Hawkins is at the peak of summer; swimsuits and sweat basically cover it all. The crew is back with a new normal life of teenage and romance. All look seeming well in the first episode of the latest season of Stranger Things, until, Will Byers feels the chill down his spine.
Stranger Things brews colours and nostalgia to bring back the 80s. Through fights and relationships, the crew is scattered, not split; yet each of them finds their own way and reason to find the Demogorgon.
Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Eleven’s (Millie Bobby Brown) romance is blooming, only to annoy her foster father Jim Hopper (David HArbour). The couple crazily in love, can’t keep a 3-inch distance between themselves, as set by daddy Hopper.
Worked up by the fact that the duo stays together all the time, Hopper goes to Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) seeking help. Being the mother she is, Joyce works out a speech for Hopper to have a special chat with the kids to set healthy boundaries, but hey! doesn’t Hopper punch or scare his way outta things? He is the police chief of Hawkins after all. On a side note, he has a soft corner for Joyce, which is equivalent of — keep trying till she says a YES!
Moving on, Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) -Max (Sadie Sink) is going on with their own relationship which has too little to show in the season, and Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) now has a new camp found, long-distance girlfriend, Suzie. But Suzie, do you copy? The crew apart from Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) is busy with their puppy love, but he wants to play dungeons and Dragons!
Meanwhile, Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) are working to be journalists at a local daily, The Hawkins Post. Nancy, mocked as Nancy Drew is made to run errands by the male-dominated newsroom, while Jonathan is the boss of his own at photography lab. Her former beau Steve (Joe Keery) is now serving scoops at the new and happening place in Hawkin’s old town, the Starcourt mall, with Robin (Maya Hawke).
The much anticipated season has everything yet misses out on a lot. It finally has a new human vessel for the monster in Billy (Dacre Montgomery) (Max’s step-brother), El has a new and budding friendship with Max, which gives her a shot at a normal life with a girlfriend. Steve ‘Hair’-ington and Dustin’s bromance has a cool new take, and Lucas little sister Erica (Priah Ferguson), gives us the quota of sass needed for the season, as she says, “There is no America without Erica.” Also, Steve’s reaction of accepting Robin’s coming out is a refresher course, but the ghosts of the past catch up with the team.
Instead of evil Americans this season, we have Soviet bad guys opening up the portal to the upside down, with no solid reasons, at least I couldn’t figure any. All things Russian are bad -bad, but Alexei (Alec Utgoff) was a delight to watch. His death midst a happy carnival broke our hearts a little. Not to forget the corrupt Mayor of the town, who had a Trump-like aura, as claimed by many, actually is acting on behalf of the Russians, get the similarity here?
Moving on, El explored her sister Seven in Season 2, yet, El’s other numbered siblings and exploration of the Upside down remained missing.
The main antagonist, the Demogorgon, is now smarter than before and is creating his own little army; almost all of Hawkins Post rots down to a meat-mush. But it was the same old way to get rid of the monster, close the portal, the-head-dies-the-body-dies logic. Move on Duffer Brothers!
Nonetheless, the last episode was brilliant. It gives us three deaths, okay, at least two. First is the Russian scientist Alexie, the second is Max’s bully-big brother Billy and maybe Hopper. The Suzie-poo and Dusty-bun conversations midst a super tensed finale was unexpected. But the end, Hopper’s letter which he wrote with Joyce earlier in the season was a heartfelt message from a father to his daughter (weeps). All in all, we know season 4 is on its way, and we simply cannot wait for it. And Hopper, please be that American mentioned in the post-credits scene. Fingers crossed.