Why Stranger Things Doesn't Need Justice For Bob, According To Sean Astin

stranger things season 2 bob newby sean astin netflix

The second season of Stranger Things may have debuted well over a year ago, but countless fans still aren't entirely over the death of Bob. Until he was killed by demo-dogs after saving the day in Hawkins Lab, Joyce's boyfriend almost seemed like too good of a guy not to be a double agent. Much like Barb, Bob became a fan-favorite after dying a devastating death. Unlike Barb, however, Sean Astin says that Bob doesn't need justice from Stranger Things.

Sean Astin, who returned to the 80s for Stranger Things, recently chatted with CinemaBlend, and he said this when asked if the show needs to deliver justice for Bob in Season 3:

No, absolutely not. You don't know what happened to Barb. In fact, I still don't know what happened to Barb. You have a basic idea that it didn't go well for her, but she was so good and so noble and thoughtful. That was a miscarriage of storytelling justice there, and I think the Duffers love that. But no, Bob died a hero's death, so he's acknowledged for his sacrifice and there you go!

The rally cry of "Justice for Barb!" rose up after Stranger Things Season 1 did not deliver closure for her death. The poor girl was brutally killed after being dragged to the Upside Down, and her death was mostly important to the plot because it got Nancy involved in the mystery. Her death wasn't entirely about her, and it wasn't resolved in Season 1, so naturally fans demanded justice for her. Bob's death may have been a tragedy, but as Sean Astin says, he got a hero's death.

Even despite the fast pace of the final couple of episodes, Stranger Things found time to honor Bob. His death was a primary motivator for Joyce's actions in trying to get the Mind Flayer out of Will, and she was clearly still mourning him even a month later. Bob is remembered as "Bob Newby: superhero," and Will's drawing of him as a superhero is a much more pleasant last image of him than Barb's corpse in the Upside Down.

Barb needed the whole second season to get her justice and closure on her death. For all that Bob's death was arguably the bloodiest and most gruesome of the entire series, he was avenged just about as well as a character killed by demo-dogs can be avenged. The Mind Flayer is trapped in the Upside Down (for now, at least) and all the demo-dogs in Hawkins died when cut off from their controller. Poor Dart never had a chance if the good guys were going to win.

So, Sean Astin doesn't believe fans need to spend the remaining months before Season 3 premiere demanding justice for Bob. That said, there is one sentiment about Bob's death that Astin appreciates. He went on to say this:

The one I liked, my wife got home from one of the department stores and she bought a shirt and it said, 'Bob Deserved Better.' So I'm a little happier with that one.

Bob may not need justice, but can we all agree that he deserved better than being ripped apart by demo-dogs in front of Joyce? The poor guy just wanted to move to Maine with Joyce and the boys to work at a different Radio Shack. As long as it wasn't a certain town in Maine known for its killer clown, they could have had a happily-ever-after. They all deserved that.

Well, maybe not fans who are hoping that Stranger Things still has a few more seasons left before any of the characters leave Hawkins for good. The survivors can have their happily-ever-afters after the series finale, right? The Duffer brothers and David Harbour have stated that the goal for Stranger Things is four or five seasons, so fans can hope for at least one more after Season 3 finally arrives this summer.

The Season 3 trailer revealed the big new monster that will menace the Hawkins crew in the next batch of episodes, and the adorable little pre-teens from Season 1 are all grown up into teenagers. Bob is nowhere to be seen, so he's likely staying just as dead as Barb did.

R.I.P. Bob, Barb, Benny, and whatever character with a B name that'll bite the dust next. Should Billy be afraid? Or is the trailer hinting that Steve is the one in mortal danger?

Stranger Things Season 3 premieres on July 4 at 12:01 a.m. PT on Netflix. Sean Astin will be back on Netflix in the not-too-distant future, although not as the late lamented Bob. You can catch him in No Good Nick, which premieres next month. He'll also be back on The Big Bang Theory, and he teased what to expect from his big return.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).