While binging Stranger Things season 2 over Halloween weekend a few nods to nostalgia and films we love stood out once again this season. But one specific tip of the hat made me raise a question.
Bob Newby played by Sean Astin was introduced as the love interest of Joyce Byers this season to let us know everything is going to be ah-okay in the Byers household. Perhaps the family is finally starting to have a somewhat normal family life. Or as much as one can have with a cheesy step-father.
Bob’s character, in my opinion, takes the place of Barb in season 2. A lovable character with not a ton of screen time that we sorta feel sorry for. However Newby’s character is a bit more intricate than Barb was. He serves a bigger purpose in many ways.
He tries to pick up the pieces in the Byers household and help them both face their fear and give them encouragement. But they don’t call him “Bob the Brain” for nothing. He also helps solve a big mystery that we won’t spoil here for anyone that hasn’t been able to binge the season just yet.
To tie this all back around to our original thought, we see Bob comforting Will on a car ride while on the way to school. During the drive he brings up a childhood fear he had to face as well in hopes to connect with Will and even give him a way or a device to cope with his own lingering fears he experienced in the upside down.
“Did I ever tell you about Mr. Baldo?”
“I was a little younger than you, standing in line at the Ferris wheel at the Rowan County Fair. When suddenly I feel this fat white glove tap me on the shoulder. I spin around and there he is, Mr. Baldo. ‘Hey Kiddo, would you like a balloon!?'”
“I couldn’t get him out of my head. Every night he would come to me in my dreams. Every night when he came to me. I ran.”
The reference to Pennywise is undeniable. We see a carnival / fair taking place in the IT remake as well. There is a clown on the stage in the background behind Tozier. Could this be Mr. Baldo reversed engineered? Is this Pennywise taking a different form on stage?
But what really got me thinking is could this spark a role for Sean Astin in the upcoming IT sequel. It would make perfect sense that “Bob the Brain” aka Sean would take on the role as the adult version of Ben Hanscom played by Jeremy Ray Taylor. Ben’s character was the brains of the Derry group and the transition to Astin would be a home run in my opinion and be a nice easter egg crossover for the IT series.
We have yet to hear the casting for the adult versions of the Derry kids but this is just my two cents on who they should cast for Ben. Stay tuned to Boom Howdy for more Stranger Things news!