Welcome back to Hawkins, Indiana!
Stranger Things 2 returned on Halloween 2017, intending to strike fear into our hearts by the comeback of the Upside Down! Season 2 comes with fresh pairings – ones we end up falling in love with and it also introduces a bigger part of the other dimension. Back in Season 1, just when we thought everything was falling in place we see Will puking out a small creature -like-thing and our hearts pound with fear. We step into the second season of the franchise knowing something is about to happen. Apart from the wonderful aspects of it, sometimes it feels like a filler between season 1 and 3.
In this new season we have Max and her older, abusive step-brother Billy introduced, who are important forces to characters like Dustin, Lucas and Steve development. Characters like Lucas, Dustin, Will and even Barb who were not explored much in season 1, come back with an expanded storyline and are given enough attention. Of course, being the second season, the novelty value is gone but it’s compensated by expanding Hawkins and the Upside down for us.
Newly kindled bromance between Steve and Dustin is a wonderful addition to the show. We see a different, developed side of Harrington – a caring, loving brotherly side. As for Dustin, we see him in a clearer light, his personality, his insecurities and his feelings are finally discovered. Lucas is given a lot more importance than the previous season – we see him as an understanding, caring young man, a development from what he was in season 1. Likewise, Hopper and Eleven, Mike and Will, Lucas and Max, Max and Dustin and even Billy and Mike’s mother – are the relationships that we have to look forward to.
This season gets darker as we see that the imminent threat to this town is stronger than anyone expected it to be. The balance between the antagonist and the protagonists bends in favour of the antagonist, making us feel that casualties are indeed possible. The enemy is too strong for them – hence, sometimes it feels like an unfair advantage and the existence of these characters, slowly feels like it is loses its purpose and importance, I guess? The world of the Upside Down is explored further and we learn more about it via the scientists and Will. It is soon revealed to us what this enemy is and that is when the series picks up a much faster and tighter pace. Till then, the focus is majorly on the characters and their lives. When we understand the stakes, we realise the power of this enemy.
The only drawback of this season is the fact that it feels like a slight repetition of what happened in season 1 – making it predictable. Thus, it feels like the season mostly existed to help us understand that there is another enemy and season 3 will take it from there. Yes, some character developments were wonderful;; however it would have been more interesting if the focus was not only on the personalities of the characters but also their strengths against the enemy. The bat and the gun might not be the best plan of action for these characters. Overall, the season is definitely worth watching and I can assure you, it’s entertaining and gripping and you will not regret this!