Last week, the second season of “Stranger Things” was released in all of its glory. If you’re like me, and like most of the show’s fanbase, then you finished the new season within a day or two of its release. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? The new season brought back everything great from the first season of “Stranger Things” while introducing new plot lines and new characters that made the show even better and kept many on the edge of their seats. Here are just a few of the best parts, in one mega fan’s opinion, of “Stranger Things” season two.
**WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD.**
1. Everything about Bob
Though it may have taken some time to warm up to Bob, and the notion of Joyce Byers not ending up with Hopper, he eventually grew on most viewers. Although his advice seemed unwarranted at first, the love that he felt for Joyce and her sons by the end of the season was clear through his actions. Any man that embraces a weird Shadow Monster map of Hawkins and cracks the code that not even Will, whose possessed body created the map, could solve is a winner in my book. Oh, and Bob most definitely deserved a better ending than being devoured by a Demodog, especially right after he braved the Hawkins Lab to restore power to everyone.
2. Eleven’s short-lived rebellious stage
Beginning with seeking out her mother and ending with a road trip to Illinois to meet her “sister,” Eleven got to experience what it means to be a rebellious teenager. Eleven got the full experience of disobeying her parents, Hopper in this case, and trying out a new, punk-goth fusion aesthetic that she (thankfully) chose to abandon. The best part of Eleven’s rebellious stage, for me at least, was its end. I’m glad that Eleven got to learn more about her past and meet another girl that shared her experiences at the Hawkins Lab, but I was even happier to see her spare the man she was forced to kill and return to Hawkins with the sole mission of helping Mike and the rest of the gang.
3. Steve Harrington
Arguably one of the worst characters of the first season, Steve Harrington underwent one of the largest changes of heart I’ve seen on television or in film in a while. Last season, all Steve cared about was his hair, his standing as a popular jock and his seemingly perfect relationship with Nancy. This season, Steve became more invested in what happened with the other characters of the series, standing up for the younger characters of the show and making sure that they all remained safe. Even after a very drunken Nancy verbally tore Steve to shreds, Steve showed up at her home with a dozen roses to win her back. This leads to my favorite part of the season, which was Steve’s newfound chemistry with Dustin.
This gave viewers a satisfying brotherly dynamic between the fan favorites. The way that their relationship grew over the last few episodes of the season, and the way that Steve looked after Dustin all the way up until the end, made me like Steve even more as a character. Bonus points for his baseball bat decked out in rusty nails used to help save Hawkins in both season one and season two of the show.
4. Will stands up for himself
Alright, so this point came more than once in the season. The first time that Will stood up for himself against his brother and his friends for treating him like a freak, I was thrilled. That moment alone convinced me that he was going play a larger role in the new season. The second time was when Will stood up to the monster who had been terrorizing him from within the Upside Down; after that, I gained so much more respect for him. Standing up to a bully can be a difficult task to begin with, but standing up to one that has practically taken possession of your body? That’s a feat that only the strongest type of person can do, and Will’s newfound strength is something that many, including myself, probably wish they had for themselves.
5. Hopper and Eleven’s relationship
Hopper is the father that Eleven needed in her life. He has only done what is best for her, starting from when he found her in the woods in the interim between the first and second seasons. Although she didn’t like being stranded inside that cabin in the woods all day, Hopper’s only intention was to make sure that nobody hurt Eleven.
Just like any father and his teenage daughter, Hopper and Eleven fought throughout the season, but when all was said and done the two had a bond just as strong as that within a biological family.
6. Eleven’s new blindfolded powers
Although she couldn’t physically be with her friends for most of the season, Eleven’s ability to view each of their lives was introduced fairly early on. By putting on a blindfold, Eleven somehow had the power to visit different people, though they couldn’t actually see her there. This newfound power is also how Eleven was able to get through to her mother and learn what the Hawkins Lab did to her as well as to Eleven and the other little girl in the rainbow room. Eleven’s new power, strange as it may have been, played a large role within the second season of “Stranger Things,” and something tells me that this isn’t the last viewers will be seeing of it.
7. The shadow monster inside Will Byers
Every single part of the Shadow Monster taking over Will’s body made me feel for him. This boy went to hell and back almost literally just last season, so why make him suffer even more? When the men from Hawkins Lab began destroying the Upside Down area beneath the pumpkin patch where Hopper was trapped, Will burned from the heat, and viewers felt his pain. Later on, it was revealed that the monster inside Will was working as a spy. So naturally his mother, brother and Mike overheated Will until they killed the monster. As much as it may have hurt fans to see Will practically being burned to a crisp, the relief that came with the eradication of the Shadow Monster within was far greater.
8. Mike and Eleven’s reunion
While I am a little upset that it took so long for Eleven to make it back to her friends, I was thrilled when she finally did. The reunion that fans had been waiting for, Eleven’s return with Mike, was everything that I could have wanted and more. When Mike got angry at Hopper for hiding Eleven for so long, and then broke down on him, my heart just shattered. Although I wish the reuniting had taken place sooner, I can understand why the Duffer Brothers chose to wait so long to bring Eleven back together with the gang, and it was well worth the wait.
9. Nancy’s growth from the first season
Although there were a lot of good qualities to Nancy in the first season, there were more bad ones that immediately come to mind—like when she abandoned Barb to go upstairs to Steve’s bedroom. This season, however, Nancy really showed a lot of growth. She decided to own up to her mistakes by telling Barb’s parents what really happened the night she disappeared. She partnered up with Jonathan to take a trip to learn more about the Hawkins Lab, even threatening to burn it down. The kindest moment for Nancy came when she saw Dustin sitting all alone at the middle school dance and asked him to dance with her. That moment in which Dustin felt like the happiest kid in the room warmed my heart and made Nancy one of my favorite characters for creating that special moment for him.
10. The ending
The last episode of season two was all fun and calm at the middle school dance until the last thirty seconds or so when the entire school flipped. So, what does this mean? Is all of Hawkins still in the Upside Down? I don’t know about you, but this super fan is more than ready for season three, and the adventures that surely await viewers.