One of the joys of Netflix’s original series “Stranger Things” is the season’s sense of finality. The Duffer brothers excelled at crescendoing the season with action, emotion and heft, yet they left what they’ve referred to as “dangling threads” around the conclusions of Will Byers and Eleven, and we wanted to get in on speculating what Season 2 may answer and where the show could venture to. If you’ve finished the season, read on to find out what we’re asking about Season 2. If you haven’t checked out Season 1 yet, DO THAT and stop reading here!
Is Eleven alive, and how?
Last we saw Chief Hopper (David Harbour), he was out in the woods storing Eggo waffles in an enclosure. This could be in an attempt to see if Elle (Millie Bobby Brown) is still out there — in our world or in the Upside Down — or some form of communication we’re not implicit to yet. We saw her evaporate while destroying the monster, but if Will Byers taught us anything, it’s to not trust that anyone in this show is dead unless we see the body.
What do Will’s visions mean? Are these visions?
In the last episode’s final scene, Will excuses himself from the dinner table to go to the bathroom…where he spits up some of the creature’s offspring and it slithers down the drain. On a psychological level, this indicates that a month after the events of the show Will has not quite let go of the Upside Down. Yet this experience may indicate something beyond trauma. Will spent a week in that hellhole, and even beyond that tentacle shoved up his throat anything could’ve happened to him that we haven’t yet seen. Assuming we follow Will and his pack of friends next season, are we going to see elements of possession in Will? Could he even develop supernatural abilities akin to Eleven’s?
What does this mean for Hopper and Joyce, now that they’ve rescued Will from the Upside Down?
Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Hopper spent time in the Upside Down out of their hazmat suits as they rescued Will. We don’t know the rules of this world very well yet (more on that later), but we’ve seen signs that any exposure to this world can affect their lives in the real one. Could the Duffers be navigating their 80s homage pastiche towards the body horror films of the day (“The Thing,” “Alien,” etc.)? That’d be a terrifying and thrilling direction.
Who was Dr. Brenner, and why did Eleven call him “Papa”?
One of the slight disappointments of the show was Matthew Modine’s Dr. Brenner, who served as a much more chilling force in the series before the last two episodes hinted at his rationale behind containing supernatural children. Yet the language of Eleven’s relationship with him was always specific. Was it a sign of a more intimate relationship that will come to light? What was the nature of Brenner testing these children, anyway? There was some kind of dangerous situation Brenner attempted to control (which may or may not have had to do with the Soviets), but we didn’t get a full sense of its scope or scale. Which reminds us…
Are there other psychic children we haven’t yet met?
If numbers have taught us anything, 11 comes after 10 other numbers. And for the purposes of repetition and variation, it makes sense for a multi-season show to explore other forms of supernatural children Mike, Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) could interact with.
Does Hopper work for the government now?
Hopper’s fate in the finale seemed a bit unclear — he clearly knows too much to remain a small-town sheriff, yet the threads that big government was attempting to track him down after he raided the Department of Energy ended a bit up in the air. Will he continue to be investigated? Is he going to have to report to a higher power somehow? It’d make for a sweet dynamic to watch Hopper forced to cowtow to a government shill.
Exactly how many monsters reside in the Upside Down?
We know the Duffers have a 30-page document of what everything in the Upside Down means. This season showed us that world largely from the perspective of Mike, Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), and their theorizing based on fantasy gaming and science questions answered by their teacher. Our knowledge of the laws of this world is small, and we don’t know what exactly this world is capable of producing. Who’s to say this monster hasn’t spawned plenty more… or that this monster isn’t the spawn of something much worse?
What happens to the pants of the bully who pissed himself?
In the sixth episode, the bullies who had a beef on Mike and his friends literally threaten to knife Dustin’s baby teeth out with a switchblade. What really happened after the incident where this garbage child laughed at a memorial for Will, and Elle made him pee his pants? Where was the scene of him locked in his bedroom, stewing in his soiled jeans, plotting his revenge? What kind of therapist did his mom make him see? Now, combined with a broken arm, this kid’s life has gone down the tubes. Has he vowed to conduct another feat of cartoonishly excessive revenge?
Has Steve stopped being a piece of human excrement?
With his Jean-Ralphio haircut and lack of enthusiasm over consent, Steve (Joe Keery) never really struck us as a role model among the young performers in “Stranger Things.” The finale offered a bit of a comeback story, where he got to help bash a monster to smithereens and evidently proved a suitable enough boyfriend for Nancy (Natalia Dyer) even after his “All the Right Moves” debacle. However, we personally refuse to believe this shrill, impulsive, dimwitted kid has gotten his act together.
“Stranger Things” is now streaming on Netflix. Get in on this breakout series at the ground floor and start asking your own questions.