After its release in August of 2016, Netflix’s Stranger Things became an instant hit. Everyone has either watched it or heard of it. Now, over a year after its release, it has finally been given a second season–and it’s a fantastic second season, too. There are a lot of outstanding things about Stranger Things 2. From new characters to problems stemming from unresolved issues last season, a lot of things happen in just nine episodes. Some questions that many people may have had after watching season one were answered, but more questions were raised as well.
Stranger Things 2 takes place a year after the events from the first season, and everything appears to have gone back to normal. However, Will is experiencing what appears to be flashbacks of the Upside Down, a dimension parallel to ours and appears to be the same, but is darker and colder, and is also home to a creature that is known as “the Demogorgon” by the characters in the show. Along with that, Eleven hasn’t been seen since she killed the Demogorgon at the end of the first season. It’s quite obvious that she isn’t really gone, though, since police chief Jim Hopper, played by David Harbour, is seen leaving some Eggo waffles in a box in the forest at the end of season one. It’s implied that he’s leaving the waffles for Eleven, because Eggo waffles is her favourite food.
After watching season one, I wondered why Eleven was called Eleven (or 011). I assumed that there were other kids with special abilities like her, but I wanted to know for certain. In the first scene of episode one of Stranger Things 2, that question was sort of answered when they showed a girl with a similar tattoo on her arm, although hers said “008”. However, it appeared as though she had different powers. Eight (or Kali), played by Linnea Berthelson, makes another appearance in episode/chapter seven, “The Lost Sister”, when Eleven manages to track her down after learning that there’s someone else with special abilities like her. Learning about the existence of Eight means there are others like Eleven. I hope that we get to know more about the other kids in the future, even if we don’t actually get to see them on screen. I’m curious as to what kind of powers they had, and if any of them have powers like Eleven’s.
I found it to be really enjoyable how all the different parts of the story seem as though they aren’t completely connected, but come together like puzzle pieces as the show progressed.
In episode/chapter one, titled “MADMAX”, a new character is introduced when Mike, Lucas, Dustin, and Will go to the arcade, where they discover that Dustin’s high score in Dig Dug has been beaten by someone who goes by the name “MADMAX” on the leaderboard. The next day at school, there is a new student named Max, who the boys believe is the one who beat Dustin’s high score. Dustin and Lucas want her to join their group (or party), but Mike is against it.
Another new character is Joyce’s boyfriend, Bob Newby, played by Sean Astin. He works at Radio Shack and is very tech smart. He’s quirky, nerdy, and makes lame jokes. For example, when saying bye to Will before he left to go trick-or-treating, he says “I hope it doesn’t suck” because he [Bob] is dressed as a vampire. Such a lighthearted and silly character is a welcome change, considering how serious the other characters can be, excluding Dustin and Lucas.
The acting was amazing, as expected. I got a little teary-eyed in every scene where Nancy thought of or was reminded of Barb, since she was killed by the Demogorgon in season one. It was extremely emotional and Natalia Dyer’s acting was amazing; I could truly feel Nancy’s emotional pain and struggle with knowing that her best friend is dead and not being able to talk about it.
On the contrary, there were many scenes that had me laughing so hard that I had to pause the episode to calm down. The funniest scene, in my opinion, was definitely the scene in which Dustin was in the car with Steve after his “amphibian” friend Dartanian escaped and they were looking for him.
Stranger Things was amazing, so I had high expectations for Stranger Things 2. Not only did it meet my expectations, but actually surpassed them completely. If you’re a fan of the first season, you’ll love the second one. If you haven’t watched Stranger Things and you enjoy sci-fi, fantasy, and/or suspense, what are you waiting for? It’s a fantastic show and is definitely worth the watch.