has become a cultural phenomenon of sorts. Season two had some high expectations from audiences all over, and people have been binge-watching it since the day of its release, hoping it will be able to top the previous season.
Senior Rodrigo Torrejón is confident that this season outshines the original; “I liked this season more than the first because it expanded on the world of “Stranger Things,” he said. “This second season goes deeper into Eleven’s backstory and finally gives Will some screen time, which was amazing to see. The season also introduced a far greater threat than that of the Demagorgan from the first season. I cannot wait to see how the plot will thicken in the following seasons.”
All of the young stars of season one returned in season two. Will, Mike, Lucas, Dustin, Nancy, Steve, and Johnathan were all back. As Torrejón mentioned, Will, played by 13-year-old Noah Schnapp, was far more present in season two. Steve, Nancy’s antipathetic boyfriend from season one, was a breakout star and fan favorite character in season two. In season one, Joe Keery’s character was the archetypal high school bully, continually harassing Johnathan, but his character development throughout season two is astounding. When Dustin, played by Gaten Matarazzo, realizes that his pet from the upside down is dangerous, he relies on Steve out of necessity. The unlikely pair became the dynamic duo of the season, as their hilarious yet heartfelt interactions epitomized everything that makes “Stranger Things” great. The spiked-bat-yielding teen became the perfect babysitter and de facto sibling to each of the kids, and though he lost Nancy, he gained a friend in Dustin and clear redemption as a character.
Stranger Things 2 also featured some new faces, most notably step siblings Max and Billy, played by Sadie Sink and Dacre Montgomery. Max helped add an extra subplot, with her presence causing some tension within the group. However, some felt that though “Mad Max” was brought into the story in an interesting way, she was soon reduced to a plot device. Her brother, Billy, was the least likable character this season. The arguably-racist, overly-agressive jock mistreated his sister, pummeled Steve, and overall had no real redeeming qualities. However, the contrast between Billy and Steve did help illuminate Steve’s development into a likable character. Senior Nikki Kone put it well saying, “Billy is interesting because he is a human antagonist. Especially with the addition of new threats like Billy, season two is definitely much darker than season one.”
Another newcomer was Bob, Joyce’s new boyfriend played by Sean Astin. The manager at the local RadioShack, Bob is tech-savvy, nerdy, and extremely lovable. When Will, Mike, and Joyce are struggling to find Hopper in episode , the oblivious “Bob the Brain” cracks the code and unknowingly saves Hopper’s life. Immediately after, however, he is brought Hawkins Lab and roped into the chaos. Later on, when the Lab is being overrun by “Demo-dogs,” Bob’s computing skills come in handy, and he again saves the day. Moments later, however, we see his dramatic, slow-motion death, the only truly heartbreaking death of the season (sorry Dart). In the words of junior Libby Baker, “I was mad! At first Bob annoyed me a bit, but during the episode when he died I started to really like his character. I wanted to see him and Joyce together in season three, and I wish he was there when everything was fixed.”
Interestingly enough, Bob was originally going to die far earlier. Matt Duffer, one of the co-creators of the show, said in an interview that originally, “He was going to die around [episode] four.” Shawn Levy, a producer, said that Bob’s initial death was during the car ride when he gives Will advice about facing his fears. Originally, an “Evil Will” was going to kill Bob on the spot, but after seeing the on-camera chemistry between Astin and Wiona Rider, the writers decided that Bob needed to play a more prominent role. In my opinion, the writers definitely made the right choice by keeping Bob around longer, but it was still sad to see him go.
“Stranger Things” season three has already been confirmed by the writers, and there will likely be a fourth season to follow. Although, an obstacle has presented itself, as Charlie Heaton, the British actor who plays Jonathan Byers, has recently been denied entry into the U.S. after being caught with cocaine in his luggage at Los Angeles International Airport. Whether he will be able to reprise his role on the show in the third season is still unknown, though a season without Johnathan would certainly be a disappointment to fans.
Sources: Time, Gizmodo, Newsweek, Vulture, Collider, Digital Spy, People
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons