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TV Show Analysis

Stranger Things Season One Analysis - Shreya Sachdev

Stranger Things is written and directed by the Duffer Brothers and stars Winona Ryder, Charlie Heaton, David Harbour, Natalia Dyer, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Joe Keery, and Millie Bobby Brown. We all know that the main story of this first season is to figure out what happened to Will, but this story really started decades ago at a research facility led by the villain in the show, Dr.Brenner. He was originally part of a group called MKUltra which involved experiments attempting to increase the capacity of the human mind via the use of hallucinogenic drugs. The government is somehow tied into this organization, and Dr.Brenner wants to use the test subjects for his own need. Over the years, there have been many test subjects such as Eleven. An earlier test subject includes Eleven’s mom, who is now seen as a woman who is incapable of getting on with her life. From birth, Dr.Brenner formed a fake father-daughter relationship with Eleven as we see that she calls him papa. This was all to persuade her to willingly participate in his experiments. As Eleven gets older and builds her capacity, the experiments become more and more intense. One experiment involves Eleven going into what is known as the “bath” where she is able to concentrate on a single subject thousands of miles away. Clearly, Dr.Brenner and his team are using Eleven to try and get an insight into their enemies from far away. On Eleven’s second encounter, she sees a monster and runs away terrified. However, Dr.Brenner is interested in learning more about this monster and sends Eleven back inside of the bath. When she touches the monster, a doorway is created between the two dimensions. This monster is also able to travel on the side or underneath dimensions, whereas humans are acrobats stuck on the straight line of travel. It may be possible that Eleven can create doors as well. We see that she is able to destroy the monster, but is perhaps sucked into the upside down as well. The monster is hunting, because it needs to eat to survive. Likewise, Eleven hunts and kills people who are trying to take her back to the facility in order to survive. Likewise, both Eleven and the monster are seen to have telekinetic powers. Is it possible that creating doorways is the next level of Eleven’s abilities now unlocked? It’s hard to say. This season ends with Will finally being brought back home and safe to his family, as we see Jonathon, Joyce, and Will all sitting down enjoying a family dinner. However, Will excuses himself and goes to the backroom and we can clearly see that something is wrong and that Will is not feeling well. He spits a slug out of his mouth, and we get a brief sighting of the upside down once again. This is to symbolize how much of an impact the upside down has had on him and that even though Will is brought back home, the upside down will forever now be with him. More interesting, however, a part of the upside down will always be in their dimension as well.

Shreya Sachdev