THIS SHOW IS EVERYTHING. I loved how it touched on a bit of 80s nostalgia/paranoia, sci-fi, coming of age stories, familial relationships, the meaning of friendship, early romance, and a general curiosity that should never die with age. Mr. Clarke for President, y'all.
I watched it all in an 8 hour period and lost sleep that night from being scared of turning my bathroom light on and off, so there's that.
Please don't read on if you don't want any spoilers. Here are my five major questions I have after watching Stranger Things (I may be missing a few). Here we go:
1. What on earth is happening to Will?
The minute Will got up, went to the bathroom, looked in the mirror, and got a flashback to the Upside Down, my skin crawled. I binge-watched this show from about 2PM to 2AM, so you can imagine that a cliffhanger that occurs in a BATHROOM is definitely not fun before going to bed. I was so creeped out by the fact that he still has this "view" of everything from how it was in the Upside Down world; the shadow world, as described by Dungeons and Dragons, is basically the WORST version of what we currently see and live in, but colder, darker, and more depressing. Nice. So poor Will has to constantly be reminded of his time there at the ripe age of 11-ish AND cough up little slugs? Is he turning into the demagorgon? Or is he slowly dying because GOD ONLY KNOWS how he survived after they pulled out that giant leech thing out of his mouth/entire body. Plus, why wouldn't he tell his Mom, the sole person who believed, supported and fought for him from the start? To not worry her? I guess that's believable but truth's about to come out soon, son. You can't just go "wash your hands" everyday to cough up slugs and get flashbacks of your almost-death-zone.
2. Why did Hopper leave those Eggo Waffles out there?
What is the deal with Eleven?! I guess Hopper made some sick deal with the lab to get him and Joyce into the gate's opening, but how does that account for the possible survival of Eleven? So many questions around this because it give us HOPE and definitely makes me want more; Hopper was one of the best characters out there, plus we got to see his flashbacks only towards the end. Eleven was also a huge question mark; I get that she "thought" Mr. Brenner was her new Dad after some sort of brainwashing, but her history is still a giant question mark; how did she open the gate; what did the monster from the other side do to make her go insane in that bath; did she use her powers to literally envision a place so far (not Russia, or the nearby woods) that it was, in fact, the other side? Aka she's like a flea vs. an acrobat and can use her mind without the portal? Who was Eleven before she got taken away from her Mom?
3. How come nobody cares about Barb?
This got me so mad. Of course Nancy eventually caught on to Barb's disappearance but her own Mom barely cared the way Joyce did re: Will, even on TV/their news stations - so even if the State covers up a missing child via a car, like she ran away, we have overwhelming evidence of why she wouldn't do something like that. Where's the search party? Why is her mom not relentless like Joyce. We're shown nothing of this because Will's disappearance is the "main" plot connector? Nope, sorry, I won't accept it. And I'm devastated how Eleven just said "gone" and Nancy had to just deal without as much of a bout of remorse for essentially telling her to go home so she could be EATEN by the faceless monster. I'm not saying it's Nancy's FAULT, but if I were in her shoes, as a character, I'd feel so guilty and probably associate my friend's disappearance with the same popular kid who invited me up to his room. How she can stomach Steve despite Barb's incident is beyond me; again, not saying she doesn't have the right, it just doesn't sit well with me that it wasn't further developed emotionally.
4. Is Mrs. Wheeler still so unaware?
I swear, she was all confused and stereotypical Mom-in-her-bubble throughout the series; and even when she finally realizes that her son is a part of this huge debacle (you'd think something would click when he's able to predict the "bad men" coming to their house), she doesn't seem to budge. She cares about the safety of her children than anything else, which of course is important and natural; however, she doesn't seem to delve deeper. It's just TOO one-dimensional for me; if there's another season I'd love to see more involvement from her in terms of overall curiosity. She should have so many questions! Like why her son housed Eleven, why the lab came to her house, why Joyce was right about prioritizing the Christmas lights over casserole... the list goes on. I think she played a great role in trying to be her childrens' safety net and confidante, but clearly that approach didn't work (and wouldn't for most kids that age). She could, believe it or not, learn a thing or two from Joyce.
5. Why is Nancy with Steve?
Save me the "oh, but he's a good guy and really cares about her," because I'm not questioning his affection for her or his moral compass (or lack thereof). He just seems so reactionary, when it came to immediately bullying another guy and masking it as protection, supporting his friend in spray painting slut only to later on realize how wrong it is, assuming the worst of Nancy without having a conversation first. Yeah, I know they're young and we're probably all guilty of the same mistakes; and, in a way, it did make the plot a bit realistic. I think that Nancy has more potential with Jonathan though; sure it'd have been cliche if they ended up together, so that was refreshingly different, but their arguments with each other and unconditional support was developed over time and I was a total sap for it. He did have a somewhat fair point about her being "someone who she wasn't" during that get together (party?) at Steve's house; I think she was being herself in that she was exploring her limits and curious for new experiences, but when your best friend is doubtful of your actions and lack of responsibility, there's reasonable room for concern. Plus Barb totes just got eaten alive and transported into the shadow world because of it. So, Team Jonathan and Nancy here.
My opinions are never written in stone, so feel free to sound off below in the comments and let me know your questions or general thoughts on the show!
I'll leave off with one of my favorite quotes: