On October 27th, Netflix released yet another season of its binge-worthy series, Stranger Things. Prior to the release of the highly anticipated second season, fans had no idea what to imagine or even expect after the ending of the first season. Though some took it upon themselves to make predictions for what was yet to come, all of our questions were finally answered.
After watching the whole season in a matter of two days, I can say that I was extremely pleased with the execution of the sophomore season. Not being a huge fan of the horror/scary genre of movies and television shows, it was pretty manageable to watch. And while I did have my predispositions going into it, I must admit that it exceeded expectations.
The second season begins one year later in Hawkins, Indiana where everyone is trying to get back to their normal lives. Will Byers struggles with inter-dimensional PTSD, and can’t seem to get away from the upside. At school, he’s referred to as “Zombie Boy” and his mother has not become any less overprotective. As for the others, Mike starts to show his rebellious side and longs for Eleven, who disappears at the end of the first season, and Gavin and Lucas fight for the heart of Max, a new face to the second season.
First introduced as “MadMax,” when the boys realize their coveted high score on their favorite arcade game has been beat by someone by that name, after further investigation, they realize it’s actually the new girl at Hawkins Middle School. Maxine Mayfield (Sadie Sink), is the newest edition to the group, and after being sought out by the boys with lots of convincing, a friendship is formed.
Viewers also finally find out where the infamous Eleven has been over the last twelve months. In the last moments of season 1, Hopper is shown leaving Eggos in the middle of the woods, for who we can all assume is Eleven. We finally discover that both Hopper and Eleven have been together in a small house off the grid. There, Eleven is kept safe and out of demi-gorgon’s harm.
In the opening of the very first episode, we are introduced to a rebellious gang of criminals. It’s confusing because nobody’s really sure who these people are and what they have to do with the plot or the series in general. But we are quick to learn the connection once one of the individuals blows up a wall only using the words “boom” and wipes blood from her nose, only to reveal the number 8 tattooed on her wrist. Toward the end of the season, it’s revealed that Eight and Eleven are indeed “sisters.” After a blowout argument with Hopper, Eleven runs away to seek her sister. Once reunited, Eleven is recruited to embrace her powers but to use them to get revenge on all of the people that have caused pain to members of the gang.
Though this is a brief review of Stranger Things 2, and I don’t want to reveal more than I already have, I did enjoy the progression of relationships between characters, both old and new. The addition of new faces adds a variety of new perspectives to the plot and intensifies other aspect of the story as well. The relationship between Max and her bad boy step-brother, Billy, shows a non-supernatural related issue. The jealousy that Eleven holds toward Max also foreshadows a new conflict for (hopefully) another season. And of course, the newest dynamic duo of Gavin and Steve is not only precious, but unexpected.
Seeing all of the characters one year later and seeing the fact that they haven’t just moved on shows that realistically (even though it’s not that realistic), it’s been tough on everyone in a variety of different ways. The ending holds more questions and the promising chance of a third season as the upside down is revealed while the kids are at the middle school dance, leaves us to believe that its only a matter of time before even more strange things happen.