This review contains spoilers.
“Stranger Things” is back. And boy, is it stranger. This season is dark and sinister, more like “The Exorcist” than coming of age “Stand By Me.” Our favorite gang is back along with new characters that only add to the Golden Globe winning cast that have grown close to audience’s hearts.
Premiering on Oct. 27, the season opens appropriately on Halloween night in good old Hawkins, a year after last season’s tumultuous events. The gang, Lucas, Mike, Dustin, and Will, all dress up as the Ghostbusters. In true geek fashion, they are the only ones at school to dress up. Yet that doesn’t steer new girl Max away from them. In fact, they all become obsessed with her, stunned at the fact that she beat their top scores at the arcade under handle MADMAX. Another new face is Joyce’s boyfriend Bob, who any classic ‘80s fan will recognize as Sean Astin from “The Goonies.” Coincidentally, all the loved characters come together in the same way as “The Goonies” did in order to close the gate to the Upside Down once again.
As hinted in last season’s finale, Will is still messed up from his experience in the other world. Contracting some sort of virus ,as the doctors describe it, the shadow demon still has a hold of him. Slowly, his post traumatic episodes get worse and worse until the demon has almost a complete control of him. Meanwhile, the audience finally gets a glimpse of what happened to Eleven, or Jane as it is her real name. Hiding with Chief Hopper, she leaves his cabin to find out what happened to her mother and who she truly is. Her character transforms from the girl scared of her powers to one that fears nothing, complete with a punk makeover courtesy of her lost sister Eight, who has some freaky powers of her own.
Steve Harrington, known for his immaculate hair (thanks to Farrah Fawcett hairspray), also turns around. Nancy’s jerk boyfriend in season one is now a protective babysitter, willing to get in harm’s way to protect the gang. One can’t help but root for him after all that he does, from swinging a spiked baseball bat to punching Max’s abusive brother Billy straight in the face.
Despite all the developments from season one, Hawkins is still plagued by demonic possession and demogorgons. Watching the Hawkins Middle School AV Club save the day once again doesn’t get old and the finale leaves fans longing for more. Waiting for season three will almost be as trying to figure out what happened to Barb.