After the success of its debut season, Stranger Things Season Two wasted no time taking us back on the whirlwind of 1980s nostalgia and suspense. The shows’ sophomore season saw more pop culture references and hidden plot details. But how many of these did you spot? With season four on its way, we look back to see what was disguised in plain sight.
Join us as we uncover 9 Easter Eggs hidden Stranger Things Season Two.
SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen Stranger Things, but if not there are spoilers ahead.
1. The map and the red bandana
A fresh face for season two is Joyce’s sympathetic sweetie pie boyfriend, Bob. Played by Sean Astin, who rose to fame from his role as Mikey in the ’80s classic The Goonies. An intentional casting as this allowed the Duffer Brothers sprinkle some parallels from their world, to the 80s pirate adventure.
Bob’ story mirrors Mikey’s from The Goonies. He figures out how to read and decode the map, always checks the rest of the group are safe before he leaves the tunnels. And mentions buried pirate treasure; the focus of his role in The Goonies.
The Duffer Brothers also play on the visual similarities when the group are in the tunnels. Steve sports the same red bandana Josh Brolin wears in The Goonies. Both characters act as the older leaders of the group, highlighted by this visual call back.
2. Dinosaurs and door handles
Season One was oozing wit Spielberg references and Season Two doesn’t disappoint. In episode 8, Hopper, Joyce, Bob, and Dr Owens discover they need to flip the breakers and restart the computers to escape the lab. From the shot of the breakers being switched on to the race out of the building and use of walkie talkies, Jurassic Park references are on show.
Will even spots a Demogorgon pause at the door before using the handle to open it slowly. Direct replication of the iconic ‘eye at the window’ scene in Steven Spielberg’s dino classic.
3. Reiser and the radar
Perhaps the most blatant reference in Season Two is the casting of Paul Reiser as Dr Owens. Reiser, famous for his work as the dishonest face of authority in Aliens, plays a similar shady character as Dr Owens.
Carter Burke is a manipulative, callus corporate shell who happily sends the charters into danger, much like the figure of Dr Owens. The Duffer Brothers were so set on Paul Reiser for this role, as they referenced him by name for the character in the script.
Alien is referenced again when Will sends a gaggle of scientists to their death in the tunnels. Hooper, Dr Owens and the rest of the lab team look on as the radar reveals the scientist are met by and so ravaged by a pack of Demodogs.
The scientists also carry flamethrowers and one is told to “stay frosty”. Two more references to Ridley Scott’s intergalactic classic.
4. The secret door
In ‘Chapter Four: Will the Wise’, Eleven discovers the secret door under Hoppers’ house and further information about her past. This sets up her quest for her biological mother and is a shot for shot homage to The Evil Dead. Sam Raimi helped launch the ‘cabin in the woods’ horror trope thanks to this horror staple and Hopper’s home conforms to this.
The remote location, the upward shot of Eleven from the secret hatch, to the shot of the swing on the porch and the vines capturing Hopper in the Upside Down. These are blatant Raimi-isms on display.
5. Possession and paediatrics
The second season of Stranger Things sees a pastiche of William Friedkin’s The Exorcist. Will is tied to the bed and the Demogorgon is practically exorcized from his body. All following his ineffective examinations by medical experts.
This narrative runs throughout The Exorcist. Joyce’s outburst with the doctors replicates Ellen Burstyn’s performance. The exhausted mother of her possessed child, unable to find help.
6. The newspaper
The Duffer Brothers don’t just hide fictional references in Season Two. The Hawkins newspaper shows “Baby Fae’s Baboon Heart.” This is the non-fictional story of Stephanie Fae Beauclair, born on October 14, 1984, and the first infant to receive a heart transplant.
This weaves the genuine stories of the year into the Stranger Things universe. It helps establish the zingiest of the time, in relation to the rest of the series. 1984 saw some impressive medical achievements, but could they save Will?
7. The hat and the heat
Season Two is sprinkled with Indiana Jones Easter Eggs. When Hopper is fleeing from the Upside Down, he dives through the gate, but not before grabbing his hat from the ground in true Indy fashion.
The Duffer Brothers also admit they took the Jonathan and Nancy ‘hook up’ scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. “Nancy and Jonathan, that’s Temple of Doom, that’s the whole bedroom dance. Leaving the bedroom, fighting, going back out, coming back, that’s Temple of Doom.”
The season finale also sees Will being pulled out of his trance as Nancy scolds him with a hot poker. This is a final call back to Temple of Doom as Indiana Jones is pulled out of his trance via a burn with a flaming torch.
8. Films and foreshadowing
When the Byers house plays host to movie night, the films Jonathan rented are seen in the background. War Games and Twilight Zone: The Movie are both shown and feature the themes of Season 2. Supernatural threats and the general fear of Russian surveillance are focus points. They only become more prominent in the shows second series.
