By way of a mea culpa for his Peeping Tom behavior, Jonathan explains to Nancy that he “shouldn’t have done that,” much in the same way that serial predators in real life often obfuscate their misdeeds through vague, distancing language and nonapologies.
In a fit of self-justification, he claims, “People don’t really say what they’re really thinking.
But when it comes to Jonathan, her responses to his off-putting behavior reflect a curious mixture of pity and recognition: In her mind, he’s as much of a too-smart social misfit as she is, except he doesn’t have a pretty or popular partner to give him the kind of clout that dating Steve affords Nancy.
Steve isn’t Nancy’s intellectual equal, and Jonathan, referred to as “Nancy’s other boyfriend,” seems a bit too eager to remind Nancy that she always has other choices.
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Nancy’s truest expression of her power won’t come until she realizes that she doesn’t need either boy to get out of Hawkins—and that her romantic ties to Jonathan are bound to hold her back from becoming who she’s meant to be. A graduate of Goucher College and the Master of Professional Writing program at Chatham University, she currently lives in Maryland.
And that’s why it’s so frustrating when seasons two seems to reward Jonathan the Perv’s creepiness with a scene straight out of the rom-com playbook: He and Nancy sleep in different rooms, only to wind up meeting in the hallway, making out, and spending the night together.
It’s a genuine let down to see Nancy, a brilliant fighter in the making, choose a manipulative, boundary-crossing guy like Jonathan.
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