Unless you’ve been living in the Upside Down, you’re aware that Season 2 of Stranger Things released last weekend. Me, being the prudent person I am, watched that shit in one sitting while recovering from Halloweekend.
Coming into the season, this is what we wanted to see:
The Squad Back Together
Mike and Eleven
Joyce and Hopper
Jonathan and Nancy
Here’s what we sure as shit did NOT want to see:
The Motherfucking Cocksucking Demogorgon:
Tommy and Carol
(Tommy and Carol were Steve’s two asshole friends that had about 6 lines in Season 1 but were always up to no good.)
Our wish came true almost right away as the whole squad was at the Arcade minus Eleven. It was there were we met Keith, who was the bearer of bad news that Dustin’s Dig Dug record was taken down.
Keith is a weird looking fucker with permanent Cheetos fingers who apparently rents out the managers room for tweens to “keep things PG.” He also used the squad as pawns to pimp out Nancy to him for a date to no avail.
The person that defeated Dustin’s Dig Dug record ends up being Max, who I’m pretty sure is Shaun White’s mother. Her stepbrother Billy (Zac Efron’s dad?) was quickly introduced as the douchey, possibly racist, Cali-bro with a lead foot and a zest for classic rock.
We later met Bob, who was giving Joyce the business in the projection room above the auditorium.
The first episode is nearly finished without any sight or mention of Eleven. Until, Hopper goes into a small cabin in the woods and knocks on the door in morse code. Alas, we see that Hopper has taken in Eleven as his own, which is touching considering his loss of his daughter, Sarah, as seen in Season 1.
The squad then gears up for Halloween in Ghostbusters costumes and Mike and Lucas fight over who gets to be Venkman, Bill Murray’s character. Mike had wrongly assumed that the only black squad member, Lucas, would be the one to dress up as the only black Ghostbuster, Zeddemore. As the duo are arguing about it and Mike is trying to dance around the obvious reason why Lucas should be Zeddemore, Dustin interrupts as he realizes that they’re the only people in school dressed up for Halloween. That’s one of everybody’s worst nightmares; being the only one not to get a memo about dressing up for school. I wore some outlandish shit in my day to high school, and there was always that “what if…” thought in the back of my mind.
Meanwhile Eleven dons a sheet and begs Hopper to let her go trick or treating. Hopper refuses to let her out of the house but promises to be home nice and early with a bunch of candy.
We need to talk about Tina’s party. Billy California is shown defeating Steve’s keg stand record with a 46 second heater on a goddamn school night! Meanwhile Nancy is getting shithoused while feeling guilty about Barb’s death. We’ve got people making out all over the house, furniture getting drawn on, and a whole lotta boozin’. All I know is that Tina can throw the fuck down on a weeknight.
And how about Toga Dude just screaming about “MORE FUEL” in the punch:
Live fast and die young, Toga Dude:
Nancy drunkenly tells Steve that “it’s all bullshit” and they unofficially officially breakup. Who else is there but Jonathan to save the day and slowly and awkwardly rekindle their relationship.
The next day at school, Nancy comes stumbling in yelling at Steve for not driving her to school and making her late. What nerve! Steve has a basketball game to win, and Billy California is making him look silly with some retro between the leg layups. He then drove into Steve and told him to set his feet and take the charge. Then Billy California dropped the ole Von Miller on Steve:
Somewhere along these lines, Dustin finds the slug thing that Will spit into his sink at the end of Season 1. None of them know that this “Poliwog” is what it was, or is going to be, and Dustin thinks that he’s made some ground breaking discovery. While Max is kind of in the squad because of Dustin and Lucas’ infatuation with her, Mike is adamantly against it. She has to stay outside while Dustin shows the squad his pet, Dart. Max picks the lock as soon as Dart starts to become evil and suddenly Dart is running amuck the school. As the squad breaks up to find Dart, Eleven breaks all 3 of Hopper’s rules and ends up at the school as well. Joyce quickly traces a masterpiece from the video footage from Will’s Halloween and finds that the shadow monster is in fact ‘real’ and races to the school at the same time.
