Stranger Things 2 recap and review

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Stranger Things 2 recap and review

Emma Lingo, news-features writer

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Last season, “Stranger Things,” an American sci-fi TV show that premiered in 2016, opened with a lab experiment gone wrong and the disappearance of a young boy, Will Byers. The abduction of Will and the lab’s failure to keep their experiments contained sets up for an eerie and enthralling first season.  Almost a year and a half later “Stranger Things 2” has arrived with even more mystery and action than season one.  Season two opens with another escaped Hawkins Lab experiment, Kali, being pursued by police. Kali and her friends are trying to evade arrest, but all hope seems lost when the cops are practically on top of them. As a last resort Kali clenches her fist and summons her power of illusion. She commands the police to believe that the tunnel her and her friend have entered just collapsed and there is no way for the cops to break through the rubble.The drama of the first 10 minutes pulls the viewer in and establishes the fast-paced and dark atmosphere for the rest of the season.

“Stranger Things 2” is magnificent. With its intriguing new plot and quality special effects, it is even better than season one. The writing is unique and weaves many plotlines together nicely: the Kali-Eleven conversations are a perfect example of this. The characters were challenged in new ways (especially Steve Harrington played by Joe Keery), and the acting made it possible to feel for the characters. (Shoutout to Finn Wolfhard a.k.a. Mike Wheeler who expertly portrayed what it is like to feel sadness and loss.) “Stranger Things 2” is a solid 10/10 and a must-watch for anyone with a Netflix account.

 

*Spoilers for “Stranger Things 2” ahead*

 

“Stranger Things 2” takes the audience back to the small town of Hawkins, Ind., where our beloved party of boys is back in business, this time with Will by their side. The party consists of Mike, played by Finn Wolfhard, Dustin, played by Gaten Matarazzo, Will Byers, played by Noah Schnapp and Lucas Sinclair, played by Caleb McLaughlin.

In episode one, the gang’s biggest problem is Max Mayfield, who has officially knocked Dustin Henderson out of first place on one of his favorite video games, “Dig Dug.” Max, played by Sadie Sink, is new to town, and she arrives with her older stepbrother, Billy Hargrove, played by Dacre Montgomery (a boy who is not thrilled to be in Hawkins, to say the least).

Billy manages to make enemies on day one, his most notable offense being against Steve Harrington. Steve, the definite fan-favorite this season, was incredibly kind towards the younger boys in the party. He becomes somewhat of a mentor to Dustin and, surprisingly, the shining star of this season was “babysitter” Steve. He went from cocky jock to protective nanny, showing unparalleled character development throughout the season. Steve spends a better part of his time on screen taking on the “demo-dogs,” defending the party and bickering with Billy. It is safe to say, Steve Harrington has been the most iconic mother-hen on the small screen in 2017.

“Stranger Things” is certainly one of the best Netflix originals out there, thanks to its cast and crew, but it does have its weaknesses. Seeing Mike cast to the side this season, with what seemed like minimal screen time, was disappointing. Mike’s character had so much more potential to grow in season two, but the writers seemed to have neglected him entirely. Also the storyline with Kali, while making for a good season-opener, completely disappeared for several episodes after being introduced, which made it hard follow or care about. Although Kali was sort of shoved into the story last-minute it most likely was setting up for season three, which has been confirmed and is already being scheduled to drop in late 2018.

Overall, the second season is outstanding and even slightly better than the first. The characters’ growth was entertaining to watch, the light humor was sprinkled in at the right moments and it still held onto the scary tone the show gave off in season one. The Duffer Brothers should be proud of the season they produced.