#JusticeForBarb is now #BarbHasJustice. A thrilling end to Stranger Things season two meant justice for our beloved Barb, but season two was so much more than that. The Duffer brothers delivered a well-crafted and suspenseful season two following the success and attention season one had received. While season two had many great moments, and was a fantastic follow up to season one, season two did have some flaws in my opinion. Before I get into those criticisms though, lets appreciate just have great satisfying it was to see the gang back together uniting in the fight against the upside-down.
By the third day of release, over fifteen million watched Stranger Things season two. It completely beat out other top Netflix shows in comparison to viewer counts within the first few days/weeks. In fact, it beat out the combined viewership of Fuller House and Marvel’s Defenders. It also topped prime time television with beating the rating of the season premiere of The Walking Dead. So why was it so successful?
Stranger Things has become so popular because of it’s incredible characters and a suspenseful and creative story that combines terror, action, and drama. Season two doesn’t disappoint with giving us more of what audiences loved about season one. The Dungeons and Dragons party was back together with Will more in the fold this season, giving us great humor and taking us back to the nostalgia of childhood. Eleven early on was revealed to be alive and well in the care of the beloved Police Chief Jim, “Coffee and Contemplation,” Hopper. Nancy and Steve were having relationship problems with Jonathan trying, and making it, a love triangle. And lastly, we have Joyce Buyers, as always, just worrying about her son.
We also had an introduction of some new faces into the Stranger Things world. Doctor Owens, the mysterious new doctor at Hawking’s National Laboratory, who ends up being a pretty good guy after some suspicious on whether he could be trusted. Bob Newby, Joyce Buyers new boyfriend, who in my opinion was a useless character until the end where he happened to find some way to advance the plot. Max, the newest edition to the party, who after some time, gains the trust and acceptance of the group as the “Zoomer.”
Her older step brother, Billy Hargrove, who along with Bob Newby, I found to not really have purpose in the new season aside from adding a sub-plot that was mildly entertaining. His character is one of the criticisms of season two because I felt his character lacked a real purpose and was kind of just thrown into the season to add some unnecessary drama. We wanted to focus on the demons of the upside down and not Billy Hargroves anger issues about his sister and his Testosterone fueled beef with Steve. Maybe in season three he will have more relevance to the plot, then his character maybe will feel more justified. Don’t get me wrong though, his character is entertaining, and Dacre Montgomery does a great job playing him, but his relevance to the overall story was minimal.
My other big criticism is the episode where Eleven finds her sister in Chicago. While it does have a small relevance in the season finale, it felt super out of place and took us away from the show. There was barely, if not any, mention the development in Hawkins. While some fans may have enjoyed the episode and thought it was a good edition to the season, I felt that it went from hunting monsters to Eleven joining a crime group. It was out of place and they could have done something completely different to have the same relevance in the season finale.
Overall, even with my few criticisms of season two, I thought it was extremely well done and was a satisfying sequel to season one. The story was just amazing, and the thrill factory and suspense had me on the edge of my seat multiple times. I give Stranger Things 2 a 9/10 for a fantastic story and incredible acting but with a point off for episode seven and the feeling of irrelevance for Billy Hargroves.