Stranger Things—Season 2

stranger things season 2 poster netflix
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 8/10

Bigger than the previous season

Less about the core kids, same occasional storytelling issues

stranger things season 2 episode 2 trick or treat freak ghostbusters cast

The boys are back in town! Sort of…

Almost a year has passed since the events that sent Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) to another dimension and introduced his friends Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), and Mike (Finn Wolfhard) to a girl named Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown).  The group may have won the battle against the Upside Down, but they didn’t win the war.  Something bigger and badder is coming….and Will could be the gateway!

Stranger Things—Season 2 was released by Netflix on October 10, 2017.  The highly anticipated series was met with positive reviews.

stranger things season 2 episode 2 trick or treat freak eleven escapes millie bobby brown

I miss the old Eleven

I liked Stranger Things, but I wasn’t a rabid fan of Stranger Things.  I think the series got a lot right and had a lot of leeway in its plotting and storytelling which sometimes didn’t make much sense (but the fun of the series made up for it).  Stranger Things—Season 2 definitely continues the story, but that has its pluses and minuses.

This season is largely about Will who was absent for most of season 1 and both Mike and Eleven take more of a backseat role.  This might turn off some fans of the series which liked the ’80s Stand by Me/Goonies comradery of the first season.  The kids aren’t working together as much as the teens and adults working to stop the crisis.  In addition to that, you get the soul searching Eleven (who isn’t quite as much fun as the shaved head Eleven) and a whole set-up episode where she meets Eight…who has her own agenda.  It feels like Stranger Things, but it also feels like less fun nostalgia than the original series.

stranger things season 2 episode 7 the lost sister kali team linnea berthelsen

I’m cool if they drop the whole Kali storyline…trying way too hard

There are still a number of things which force you to turn a blind-eye to storytelling aspects.  Characters that have been through so much (and so into sci-fi) like Dustin would not take in a monster from a city where monsters have existed.  The Henry Bowers-esque character of Billy is too much for an already convoluted plot (and just feels like filler).  Bob the Brain (aka Sean Astin) is an obvious sacrifice from the start, and Cali and her gang of punk thieves seem to just stall time from the major plot while setting up future seasons…that and the wildly inconsistent nature of the Upside Down itself makes some things hard to believe.  Fortunately, the fun makes up for it, but it dangers itself by stretching the fun thin through overloading the cast.

stranger things season 2 episode 9 the gate monster upside down ending

It’s coming…

The cast continues to be good but as mentioned, it is less about Gaten Matarazzo, Finn Wolfhard, and Caleb McLaughlin.  Millie Bobby Brown isn’t as fun this season, but it makes sense character-wise.  I’m not as interested in the adults in the story, and while I like Sadie Sink’s Max character, her skeevy brother Billy played by Dacre Montgomery is too over the top.

The series feels bigger and I’m sure it has a bigger budget due to the success and anticipation.  The special effects are more abundant and the music and ’80s continue to rock (with a setting of Halloween 1984).  Having been a kid then, it is still fun to revisit…but man stuff would be a lot easier with cellphones (lol).

Stranger Things—Season 2 will be liked but I doubt people will enjoy it as much as the first season.  It is good that some of the supporting characters like Lucas and Dustin get more playtime, but I hope that the next season is more about the kids than the adults.  Things continue to be strange, but I think they can be stranger.

Stranger Things—Season 2 Complete Episode Guide:

stranger things season 2 episode 1 madmax wills vision


2.1       Madmax Release Date:  10/27/17

Things are returning to normal in Hawkins…sort of.  Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) finds himself trying to adjust to life after his experience and suffers strange visions while continuing examinations by Owens (Paul Reiser).  Officer Jim Hopper (David Harbour) tracks more rumors of psychic children and as Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard) continues to search Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown).  Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) and his brother Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) adjust to Will’s visions and dates Bob Newby (Sean Astin).  Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) and her boyfriend Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) learn that the parents of Barbara (Shannon Purser) have hired a special investigator to find their missing daughter.  The arrival of a girl named Max (Sadie Sink) and her brother Billy (Dacre Montgomery) has Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo) and Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin) on a spy mission when they learn Madmax is a video game expert.  Will’s visions are getting more dangerous…and something is coming while Hopper keeps his own secret.

