< Stranger Things Creators...
Stranger Things has largely been commended for its triumphant second season, but it hasn’t been without controversies, chief among them the polarizing seventh episode of the season. The series producers are defending the episode as the sort of creative risk they need to take to keep the show fresh.
Stranger Things came out of nowhere in 2016 to become arguably Netflix’s most popular series, and a genuine sensation. Eleven’s love affair with Eggo waffles, Dustin’s endearingly toothless grin, and Steve’s breathtaking hair became immediate pop culture touchstones. Anticipation for season 2 has been building to a fever pitch, and for the most part, it did not disappoint, doubling down on many of the things that worked about that first season and upping its game with a truly fantastic climax. However, the seventh episode of the season was a jarring shift, interrupting the escalating situation in Hawkins to tell a largely self contained story about Eleven finding another superpowered adolescent like herself in Chicago. It’s an interesting episode that tells us plenty about Eleven, but there’s no denying it’s in a strange spot in the season, delaying the massive confrontation with the demaodog army by an episode.
The Duffer brothers are defending their decision to stick a bottle episode right before their epic, climactic battle. In an interview with EW, the brothers acknowledge that the episode might not work for everyone, but they felt it was a creative risk they needed to take.
The producers also claim the episode was crucial to Eleven’s personal plot and, by extension, the bigger plot in Hawkins.
It seems likely this episode will continue to be a point of contention for fans of the show going forward, especially if season 3 continues to explore new characters associated with Eleven’s past. Maybe next time the show can figure out a way of telling those stories without them feeling so disruptive to the overall plot.