9. The subtle subtext
In Episode 7, ‘The Lost Sister’ Eleven runs away and discovers Kali, another victim of Hawkins Lab. When they both seek revenge on a lab technician named Ray, he is watching 80s TV show, Punky Brewster. A hidden Easter Egg that is easily missed, the main character of the show is retelling a bad dream she had involving doctors. This acts as a subtle retelling of Elevens arc in season one and mirrors her relationship with Jim Hopper.
And that’s our list of Easter Eggs from Stranger Things Season Two. 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.
Cobra Kai Season 4 – Review
Cobra Kai season four is out now on Netflix and the All Valley is back and better than ever. Here’s our review.
SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen the show, but if not there are spoilers ahead.
It’s January, and new shows are popping up everywhere. This brings us to the show that I and my friends have been holding our breaths for: the fourth season of the hit Netflix series Cobra Kai! After three seasons, I wondered if there was anything left to mine from the Karate Kid lore or the Johnny/Daniel dynamic. I am happy to report that this might be my favourite season yet! It manages to not only expand upon the universe it has created, but to bring in a new villain, who is so bad that he threatens to outdo even John Kreese!
Season four sets us off where the third left off, with Johnny and Daniel having joined forces to fight Cobra Kai. Their friendship arc is the glue that holds this season together. The story focuses largely on whether they will be able to pull it together and make their partnership work. As in previous seasons, their relationship has its ups and downs. The stakes are heightened, however, as the season leads up to the All-Valley Tournament. A bet between the three senseis – Kreese, Daniel, and Johnny – means that losing the All Valley is losing the title of sensei.
This season explores the ways that both Johnny and Daniel work with the kids. It also examines the kids’ struggles as they prepare for the All Valley while dealing with conflict within the ever-changing network of friends and enemies in the dojos. Robbie has left juvenile hall and decided to join up with Cobra Kai as a means of inflicting revenge on both his dad and Daniel. Tori and Sam continue their rivalry. And John Reese’s old friend Terry Silver (of Karate Kid 3 fame) shows up to kick Cobra Kai into high gear.
Daniel’s son, Anthony, who has largely been absent until now, faces his own dilemma when his friends begin bullying Kenny, the new kid in town. This soft-spoken middle school character brings us into the world of the younger kids, setting up yet another storyline. Kenny becomes the victim of a gang of kids (including Anthony), enduring round after round of bullying before Robbie takes him under his wing. After his induction into Cobra Kai, the formerly shy middle-schooler becomes a bully himself.
Shades of grey
This brings me to one of my favourite things about the show. The constant back and forth dynamic between characters makes us feel that anything is possible. There is no black and white in the world of Cobra Kai. Where the Karate Kid told us that Daniel was good, and Johnny was bad, this show gives us a very different point of view. It’s a world where we’re never sure who to root for. In this season, we even see Hawk make a return to the “good guys” side after giving up his spot at Cobra Kai.
With Eagle Fang (Johnny’s new dojo) and Miyagi-Do teaming up, the kids – and the adults – have to learn to work together. Of course, complications ensue. Johnny becomes jealous of what he perceives as Miguel’s preference for Daniel over him. Sam wants to learn both her dad’s karate style and Johnny’s, despite her father’s discouragement. Meanwhile, at Cobra Kai, Kreese is losing his grip on the dojo. His former war buddy, Terry Silver, puts off a rather benign appearance in episode one, growing more and more evil with each episode.
This season is lacking in many of the big fight scenes of the previous seasons, instead choosing to focus their energy on the characters. The All Valley Tournament features several great karate matches and offers a satisfying conclusion to Johnny and Daniel’s arc. In the end, Cobra Kai takes the tournament win, but Johnny and Daniel have reached an understanding.
Tori defeats Sam to take the women’s All Valley trophy but later overhears her sensei paying off one of the referees. It’s clear that Cobra Kai has pulled yet another fast one. But the season ends on an even more ominous – and unexpected – note. Terry Silver assaults the over-aged former Cobra Kai member, Stingray, sending him to the hospital. He then makes a deal with Stingray to blame the crime on Kreese. We end the season with Kreese in handcuffs, Terry Silver set to take over Cobra Kai, and the future of Eagle Fang and Miyagi-Do uncertain. In a last shocking twist, Miguel leaves town in search of his biological father.
Although some may miss the school hallway throw downs, I found this one satisfying in a different way. It just goes to show that the ever-expanding Cobra Kai universe can keep bringing surprises season after season.
CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 9/10
Thank you for reading our review of Cobra Kai season four. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.
Check out our Hawkeye episode one and two review HERE.
Read IMDB information about Spider-Man: No Way Home HERE.
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