This isn’t a think piece. Instead, it’s a salute, a tribute, and a simple dose of unabashed affection for my favorite people in the town of Hawkins—Steve Harrington and Robin.
Look, I know you’re inundated with stories extolling the virtues of Eleven and the crew, or scolding (or consoling) for the lost soul Billy. All of that has a time and place—just not here. So, let’s cool off with a USS Butterscotch and get down to business with the Scoop Troop’s most excellent senior members.
Yes…It’s The Hair
I might as well get this out of the way, but wow, Steve really does have fantastic hair. Apparently, people are just so enamored with that Scoops Ahoy ice cream that they fail to see those beautiful locks. Wouldn’t you have noticed that? Even under the hat, it is a testament to the wonderful things that can exist on this planet.
Okay…Maybe That Costume As Well…
The Scoops Ahoy costume must have a legend all its own that we’ll never know. Whatever the story, it takes a special person to pull it off. Steve, and Robin for that matter, make it work—and damn if they don’t own it along the way. I dare anyone this Halloween to look that good in their Scoops Ahoy tributes.
Not everyone pursues the promised golden paths of internships and college—some don’t even have that choice. Steve and Robin are making the best out of their current situations. It’s not easy or perfect, but they’re getting by. In fact, those perfect go-getters and heads of the class are never the interesting ones anyway. It’s the people—like these two—who by circumstance or choice find their way into something better; that’s the story you want to see.
Hey an underdog mentality never hurts a good character breakdown and these two have it conquered. Somehow, the people who once thought Steve was the cool kid of Hawkins don’t seem so interested anymore and Robin could only expect a great deal of ridicule for being a lesbian during this time period. They are true underdogs: the ultimate people to root for when all seems lost. How can you not?
Ice Cream Translators
It might not seem like a stretch to give Steve a bit of light-hearted ignorance, but what Robin does to decode that cryptic Russian code is pretty amazing. Someone with no training in one of the world’s most difficult languages keeps her cool (no ice cream pun intended), figures it out, retrieves plans that lead to important discoveries, and helps to unleash the power that is Erica. Among a myriad of contemporary series that revel in mansplaining and having male characters dissect important clues, what a refreshing twist to see Robin well in charge (or as much as she could be with Russians up to nefarious deeds below the mall). What’s even better than that? Steve accepts it without tormenting her about being smart or questioning her answers. He actually treats her like she knows the answer—no second guessing.
Almost a Babysitter
By no means do Steve and Robin sign up for babysitting duties, yet that’s exactly what they get. This is going down as one of the season’s most fun role reversals; Season 2 already saw the kids take over when Steve was incapacitated. Why not do it again with Robin along for the ride? It’s a hilarious jump from Robin’s first questioning of Steve’s friendships with the kids up to the moment that she’s all in with the group.
They really do try their best—even saving Dustin and Erica from capture..Under a drug-induced haze, they are totally childlike, even questioning Back to the Future‘s story lines and revealing some surprises about themselves. Yes, this makes both of our Scoops Ahoy employees even more endearing.
Sometimes You’ll Be A Robin, Sometimes You’ll Be A Steve
There is arguably nothing more difficult in life than wading through the idea of love, especially when you’re staring down the inevitable “you must grow up” narrative we feed every 18 year old along with their high school diploma. It’s in this moment when Steve and Robin, high on a Russian formula, find themselves facing those same dilemmas. Who here hasn’t put themselves out there in a fit of hormonal madness only to find it reciprocated as friendship or certainly not in the way they expected?
Of course, weep not because who here hasn’t been on the other side of the equation having to let down someone you care about, just not in that way. It doesn’t matter your sexuality or where you’ve come from, it happens. What made me love both Steve and Robin was how they handle it all—their friendship only grows. In the end, if there was no doubt, that’s what made these two characters the best. They are genuinely here for each other, in the worst of times as much as the best of times.
For one brief moment, video stores were the meccas of the growing cinephile. It’s little wonder that Robin and Steve would make their way to the local store for their next experience in minimum wage mayhem. Robin proves herself more than worthy of being that video store employee you go to when you want to find the cool foreign films. Steve, not so much, but he tries. Doesn’t that count for something? So, does “Dad” Steve object when a kid wants to rent a video nasty or let them get away with it? Let your mind wander on those and so many more possibilities for this “dynamic” duo as they navigate another year in Hawkins.