Mike and Max finally have a civilized conversation for once and bond over Max’s skateboard when Eleven sees them through the gymnasium doors. We think finallllly these two birds are gonna see each other again. Nope, Mike gets lost in the sauce and Eleven makes Max pay:
The rest of the squad makes dumb decisions of their own. Dustin finds Dart and hides him in his hat and then lies about losing him again. Everybody lets Will run off alone again. It’s like going out in an unfamiliar place with a friend who’s a wanderer (me). If he’s not within eyesight it’s too late.
Will goes into the Upside Down and foolishly takes Bob’s advice from when they were talking in the Bobmobile. Will screams at the shadow monster to leave him alone, and instead of listening the shadow monster enters Will’s mouth for what felt like 15 minutes. Will’s in the middle of a field seizing and Max, being the only person not knowing what’s going on is like what the fuck are you people.
Eleven returns home and fights with Hopper. When Hopper goes to take away the TV, Eleven comically makes it stay put with her telekinesis. When he unplugs it, all hell breaks loose and Eleven’s scream damn near ruins the place.
Nancy and Jonathan get abducted in a creepy scene at a park and are taken into Hawkins Lab. They are subtly threatened about spreading the truth about Barb and are shown some of the powers that the Lab obtains. As they leave, Nancy pulls out a tape recorder which seemingly indicts the Lab for murder, amongst other crimes. They then go off the grid and find themselves in a parallel situation from last season:
After another awkward night of who’s going to make a move, neither of them do and they head over to see the residential conspiracy theorist that was hired to investigate Barb’s death. The conspiracy theorist thinks that he can work with what he heard and proceeds to get Nancy and Jonathan a little drunk and tells them to figure it the fuck out. Jonathan finally ends up coming to Nancy’s door in the middle of the night and the rest is history. The conspiracy theorist asked “how was the pull-out?” during breakfast, which damn near made everybody choke including myself.
Dustin comes home to his mother worrying that their cat was missing. Dustin goes to check on Dart and……
Dustin has made a tragic mistake.
Will is back at home and has become a host for the shadow monster. His body temperature is down to unnatural levels because “he likes it cold.” As it turns out, the shadow monster is using Will as a spy, so whenever Will knows where he is, the shadow monster will know as well. Joyce gives Will his crayons and he subconsciously drops page after page of what looks like nothing. Finally, Joyce, Mike and the squad piece it together and figure out that it’s some sort of map. It’s finally Bob that comes in and realizes that it’s a map of Hawkins. Hopper previously went on a solo mission and was attacked by the vines in an underground tunnel. Once Bob uses some Boy Scout skills to pinpoint where Hopper should be, they go out and find him.
Meanwhile Steve and Dustin start one of the more unlikely buddy cop scenarios as they continue their search for Dart. Steve tells Dustin that he uses Farrah Fawcett hairspray for his hair, and threatens to kill Dustin if he ever tells anybody.
Eleven escapes again after reading some files about her mother found in Hopper’s basement. She meets ‘Mama’ who is fucked up because of Hawkins Lab but Eleven is able to communicate with Mama through Mama’s old memories. She sees herself as a small child with another girl. She escapes from Mama’s house and ends up meeting the other girl from the memory, Kali, or Eight. She then joined this unconvincing street kinda vigilante gang that could’ve been cool but was kinda corny. She left them after learning that Papa may still be alive to return home to save her friends. At least she got her new “bitchin'” look:
Mike, Hopper, Joyce, Bob, Will, and the doctor are at Hawkins Lab and end up locked in the surveillance room when shit starts hitting the fan. Demodogs have taken over the building and it is now in lockdown mode, meaning that there’s no way in, or out. As they’re trapped inside, Nancy and Jonathan show up at the front gate, and Steve rolls in through the woods with the rest of the squad. The gang inside the surveillance room realize that they need to manually reset the system….4 floors beneath them. Bob is the only person that knows how to do so, but he’s also the least likely to fight off a Demodog. Hooper gives him a gun and bids him adieu, and Bob is actually able to manually reset everything, allowing Hopper, Joyce, Mike and Will to escape. The doctor decides to stay in the surveillance room to help Bob escape as well. Bob makes it out to the front lobby despite multiple Demodogs behind him, and for some reason decides to stand instead of sprint to the final door 15 feet in front of him. Sure enough, Bob gets devoured by a pack of Demodogs.
