The wait is over: on Thursday, October 26 evening, the second season of the most-awaited Netflix series was finally put online, giving the insane amount of worldwide fans another joyful ride among monsters, daemons, hellish worlds, everyday and once-in-a-lifetime adventures, school life, mysterious superpowers… and, most importantly, an incredible flood of easter eggs, references, homages and callback from the fabulous 80s.
Did you manage do catch em all? In an attempt to get the most of them, we tried to put together all our finding in this nine-part anthology, one for each of the nine episodes: feel free to tell us if we missed anything… there’s an huge chance that we did!
Stranger Things – Season 2 Episode List
- Episode 2.1 – Chapter One: MADMAX [easter egg list] [OST & music reference list]
- Episode 2.2 – Chapter Two: Trick or Treat, Freak [easter egg list] [OST & music reference list]
- Episode 2.3 – Chapter Three: The Pollywog [easter egg list] [OST & music reference list]
- Episode 2.4 – Chapter Four: Will the Wise [easter egg list] [OST & music reference list]
- Episode 2.5 – Chapter Five: Dig Dug [easter egg list] [OST & music reference list]
- Episode 2.6 – Chapter Six: The Spy [easter egg list] [OST & music reference list]
- Episode 2.7 – Chapter Seven: The Lost Sister [easter egg list] [OST & music reference list]
- Episode 2.8 – Chapter Eight: The Mind Flayer
- Episode 2.9 – Chapter Nine: The Gate
Starring: Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Cara Buono and Matthew Modine, with Noah Schnapp and Joe Keery in recurring roles.
Chapter One: MADMAX
Dragon’s Lair: the 1983 Cinematronics laser-disc game by Rick Dyer and Don Bluth doesn’t need an introduction, as it quickly became popular all over the world for its stunning graphics and “not innovative” (yet still quite enjoyable) gameplay. The show is also correct in pointing out how expensive it was… a real coin-eater, expecially if we consider that it was among the first arcade requiring two quarters instead of one for a single credit. For further info, read here.
Reagan and Mondale: In the scene where the main characters peek upon MadMax skating there’s a sign near the Hawkins Middle School side entrance saying “Vote Here, Nov. 6“. This is a reference of the upcoming United States presidential election, which was held on November 6, 1984. That’s great news for the main characters, as their school will most likely be closed for a couple days.Hill-Billies: Almost all the new characters introduced in this episode bring an easter egg with them: Billy, the brother of MadMax, makes no exception, since he’s basically a living clone of the Rob Lowe’s co-starring role in St. Elmo’s Fire (Joel Shumacher, 1985), which also had the same name. Although we appreciate the homage, we certainly hope we’ll never have to see such an absurd hairstyle again. Reese’s Piece: Will’s favourite Halloween candy were firstly introduced in 1977, but they only became popular after the famous 1982 movie E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, directed by Steven Spielberg, in which they are mentioned. The candy is made of genetically modified sugar beets, corn and soya beans, hence it’s the perfect meal for the upside-down modified Will… Paul Reiser: The actor playing the role of Dr. Owen, the doctor that visits Will, happens to be a living homage to Alien, the 1980 masterpiece directed by Ridley Scott: back in those days he did play the infamous Carter J. Burke, a junior executive for the Weyland-Yutani Corporation: in short words, the “bad guys”, just like the guys the Stranger Things doctor happens to be working with. For more info about the Alien character, read here. The Willxorcist: Dr. Owen sequences are quite a forge of callbacks: the various scenes featuring the Doctor speaking to Will, examining him and then trying to explain a reassuring story to his grieving mother Joyce brings back memories of the disturbing initial mood of the William Friedkin 1973 masterpiece: The Exorcist, where a bunch of medics struggles in vain to understand what’s happening to the poor girl under the increasingly distressed gaze of her parents. Millennium Falcon: The Star Wars iconic model that made its first appearance in Mike’s room during Season 1 is back! We can be sure that Mike will never sell it for a family garage sale, not only because it would be a sacrilege for most fans (and the authors know that), yet also because it brings back memories of Eleven: the girl made some questions about the vessel and even made it fly with its psionic powers back in Season 1. No wonder he tried to contact her right after watching it! Don’t worry Mike, she’s just a couple miles away after all, to the point that she could even respond to that walkie-talkie call… Too bad you don’t know that (yet)! Bowie or Kenny Roger: two easy callbacks there; Bowie comes back as an explicit reference after the Peter Gabriel‘s Heroes cover at the end of Season 1, Episode 3; first-time debut for Kenny Rogers, which started his singing career in the 50s and was legitimately seen (and heard) as a thing of the past by most of the 1984’s joungsters.
Mr. Mom: Bob, the character played by Sean Astin, doesn’t look like the kind of guy who loves horror movies. That’s probably why he was so pleased to see that Jonathan didn’t pick anything scary: among them he chooses to see Mr. Mom, the 1983 comedy that boosted up Michael Keaton’s career; definitely not the ideal choice for an Halloween night…
Sean Astin: Sean Astin happens to be another living callback by himself since it had a leading role in The Goonies (Richard Donner, 1985), which is arguably the greatest and most important influence of the whole Stranger Things franchise.Close Encounters of the Upside-Down: The sequence that shows Will looking outside the door is an almost-identical – and beautifully crafted – cinematographic replica of the iconic scene from another Spielberg masterpiece: Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977): chapeau! Extreme Measures: The flamethrower-vs-slimey sequence in the basement of the Weyland-Yut… ahem, the medical centre where Will is visited can be easily read as a visual homage of many sci-fi flicks of the 80s, such as Alien and The Thing.
That’s it, at least for the time being: if you’ve got something else, tell us in the comments and we’ll be happy to update the list!
Soundtrack, Music & Songs
For a comprehensive list of this episode soundtrack, together with all the musical Easter Eggs, References, Homages and Callbacks, read here.