Stranger Things 3 was released on the Fourth of July. While many of us were off on vacation, there were millions of people staying at home binge-watching the new season of Stranger Things. I mean millions.
Netflix recently tweeted that Stranger Things 3 has garnered over 40.7 million views in the four days since its premiere. Netflix also revealed that 18.2 million people have already finished the entire season.
Including me. If you haven't watched Stranger Things 3 yet, what are you waiting for? Well while you're waiting, why don't I catch you up with everything that has happened in season 1 and 2?
So before we start, let's recap the main characters. We have our favorite Dungeons & Dragons playing gang which includes Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard), Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin), Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo), and Will Byers (Noah Schnapp).
Mike has a sister named Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Will has a brother named Jonathan (Charlie Heaton). In season one, Nancy is dating a really cool guy and fan favorite, Steve Harrington (Joe Keery). Nancy's also really good friends with Barb (Shannon Purser).
Will's mom's name is Joyce (Winona Ryder) and the Hawkin's chief of police is Jim Hopper (David Harbour).
Then there's Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), whom the boys nickname El.
Season Two offers up some new characters. Max (Sadie Sink) and her brother, Billy (Dacre Montgomery).
Season one starts in a laboratory in Hawkins, Indiana. There are alarms are going off, lights are flicking on and off and the scientists in lab coats are panicking.
Meanwhile the gang—Mike Wheeler, Lucas Sinclair, Dustin Henderson, and Will Byer—are playing a game of D&D in Mike's basement. After the game, the kids go their separate ways and while biking home, Will gets attacked by a monster that we can't see. Soon, a full-fledged search party is going on and as the search goes on, we meet El.
El is a girl with a shaved head wearing a hospital gown who doesn't really seem to speak and there are people after her.
The boys run into El and befriend her. Eleven reveals that she knows where Will is and tells the boys all about the Upside Down which is a parallel universe where monsters lurk around the dark version of Hawkins. The Upside Down is a bit freaky if you ask me. Eleven can communicate between our world and the Upside Down which is pretty cool.
Will's mom, Joyce, and Hopper, the chief of police continue their search for Will. Meanwhile, Nancy and her best friend, Barb, go to a pool party at Steve's house where a Demogorgon attacks Barb and takes her to the Upside down.
By this point, Will has figured out how to communicate with his mom from the Upside Down using Christmas lights that he can flick on and off. So his mom, Joyce, decides to cover the entire house in Christmas lights in order to create a system of communication. This leads people to believe that Joyce is a crazy person.
We also get to see that these flashbacks that show us that El was used in experiments where she was sent to a black void at the lab near Hawkins.
Eventually, we see that the police have appeared to find Will's body in the water of the local reservoir. But Hopper's suspicion leads him to find out that the corpse is just a stuffed dummy. Because of this, Hopper decided to break into Hawkins Lab to see if he can figure out what's going on considering they faked Will's death. His search doesn't last long because he gets caught, drugged, and sent home where he discovers that there are several secret listening devices in his home.
Back at school, they host an assembly for Will. Meanwhile, there are bullies that try to attack Mike but Eleven's there and uses her telepathic powers to stop the bully and make him pee himself in front of the entire school. El intervenes yet again later on when the bully, Troy, has a knife and is threatening the boys. Thank goodness El comes to their rescue and uses her powers to break the boy's arm and she saves Mike from falling.
The boys are extremely lucky to have befriended El. Am I right?
The boys along with El go searching for Will in the woods as do Nancy and Jonathan. Nancy gets stuck through a hole in a tree that leads to the Upside Down. Luckily Jonathan is able to pull her back before the Demogorgon gets her.
Joyce and Hopper find El's mom to get a better idea about what's going on in Hawkins Lab. This involves kidnapping newborns and using them for experiments. The people from Hawkins lab have discovered that El is hiding out with the boys in Mike's House. The "Bad Men" as El calls them, are sent out to kidnap her again but she uses her powers once again to flip the vans over.
Now the boys are hiding out with El from these very "bad men". Luckily, Hopper finds them first and they draw up a plan to build a sensory deprivation tank that's supposed to allow El to find Will in the Upside down. El finds Will in the Upside down using her telepathic abilities and while the boys wait with her in the gym, Hopper and Joyce go to Hawkins Lab where they think they'll find the entrance to the Upside Down. They're caught almost immediately.
Shocking, right? No, not really.
