Forget Brexit. Forget Trump. The lack of justice for Barb on Stranger Things was the true travesty of 2016. Barb was a selfless teenager ruefully neglected by the entire community of Hawkins, Indiana, a teenager who just wanted the best for her friend but ended dying a slimy, slug-infested death with not even a tear of mild-grief shed in her name.
After the apparent return to normality following the recovery of Will from the Upside Down world, the fallout from Barb's death was criminally overlooked, so much so, once the post-binge exhilaration had dissipated, many Stranger Things fans cried out for justice to be served.
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There Will Be Justice For Barb In 'Stranger Things' Season 2
Well, there is good news and bad news. As someone who fails to understand why anyone would start with the good, here's the bad: Barb is dead. Fully. Dead. There's no miracle resurrection in #StrangerThings Season 2. It's time we all accept that. However, the good news is that her death will be adequately mourned, as the show's executive producer Shawn Levy revealed to Variety. He said:
"Ever since the Golden Globes where she's in the opening, everyone's like, 'so she's alive'? And the Duffers and I are like — she's dead. We saw a slug coming out of her throat, there's no coming back from that. But I will say her memory and the search for justice for her is a part of Season 2."
Barb was the Upside Down of the show's (kind've) happy ending, the dark underbelly of gruesome death that was conveniently skipped over. The best friend of Nancy Wheeler was abducted by the Demogorgon while abjectly sat next to Steve's pool, leading Nancy to join forces with Jonathan Byers to discover her whereabouts.
While Will was dramatically rescued from the Upside Down by Joyce and Chief Hopper, Barb's fate was revealed when the pair stumbled across her corpse before they could save her. However, in comparison to Will, there was little in the way of a recovery effort aside from Nancy's effort — or even mourning after her death.
How Will Justice For Barb Fit In 'Stranger Things' Season 2?
Not long after the show's release on #Netflix, the internet backlash produced a cauldron of Justice for Barb memes, Matt Duffer reassured fans that the town was mourning, but "we're just not spending any screen time on it." Levy's comments follow that explanation, and it's possible the show's creative team decided to retrospectively give Barb the respect she deserves.
So how will it unfold? Well, recent Super Bowl teaser showed things seriously kicking off in Hawkins, but the beginning of Stranger Things Season 2 will likely show some new equilibrium, before supernatural shit hits the fan. In that time, expect an insight into how the town is dealing with the fallout from the bizarre nature of events in the debut season, as well as a more in-your-face grieving process for Barb.
Finally, we will see onscreen justice for the unlikely hero of Stranger Things. We just have to wait until Halloween...
How would you like Stranger Things Season 2 to honour Barb's memory?