Stranger Things 2: A Review

In case you've been in a coma for the past two years, here's what you need to know: 

  • Somehow, Donald Trump became the President 
  • Prince died 
  • Netflix has released two seasons of Stranger Things and it's the best show of all time. 

If you weren't in a coma and didn't watch Netflix, then honestly you should have been in a coma because whatever time you absolutely WASTED not watching Stranger Things should have been used in an unconscious state. Lucky for you, I've reviewed the newest season so now all you have to do is dedicate 8 hours to watching the first. 

Obviously, here's a big fat SPOILER ALERT. 

So, Eleven's been gone for this entire year between seasons, in which Will comes back from the Upside Down and things in Hawkins seem to be getting back to normal. Eleven has been staying with Hopper in secret the whole time, channeling into Mike's radio (with her FREAKING MIND) every day, where he calls and talks to her, hoping she'll reply one day (why do these 13-year-olds have a better sense of romance than most people???). 

HOWEVER, there is this random red-head that shows up to school, who calls herself Max, whose character comes off as a replacement for Eleven in Mike's gang of nerds. At first glance, I HATED Max. She skateboards in, trying to act like some cold/mysterious/awesome girl. She is *literally* a cheap Eleven knock-off, except she has no powers and doesn't have the cutest love story ever with Mike. Max's older brother, Billy, also shows up to the high school. Now, HE is an addition to the story that I can approve of. The primary reason for this is obvious: abs. However, he does have a mullet and is mean to Steve (the love of my life). Also, he's around 18 years old and still goes by Billy. So, do the pros outweigh the cons? Not exactly. But I was getting tired of consistently swooning over Steve and trying to tell myself that Jonathan is attractive, because... he's just not. 

The final, most important expansion of the cast is due to Bob, Joyce's new boyfriend. He's the typical stereotype of the divorced mother's new boyfriend, who tries too hard to be liked by the kids and just acts like a big goof. I grew to love him as the season progresses, especially after he dies, but in the beginning, I resented Bob because I'm preeeeetty sure Joyce and Hopper should end up together. 

Besides these new additions to the cast getting more screen time, Will has made a more prominent role in this season as well, as he is no longer trapped in the Upside Down. Since being back home, he's been experiencing weird episodes from the PTSD he's developed. 

Can I just say that Ben Schnapp, the actor behind Will Byers, is absolutely EXCELLENT. If anybody can make me believe they are possessed by a monster that doesn't exist, it's him. 

Nancy gets drunk and is mean to Steve who absolutely loves her, I hate Nancy, blah blah blah. 

Everybody's favorite smart-mouth, Dustin, finds a frog-like thing in his garbage, which quickly grows into something of a baby Demogorgon. Knowing full well that the last time one of these was encountered, it almost KILLED THEM, Dustin (lovable idiot that he is) takes it in as a pet. Dart (because why wouldn't Dustin give this monster a cute name?) eats Dustin's cat, making Dustin realize that Dart is evil. Too bad that Dart's already escaped. Oops. 

Eleven runs away in some really weird side-story, in which she finds her "sister" Kali (who has also been experimented on in the lab and has similar powers). Kali and her friends are criminals, and Kali almost convinces Eleven to stay with them, but of course she ends up leaving after Kali tries to get her to kill somebody who was involved in the lab. Eleven is too ~pure~ and can't do it. She also finally meets her mother Terry, who is seemingly brain-dead but Eleven can connect to her inner thoughts via a radio signal, because of course she can. 

Side note: did Axel's mohawk really have to be THAT big? I thought they wanted to be inconspicuous. 

We find out that Will's episodes of PTSD are actually signs that he's falling deeper and deeper into a possession by the "Shadow Monster," yet another monster of the Upside Down. This means we can't destroy the Upside Down without hurting Will. 

Everybody ends up in the lab for the dramatic final episode. The demogorgons have escaped the Upside Down, which was previously contained by the lab but the demogorgons are just too strong. The power is out. Somebody has to use some ~technical skills~ to get the power back on, and Bob, the hero/gigantic nerd that he is, volunteers. Except he FORGETS THE GUN. That's when you know he's done for. He almost escapes three times, but at the last second, he gets mauled by one of those damn demogorgons, right in front of Joyce's eyes. Hasn’t that poor woman been through enough? Jeez, the Duffer Brothers have no mercy on Joyce. Fortunately, everyone else escapes, except Will is still possessed. 

Do we even care at this point? Bob is DEAD. D E A D. I thought I couldn't go on after Cory Monteith died. Now THIS!? Whatever. I better finish what I started. 

Since Will's possession is similar to having a virus, Joyce has the fabulous idea to make the host body inhospitable for the virus to survive. A reoccurring request Will would have is to be cold, because "he (the monster) likes it cold." Obviously, Joyce cranks the heat. The Shadow Monster leaves Will's body, leaving Will looking like he just threw up everything in his stomach. 

On top of that, ELEVEN COMES BACK. She goes back to the lab with Hopper and destroys the portal to the Upside Down. Also, Max finally gains my respect because she stands up to Billy, who was the worst to her all season. Billy and Steve have this kind of random fight at the end, but I'm not mad about it because it was hot.

To conclude the episode, Barb finally gets her justice and a funeral, as the lab is exposed for all of its wrongdoing. Nancy and Jonathan, who exposed the story, seem to maybe be headed towards a romantic relationship in the future, as they admitted they had feelings for each other. The ending scene is all of the kids at a school dance, with things finally seeming a bit more normal. Obviously, there was an ominous storm brewing in the background, because things will never be normal in Hawkins. 

The show is rumored to continue for another two seasons, and I expect that those episodes will be nothing less than absolutely perfect. My main concerns moving forward are about Steve, but I suppose I'll just have to wait until next year to find out.