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.
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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