It’s hard to believe that Netflix introduced the world to Stranger Things six years ago, and with it, the characters we’ve come to know and love. Created by the Duffer Brothers and Shawn Levy, the series about eight people in a small town looking for a missing Will Byers (Noah Schnapp), has gone on to be a global phenomenon.
Besides the nostalgia for the 1980s, what has endeared audiences to the series is the dynamics found between the characters. The Hawkins chosen family made up of Jim Hopper (David Harbour), Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder), and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) to name a few, have become our surrogate streaming family. These characters have come from their own broken relationships to create something new and strong enough to fight evils from an alternate dimension for four seasons.
With each season, the series has brought in others to fill out the party, such as Max (Sadie Sink), Robin (Maya Hawke), and Murray (Brett Gelman). As the group has gotten larger, the character dynamics have shifted along with it, focusing on different friendships that have emerged, like fan favorites Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) and Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo). In its wake, some Season 1 relationships have lost their luster.
In a recent interview, the Duffer Brothers have said that they want to get back to the original dynamics from the first season. With the final season looming and all eight of the original members back in Hawkins, now is the time to revisit some of these Season 1 dynamics in order to bring the series full circle (while continuing to have moments with the new pairings we’ve come to love). As we wait for the final season, here are some of the relationships we hope to see spotlighted in Season 5.
Dustin Henderson, Lucas Sinclair, & Mike Wheeler
Season 1 made crowds go gaga for these young men as they initiated the pursuit to track down their missing companion. Since Will gets back starting from the upside, this triplet possesses not having a lot of energy for one another, but rather floating towards different connections in their lives. Specifically, Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard) and his singular companionships with Dustin and Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin) have been missing since that portentous day in November 1983. In Season 2, Lucas and Dustin’s considerations were centered around dazzling the new young lady in school, Max Mayfield, while Mike was all the while clutching losing El; even inside that season, Dustin starts to bond with Steve, which turns into his essential companionship during Season 3.
Presently in Season 4, Mike is just in Hawkins for an episode before he goes to California to visit Eleven and the Byers. The young men appear to in any case have a kinship through Hellfire Club, driven by the charming Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn), however, it’s not area of strength so it used to be. These three young men brought two grown-ups, two teens, and a super-fueled young lady together to bring back their lost companion. However their unique Dungeons and Dragons party has developed, they were the heartbeat behind it. Before we express farewell to Hawkins, we want these three companions to bond and cooperate back to cut down Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower).
Mr. Clarke & His Former Students
In a cast of characters, we’ve come to be aware and love, a fan most loved who made his presentation in Season 1 is Mr. Scott Clarke (Randy Havens). A science instructor and top of the AV club at Hawkins Middle School, he went about as a tutor to the young men. He advocated their logical interest and offered the young men solace when Will was assumed dead. As a matter of fact, Clarke was the person who hypothetically made sense of the idea of the Upside Down. Since the gateway to the Upside Down has been opened, it’s the ideal opportunity for Indiana’s best science instructor to get back in the saddle, offering help to his previous understudies again.
Eleven, Lucas Sinclair, & Dustin Henderson
Since reuniting with the group in Hawkins during Season 2, El has stayed pretty close to the hip with her boyfriend Mike. Even though in later seasons she grows closer with Max and Will, we haven’t seen many scenes with her interacting with Dustin or Lucas outside the larger group. Both Lucas and Dustin were two of her first friends when they, alongside Mike, discovered her in the woods at the end of the series premiere. Outside of Mike, Dustin was the first person to embrace Eleven into their group; Lucas was skeptical (understandably so) at first but grew to care for her. With Max in a coma and Suzie (Gabriella Pizzolo) in Utah, the boys could really lean on their platonic female friend as they prepare for the final battle that awaits them in Season 5.
The Byers Family
More peculiar Things started off with the vanishing of the most youthful Byers. From that point, the family is attempting to maintain a level of control while frantically looking for Will. Without their dad in the image, a mother and her two children are an affectionate unit, wildly faithful to one another and protecting each other whenever troubles arise. What makes Joyce an incredible mother is her obsession and commitment to her children, attempting to adjust to being available to them while being a functioning single parent. Since Season 2, crowds have been deficient with regards to that nearby bond for different pairings, similar to Joyce Byers working with Murray Bauman and Hopper. For example, in Season 4, Episode 2’s “Vecna’s Curse,” Joyce passes on her children and embraced girl to go get Hopper in Russia with Murray. After all that Joyce experienced in Season 1, you’d think she’d never let her young men far away from her.
In the interim, Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton) has been floating from his family since dating Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer). Since moving to California, he invests more energy in getting high with his new companion Argyle (Eduardo Franco) than being there for his loved ones. However we really do get Jonathan and Will having a candid conversation during the Season 4 finale “The Piggyback,” those minutes are rare considering Jonathan used to think about Will his dearest companion. Before Season 5 is said and done, we couldn’t imagine anything better than to see this family cooperate or have their own calm second together, taking us back to the family that previously encountered the dread of the Upside Down.
Jonathan Byers & Nancy Wheeler
Before these teens were dating, Jonathan and Nancy were the first duo to team up in Season 1 to hunt down the Demogorgon after Barb Holland (Shannon Purser) went missing. Through this experience, the two begin to see each other in a new light and for who they are, which is why in Season 2 during a new investigation, they give into their feelings and start dating. When these two work together, there’s nothing in Hawkins that can stop them. While it was great that Jonathan and Nancy paralleled each other by leading their subsequent groups in California and Hawkins, it would be great to see the two back on their own adventure once more.
The space has grown between them, and there are some important conversations that need to be had, like their future. Yes, they’ve been in a long-distance relationship and have done the best they could under those circumstances. Now that they’re reunited in Hawkins, it’s time for Jonathan and Nancy to have those hard yet honest talks and take on the evils of the Upside Down together as the dynamic duo they’re known to be.
Mrs. Wheeler & Her Kids
Back in Season 1, Karen Wheeler (Cara Buono) was a concerned mother watching her kids grow up in different ways and attempting to support them the best way she could. For Mike, he was dealing with frustration and grief as his best friend was missing; for Nancy, she lost her virginity and her best friend went missing. Mrs. Wheeler tries comforting her children, reminding them that she’s here, and they can talk to her. Between her and her husband, Ted (Joe Chrest), she’s the only concerned parent when Dr. Brenner (Matthew Modine) comes searching for the kids.
Since then, Mrs. Wheeler pops up a handful of times, showing brief concern when her kids are nowhere to be found, but continues on. Besides the temptation of a fling with Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery) and a touching scene between her and her daughter in Season 3, Mrs. Wheeler has not done much. Season 1 made great use of drawing parallels between mothers and their children – Mike hugging Karen while Jonathan hugs Joyce. It’s time to bring back Mrs. Wheeler into the fold for the final season.
Jim Hopper & Florence
With Hopper back in Hawkins and reunited with both of his two favorite ladies, Joyce and Eleven, it’s time for the former police chief to reunite with the woman who used to keep him afloat – his receptionist, Florence (Susan Shalhoub Larkin). In Season 1, Flo reminds him of the concerns the Hawkins people have, even if Hopper would reserve that time in the morning for coffee and contemplation. Before Hopper had the stability of his adopted daughter, the police station receptionist was his rock, keeping him in line when he’d show up late to the station. As much as he needs to reunite with his fellow officers, Phil Callahan (John Reynolds) and Calvin Powell (Rob Morgan), Hopper owes it to Flo to have a brief reunion before the final battle for Hawkins begins.