When Stranger Things dropped in the summer of 2016, there hadn’t been much hype for the Netflix show by the then unknown Duffer Brothers.
All we know is it was the small amount of marketing â€” namely its title screen which was featured on Netflix for a week or two before the show premiered. It was unquestionably bold, reminding me of the covers of the horror novels I devoured in my own midwestern childhood.
And much to my delight, Stranger Things ended up being one of the best new shows of 2016, an impressive mix of suspense and fantasy, that was kid-friendly but mostly catered to an older set. Safe to say it left most of us nostalgic for an ’80s childhood we maybe didn’t even have (guilty ’90s child, party of one.)
And I’ve been patiently waiting for the next season to drop (even though the first season could have arguably lived on as a perfect single-series capsule). And it’ll be here, in all of its Halloween glory, this Friday.
Last season wrapped things up in an almost perfect package. But there were just a few little things that left us with some big questions.
1. What is going on with Will?
After Will Byers got rescued from the Upside Down at the close of season one, everything seemed calm, until we had that startling scene where he looked into the mirror and was transported back to that hell dimension.
So what is happening here? Is it possible that the Demogorgon still has its claws in Will? Or is Will dealing with some very serious PTSD? On another note, we spent minimal time with Will last season even though he was the main focus of the show. Having him back must have a significant effect on the dynamics of our crew, but it’s unclear what kind. I’d guess much of this season will be about dealing with the repercussions of what happened, and struggling to get back to normal.
2. Where is Eleven?
We definitely know Eleven is alive and will appear at some point this season. But as far as we know, Will, Lucas, and Dustin have no idea she still exists. Hopper is likely the only one in the know since he’s been leaving frozen waffles in the woods. But where did Eleven go when she vaporized the Demogorgon? And how (and why) will she come back?
3. What about Barb?
Fan favorite Barb got axed unceremoniously early on in season one of Stranger Things. I know I’m still not over it, but I can only imagine how Nancy is dealing with the grief, if it’s actually clear that Barb did in fact get taken to the Upside Down and suffered a much worse fate than Will.
4. Does the rest of Hawkins know what happened?
This entire debacle should have been a major news story in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana. But all my years watching TV shows that feature the supernatural, much of the town would prefer to believe there was a gas leak, or rampant PCP usage in the area. There’s obviously a major cover-up going on with the Hawkins National Lab, and it’s unclear how far this reaches. Sure, the men directly involved with the testing on Eleven are dead, but who else was involved? And were there other kids in the program?
5. Our boys are growing up! Since Mike and his friends are rapidly approaching adolescence, there’s a good chance we’ll see some more romantic subplots. What new (or old) pairings should we keep an eye out for?
Last season, we had an excellent trope-defying faux-love triangle between Nancy, Jonathan, and Steve, as well as a sweet, budding relationship between Mike and Eleven. But will Mike continue pining after Eleven? And with the addition of a new character (a cool tomboy named Max, played by Sadie Sink), it’s possible at least Lucas, Dustin, and maybe Will (but doubtful since he’s only got that Demogorgon on his mind, natch) will have a distraction.
Stranger Things 2 premieres on Friday, October 27th on Netflix.
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