Steve Harrington was a total douchebag. When he first arrived in Stranger Things, we were supposed to have a love-hate relationship with the guy. He was the preppy jock, the son of a bitch straight outta the Hughes Book of Jerks, and the foil for Jonathan Byers. But, he changed. Nursing his wounds outside of a local convenience store in Season One, Steve decided he’d opt for love over hate, that whatever ego he had that made him No. 1 at Hawkins High School was worth losing for Nancy Wheeler. And so, he came running to the rescue at the very end, baseball bat and all. Our hate for him started dwindling.
This past weekend, though, our feelings went straight to love. When Steve returned, the Duffers gave him all the right pathos. Sure, he was still trying to live out a fantasy that nothing happened, everything’s okay, and that things will change. But, c’mon, he’s also a kid at the end of the day, and, to his credit, he was at least trying to channel that ignorance into some kind of bond — something good. Alas, the relationship wasn’t to be; instead, he became the rogue hero — an Ash Williams, if you will — and that notion was solidified when he partnered up with Dustin and became the de facto babysitter.
God, Steve’s so fucking cool; fighting off demi-dogs, swinging away at racist scumbag Billy, and roaming around the Upside Down with a pair of shades and a neckerchief. Of course, it helps that Joe Keery is such a bonafide babe in real life — have you seen those Domino’s commercials — but Benny Schwaz-looks and picture-perfect hair aside, he’s the real deal. He’s the most realistic hero out of the entire Hawkins gang, and it’s because of his strange arc that we’re still here celebrating the guy and his broken bones. So, enjoy these GIFs as we wait for the next chapter of Steve Harrington.