Stranger Things 2: Steve goes from zero to babysitting hero

Credit: Stranger Things - Netflix
Credit: Stranger Things - Netflix /

There were so many awesome performances from the Stranger Things 2 cast, but one of my favorites was the redemption from Steve as he went from zero to hero.

Stranger Things 2 saw heroic performances from Chief Hopper, Eleven, Bob but I want to put the spotlight on a character that was vilified in season 1 but was an absolute star in the sequel and that’s Steve Harrington.

Steve’s redemption song actually began at the end of season 1 when he grabbed his baseball bat with nails sticking out and returned to the Byers home when Nancy and Jonathan were awaiting a visit from the Demogorgon. When the Christmas lights started flickering, Steve rose to the occasion and took some big swings at the monster in a sign he wasn’t such a creep after all.

Make no mistake, he was a creep the way he treated Nancy earlier in that season, but he’s come a long way since and Stranger Things 2 saw a total transformation. No longer was Steve the stereotypical 80s jock, but he was an attentive, mature and responsible young adult.

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Steve’s transformation began almost by accident. Steve was prepared to give Nancy roses and apologize for (Nancy not loving him, I guess?) when Dustin was leaving the Wheeler home when he was looking for Mike.

Dustin couldn’t get Lucas or Mike on the walkie-talkie so he had to turn to Steve when he had his Dart emergency. After Dustin’s slimy new pet was found eating the family cat and growing into a Demogorgon, he managed to set up a trap to lock him in a cellar.

Dustin asked Steve if he had the baseball bat, you know the one with the nails, and so Steve agrees to help him and check out the scene. When they arrive, they find Dart has broken free and escaped through the brick walls. With Dart on the loose, Steve and Dustin connected as they dropped fresh meat on the train tracks in a scene that was a lovely nod to Stand By Me.

The conversation quickly turned to things much more serious than a loose Demogorgon when Steve began to offer up some advice to Dustin about the opposite sex. Dustin liked Max but Max didn’t really like Dustin, so Steve offered some advice and told him the key is to not care. He also helped out with a few essential hair care tips, including how many sprays of Farrah Fawcett hairspray to use to get the perfectly quaffed do. It was the kind of thing an older brother would say to his younger brother when he’s got his first crush.

Later in the same episode, Steve adds some more babysitting clients when Lucas and Max show up when they’re trying to set the trap for Dart. It doesn’t go according to plan as several Demodogs show up, but it didn’t matter because Steve saved the day and kept the kids safe.

When Joyce, Hopper, Mike and the rest of the gang was trying to make the secret cabin to put Will inside so the Mindflayer wouldn’t be able to find them, Steve was one of the best helpers. He even managed to tell Nancy he was a bad boyfriend, but he can be a good babysitter. It was a nice moment the two shared. Steve had his heart-broken by Nancy who had been on an adventure with Jonathan, but Steve swallowed his pride and checked his ego, so maybe the two can be friends in the future?

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One of the most heartfelt moments came in the season finale when the Snow Ball was taking place. Steve dropped off Dustin who was all done up and his hair looking fresh. He gave him what basically amounted to a pregame pep talk and gave him the confidence to attack the room. It was another moment that showed these two becoming like brothers. Dustin is an only child and as far as we know, Steve is too, so it was a really genuine sweet moment to see these two come together.

I am all for the spinoff series with Steve and Dustin, and I hope we’ll get to see more of the two together. I don’t know what the future holds for Steve in Hawkins, but maybe there’s a chance he joins the police force and can put his monster hunting experience to good use.

One thing is clear, Steve went from zero to hero and had the best redemption song since Bob Marley.