Stranger Things: 13 scenes that pulled on our heartstrings

Credit: Stranger Things - Netflix
Credit: Stranger Things - Netflix /
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11. Steve’s after-party

Episode: 3

Episode three opens on two heavily juxtaposed images: Barb is dragged off by the Demogorgon while Nancy loses her virginity.

The contrast between Nancy’s passion and Barb’s screams make the latter’s abduction all the more tragic: Barb has been warning her friend that Steve only has one thing on his mind, and although she was right, she doesn’t exactly get the hero’s reward.

When Nancy dresses after the act, her demeanor is all too real. Here’s the moment Barb had been warning her about, but it’s too late. She’s given something special to someone who clearly doesn’t deserve her.

Nancy spends a lot of time and energy trying to find Barb. In a way, is it possible she’s trying to regain her lost innocence? Is it possible she’s driven by regret, in addition to guilt?

Nancy, I think, may be one of the most tragic characters of the series. She just looks so disappointed when she leaves Steve that night. Her back is hunched as she pulls on a sweater. Her eyes are heavy. While Steve sleeps soundly, she hardly looks well-rested.

Ultimately, she doesn’t even make an attempt to stay with him through the night. “I’ll see you tomorrow,” she says quietly, to his half-sleeping form. Then she just leaves. She knows she messed up.

While Steve does begin to redeem himself toward the latter half of the season, it’s still hard to see Nancy end up with him in the season finale. Does she feel Steve is what she deserves after Barb’s death?