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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Second season of ‘Stranger Things’ evokes mixed feelings

Stranger+Things
Photo by Graphic by Mariah Colón
Stranger Things

A month has passed since the release of the new season of ‘Stranger Things,’ and both the good and the bad continue to be topics of discussion.
What for many amounted to more than a year of built-up anticipation culminated over a brief nine-hour span the weekend of Oct. 27, season two’s release date. While retaining many of the features that made season one so captivating — ‘80s references, its endearing cast and captivating monsters — this season also enlarges the story by bringing on new characters and introducing a greater emerging evil from “The Upside Down.” The Duffer Brothers’ decision to pack more into the show’s limited space of nine episodes is carried out with varying results.
Two notable character additions, Max and Kali, were effective hooks at the start of the season, but turned out to be either of little consequence to the story or dissatisfactory in the role they played.
“Class, please welcome, all the way from sunny California, the latest passenger to join us on our curiosity voyage: Maxine!,” exclaims the familiar Mr. Clarke as Max enters the classroom, skateboard in hand and detached. Sadly, her most significant contributions to the voyage of season two were the way she highlighted the absence of Eleven in the group of Dustin, Lucas and Mike, and the conflict between her and her brother, which did introduce the relevant topic of race into the story.
Kali, on the other hand, was more significant to the plotline of the story but was only afforded the single infamous episode seven, titled ‘Lost Sister’, to play her part. The episode, criticized by many a review online, saw the star character of the series, Eleven, exit Hawkins to discover more about her mother and identity. In the end, Kali’s main role was to help Eleven realize the extent of her power, and also indirectly open her eyes to the love she has for her friends and the life she found in Hawkins.
Some of the more interesting things in season two relate to the themes of memory and friendship. One powerful instance of this is when Eleven is finally reunited with her mother and imparted with her mother’s final and only lasting memories, all that remain after her brain was fried by the evil Dr. Martin Brenner, also known as Eleven’s “Papa.”
In one of the most moving scenes of the season, the shadow monster-possessed Will is strapped down in a chair and surrounded by the people he knows best, who one by one invoke some of their deepest shared memories in order to break him of the shadow monster’s control. “Do you remember the first day that we met? It was the first day of kindergarten, I knew nobody,” Will said. “I had no friends, and I was just so alone, and so scared. But I saw you on the swings and you were alone too…and I just walked up to you and I asked, I asked if you wanted to be my friend, and you said yes.”
Following this season and its controversial characters, episode and storylines, it is unclear how high one should set their expectations for season three, currently in the making. However, for all its weak points, the second addition of the series was for many still worth the nine-hour binge over the weekend, and for better or for worse, many will wait for the release of season three to do it again.

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