"Stranger Things" Season 2 Did Not Disappoint

*WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD* (if you haven’t seen it yet, go watch it…like now)

If you are like me, you spent the majority of time Halloween weekend binge watching the highly anticipated second season of the Netflix show “Stranger Things.” I just got around to this show this summer, binging the first season in just a couple days.

Season 2 was expected to be bigger, darker, and scarier and it lived up to the hype. It takes place in the fall of 1984, one year after Will’s disappearance from small town Hawkins, Indiana. He is suffering from post-traumatic stress and the after-effects of the “Upside Down.” Joyce and Hopper spend half of the season trying to figure out why he is having episodes. Will also has “now-memories,” meaning that he can see into the Upside Down. Turns out, there is a “mind-flayer” living inside and possessing Will. It is controlling him using a hive mind to communicate with other monsters and creatures in the Upside Down. 

I couldn’t help but feel so worried and protective of Will. I was almost turning into Joyce Beyers during some scenes. I was impressed by Noah Schnapp (Will Beyers), who did not have much of a presence last season, but came in and gave a riveting performance as a possessed, dark, and terrified Will. He definitely had one of the best performances of this season. I just hope that next season he will get to be more of a normal kid. It would be nice to see more of him playing D&D and riding bikes, than hiding from the Demogorgon and being controlled by a shadow monster.

One of my favorite parts of this season was the relationship between Hopper and Eleven.

It’s not necessarily a friendship or a father/daughter kinship, but it’s something in-between that is hard to describe. Both of them have an absent family. Hopper lost his daughter at a young age and is divorced from his former wife. Eleven was taken away from her mother and orphaned at birth. They find comfort in one another, but also clash at times. It’s power going against power. However, Hopper is extremely protective over her which makes their relationship so interesting.

Speaking of relationships, Jonathan and Nancy (also known as Jancy) finally got together! I was Team Jonathan all the way. Seeing them finally realize their feelings for each other was beautiful to watch.

I loved the humor that Murray provided during the scene with these two lovebirds in episode 6. He could feel the sexual tension between them, and called them on their BS and finally got them to cut to chase. This was by far the funniest scene in the entire season.

A new character I loved was Max, the skater girl from California whose toughness and resilience earns her a spot in the AV club and both Lucas’s and Dustin’s hearts. I also enjoyed Bob Newby (#JusticeForBob), Joyce’s loveable, new boyfriend. It was a great performance by Sean Astin. Eight/Kali, a “lost sister” from Hawkins Lab was also important because she adds to Eleven’s character development.

Steve’s character development was something that the show definitely did right. He went from one of the most selfish characters to one of the most selfless and developed a bromance with Dustin in the process, which was delightful to watch. He went from a cool, popular jock to a babysitter dad with his hands on his hips, telling the kids to stay out of trouble. It was amazing.

I absolutely LOVED how they ended with the Snowball Dance. It was the perfect ending in my opinion. Everyone’s heart just melted when Eleven entered and Mike just stared at her like she was the most amazing person he’d ever seen. I was crying like a baby.

One of my complaints is that I wish there were more episodes, not just because I want more Stranger Things, but because there were so many sub-plots this season that I think would have been developed more elegantly if they had 12 or 13 episodes instead of 9.

If you haven’t watched Stranger Things 2 yet, I highly recommend that you do so. It is worth all of the hype. It is streaming now on Netflix.