stranger things season 2 episode 2 trick or treat freak will upside down ghostbusters noah schnapp

“Trick or Treat, Freak”

2.2       Trick or Treat, Freak Release Date:  10/27/17

Eleven recalls the events after her escape from the Upside Down and wishes she could go out trick-or-treating.  Joyce finds Will’s pictures of his visions and reveals to Hopper that she thinks Will is lying to her.  Strange rotting is occurring around Hawkins, and Hopper tries to find the cause.  Steve and Nancy try to be “teens” by going to a Halloween party and Nancy tells him her true feelings.  Jonathan skips out on his watching of Will during trick-or-treating and reveals to Mike learns what Will has been seeing after another vision.

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“The Pollywog”

2.3       The Pollywog Release Date:  10/27/17

Dustin’s discovery of a creature in his trashcan leads him to investigate what it is…but learns his friends have different theories on D’Artagnan aka “Dart”.  Hopper brings in Owens on the darkness spreading in Hawkins while trying to hide Eleven.  Nancy deals with the fallout with Steve after the party and goes to Jonathan with help about Barb.  Joyce finds a secret on Will’s Halloween tape.  Eleven goes on a mission to find Mike but learns her friends have replaced her with Max.  Entering the Upside Down again, Will learns Bob’s advice on monsters might not be the best option.

stranger things season 2 episode 4 will the wise jonathan nancy natalia dyer charlie heaton

“Will the Wise”

2.4       Will the Wise Release Date:  10/27/17

Will’s encounter with the creature of the Upside Down has changed Will and Joyce learns about the depth of her son’s problems.  Cooper learns about Eleven’s “fieldtrip” and puts him at odds with her.  Mike and Lucas question if Dart could be the cure to Will’s problems, and Dustin learns that Dart might not be everything he believed.  Jonathan and Nancy discover their plans to expose the lab aren’t so secret…but they have their own back-up plan.  Billy objects to Max’s new friends.  Eleven uncovers secrets about her past and sets out to find the truth about her origin.  Cooper investigation of Willy’s vision puts him in danger.

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“Dig Dug”

2.5       Dig Dug Release Date:  10/27/17

Will determines that Hopper is in trouble, and Mike and Joyce try to find where Hopper is with a surprising helper.  Lucas decides to fill Max in on what is happening in Hawkins.  Jonathan and Nancy meet with the conspiracy theory “expert” Murray Bauman (Brett Gelman) with their information and try to get the truth out.  Dustin tries to deal with the Dart problem and calls in Steve for help.  Eleven locates her mother (Aimee Mullins) and learns the origin of her birth.

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“The Spy”

2.6       The Spy Release Date:  10/27/17

Jonathan and Nancy try to deal with their night at Murray’s and wonder if getting out the truth will work.  Owens shows Hopper the problem of the Upside Down, and Will finds he has a case of amnesia after his attack at the field. Steve and Dustin hunt Dart, and Dustin finds Max with Lucas…but events at the junkyard prove there is more going on in Hawkins than anyone expected!

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“The Lost Sister”

2.7       The Lost Sister Release Date:  10/27/17

Eleven learns that there might be other children like her and seeks out Eight (Linnea Berthelsen).  Kali and her team brings in Jane to the team…and Jane learns that robbery and revenge are their goals.  Eleven learns that her boogeyman “Papa” (Matthew Modine) might be alive and that a face-off might be necessary.

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“The Mind Flayer”

2.8       The Mind Flayer Release Date:  10/27/17

Bob, Joyce, Owens, Mike, Hopper, and Will are trapped in the research facility as the demogorgons invade from the Upside Down.  Max is discovered missing, and Billy is ordered to bring her back in.  Nancy and Jonathan meet with Dustin, Max, Lucas, and Steve at the research labs and learn Will and Mike might be inside…but to get them out, sacrifices must be made.  Even if the group survives, the beast inside of Will must still be stopped.

stranger things season 2 episode 9 the gate eleven jane millie bobby brown

“The Gate”

2.9       The Gate Release Date:  10/27/17

Eleven is back, and the gate must be closed at any cost.  Taking the battle to the monster will be the first step, but if the monster dies, Will dies too.

Related Links:

Stranger Things—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Stranger Things—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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