Right now, it’s completely impossible to avoid the ever-growing presence of Stranger Things. Season 2 of the breakout Netflix series hits the streaming site on Friday, and it’s perfectly fine if you call out of work “sick” so you can stay home and binge it all day (I am not saying you should do that, but it’s probably a good idea…because spoilers for the season will come hard and fast). But I promise I’m not going to put any in here. I’m not a MONSTER.
But don’t you kinda want to know what you’re getting yourself into?
Season 2 picks up roughly ten months after the end of Season 1, and now we’re in October 1984. Things have returned to normal in Hawkins, Indiana. Our boys — Will, Mike, Dustin, and Lucas — spend their afternoons hanging out at the arcade. Steve’s applying to college and Nancy’s editing his admission essay. Joyce has a new boyfriend!
Oh, and also Police Chief Jim Hopper is leaving Eggos in the woods and they are mysteriously disappearing. It’s not a spoiler to say that Eleven — or El, for short — is back and more pissed than ever. Understandable. You would be too if you were in her oversized flannel shirt.
While Season 1 spent a lot of time building up a ~mystery~, Season 2 uses that as a jumping off point to really get the ball rolling. The show uses our knowledge to its advantage, and really hits the ground running with everything — from the new monsters, to the new dynamics between the characters, to even settling #JusticeForBarb once and for all.
The real strength with this season of Stranger Things is that it does what so many great sequels have done before: It splits our characters up (The Duffer Brothers, the masterminds behind this whole thing, have not been shy about the fact that they were going for a movie sequel rather than a second season). Think how Empire Strikes Back sent Luke to Dagobah and Han and Leia to Cloud City. The same thing is going on here, except it’s Nancy and Jonathan off to uncover secrets about Barb; Dustin and Lucas, along with new character Max, out to take down the monsters; and Mike off with Will, just trying to figure out WTF is going on.
There is one thing I did not like about the season, but telling you about it now is 10000% a spoiler, so come back and talk to me once you’re done binging. I also did not like Episode 7, because it felt like Stranger Things trying to do their own version of Lost’s Season 2 Episode 7, “The Other 48 Days.” The kids work best when they’re together trying to figure something out and here they just…weren’t.
Bottom line: Did I binge this way faster than I thought I would, and found myself genuinely frightened and concerned throughout the 9 episodes? Yes. How soon until Season 3? And it’s okay to have genuine feelings for Hopper, right?