Stranger Things 2: Remember Bob Newby, superhero

Credit: Stranger Things - Jackson Lee Davis - Netflix
Credit: Stranger Things - Jackson Lee Davis - Netflix /

Stranger Things 2 introduced a few new characters, but none were a bigger hit among fans than Bob Newby, played by Sean Astin, who turned in a heroic performance.

Sean Astin was a welcome addition to the Stranger Things 2 cast as Bob Newby who was Joyce’s boyfriend and an all-around good guy who is the new fan favorite. Much like season 1 made Barb a fan favorite, the character of Bob Newby will never be forgotten. It can be difficult to drop in new characters into a show as great as Stranger Things but Sean Astin fits in so perfectly that it’s hard to imagine the show without him.

Bob was a rock for Joyce and helped put a smile on her face after the traumatic events of season 1. He was there for to comfort her, support her, encourage her and he was great with Jonathan and Will. He was a bit nerdy, working at Radio Shack, loving Mr. Mom and Kenny Rodgers, but it was just what Joyce needed. He never wavered in his commitment toward Joyce and the Byers family, even when Will was experiencing visions of the shadow monster and it looked his health was in dangerous peril.

Throughout it all, Bob was a superhero in his own right and he proved his selflessness in episode 8 in a scene that will go down as one of the most memorable in the series history.

If you haven’t finished Stranger Things 2, turn away now, because we’re about to talk spoilers.

With Will, Joyce, Hopper and Mike trapped inside the Hawkins Lab with the demo-dogs running wild throughout the halls and the power out so all the doors can’t open, Bob came to the rescue. Bob Newby doesn’t look like the hero, that distinction goes to Chief Hopper, but Bob the Brain stood tall and did what was necessary. Bob left the group to restore the power and unlock the doors so everyone could escape. It was a perilous journey, but it looked like Bob saved the day, the family could escape and he was going to make it out alive. It was very reminiscent of the end of Jurassic Park, but unlike that movie, the heroes didn’t make it out alive.

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Just when it looked like Bob was safe and he could see Joyce’s face, a demo-dog pounced on him, sending him falling to the ground where the dogs ripped into his flesh and proceeded to feast on him in front of Joyce while Hopper tried to save him, but it was too much. Bob was totally enveloped and surrounded. It was too late to save him.

But we won’t forget him. Before Bob went on his mission to restore the power and his return was uncertain, he told Joyce to remember Bob Newby, superhero. We will never forget the sacrifice he made so Joyce, Will, Mike and Hopper could live and stop this attack. He is the superhero we didn’t think we needed, but he was the hero we needed when we needed a hero to emerge.

In a testament to how much Bob was revered on the set and how much he meant to the rest of the people on the show, Bob was meant to die earlier in the season but the Duffer Brothers kept him alive because he was so good.

“Bob was always intended to die, but we fell in love with Sean and what he was doing with this character,” says Ross Duffer, via Entertainment Weekly. “He was supposed to die in like episode 4 and we just kept keeping him alive because he was so great and what he added to the show. Once we got to 8, we were like, we either got to do this or not do this. But I think it was important in terms of the stakes of the show. This is not a kids show and there are consequences and people do die. But we are sad to lose him because he really just blew us away.”

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He blew me away too and I’m glad the show kept him alive as long as they did and while it was sad to see him die, it was a pretty awesome way to go out in what was the most graphic death scene by far in the series.

We’ll miss Bob Newby, but we will never forget him, and his impact on the show and I think the characters will remember him too as the founder of the AV Club, so his presence will continue to be felt.