Spoilers follow for Stranger Things 2.
All the Stranger Things GIFs.
Shannon Purser, the actor behind Stranger Things‘ Barb, had about 40 lines in the whole of season 1, but the impact of her character on fans was enormous. She scored spoof songs, many memes, an Emmy nomination, and a huge song-and-dance moment at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards. In fact, ‘Justice for Barb’ became such a well-known fan campaign that the show’s executive producer, Shawn Levy, used the same words in a promise of what to expect in Stranger Things 2.
So did they follow through with the justice, as promised? Of course they did: Barb is the driving force in Nancy and Jonathan’s Stranger Things 2 story arc. Here’s how they brought Barb’s story to a close…
Barb’s parents are still looking for her
In the first part of the Barb story arc, it becomes apparent that Barb’s parents have hired a very expensive private detective called Murray (Brett Gelman) and are selling their house to pay for his continually fruitless search. When Nancy and Steve attend dinner at their house, Nancy is heartbroken to discover that they’re spending all their money to find her when she knows Barb is dead – but Nancy and Steve cannot tell them anything, because they’ve been sworn to silence by the bods at the US Department of Energy. Nancy finds herself unable to justify doing nothing, though, so she teams up with Jonathan.
Nancy and Jonathan trick the Department of Energy into admitting Barb’s death
After making (very obvious) contact with Barb’s mother, Nancy and Jonathan suggest they meet in the park to reveal what happened to Barb. As expected, they get discovered by spies and are taken into the Department of Energy’s Hawkins lab. But this was part of their plan: while there, they record a conversation with Paul Reiser’s character, Dr Owens, who shows them the gate to the Upside Down and explains why it’s necessary that the cause of Barb’s death is never revealed. Assuming they’ve been convinced, he lets them go.
Murray, Nancy and Jonathan send proof to the press
After Nancy and Jonathan play the recording of Dr Owens to Murray, they decide to bend the truth about what’s been going on at the Hawkins lab – in order to make the general public swallow what initially sounds like an overly tall tale. They decide to relate Barb’s death to non-specific chemicals produced by the plant, and at the end of the series the Department of Energy is forced to shut down, with Barb’s death now public knowledge.
Barb has a funeral
Nancy, Steve, Jonathan, and Barb’s parents are all able to lay Barb to rest, with the former three finally able to deal with the residual guilt they felt at their cover-up of Barb’s death.
Satisfied now, fans?