By: Lauren Alston
Warning: The below contains spoilers from Season 2 of Stranger Things. If you haven’t finished binging, turn back now!
So we all remember Steve Harrington from Season 1 of Stranger Things. He was the popular guy that lured Nancy in, and we kind of hated him because his negligence led to Barb’s death. But holy cow, Season 2 Steve is back and better than ever! He truly cares about Nancy, and he has become the big brother Dustin never knew he needed. Here are all the ways his character has been redeemed.
1. He has goals and dreams.
Working at his dad’s shop is an easy out, but he’s working on his college applications (and applying early!) because he wants to do something with his life. He’s not the greatest writer in Hawkins, but he has Nancy to proofread his essays.
2. He puts Nancy’s needs first.
It’s definitely not how he wants to be spending his nights, but he goes to dinner with Nancy at the Hollands’ home every week. He’s doing the best he can to support the love of his life, and he barely complains. Talk about #BoyfriendGoals!
3. He’s protective.
Nancy is going through a lot and tries to drink away the pain, but Steve keeps a close eye on her and tries to dissuade her from going too far. Steve lets her do her thing without letting it go too far.
4. He’s not afraid to show his emotions.
Okay, so he may not handle his fight with a drunk Nancy in the best way possible, but he tries. Nancy may break his heart when she drunkenly calls their relationship bullshit, but drunk words are sober thoughts and Steve can’t deal. He doesn’t yell in her face or try to pick a fight. Instead, Steve takes the time he needs to deal with the situation.
5. He doesn’t play the victim.
We know how hard it must be for him to realize that Nancy left for days with Jonathan, especially when he shows up at her house with flowers to try and make things work. But he’s able to have a calm conversation without accusing her or making her feel bad about the situation. He’s completely focused and in control.
6. He’s there for the boys, especially.
Steve could have gone home and spent his weekend getting over his breakup, but he tries to help Dustin deal with Dart. He even reveals how he gets his signature gorgeous locks and gives Dustin advice on how to get the girl he likes. When their plan goes south, Steve puts his own life at risk to protect the kids and somehow it works out for him. He even sticks out his neck to protect Max and Dustin from Billy, getting his ass kicked in the process. Maybe he’s doing it to win back Nancy, but that’s a lot to endure for a girl who has made it clear that she’s just not that into you.
7. He drives Dustin to the Snow Ball.
I don’t know how or when this became his responsibility, but Steve is officially Dustin’s cool older brother and I’m completely here for it. He stole my heart when he saw Nancy at the dance and didn’t go in. It proved that he was there for one reason: Dustin. And regardless of whether he’s accepted that Nancy is not his girl, he’s sticking around and letting what happens happen.