Life Lessons from a Geek: The Last 15 Minutes of Stranger Things 2

in #family4 years ago (edited)

Warning the following contains spoilers.

I can't help it. I'm a teacher. I ruin fun for a living.

The last 15 minutes of Stranger Things 2 ? That seems awfully specific.

If you read my previous post, you will understand that I purposely let my son have Stranger Things all to himself... except the very last 15 minutes of the most recent season. Therefore, I will not be covering the plethora of examples of heroism, friendship, loyalty, love, faith and courage contained in the other 16 3/4 episodes. But those last 15 minutes... I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to "teacher" the heck out of that last quarter hour!

Those 900 seconds open with a shot of a crayon drawing of Bob Newby as a super hero. Perhaps some day, good old Bob will get his own post for his heroism demonstrated by his loving a struggling single mom and caring for her two extremely troubled sons. I might even mention his other heroic act of ... (I can't spoil everything).

Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 12.36.02 AM.png
Samwise the Brave. I want to hear more about Sam.

But this was my 12 year old son Timmy's show. These life lessons needed to focus on the kids.

From the middle of season one onward, Steve Harrington broke out of his cliche role as the good looking jerk featured in nearly every John Hughes movie. He has a change of heart and becomes a really good guy. This continues throughout all of season 2. Although there are plenty of obvious chances for Steve to be a physical hero, I wanted my son to see a teenager performing heroic actions that also happened to be realistic. Throughout this season, Steve acts as the protector and big brother of the Hawkins gang.

There is no greater example of him fulfilling this role of caring big brother than when he drives Dustin to the big Snow Ball dance. If this were any other show, when I saw this scene I would say, "Yeah right. The popular High School stud is going to drive some random kid to a dance? No way." But this is no ordinary show. The writers established that Steve would realistically do this for an awkward thirteen-year-old. Dustin does not appear to have a father in his life. He does not have a dad to give him advice about fashion, hair or girls. Steve steps up and does that for him.

You used the Farrah Fawcett spray right?

As he is dropping off Dustin at the dance, Steve gives the younger boy advice and boosts his self confidence with a reassuring, "You look great". He also makes sure to tell Dustin to avoid growling. This is the kind of real and helpful advice an older brother would give.

I wanted my son to see that positive interaction. My son Timmy has a little sister. Although I don't think he should ever tell her how to pick up boys, there will be a time when she needs advice and a confidence boost. I need him to know that good big brothers provide these things for their little siblings. This scene gave me a great excuse to remind him of that fact.

There is a bonus mini lesson right after Dustin exits the car. Steve looks into the gym and sees his ex-girlfriend Nancy looking... like a teenage girl in the 80s (poorly dressed with big hair). Although you can tell he regrets her being the "one who got away", he shrugs a bit and drives away. He doesn't weep. He doesn't think he will never get a girl again. He moves on. At some point, we all have to face that we "let one get away" (and eventually we will thank god that we didn't settle of this one). I anticipate that my son will be no different. I figure there is nothing wrong with dropping in a quick, "Oh that's cool that Steve isn't a basket case over Nancy. I'm sure he knows that there are plenty more fish in the sea."

My son shot me a sideways glance at that one. I smirked as we continued watching. I knew that one wouldn't mean anything to him right now. But I also think that planting that seed early is not a bad thing. It will also give us a shared experience to use as a starting point when we inevitably have to talk about it some day.

Proving that even an awkward attempt is better than no attempt at all.

After Lucas delivers a lesson in how not to ask a girl dance (I believe you can learn a lot from "non-examples") and Mike shows how a friend should always be there to encourage a pal to take advantage of a golden opportunity, Dustin once again shows what he is made of: pure courage.

If you ask a 13 year old boy, "What is more terrifying? Fighting a demon from another dimension or asking a girl to dance?" My guess is that 90% of those teenagers will say the second option is far more horrifying.

If you asked Dustin the same question, I think he would say, "Neither".

Dustin has guts. Dustin is not afraid to put himself out there. He does just that at the dance.

After missing out on dancing with Max, Dustin does not wilt. He walks right up to another girl, looks her in the eyes and says, "Stacy. Shall we?"

To a 13 year old boy, this is the epitome of courage.