Joyce and Hopper are taken to see the man in charge, Dr. Brenner. Hopper convinces Dr. Brenner to let him and Joyce go into the Upside Down to find Will on the condition that neither of them saw anything or were even there at all.
While this is going on Nancy and Jonathan along with Steve who's being a jerk, set up a trap for the monster and catch it. They set the monster on fire using a bear trap and gas. Unfortunately, when the fire goes out, they realize the monster is gone.
Government agents working with Hawkins Lab find the kids at the school and after El makes their eyes start bleeding, the monster smells blood and joins everyone at the school. The Demogorgon is leaving behind a trace of bodies as the kids run around trying to stop it.
In the final showdown, Lucas tries to find more rocks to slingshot at the monster. Lucky for them, El shows up and using all the powers she has, kills the Demogorgon. Sadly, El disappears as well and no one knows where she went or whether she's still alive.
Joyce and Hopper find Will in the Upside Down, which is great. A few months later, everything seems normal again. Will seems to be slightly affected by what happened and also burps up a black slug-looking thing which is not good. At all.
On a more positive note, the final scene shows Hopper as he treks off into the woods and leaves a stash of Eggo Waffles in a dropbox. Who else loves Eggos as much as El? Could it be that he found her? That leads us to Season Two.
In Season Two we're introduced to the new bad guy. It's time for the Demogorgon to move over, the Mind Flayer can take it from here.
The Mind Flayer aka The Shadow Monster is basically this gigantic spider the size of Hawkins. The Mind Flayer actually controls everything in the Upside Down like the Demogorgons and other creepy monsters we don't know about yet. In this season, the Mind Flayer takes over Will's mind and body up until the very end of the season. We'll get there soon.
Season One ended with all of us believing that Eleven was dead. Guess what? There's good news. She isn't dead!
In Season Two, she was hiding from the government and ended up living with Hopper. But soon enough, Hopper ends up being a very strict parent so El runs away to find her biological mom. When she finds her, she ends up finding out that there were other kids in the Hawkins Lab too meaning there are more kids with powers. She ends up finding these other children but soon realizes that these people are very obsessed with seeking revenge on the former Hawkins Lab employees.
Eleven even discovers that Papa, aka Dr. Brenner, is still alive.
There's also a new kid in town. The boys have been obsessed over the high score at the arcade and the new kid has the new high score. Introducing Mad Max or just Max who also happens to be a girl. Dustin and Lucas really like her. They like her enough to spend the entire season fighting over her.
On the other hand, Mike doesn't like her because he feels like Max is replacing Eleven. Mike doesn't believe Eleven is dead. In fact, he's been talking to her on a walkie-talkie for almost a year although she hasn't answered.
Dustin also finds a slug that he names Dart. Later on, he discovers that Dart's actually a baby Demogorgon that ends up eating his mom's cat.
Remember the slug? Yeah, we knew something was wrong with Will back then, but now we're sure about it. As I mentioned at the beginning, the Mind Flayer infiltrated Will's body to use it as a host. The poor boy really needs a break.
But lucky for him, he gets to see a doctor at Hawkins Lab, Dr. Owens, who's helping him deal with his PTSD.
Next, we'll catch up with Steve who is literally one of the greatest characters with an amazing transformation. In Season Two, it's like Steve has grown up a lot. In fact, he's grown up to be an older brother (or more accurately, mother) figure for all of the boys especially Dustin. He literally helped Dustin with his hair and he drove him to the Snow Ball.
Max has an older brother, Billy, who's a very interesting type. He's a pretty crazy trope, but all the ladies find him very attractive. We also see a bit of Billy’s abusive relationships with both his dad and Max. Billy also beat up Steve which I was not really happy about.
While all this is going down, Hopper has the task of discovering why the pumpkins of local farms are rotting. Hopper soon discovers that the problem is coming from Hawkins Lab.
And finally, we come to the last scene of Season Two—the kiss. You probably don't need a refresher for this part, but it's absolutely essential to talk about the Snow Ball. Our favorite kids are all grown and paired up including Mike and El. This sets the scene for the future of Mileven which we say more of in Season Three.
Also, remember that Eleven closed the gate to the Upside Down, but at the very end, we see one last scene that really sets the stage for Season Three. We see the Shadow Monster lurking over the Hawkins Middle School.
And that's a wrap on Seasons One and Two. If you haven't yet watched Season Three make sure to watch it over the weekend because it's pretty awesome. If you have already watched Season Three, why don't leave a comment telling me what your favorite scene is or who your favorite character is? I'd love to know.