The inside gang meets up with the squad at the gate just in time and they all speed off to Will’s house. They realize that he’s the shadow monster’s spy so they throw him in their shed and disguise it so he doesn’t know where he is. Hopper realizes that Will is tapping morse code on his chair instead of speaking. “CLOSE GATE” is what he ends up saying. That means that that gate into the other dimension has to be closed, and then the shadow monster and all of it’s inhabitants will die. But that means that Will will die, as long as the monster is inside him. As they’re all pondering what to do, their phone rings, and Will recognizes the sound. The Demodogs are heard in the distance, and getting louder.
The whole squad gears up with everything from machine guns to slingshots, and right when it sounds like they’re surrounded by the Demodogs, there’s silence. Then Eleven strolls in through the door looking like younger, beardless Barry Melrose. Just the person they need to close the gate! Mike gets pissed at Hopper for concealing Eleven from him for 353 days. He called her every day! Ryan Gosling says “that’s it?”
The buddy cop show continued as Dustin made Steve stash the Demodog in the fridge. Dustin of course didn’t help yet complained that Steve was taking too long.
After that, everybody had their plan. Joyce, Nancy, and Jonathan were going to sweat the shadow monster out of Will at Hopper’s cabin. Hopper was going to take Eleven to Hawkins Lab to close the gate once the shadow monster was out of Will. Steve…..was going to babysit. The squad hatched a plan to go into the tunnel to draw attention away from Hopper and Eleven, but Steve was having none of it. Babysitter of the year. All was going well until Billy California showed up, after he was reamed out by his dad for losing Max.
Billy California insinuated that perhaps some funny business was going on with Steve and his sister, when Steve lied about her being in the house and he spotting Max peeking through the window. The two finally fought after 9 episodes of tension. Billy damn near killed Steve, until Max jumped in with a needle to Billy’s neck, and a spiked bat right underneath the crotch.
Real quick, holy shit I though Billy California was about to put the moves on Nancy and Mike’s mom. And how worthless was the dad!? Dude slept through 1,000 doorbell rings and nearly got cucked right before his very eyes! Also, “I didn’t know Nancy had a sister” is the smoothest line in the world. I’ve pulled that one out a time or two and you’ll never see a mother blush faster I swear.
Next thing we know Steve is waking up in a car driven by 12-13 year old Max. No longer babysitter of the year. The squad is geared up with gasoline and limited fire-retardant equipment. They all head into the tunnel and set up the diversion. Dart then shows up and Dustin feeds it a 3 Musketeers. Of course the one Demodog on watch in the tunnels is Dart. Suddenly the squad hears 100 more Demodogs somewhere down the tunnel. Steve pushes up Max, Mike, and Lucas, and is helping Dustin as they all show up. At the same moment, Eleven and Hopper start closing the gate, hearing that Operation Cabin Fever 2 was a rousing success.
Eleven was closing the gate with Hopper alongside her when all the Demodogs show up. Hopper goes American Sniper on those fuckers while Eleven went dual nostril bleed on the haters. The shadow monster tried to sneak in to their side of the gate but Eleven remembered the lesson she learned from Eight about using her anger as a weapon and sealed that shit.
Eleven saved humanity yet again. Next up was the Snow Ball. The doctor managed to forge a birth certificate for Eleven to become Jane Hopper, but suggested that they continue to lay low for at least a year.
Fast forward to the Ball, and the squad is standing in the corner like a bunch of chumps. Nancy is there chaperoning and handing out cups of PURE FUEL. Lucas comes in guns hot and hits the dance floor with Max, therefore winning the battle with Dustin over Mad Max’s heart. Some tall girl approaches the remaining three and asks “Zombie Boy” Will to dance, who clumsily accepts. Dustin, looking fresh as hell with Steve’s hair tips, confidently approaches a group of girls and asks one of them to dance. He gets denied, again and again and again. Nancy finds him crying on the bleachers and then brings him out to the floor. Suddenly all the girls that denied him were looking at Dustin like he was the cock of the walk. Mike’s sister! Dustin’s a dog!
That leaves Mike, alone and visibly bored. But then look who shows up……
Everybody awkwardly makes out and all is right in the world.
……or is it.
There it is. Hope you killed one of the many hours we have to wait until Season 3 comes out. Until then, try to stay in this dimension.