With the Game of Thrones finale in our rearview mirror, the next big television event is the return of Stranger Things. Netflix is actively encouraging the zeitgeist to move on from dragons and incest, with a clever “SUMMER IS COMING” tweet and a clip that’s piqued our interest.
It shows a hot day at the pool in Hawkins, Indiana. Max’s older stepbrother Billy, a guy you might remember as Steve’s antagonizer and kind of a dick, has a job as a lifeguard. He emerges from the locker room in a tight red swimsuit, instantly attracting the attention of the moms spending their day sunbathing.
The Cars’s “Moving in Stereo” plays from just before Billy emerges until the point where he blows his whistle, stopping the music, everyone in the pool, and the kid who was running by the pool. It starts up again when Billy’s done admonishing the runner. He is a man completely in control.
— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) May 20, 2019
But let’s go back to those moms. Among them is Karen Wheeler, Mike’s mom. Like her friends, she appears to be infatuated with Billy and his bad boy good looks. When he says he digs her new suit she says “Thank you” and gives him what can only be called a sultry smile.
It’s the continuation of a questionable flirtation that began in season two when Billy, looking for his stepsister, came to the Wheeler house and interrupted Karen’s bath. We say it’s questionable because Karen is married, and Billy is presumably still legally a child.
So it’s kind of weird! The show seems to be playing this dynamic for laughs, and hopefully, it ends at a flirtation, because Mike’s been through enough, and the last thing he needs is for his parents to divorce and his mom to start dating a neighborhood bully.
But if that does happen, at least he’ll have Steve to help him through it.