The show was a major hit with critics and fans, who were drawn to it because of its 1980s setting and the nostalgia it evoked its many horror influences, and its innovative idea, which combined real-life experiments with sci-fi and horror aspects.
Stranger Things follows a group of teens and the adults closest to them as they uncover a series of dangerous experiments taking place at Hawkins Lab, set in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana.
Each season has focused on a different aspect of the experiments, with season 1 focusing on Will Byers’ (Noah Schnapp) disappearance and Eleven’s (Millie Bobby Brown) escape from the lab.
Season 2 is in the aftermath of Will’s time in the Upside Down, and season 3 is on the Russians establishing a lab beneath the new Starcourt Mall to conduct their own experiments related to the other dimension.
Stranger Things season 3 ended on a dramatic cliffhanger, with the Russians holding an American prisoner, Jim Hopper (David Harbour), and their experiments are far from over.
The main focus of Stranger Things season 4 will be Hopper’s rescue (and, of course, how he survived the explosion at the end of season 3 and ended up in Russia)
As well as the rumored return of Dr. Brenner (Matthew Modine), which will put Eleven in a lot of trouble because she will have to relive all of her past trauma.
Strange Things, on the other hand, keeps forgetting about a key character to whom the entire series owes its success: Will Byers.
The Start of Stranger Things
As previously stated, one of the keys focuses of Stranger Things season 1 was Will Byers’ disappearance, which served as the catalyst for the entire series.
Will Byers was on his way home after playing Dungeons & Dragons with his buddies one November night in 1983 when he was intercepted by a horrible creature, and despite the fact that he made it back home, he was not safe from the monster, and he vanished.
Will’s mother Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Chief Hopper learned that Will was stuck in an obscure dimension nicknamed the “Upside Down,”
and the gate to that place was at Hawkins Lab, after a strange inquiry in which Hawkins Lab got engaged in order to cover their tracks.
The Demogorgon was able to cross over to the human world through this gate, which Eleven was able to stop because of her psychokinetic and telepathic powers.
Will’s disappearance served as the catalyst for the entire series, as it was via that mystery that Joyce, Hopper, and Will’s pals learned about the Hawkins Lab experiments and the presence of another world filled with genuinely terrifying monsters.
Stranger Things was able to continue researching the mysteries of the other dimension because of his homecoming and the ramifications of his time in the Upside Down, but Will has now been forgotten.
Stranger things have forgotten it
Will served as the Mind Flayer’s host in Season 2 and so became a member of the creature’s hive mind, making him a sort of adversary for most of the season.
Stranger Things followed Eleven’s return to Hawkins and her own study of her past in parallel to Will’s story, with her arriving just in time to save the town once more.
Although this story kept Will as the main character, it did nothing to develop him; instead, the writers used him as a plot device, and his arc continued to revolve around Hawkins Lab,
-the Upside Down, the Demogorgon, and other creatures from another dimension, leaving the audience with little knowledge of who Will Byers is.
They almost gave him a story
Will was freed from the Mind Flayer’s control by the end of Stranger Things season 2, Eleven closed the gate to the Upside Down in Hawkins Lab, and the lab was finally shut down after Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Will’s brother Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) exposed those in it as responsible for the death of their friend Barbara Holland, though they couldn’t reveal everything they knew about their experiments.
All of this brought an end to one chapter of Strange Things, thus season three had to cope with a new threat that was still connected to the series’ main threats.
While the plot of the Russians performing their own experiments on the Upside Down, opening portals, and surreptitiously establishing themselves at Hawkins was intriguing and exciting.
Stranger Things utterly ignored Will and failed to give him a genuine arc and development.
Will was set aside because he was no longer needed for the plot, and the series instead focused on new characters like Robin (Maya Hawke), returning characters like Murray (Brett Gelman), and relationships between characters like Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Eleven, and Max (Sadie Sink) and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin).
There was a hint in Stranger Things season 3 that Will might have a story, which would have provided some much-needed growth, but it was soon shelved in the same season.
Mike remarked it wasn’t his fault that Will doesn’t like ladies during a dispute about their friendship and how things have changed, implying that Will is gay, which was part of the character’s original plan.
Stranger Things, on the other hand, did not continue to explore that aspect of Will’s character, and this was never discussed again-
With Will functioning as just another member of the gang after everything he had done previously for the program.
Stranger things can fix this
Thankfully, it’s not too late for Stranger Things to do a better job with Will in season 4, and it’s a possibility.
Despite the fact that a full trailer for Stranger Things season 4 has yet to be released, Netflix has released a teaser featuring some fast glimpses from the upcoming season, but Will is nowhere to be found.
This might be because Eleven and the Byers left Hawkins at the end of season 3, which is a fantastic opportunity for the series to further develop Will Byers’ character–
by allowing him to start over in a new town and explore his personality and other elements in more depth.
Because Will’s connection to the Upside Down isn’t completely broken, there’s been a lot of speculation that he’ll receive powers in Stranger Things Season 4, which might make him a key character again without turning him into a plot device.
Having powers might also offer an opportunity for the series to examine who Will is, what he feels, and what he believes, as it has done with Eleven
– after all, he is the character through whom the story began.
Stranger Things season 4 details are still being kept under wraps, so it’s difficult to say what Will Byers’ role will be in this upcoming season, but hopefully, he won’t be forgotten.
Eleven has undoubtedly become the center of Stranger Things as a result of her connection to the lab, her powers, and other factors, but the show’s biggest crime is —
forgetting about the character who propelled the first two seasons forward and giving him no development and no real story once he stopped being a plot device.