Last week Stranger Things 2 dropped just in time for us to binge watch while handing out candy to kids that will never understand all the reasons we can’t get enough of Hawkins, Indiana.
In the show about a group of nerdy eighties kids, for nerdy eighties kids, there are plenty of great moments that are evocative of everything from Animal House to Xanadu, made specifically for geeking out. Here are some that made us scream with delight. Spoilers ahead, so curl up with a bucket of creamy nougat and watch before reading.
Hawkins has a new arcade and it is peppered with favorite games of the time, including the expensive and infuriating new addition of Dragon’s Lair. While Lucas saves Princess Daphne, Dustin learns that someone with the handle Mad Max has annihilated his high score on Dig Dug. This scene is a great throwback to the geek origins of our childhood and Will sees a disturbing vision of the Upside Down.
Dustin adopts a slimy green pollywog rattling inside his trash can. Just like some other slimy green critters we know, it isn’t fond of light, water, or heat. He names him Dart, and they bond over a late night snack. When Dart gets loose at school, the music is pure Gremlins. The Party searches for him, keeping in touch via walkie-talkie as they split up according to compass points like the Ghostbusters.
After calling bullshit on Steve at a very 80s party, Nancy gets into investigative journalism with Jonathan. They purposely get picked up by Hawkin’s Lab goons in order to blow the whistle on the cover up of last years events. The pair take the evidence to conspiracy theorist Murray Bauman who helps them formulate a cocktail that will get justice for Barb. With hilarious honesty, Murray prods Nancy and Jonathan to give into their painfully obvious mutual attraction.
They’re not gonna laugh at me, Mama
Eleven has been taken in by Hopper. After too many broken promises, Eleven has a disturbing psychic tantrum, throwing the cabin into disarray. Eleven runs away to find her Mama and Aunt, as well as her real name, Jane. Jane gets a trip inside her Mama’s one track mind and learns she has a sister in Chicago. Her sister, Kali, teaches Jane how to use her gifts to strike back at those who hurt her and Mama.
Hey you guys
Joyce’s new boyfriend is Hawkins original nerd, Bob “the Brain” Newby. After giving Will some bad advice, Bob is recruited to solve a brain teaser. His first reaction to the transformation inside the Byer’s house is one of concern, but Bob can’t resist a good puzzle. Excited by the idea that the map Will has drawn leads to pirate treasure, Bob is quick to plot the course that leads to the trapped Jim Hopper.
Soldiers burned the tunnels where Hopper was found and it attracts some unwanted attention from the Mind Flayer and his demogorgons. Our view of the carnage that follows is extremely evocative. This is partly due to the presence of a familiar face, but largely dependent upon the sight and sounds of a motion tracker. Geeky tension builds to a climax as the tracker picks up on movement inside the tunnel moving steadily closer to the sealed lab.
Hopper, Joyce, Bob, Will, Mike, and Dr. Owens are trapped inside of the laboratory with a pack of velociraptor-like demogorgons. Since the power has gone down the only way to get outside the building is to reset the breakers and restart the computer system. Only Bob knows computer language, so an injured Owens helps him safely navigate to the appropriate room, while Hopper, Joyce, and the two boys escape. Bob however, is not so lucky.
Adventures in babysitting
Steve Harrington is recruited by Dustin outside the Wheeler house to help kill the demo-dog, Dart. Steve proves his mettle as a babysitter defending his charges from a whole pack of Dart’s siblings. When “judgement day” is at hand Steve is quick to bench his team before Max’s brother Billy shows up and knocks him out. Still, the kids decide Steve should come with them when they thrown consciousness to the wind and spelunk into tunnels of the Mind Flayer.
The exorcist terrestrial
When Will is first connected to the Mind Flayer his description of their emotional link is similar to that of Elliot and E.T. The two characters even bear a faint resemblance as Will surveys his reassembled map wearing under-roos in a room of scientists. As the Mind Flayer’s influence grows it seems more like a demonic possession, until finally Will is strapped to a bed in Hopper’s cabin and made to sweat out the evil inside him.
The breakfast club
Kali and her gang bear resemblance to The Warriors, but their story is more reminiscent of the Morlocks of X-Men. Kali gives Jane a quick lesson on mind powers and a punk makeover before her revenge mission debut. Jane likes the bitchin’ new look but decides that hurting people isn’t her scene, and returns to Hawkins where she closes the gate on the Mind Flayer and the Upide Down before she transforms like Ally Sheedy just in time for the Snow Ball.
On the other side of the school gym we know that the Mind Flayer still lurks, and it now has a personal interest in destroying the lives of The Party. we can only hope that Jane did a really good job of locking the gate.
Image Credits: Netflix