Stranger Things: Analysis, Reaction, and Theories

The short of it: Two huge thumbs up. So many questions and possible theories, but in a good way, definitely not like LOST where there were too many loose ends that were never tied.

Now, for the in-depth discussion:

*******SPOILERS*******

*******SPOILERS*******

*******SPOILERS*******

*******SPOILERS*******

*******SPOILERS*******

*******SPOILERS*******

*******SPOILERS*******

*******SPOILERS*******

I could hardly fall asleep after binge-watching these episodes. The 80’s theme is very attractive and nostalgic, which goes without saying, and I think too many people have commented on that for me to mention it again, but whatever. It wasn’t the 80’s theme, though, that kept me itching to get to the next episode as soon as one ended. Netflix just happened to hit a sweet spot in their formula for an addictive show.

Unlike another show I had been watching routinely with my husband just before this came along (Person of Interest), this show actually has a complex story to tell. And maybe they did the smart thing by keeping the season short, at just 8 episodes. The pre-title portion of the show is sometimes fairly long so that by the time the title does show up, you’re surprised at how much there is still left to tell in that episode, and consequently cannot wait for the title to pass so you can find out what happens after every pre-title cliffhanger.

The show definitely has that itch to find out what’s next because, by episode two, you are totally invested in the lives of these people. Haven’t had that feeling in a while–not since I binge-watched Breaking Bad. Most shows use a very basic technique of creating conflict in order to entice the viewer to pay attention and want more. A really good story is not necessarily a per-requisite for this basic technique, however, so writers end up using cliche tropes and cliche lines to fill in the spaces. Stranger Things actually has a story to tell. That story is a horrifying paranormal mystery.

By the end of the season, all the guesswork of how 11’s flashbacks are connected come to an end as the show gives us a better picture of the events that took place before 11 came into town. We find out where Will is, and all the main characters are finally, to our relief, on the same page as well. But as one mystery after another comes to a close, several new questions are born. In the same way that perhaps new “demagorgons” will be born?!?!

Speaking of which, wassup with that egg huh? The egg that Joyce and Hopper found in “the upside down” looks hatched already, and maybe like in the original Godzilla from ’97, there are more eggs, and the demagorgon was a female monster capable of self-fertilization. There is a theory that the egg isn’t even the same species as the demagorgon because in many scenes we see the creature hunched over something similar looking, trying to pick at it/break it/eat it. What does the demagorgon eat anyway? Humans? Animals? Other creatures in the upside-down? What does the demagorgon do with the humans it captures?

Also, where did this demagorgon creature come from. Was it a by-product of Brenner’s experiments, an earlier test subject-turned-monster locked in some portal, or just an alien creature in its own world until El unlocked it, as it seems from El’s flashbacks? In the first flashbacks to Brenner’s experiments, it seems like they detected some alien presence (how did they know about it in the first place?) found the goo, brought it back to the lab and let it grow until they could send someone inside. But El says she opened the gate, according to her flashback when she made contact w the creature. We dont know if they find the goo before or after El’s contact. Is the goo itself the portal? I don’t know the answers to these questions, but they are there. Unanswerable until season 2.

There are some things we may never know until the Duffer brothers let us know, but we can definitely theorize some things using context clues. Like what did the demagorgon do with Barb? I dont think she was eaten by the demagorgon. But she was definitely dead. It seemed as if the creature planted something inside both Barb and Will. Will still coughed up parts of that thing that was plugged inside him. I think it was a prototype of the same thing that crawled out of Barb, after it hatched maybe? The demagorgon may have used human bodies as a cocoon or placenta for its babies and sucked all the energy from the bodies in order to incubate its babies after they are born. Hopper and Joyce got the slithering umbilical cord-like thing out of Will in time so it didn’t drain him enough to kill him. The thing that came out of Barb’s mouth was probably a newborn demagorgon after it completely used up Barb’s organic energy, killing her.

Another interesting thing to note is when Hopper and Joyce are about to go get Will, they are told to wear suits because the environment is toxic, to which Joyce replies “but Will is in there..” like oh my God, my baby has been living in a toxic environment for days?! Nancy, Will, and Hopper, all get to the upside down at one point without any protection and come back from it alive. All of them are changed. Hopper has some weird connection with El after her disappearance (did she fuse with the demagorgon or kill it?). Will is coughing up inter dimensional slugs. And Nancy is clearly hiding something.

Is Hopper still a good guy? It seems like he’s working for the secret government agency now. As I read these theories and questions outloud, my husband says, WE JUST. DON’T. KNOW!

SO MANY QUESTIONS, such few answers. But hey, that’s what a second season is for. AHH I cannot wait!

Advertisements