With season four on the horizon, we visit where it all began to unearth 9 Easter Eggs hidden in Stranger Things Season One.
It’s been a busy four years since we first visited Hawkins, Indiana. The place where we were introduced to a feisty bunch of tweens on the hunt for their missing friend. A journey through a matrix of government conspiracies, interdimensional drama and psychokinetic strangeness.
SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen Stranger Things, but if not there are spoilers ahead.
1. Barb and the slug
Nancy’s BBF and somewhat moral compass sadly meets her end in Season 1, and ever since there has been fan outcry for her return.
The hashtag #justiceforbarb still floods any threads or pages to do with the show. Fans have a soft spot for the responsible teen, and a thirst for the wholesome character to return.
What fans may not have noticed is the potential clue left behind. In “Chapter Seven: The Bathtub” Eleven discovers Barbs corpse in the Upside Down with a slug-like creature hanging out of her mouth. One much like the creature Will Byers coughs out as the season closes.
Could this mean that Barb isn’t dead, but merely trapped as a host of the Demogorgon?
Creators the Duffer Brothers may be playing the long game here. Whilst they had a funeral for barb, there was also a point in season one where they found’ Wills body. Perhaps this fan favourite could make her return of sorts, as some kind of Barbogorgon’ to wreak havoc on Hawkins after all.
Reddit users have also suggested a theory tying into this, wondering whether Barb could be the American referenced at the end of season 3.
One user wrote, ‘I think Barb is the American in the Russian prison, not necessarily just Hopper. Hopper will be stuck in the Upside Down at the start of Season 4 as he jumped through the portal before the machine blew up’. With the last season leaving so many loose ends, it’s possible that this small detail from the debut season was a breadcrumb trail all along.
2. D&D Mirroring
The gang are first introduced to us as they conclude a mammoth game of Dungeons & Dragons. Mike, the Dungeon Master unknowingly forwards the gang and audience of what’s to come. “Something is coming. Something hungry for blood. A shadow grows on the wall behind you, swallowing you in darkness”. Before Dustin responds, “Oh Jesus, we’re so screwed if it’s the Demogorgon”.
The mirroring of fantasy and reality become commonplace. The game is used to establish both the kids as hero’s prepared to fight the fantastical, and introduce the supernatural villain.
During the game, Lucas suggests using a fireball on the monster, another element of foreshadowing as the Demogorgon is ultimately bested by, Jonathan Byers and a lighter.
At the end of their game, Will tells Mike “The Demogorgon, it got me,” as he only rolled a seven. Soon after Will disappears as the game plays out in real life once more, and D&D is used to plant more seeds of the story.
3. Hoppers Sleeve
Stranger Things constantly pays homage to 1980’s pop culture with it’s Easter Eggs. Season One is littered with subtle nods to Steven Spielberg’s filmography.
One small detail comes in the form of on Sheriff Hopper’s uniform. It bears a striking resemblance to Police Chief Brody’s in Spielberg’s debut blockbuster, Jaws.
From the tan colours to the triangle patch, the design of Hopper’s primary outfit is a direct reference to Spielberg’s elasmobranch focused thriller. Will Byers even has a Jaws poster in the background of his room as yet another nod to the director’s work and influence on the time.
4. Holly and the Lights
One of the Stranger Things Easter Eggs comes in “Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” sees young Holly Wheeler drawn to the randomly twinkling Christmas lights. She wanders away from the oblivious adults and discovers the Demogorgon pushing through Will’s wall.
This is the first time the monster is seen to be interfering with reality from the Upside Down. Holly is used as the inquisitive innocent, a popular horror trope. A direct reference to Spielberg’s sci-fi classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
The 1977 sci-fi drama sees Barry, a young child entranced by mystical lights to reveal more sinister goings-on in that of the arrival of aliens.
Both scenes play on the fears of home invasion and abduction. As the young characters are at fascinated by the supernatural events and victims; despite being at home with their parents.
5. Eleven the Extra-Terrestrial
Contrasting the use of suspense building tactics, Season One has a lot of lighter moments too.
Many of these are in the form of references to Spielberg’s E.T.
Both use humour to tell the story of a group of friends trying to keep their mysterious new friends hidden from adults and the government.
Eleven and E.T are disguised in dresses and wigs to go out in public. They are hidden in the main character’s room and use their abilities to save their friends while riding bicycles. E.T helps his accomplices fly in order to escape capture while Eleven flips a van to help her friends lose the authorities.
6. Joyce and the axe
When Joyce Byers reaches breaking point in season one, she takes an axe to the wall of her home. Believing she can chop her way into the Upside Down and retrieve Will.
The frantic shots of her breaking through the wooden panels mirror Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance in Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining.
The framing of both frantic characters trying to get to their children suggests Stranger Things planting a nod to one of horrors iconic moments.
7. Suits and slugs
Ridley Scott’s 1979 space epic Alien is secretly referenced throughout series one. Yet the Easter eggs are easy to miss when you’re engrossed in the plot. Hopper and Joyce walking around the dark parallel realm mirror LV-426, the planet where the Nostromo crew land.
The Demogorgon is even designed to resemble face-huggers. From the hatched eggs and jetsam in the atmosphere of the Upside Down to the slimy slug-like creatures that inhabit their victims.
8. The love of desert
Dustin Henderson embodies everything that made 80’s adventure films so great. He’s the rest bite from the intensity. Whether it’s the comical love of food to the over the top freakouts intense situations.
