As confusing as “Stranger Things” is, the one consensus fans seem to have reached about the show is that Barb (Shannon Purser) deserved way better than she got.
Even though she only appears (alive) in three episodes, Barb’s likability and loyalty make her instantly relatable, and “Stranger Things” fans still haven’t gotten over how unfair it is that of all the garbage people in Nancy’s (Natalia Dyer) life, her sweet, nerdy friend was the one to get killed by the Demogorgon.
Barb — adorable cinnamon roll that she is — sticks by Nancy’s side through some seriously painful high school social settings, and her only request in return is that Nancy doesn’t ditch her for more popular friends when the opportunity presents itself. Fast forward to one day later, when Nancy does just that, which eventually leads to Barb’s kidnapping and death.
That’s what we’d call the short end of the stick in anyone’s book, which is why we’d like to officially put in our order for Barb’s resurrection in Season 2.
When you think about it, adding Barb back into the mix makes a lot of sense.
While we adore the super strange love triangle between Nancy, Steve (Joe Keery) and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), Nancy needs to interact with more people than just her love interests in Season 2. So far, the only other girl we’ve seen at her high school is Carol (Chelsea Talmadge), whose personality would frighten even the Demogorgon off. Over our dead body will Nancy be friends with her. Restoring Barb to the land of the living fulfills a bit of a narrative hole in Nancy’s life.
On top of that, she’s the only other person besides Will (Noah Schnapp) and Eleven (Millie Brown) who has spent a significant amount of time in the Upside Down. When we undoubtedly return to that alternate plane in Season 2, we’d prefer to have someone over there to guide our characters around who isn’t 11 years old and utterly terrified.
Luckily for us, “Stranger Things” is all about the impossible, so we’re holding out hope that Barb could return. Sure, seeing Barb’s rotting, hollowed-out corpse doesn’t inspire a lot of hope, but a resurrection isn’t totally out of the question.
Since we’ve already mastered inter-dimensional travel, we’re crossing our fingers that time-travel can’t be too far behind. In a parallel dimension like the Upside Down, all bets are off, and we’ve already gotten an explanation of portals that sounds an awful lot like a recipe for a wormhole from Mr. Clarke (Randall P. Havens).
If “Stranger Things” does intend to play around with time, we’d hope that the first item at the top of the fix-it list would be to snatch Barb up before she can be gruesomely murdered again.
We know that would be the first thing on Nancy’s to-do list, at least.