Stranger Things 2: Steve Harrington’s Character Development is the Best Thing to Happen to TV

Since friends don’t lie, I’m going to be honest with you and say that I did indeed finish Stranger Things 2 this weekend and oh, my god was it worth the wait. If you’re anything like me, you were expecting a lot of action, romance, and all around sci-fi deliciousness, which all happened, but what I was not expecting was to fall in love with Steve Harrington, demagorgan slayer, and father of four.

So let’s start with Season 1 Steve: Jock, King of the School, womanizing kind of guy who has fallen hard for America’s Sweetheart Nancy Wheeler.

He’s kind of a jerk if we are being honest. He doesn’t seem to care that Barb is missing and wants Nancy to lie about the party to protect himself. He and his friends publically shame Nancy for being a “slut” after he sees her hanging out with Jonathan, and he broke Jonathan’s camera (though admittedly, Jonathan was being a creep).

Steve as we know eventually redeems himself by apologizing to Nancy and Jonathan and helping them attack the demagorgan. He even buys Jonathan a new camera (aw!), so when Nancy ends up with him at the end of the first season, we feel pretty okay with it despite who we think she should be with.

Flash forward to Stranger Things 2 and Steve seems to have really pulled it together. He doesn’t hang around with his old friends and goes and eats dinner with Nancy and Barb’s parents. He tries to get her to stop drinking at the Halloween party and seems to genuinely love her. When Nancy drunkenly tells him that their relationship is “bullshit” and she doesn’t love him, he is understandably crushed and later on breaks up with her. This leads him to form one of the cutest bromances on the whole show with our very own Dustin Henderson.

Dustin is seemingly missing a father figure and is an only child, so when Steve, a cool older guy pulls him under his wing, he and Steve immediately form a strong connection. Steve helps him and the other kids track down “Dart”, and risks his life in the bus to save the kids. Later, he stays behind with the kids when the others try and close the gate to keep them out of trouble, dish towel over his shoulder and everything.

He wants nothing more than to keep the kids safe, even if that means entering the tunnels he told them not to access in the first place and beating up general asshole Billy for messing with Lucas. Despite how he feels about Nancy, he manages to remain mature and kind, telling her that even though he might not have been the best boyfriend, he’s “a pretty damn good babysitter.”

If not most incredibly, he picks up Dustin and drops him off at the dance after giving him some killer hair and girl advice. It’s clear that he cares about his new friend and wants to help him out in any way he can.

Not only is Steve an example of great character development, but a great guy we should all strive to be like. He puts others before him and does things he doesn’t want to in order to protect those he cares about.

Great Job, Steve, keep being the sweet adoptive brother you were always meant to be.