Dustin’s discovery of the secret stash of chocolate pudding is practically a shot for shot tribute to Chunk finding a freezer full of ice cream in The Goonies. The husky voice and over the top excitement of sweet treats pay respects to an iconic fellow adventurer.
9. The comic book
During the first episode, Will shouts that he wants the comic X-Men #134 form Dustin following his victory in a bike race.
This might be the most delicious Easter Egg of all. That particular issue sees Jean Gray, the powerful psychic of the Xmen become Dark Phoenix. The telepathically and telekinetically unstable badass.
This one minute reference plants the seed of another telekinetic character that was about to be introduced to the show. One who will transform throughout the series to follow.
10. The mirror
The season’s cliff-hanger sees Will stare at himself in the mirror. Just before he coughs a slug-like creature into his sink. All suggesting that this adventure is far from over and he is still haunted by the events of Season One. This is perhaps a reference to David Lynch’s twisted drama, Twin Peaks.
Lynch’s final shot concludes with Agent Dale Cooper staring into the bathroom mirror before smashing his head and cackling maniacally. To highlight the effect that investigating the death of Laura Palmer had on his sanity and indicating there was much more to come.
And that’s our list of Easter Eggs from Stranger Things Season One. What do you think? Did we miss any rumours you’ve spotted? Let us know in the comments below.
Check our more of our Stranger Things articles HERE.
Read IMDB information about Stranger Things HERE.
Loki Episode 6 – Review
Episode six of Loki from Marvel is here, streaming now on Disney Plus. It’s time for the series finale. Here’s our review.
SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen the show, but if not there are spoilers ahead.
More to come
The post-credit scene showed that a second series has already been ordered, meaning this finale is essentially the end of Part One. Thank goodness it is. Because if this was the denouement of the entire Loki story then there’s a good chance it would go down in television infamy as one of the more unusual series endings.
Introducing the big bad
We pick up from Sylvie and Loki’s defeat of The Alioth as they look at the citadel upon the rock at the end of time. They make their way to the entrance, and upon being invited in they’re met by Miss Minutes. It’s been widely predicted that ‘she’ would be an agitator in this series. And at last her role has been revealed. She is an emissary of Kang The Conquerer, embedded within the TVA.
She offers Loki the earth, almost literally, as she tries to coax him to betray Sylvie. Her offers of infinity stones, defeating Thanos etc. Happily, Loki rejects all the trinkets that she offers. Instead, he and Sylvie head into the lift where they meet ‘He Who Remains’ aka Kang The Conquerer. A 31st-century scientist and the true timekeeper.
Sylvie attempts to kill him but he quickly demonstrates some of his powers by dodging and weaving her before she gives in and the three of them sit down for a very long discussion. To sum up what was a lengthy and occasionally fairly tedious scene. He Who Remains (HWR) asks Loki and Sylvie to kill him and take over the role of controlling the timeline. Loki is extremely reticent but Sylvie, angry at what HWR’s meddling has done to her life, is desperate to do so.
Meanwhile, back at TVA HQ, Renslayer is informed by Miss Minutes of HWR’s plan. Showing her dual role and playing on Renslayer’s desperation to keep the TVA active and relevant.
Loki and Sylvie get into a physical fight over what to do with HWR. With Loki recognising how the timeline will fragment with branches springing up all over the place. But Sylvie is consumed by her rage and eventually overpowers Loki, sending him back to the TVA and then kills He Who Remains.
Setting up season two
Loki finds Mobius and tries to explain what has happened. But then discovers the terrible effects of what Sylvie has done by apparently killing HWR. Mobius has no idea who Loki is. This situation is then made worse when Loki looks out to see a statue of He Who Remains adorning TVA HQ. Loki realises that he is in a different timeline branch. One where HWR or Kang is in control of everything. Sylvie has been manipulated into apparently killing him which has enabled him to increase his power further.
Jonathan Majors was masterful as He Who Remains. Which is what you’d expect from someone with a Masters in acting from Yale. He was flamboyant, powerful and mesmerising, which is exactly what you want from a major villain. He will be back in AntMan 3 as Kang The Conquerer and is set to be the key villain in the next phase of the MCU post-Endgame and Thanos.
I have been extremely positive about this series, as I think it has been the strongest and most cohesive of the Marvel series so far this year. But I can’t disagree with anyone who felt short-changed by this finale. My 11-year-old son was pretty vocal in his disappointment the moment the credits rolled, and he was absolutely right. He is one of the most obsessive Marvel fans around and if he was underwhelmed, I feel pretty sure he was reflecting the majority view. Nothing I’ve seen online since has dissuaded me from that either.
Phase 4 groundwork
It seemed that the finale was essentially an exercise in introducing He Who Remains or Kang to our screens ahead of AntMan 3. While this isn’t necessarily a problem, it meant that the focus shifted away from being the climax of this series. Instead of being a prologue for the next phase of the MCU, which does seem a peculiar decision.
There are those who feel that the series original premise of Loki and Mobius teaming up to find Variants dotted around time and space was dropped after the first two episodes. Instead, it was replaced with a love story between Sylvie and Loki and a voyage of discovery with Mobius reduced to a bit part for the rest of the series.
But, the cliffhanger at the end of the series as Loki returns to the TVA does give me hope that Series Two will be an even better follow up.
CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 6/10
Thank you for reading our review of Loki episode six. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.
Read our Loki episode five review HERE.
Read IMDB information about Loki HERE.
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