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All’s Well That Ends Weird.
The third season brought all the nostalgia, gross-outs and character-driven emotion we’ve come to expect. But the ending left some lingering questions. The creature in the third season of Stranger Things is a grisly, fearsome, overpowering amalgam of borrowed parts, created from the melted-down essence of other beings. Which is to say, the creature is Stranger Things. The show’s creators, Matt and Ross Duffer, have said they will end the show after four or five seasons, but the first three are like a recycling plant, harvesting old movies and tried-and-true formulas like endlessly renewable resources. A creature emerges from under Hawkins, Ind., the gang bands together to put down the threat, and the pattern repeats itself the next season, with only one or two narrative threads left dangling.
The Party is portrayed as the most stable group in friends throughout Stranger Things — but are they really all that tight?
The Party is portrayed as the most stable group in friends throughout Stranger Things. Eleven meets Mike, Dustin, Lucas, and Will in the first season of the hit sci-fi Netflix show, with Max joining the group in the second season after moving to Hawkins from California.
The Party shares a strong connection but even their friendship isn’t flawless. El and Max’s inclusion in the group caused friction amongst the friends and, as they are young, there is a chance that they may drift apart for good as they grow into adults. Here are ten reasons why the Party from Stranger Things aren’t real friends.
Eleven and Mike share the most touching relationship in Stranger Things. After escaping from Hawkins Lab, El is discovered by Mike, Lucas, and Dustin, who are searching for their missing friend Will. El and Mike instantly share a connection but it jeopardizes Mike’s friendship with Lucas, who initially distrusts the telekinetic teenager.
In the third season, Mike continues to distance himself from his friends and ditches the Party to hang out with his girlfriend. Mike’s friends are important to him but it is evident that El means more.
Max was introduced in season two along with her bullying stepbrother Billy. The tomboy-ish Californian quickly caught the attention of the Party, with Dustin and Lucas clamoring for Max to join their group whilst Mike rudely rebuffs her.
The tension between Mike and new Party member Max is prevalent in the third season. After El and Mike break up, she becomes best friends with Max, who encourages her to be independent of her boyfriend.
The Party is a solid and stable friendship group in the first season of Stranger Things. However, as the series progresses, the friends grow apart and embark on adventures of their own as they battle the creatures of the Upside Down.
Dustin begins to drift from his friends in season two after striking up an unlikely friendship with Steve Harrington. In season three, Dustin is separated from the Party until the final episode after he infiltrates a secret Russian base with Steve, Robin, and Erica.
The Party enjoys playing Dungeons & Dragons in the first season and it is their shared love of the fantasy game that brings them together. However, in season three Will Byers is the only Party member who still enjoys playing D&D, signaling that the others are growing up and pursuing other interests.
A friendship built around a game is fine until the group slowly begins to grow bored and drift apart. Hopefully, for Will’s sake at least, the Party can enjoy one more game in the next season.
Max’s arrival in Hawkins disrupted the dynamics of the Party. Mike was hesitant to invite a new friend into his group and was openly hostile as he missed El. Dustin and Lucas nearly fell out for good after both of them developed feelings for Max, with Dustin resenting his friend after seeing the growing connection between Max and Lucas.
Dustin admonishes Lucas for bringing a “stranger” into the group and the two friends argue in front of Max and Steve. They reconcile before season three, however, as Dustin moves on with his new girlfriend Suzie.
Lucas has fallen out with his friends more than once in Stranger Things. He argues with Dustin in season two over Max, but in the first season, Lucas reacts angrily to Eleven’s inclusion in the group and almost ends his friendship with Mike.
Lucas and El eventually set aside their differences and become genuine friends. However, the Party has fallen out because of issues with female friends on more than one occasion.
Mike, Dustin, Will, and Lucas are already friends at the beginning of Stranger Things, with Eleven and Max joining the group later on. The Party has friendship and D&D in common but it is the Upside Down that truly unites them as they work together to fight monsters from another dimension.
In season three, they are primarily united by having to fight the Mind Flayer. Without the Upside Down and Hawkins Lab, they would never have met Eleven and the future of the group would be unclear.
The Party are no strangers to arguments and spend much time bickering with each other. This is understandable especially considering their young ages, but the constant back-and-forth between the friends – especially Max and Lucas – can grow tiresome.
A lot of the time in Stranger Things, it seems as if the Party struggles to stay on the same page. However, they ultimately always pull through in the end to save the day and each other.
The Party has one golden rule in Stranger Things; friends don’t lie. El takes this vow seriously and enforces the rule with Hopper and her friends until Mike lies to her in season three about his grandmother, prompting the telekinetic teenager to break up with him.
Admittedly, this is more Hopper’s fault. The police chief threatens Mike early in the season and urges him to distance himself from his adopted daughter. However, Mike should have told El regardless as he knows how much faith she has in the Party’s ultimate law.
The Party is solid friends in the first season but, in season three, there is a sad sense that the group is drifting apart. Dustin spends most of the season with Steve and Robin and the Byers family and Eleven move away from Hawkins in the season finale, separating the Party permanently.
With Stranger Things 4 approaching, the Party will inevitably find their way back to each other. However, whether their friendship persists into adulthood after the events of the series is unknown.