How Steve Harrington sought redemption in ‘Stranger Things’
(Credit: Netflix)

Editor's Choice

How Steve Harrington sought redemption in 'Stranger Things'

Stranger Things has become quite the pop-cultural sensation ever since its inception in 2016. Essentially a nostalgic love letter to the eighties by the showrunners, Matt and Ross Duffer, the show also pays homage to the world of mystery and adventure created by Stephen King and the like by incorporating some of the elements and resuscitating the sci-fi genre.

Starring Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, David Harbour, Winona Ryder, Joe Keery, Sadie Sink, Noah Schnapp, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin and others, the show is a concoction of every child’s dream sequence with sci-fi tropes, deadly monsters, interdimensional travel, telekinetic powers and other metaphysical elements, corrupt bureaucracy and dysfunctional families, where the kids are the ultimate heroes.

While the show has been somewhat juvenile in developing most of the characters (except Steve Harrington and David harbour), the upcoming fourth season will, according to Ross Duffer, give ample space for the characters to flesh out their narratives. Stranger Things season four will debut its first volume on Netflix on May 27th, 2022, followed by the final volume on July 1st, 2022.

Naturally, fans are absolutely ecstatic about the return of the gang and the monsters in the explosive season (as promised by the trailer, the cast and the crew), however, it is important to take a step back and shine a light on some of the best characters in the show. While Chief Jim Hopper is our absolute favourite, it is essential for us to acknowledge one other character whose narrative arc over the last season won the hearts of fans globally.

Played by Joe Keery, Steve undergoes the classic transformation from a rude asshole to an adorable goofball. Amidst a bunch of squawking pre-teens, Harrington stands out with his good looks, well-coiffed gravity-defying hair (it honestly makes him iconic) and his ability to blend in with the children, albeit being patient with constant ridicule from his co-worker at Scoops Ahoy, Robin (Maya Hawke).

Initially, Steve was a notorious bully whose shallow nature made him pretty unlikeable. Rude and cruel to everyone, he is pretty homophobic, boisterous and reckless and rides on the high of being a popular jock in school. His cold indifferent attitude and penchant for bullying make him come off as terrible; the self-proclaimed King Steve title does not alleviate his rambunctious nature. However, he soon undergoes an unimaginable reformation which is almost too good to be true.

After three seasons, Steve undergoes a huge transformation where he sheds off his previous vices. he becomes patient and tolerant and lets the kindness and empathy in him shine through as he becomes a good friend to the kids, especially Dustin Henderson. While he often addresses Henderson as “Peabrain” just to get a rise out of him, their relationship is rooted in care and trust as the elder metes out advice regarding hairstyles and women to the younger who listens in rapt attention.

Although Steve is athletic and strong, he often loses fights. He is emotional and vulnerable prefers quietude and often wields a baseball bat to protect others. Steve is made human with his follies and flaws that make his glaring transformation nothing less than redemptive and cathartic. Sometimes a bit slow, Steve’s compassion and courage, however, help him stay afloat in any dire situation; he constantly looks out for those around him which is in direct contrast with the Steve we meet in the first season.

Stay tuned for the fourth season to see how Steve Harrington’s character evolves even further as the entire gang faces a massive threat that pervades the entire season.