“Stranger Things” Lives up to Its Title in Season Two


Nathan Yacur, Section Editor

Caution: spoilers ahead!

The highly anticipated second season of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” returns with fan-favorite characters and somewhat loveable new characters. Fast-paced drama fills the season, wrapping up loose-ends from last season and opening twice as many more.

Season one’s Demogorgon pales in comparison to this season’s Shadow Monster, a huge, spider-looking creature visible only in the Upside Down and Will’s “episodes.” Will’s episodes are most likely a result of the events of last season, where he spaces out and visits the Upside Down for a few moments.

During episode three, Will attempts to stand up to the Shadow Monster as it chases him as a result of well-intentioned advice to face your fears. Because Will attempts to stand up to the monster, it ends up catching up to him and infesting itself into his body, unknowingly creating a spy for the Shadow Monster out of Will.

The Shadow Monster and its control over Will drives the season, and provides viewers with a new perspective of an old foe. The characters’ battle with the Shadow Monster and Will encapsulates what everyone loved about season one, as well as new and exciting characters and subplots.

The acting among the characters is extremely believable and captivating, fully pulling the viewer into the story. For a lot of the “Stranger Things” kids, this is their first acting role, but they pull it off flawlessly.

Noah Schnapp, who plays Will Byers, steps up his game this season. Despite being one of the major plot points of the first season, he rarely appeared due to being trapped in The Upside Down for a majority of the season. Now, as Will is back and surrounded by the others, Schnapp was truly allowed to let his talent show.

The last episode contained one of the most memorable scenes, when Joyce, Jonathan, and Nancy had to heat Will’s body in order to chase out the “virus” trapped inside of him, tying him and his body to the Shadow Monster.

Because this “virus” hated heat, Will’s body reacted horribly, and he started thrashing and screaming violently. A black, almost vine-like pattern crept up on his neck as the heat was cranked up even more, bringing more screaming and thrashing.

This scene is so heart-wrenching because no one wants Will to be in pain as he is just a child, but this is something that has to be done, no matter how terrible it is. Schnapp’s acting is so convincing and heartbreaking that brought viewers to tears.

 reators Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer directed both season one and season two. This is their biggest writing and directing role so far, and previously both have worked on relatively little projects compared to other directors of similarly popular shows, such as Fuller House.

Season one’s directing and cinematography was amazing on its own, but the Duffer Brothers step it up severely in season two. It’s easy to see that they have become more comfortable with this show and how it plays out, and they seem to be bolder in the shots that they aim to film. They are less afraid to take risks when it comes to ambitious shots, and it pays off.

This season’s cinematography and directing was a significant improvement from last season’s, and it will be interesting to see what they have in store for season three.

Season two has been satisfying among fans in relation to last season as it provided closure to some plot points but also brought new and interesting elements to the table.

“The last two episodes that concluded everything and brought in some new information [were the best],” Alyssa Johnson, a freshman at Vista, said. She is an avid fan of the show and binge-watched the whole season the weekend it was released.

Overall, the final episodes wrapped up the season nicely and left viewers happy with the direction the season went, but there is plenty of room for a third season to take place. This season is perfect for people who were fans of the first season, and people who love sci-fi and can stand a bit of horror would thoroughly enjoy this show as a whole.