It’s been over two months since Season 3 of the Netflix original series Stranger Things premiered and after rewatching bits and pieces I discovered what made me truly love this season.
I noticed a unique talent the Duffer Brothers have when it comes to character development and interaction. They have a knack for putting characters together that, on paper, seem totally absurd but turn out to be some of the best and most enjoyable pairings (I’m looking at you Mr. Henderson and Harrington).
That’s what made me love the “Scoops Troop” so much this last season! This posse is comprised of Steve, Dustin, Robin, and Erica. An incredibly unlikely squad that gave us some of the best comedic and emotional content of the season. They come together because Steve and Robin are working together at the ice cream parlor, “Scoops Ahoy”, Dustin is basically Steve’s child, and Erica is willing to fit through an air vent if it means free ice cream for life.
I knew I loved Robin the first time we saw her with the “You Suck” tally board, and because I see sooo much of myself in her!
truth serum heart-to-heart
When Robin and Steve were certain they were about to die, Robin began talking about Mrs. Clickity-Clacks class and it definitely felt like the set up for a tragic Shakespearean love story. But as cute as their relationship is, I had NO desire for them to be romantically involved. I’m sure the Duffer Brothers knew that many would like to see their friendship blossom into a love story, but they said nope! And I’m so glad.
My favorite scene of the season is the post-Russian-torture-and-truth-serum-heart-to-heart. I love the cinematography and atmosphere of the movie theatre bathroom (aesthetic, right?). But the writing gives the conversation such a natural flow! Steve admitting how he loved Nancy hurt my heart a bit, he really did care about her. But then he started talking about this “other girl”.
Maya Hawke deserves a shoutout for her acting in this scene because it is raw and beautiful. He’s talking about this girl and she’s fighting back tears; here is a person who genuinely likes spending time with her but she can’t reciprocate any romantic interest, and you can see that her heart is breaking because she will not be the person to love him.
It reminded me of a letter I never sent to a friend I’ll never name. I wrote about wishing I could love them the way they deserve and how badly I want to be that person, but I can’t be that person and don’t think I ever will be.
Steve slides under the stall worried something’s wrong, and Robin’s telling him that she’s not that girl, no matter how convinced and clear-minded he is. Listening to her go on about why she was so jealous of him in that class is proof that teenage heartache is universal and will always exist.
“But, Tammy Thompson’s a girl”
Robin lets Steve sit and soak in that statement, probably fearing a response. But after a few moments all he does is point out how Tammy is a sub-par choice, igniting an argument about why Robin deserves to set her sights higher.
No condemnation for who she is, no fighting for her to fall in love with him. He just goes on to support the heck out of her and become the ultimate wingman.
Steve’s growth was palpable in this scene. Season 1, he would have been weirded out by this geeky lesbian and definitely make snide comments behind her back. But he’s been learning to let go of “primitive constructs such as popularity.” And he’s learning that he might not be as cool as he thought he was, but he’s a much better person than he ever was in high school.
Long live the scoops troop
As a part of the Scoops Troop, even Erica begrudgingly agrees that she might be a bit nerdier than she lets on…
Basically, the Scoops Troop is willing to accept their growth and rewrite the status quo for themselves. They are a mish-mosh of personalities and struggles but that’s what makes them so great. The Duffer Brothers did a phenomenal job with this season, and if nothing else — they gave us the Scoops Troop.
What did you think of the Scoops Troop? What do you think of the arcs of each character? LET’S CHAT!!!!
**ALL PHOTOS CREDIT TO NETFLIX INC.