It came, we saw and it conquered. Stranger Things 2 has left audiences suitably thrilled with its follow-up series to the critically-acclaimed first season and, though the dust is still settling on another Netflix triumph, it will be a while before it isn’t on everyone’s minds.
Stranger Things 2 was full of intrigue, humour, heartbreak and genuinely scary moments – so much so that it may be difficult to process all the best stuff about it if you binge watched it in one or two sittings.
Fear not, fellow AV Club members, for it’s time for a comprehensive list on some of the best moments from a show that has charmed us all. Here’s eight of the most memorable bits from Stranger Things 2:
Note: Spoilers may follow from this point onwards. Don’t scoll past this hilariously cute gif of Eleven and Hopper if you don’t want the show spoiled before you finish it!
Dustin & Steve’s Bromance
There are a few new unlikely partnerships that help to make Stranger Things 2 another hit for Netflix, but few are as endearing and enjoyable as Dustin and Steve banding together.
The pair are thrown together in unusual circumstances at the Wheeler household, and their blossoming bromance goes from strength to strength as they combat both the Upside Down’s demodog horde and girl troubles.
Steve Harrington’s character development throughout season two is a delight, while Gaten Matarazzo’s charm and likeability help Dustin step to the fore from Mike’s shadow.
Bob the Brain’s Bravery
Viewers of a certain age are treated to a huge 80s throwback with the introduction of Sean Astin as Joyce Byers’ love interest Bob ‘the Brain’ Newby.
Starting out as something of a cringeworthy-esque character, Bob grows into a man of action as the series hurtles towards its finale and his brave actions help save those who make up the main cast.
His knowledge of breaker systems and computers and bravery help some of the gang escape Hawkins Lab after it gets over run – a factor that makes his death at the last moment all the more heartwrenching and sob-inducing.
Noel Schnapp’s Performance as Will Byers
As the ‘Boy Who Got Lost in the Woods’ during the first season, Noel Schnapp was criminally underused last time around if this is the measure of acting performance he can give.
Terrified and terrifying in equal parts, Schnapp goes through every conceivable emotion to truly make the struggle within Will a huge part in Stranger Things 2.
It’s extremely easy to forget that the show’s kids are, well, still kids. Based on Schnapp’s superb acting skills and ability to conjure up different feelings in the same scene, it’s hard not to look past him as this series’ break-out character.
Eleven’s Coming of Age Arc
Eleven has come a long way from being discovered by the AV Club boys, and her ‘coming of age’ storyline throughout season two fleshes out her character in greater detail.
From her reapperance in the real world to tracking down ‘Momma’, to rocking out with Kali’s gang in Chicago and returning to Hawkins to save the day, Eleven is no longer the terrified girl with superhuman abilities that she was a year ago.
Her new “bitchin'” look with slicked back hair and eyeliner also gives a new emphasis to her maturing personality, and it’s one that will hopefully continue to grow in the seasons ahead.
Expanding the Stranger Things Universe…
Episode seven drew criticism from some circles for its filler material in a bid to pad out season two, but realistically it helped to expand the Stranger Things universe.
The show needed a slight departure from Hawkins and, by taking us off the Chicago, switched the formula up and showed that people with powers aren’t solely confined the small rural town.
Spending any longer in Chicago would certainly have made the season drawn out, so the brief stop off broke the season up and, more importantly, gave Eleven reason to return to her true home.
…And Loving the New Characters That it Gave Us
TV shows have a tendency to become stale and sluggish without the introduction of new players – key or supporting – to help move story arcs along, and Stranger Things 2 gives us a small glut of new characters to love and hate in equal measure.
We’ve already become accustomed with Astin’s Bob Newby but, in step-brother and step-sister pair Billy Hargrove and ‘Mad’ Max Mayfield, the returning cast have new additions to play off to great effect.
Max’s time in Hawkins, whilst badass in the end, drives a wedge between Dustin and Lucas at the midway point of the season, and between that duo and Mike in the opening episodes.
Billy’s arrival, meanwhile, provides a human antagonist for viewers to rail against, particularly with Steve, and allow the latter’s character development to truly flourish.
Add in the likes of Dr Owens – he’s a decent guy after all! – Kali/Number Eight and her motley crew, conspiracy theorist Murray and Lucas’ sassy younger sister Erica and whole new dynamics are played out in splendid fashion.
Hopper & Eleven’s Burgeoning Father-Daughter Relationship
What of two of the best characters in the Stranger Things universe though? And just how perfect are their interactions whether funny, heartfelt or volatile?
David Harbour and Millie Bobby Brown’s energy and chemistry in scenes together will certainly have audiences gripped, and their bond is all the sweeter for their respective losses up to this point.
One of the most touching moments comes when Hopper is handed adoption papers by Dr Owens that allows him to officially be Eleven’s guardian from here on out, so don’t bet against more triple-chocolate layered eggo stacks before too long.
Jim Hopper’s Dance Number
And, speaking of Hopper, who could forget the dance moves that inspired a meme in the aftermath of Stranger Things 2?
Whether it’s Eleven’s puzzled look once Hopper gets down with his jams or the actual dance moves themselves, there can’t have been a viewer who didn’t laugh out loud as this scene played out.
Let’s hope for more Hopper moves in the next few seasons!