Stranger Things – Season Finale: The Upside Down

I might have had something in my eye by the end there…


Well that was pretty fucking intense. Starting with another breathless opening, this time over ten minutes long, The Upside Down just never lets up. Hopper makes a shady deal with Hawkins Lab, something that appears to have laid the foundations for season 2, Nancy and Jonathan fought off one of the monsters (yet to be given a proper name by the show) with help from a special guest (more on that later), and El killed a bunch of people by seemingly making their brains seep out of their eyes, nose and mouth – all of this before we had even reached the half way point!

There was a lot of pressure on Stranger Things to get it right with the season finale and show creators The Duffer Brothers played it note perfectly. More than anything else the main theme of The Upside Down was sacrifice. El sacrifices herself so that Will can live (albeit indirectly), Hopper sacrifices his sense of self to save Will (or maybe to save Joyce from the heartache that he himself suffered when he lost his own daughter) and Jonathan sacrifices his feelings for Nancy to ensure her happiness with Steve Harrington. We will not know the long reaching consequences of all this sacrifice until season 2 but both Hopper and Mikey appear to have been scarred by their respective loss.

The death of El was hard to swallow but it didn’t feel like it was only there for shock value. Over 8 episodes, Stranger Things has done enough character building to earn this pay off. I’m struggling to think of any show that has made me care so deeply about the characters in such a short space of time and for this Stranger Things deserves infinite praise. Whether she will return for season 2 is up for debate but that was an Eggo that Hopper was leaving out in the woods, Eleven’s favourite snack…

And so we are at an end. We will now hear infinite arguing about where Stranger Things ranks in the big scheme of things and endless think pieces on whether it was really THAT good or not. Forget all that noise and just watch it yourself. And love it. Like I did. I loved it for the pitch perfect homage to 80’s cinema, I loved the acting, the goofy storyline that still managed to be sinister. I loved that it appeals to all ages. I loved the title sequence and the soundtrack and Steve Harrington. Most of all I love Steve Harrington. Stranger Things is right up there with the best. I hope you enjoyed the ride.

STEVE WATCH – Way back in Episode 3 I said ‘I am going to go ahead and predict there is a redemption on the way for the wonderful coiffured Steve Harrington later in the show.’ After a rocky patch, Steve Harrington finally delivered, saving Nancy and Jonathan with a baseball bat with not a single hair out of place. Hate to say I told you so…

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