And she laughs in his face.

Then he looks for another partner.

With the same result.

But Dustin took his shots. My son needs to know that "Fortune favors the bold" and "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." I nonchalantly told my son that I thought Dustin had a "ton of guts" for taking a chance like that. I then doubled down with, "The only way to get a date, is to ask someone on a date. You have to be willing to take a chance. You never know what you might miss out on if you aren't willing to take a chance."

It helps that although Dustin is very deflated and goes to sit by himself (and perhaps cry) he does not leave the dance. I bet if left to his own devices, Dustin would have taken another shot. But he didn't have to. Why? Nancy is awesome. That's why.

In my house, we have a rule...

Members of our family pick people up. We never push them down.

Nancy perfectly illustrates this precept when she sees Dustin sitting alone. She walks over, extends her hand and asks, "Hey? Do you wanna dance?" Then she grabs his hand and pulls him to the dance floor. This act of pulling someone up when he needed it, is no less heroic than her fighting off demigorgons with a shotgun. It's also far more realistic and relatable. Her kind actions and words made Dustin's night. She singlehandedly turned a miserable evening into an unforgettable one. And all she did was show a little kindness.

There wasn't much I needed to say to emphasize that lesson. I merely dropped a, "That was really cool of Nancy." Timmy nodded. Good enough.

Besides, I didn't want to talk over the final lesson of the season...

In life, there are going to be many things (like dancing with a girl with supernatural abilities) that you simply have to try to figure out as you go along. Life is a fantastic ride... if you have the guts to take it.

Images 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


Interesting post, and I think those things could be true, but also bend the narrative a little more, after all it is a show, and they wanted a happy ending.
My main critique would be in regards to Steve. I think it's less of "he let one get away," and more, "not everyone is going to share the same feelings in a relationship." What you're saying; there was something within Steve's power that would have allowed him to "make" Nancy stay with him, regardless of her feelings. It was pretty apparent in the show, that their "love" was mismatched as soon as Jonathan appears. It was on Nancy, and Nancy's free will to choose who she wanted to be with. One could argue it was the "actions" of Steve that pushed Nancy away, and maybe if he didn't make those choices, they would still be together, but that just isn't reasonable. If Nancy "loved" him, she would have seen past those simple mistakes, and the decision would still ultimately be up to her.
Another comment I would like to make. I full expected Bob to die. Why? Because he wasn't flawed. In a show where every character's arch is created on a flaw, a non flawed character is not going to last. It's simple writing and story telling. Bob simply had to die for the show to move forward.
Good write-up, and I am waiting for Season 3 as well.

That's good. I like that take on Steve. That is more accurate.

Members of our family pick people up. We never push them down.

I think this is what I have been taught to do all my life. Learnt it from my parents and would still pass it on to my kids.

She singlehandedly turned a miserable evening into an unforgettable one. And all she did was show a little kindness.

That was all that was needed, nothing more is. You never know who that little kindness can bring back to life. Lending a hand for friendship is the best way of putting smiles on people's faces especially to those who feel down and isolated.

Thank you for this wonderful moral, it has value and knowledge embedded therein.

Thanks for the very thoughtful comment. It sounds that your parents raised a good parent themselves!

Haha... yes they did. Infact seeing parents like you here write about morals and children makes me feel very proud about parenthood. Am happy to see someone like you here sir.

Stay inspired and motivated always.

Ya that was a wonderful moral.

You are doing an amazing job as a parent! I wish I had that advice and teachings growing up. My two brothers and I always looked out for each other but that’s because we had a pretty rough child hood. Luckily through mentoring from teachers and other people in the community, I think I’ve learned a lot. I wish it would have been earlier. But late is better than never!

"...late is better than never!"

Indeed! :) Be the beacon that you are.

Love this.
I haven't seen any of Stranger Things, but in may have to start watching. I constantly use TV to teach my children life lessons, Miss 12 is onto me, but she enjoys watching the same shows as me and spending that time talking so it's a win/win situation.

I agree! You have to use any excuse to works these in. Anything that sparks a conversation has tremendous value.

