Stranger Things to Come

Katie Brubaker, Feature Editor

Warning: Only read if you have finished both seasons of Stranger Things. This article contains many spoilers.

Following the first season of Stranger Things that was released in 2016, Stranger Things season two did not fail to once again keep viewers on the edge of their seats as a narrative unfolded that seemed to exceed the definition of the word “strange.”

Stranger Things is a science fiction-horror series written and produced by the Duffer Brothers, along with executive producers Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen. Both seasons of Stranger Things take place in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana in the 1980’s, where the story of four kids is told in a unique and captivating way. In their ventures through a different dimension, these middle school kids encounter terrible Netherworld creatures.

The first season, released last year, followed the plights of Mike, Dustin, and Lucas, as they searched for the fourth and mysteriously missing member of their party, Will Byers. During this time is when the boys get acquainted with Eleven, a girl with immense powers that will eventually help the group in more ways then they can imagine. However, while their reunion is sweet, all is not well in the town where supposedly nothing ever happens.

Season two begins right where season one left off. The same introduction of an 80’s inspired soundtrack that never fails to send chills down your spine is accompanied by the slow formation of the title of the show in glowing red. This auditory and visual experience sets the mood for the thrills that ensue.

Since the show takes place in the 80’s, references to music, pop culture, clothes, cars, movies, and even politics of the era are made. This includes houses shown fashioning “Reagan ‘84’” campaign signs. The aesthetic of the time period is so well executed with details such as these that it makes the viewer feel as if they have been taken back in time.

The aesthetic of the time period is so well executed with details such as these that it makes the viewer feel as if they have been taken back in time.

While casting is all around exceptional, the most notable performance was from the youngest member of the crew. Noah Schnapp, who portrays Will Byers, delivered a chill inspiring performance as his character was slowly possessed by an evil, powerful being from the Upside Down, or Earth’s second dimension. In the final scene before he is released from his possession, Will Byers is convulsing, screaming, thrashing, and crying simultaneously. This intensity and fear that is felt by the viewer in this scene is brought to life by a 12 year old boy.

With this season came the introduction of two new characters: Billy and Maxine (Max). Billy is Max’s abusive step-brother and seemingly has no other purpose in the plot besides terrorizing the kids. While the Duffer Brothers explained in an interview that Billy was meant to act as a human antagonist, it is still unclear of the actual value of his character.

One relationship established in the first season that broke off early on in the second season was that of the high school romance between Nancy Wheeler and Steve Herrington. While Nancy slowly gravitates towards Jonathan, Will’s older brother, who is sort of an outcast character, Steve seems to evolve entirely from his popular jock status and takes on a very unexpected role as the father figure of the kids.

As Mike, Dustin, Lucas, and Max encounter dangers from the Upside Down, Steve becomes the protector and voice of reason. Also, Steve forms a very unlikely and sweet relationship with Dustin that makes anyone’s and everyone’s heart melt instantaneously.

The entirety of episode seven follows Eleven as she finds her sister, Kali. She also has powers and helps Eleven channel her emotions and increase the magnitude of her powers. Some viewers have been critical of this episode, but this part of the narrative is essential to the plot later on. Without learning to manage and strengthen her powers, Eleven would not have been able to close the gate between our dimension and the Upside Down. Also, finding this kinship and likeness within another person helped Eleven grow immensely as an individual and further her self understanding.

After waiting several episodes, Eleven is reunited with the boys. However, the most important part of this reunion is the looks exchanged between Eleven and Mike. These two have had a close relationship that first became apparent in season one. The build up to this reunion made it all the more impactful and exciting for the audience.

At the end of the season, with her powers, Eleven closes the gate between our dimension and the Upside Down, and all appears to be well since the dangers within the other dimension seem no longer able to meddle.

In the final episode, the middle school has a Snow Ball, or a winter dance. Once again, awful 80’s fashion is set on display, but the music choice of songs like “Every Breath You Take” by the Police were much appreciated.

As the episode comes to a close, the camera flips to an image of the Upside Down where the creature that terrorized them throughout the show and possessed Will seems to still be watching the kids. This both impresses due to the skillfully chosen song pairing and gives a sense of insurance that the show will continue since there is still a looming threat. And yes, it has been confirmed that the thrills will continue in a season three of Stranger Things that will be released on Netflix sometime in 2018.