My favourite bit:

"My son Timmy has a little sister. Although I don't think he should ever tell her how to pick up boys, there will be a time when she needs advice and a confidence boost. I need him to know that good big brothers provide these things for their little siblings."

Teach on! :D

Life is meaningless without right company and circles of influence, we all have people we look up to and those that lookup to us. We should strive to make meaningful impact so that our essence of living would be of great value. Show heart of kindness to that person today, it might be your turn tomorrow, help the needy find hope and reason to smile someday it would be unexpected reward on your side.


One of the difficult things to learn for me was not to abide by 'an eye for an eye' --- if someone is unkind...I just have to hit block (offline or online) or find a way to understand their point of view.

You are being nice that way too, keep it up

A round of applause! You captured all of the pertinent points so successfully. I was half-expecting to see a Geek Dad's take on Justice League, but I was glad to read you did one for Stranger Things. This show is inching towards leaving such a lasting legacy. I hope they end on a high note. It has a little something for everyone, that's why it's so relatable.

Great post and life lessons. I love the statement where you mention that in your family you pick people up rather than push them down. Life can be difficult and who is so arrogant as to think they can master the world all by themselves?

Based on this title I thought you were going to refernce the lack of a huge sword and shield battle with the mega-demigorgon to conclude the series. I was honestly sad that he was still alive by the end of season 2.

ANYWAY, Bob honestly was the coolest dude so far for one reason... Bon knows basic. I mean it's no C++ but yeah, we went back a few years in time LOL.

Shame that we have to wait SO LONG for a season 3.... =(

Best Regards,
Bishop Corey DeFrancesco

Teachers never ruin our fun infact they give us proper knowledge so that we can become successful in future.

Thanks! I was joking but it's nice to hear.

You are welcome ! You are a teacher too ! You know this thing yourself, better than me :)

I can't help it. I'm a teacher. I ruin fun for a living. I love this line. Will bookmark the artikle to read later. I think I need to finally watch the series.

my brother, this is a truly great review of what the writers of Stranger Things are imparting on its viewers, and a fantastic opportunity for younger viewers to learn, specially with the guiding counsel of their parents, about how to be a good person. That enough is worth ten times the upvotes you already have.

Also, one life lesson I learned from the movie "The Godfather"
Don't ever take sides against the family.

Outstanding post and analysis. If I could upvote this 100 times I would. That is exactly what we need more of everywhere in the world, to pick up people, not push them down. Bravo.

This is one of the relatively few modern shows that I've greatly enjoyed. Haven't seen much written up about the final fifteen minutes of this season before, and well done for highlighting a very human section of a show that goes to some dark places at times.

The mark of quality to me for a movie or TV show is when much is communicated without the need for too many words, and the ending here is one such example.

There are many of us (myself included!) that could have used the confidence that Nancy inspired with her kindness when we were the awkward kid at school.

Thank you for the great write-up and for helping foster more positivity into this world. Kudos.

This is so true, thank you for inspiring as life is a fantastic ride... and it really does take guts more so when you get older.

That's hilarious! Sounds like a great mini-show to post on steemit.

That little kindness can bring back to life. Good post and yes tommrow never will come finsh it today.

viewed, voted, commented, and re-steemed ...

anyone follows me i'll follow back within a few days

hehe that was pretty amazing to read : )

This post is interesting. you have my upvote on this post .... keep it up my friend looking forward to your next post

Please upvot and follow me.

super post ever i like photography very much.

wah wa wha wa, kia bat hy sajno :)

ymmmmm ramzu khan

Nice Post!! Keep it Up!!

I gotta watch this lol

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it's so amazing,

very nice post, too long but good to read, thanks for sharing

Oh yes, that's the right legacy for our children.

Nothing is bigger than a family in the world.

Great Post! Thank You!

Those who know how to think need no teachers.

- Mahatma Gandhi

great article...well worth an Upvote and Follow... if you like my posts, I will be posting more videos and photos from my Secret Stash, if you like them would be delighted if you could repay the compliment by Upvoting

Yah it's very fun

family is a very wonderful person and I really like my family
I really like your big family

upvote &follow me

i cant wait to season 3 ...

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Çok iyi dostum.Bravo !!

I wanted to read this but it had spoilers. Upvoted anyway, once I've seen it I'll come back!