The Halloween launch of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” Season 2 is just 263 days away. (Sigh.) And according to show co-creator Matt Duffer, when we join the show it’s Halloween 1984 in Hawkins, Indiana, a year after the first installment. Will (Noah Schnapp) has rejoined his friends after being rescued from the Upside Down — but his new life is far from normal.
“He seems to be seeing images from the Upside Down — the question is whether they’re real or not,” Duffer told EW. “So it seems like he’s having some sort of post-traumatic stress disorder.”
This season, Will’s mom, Joyce (Winona Ryder), has a love interest. She’s started dating an old high school classmate, Bob (Sean Astin), in an attempt to provide a more stable life for Will and his brother, Jonathan (Charlie Heaton). “She’s trying to mask a lot,” Duffer said. “I think she’s made this choice with Bob because she wants a good father figure in her sons’ lives.”
Siblings Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Nancy (Natalia Dyer) are dealing with the apparent deaths of their friends Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and Barb (Shannon Purser), respectively. “[Nancy] and Mike are both the most screwed-up because they’re the ones who both lost someone,” co-creator Ross Duffer told EW. “They’re both grappling with that, and we see the effects.”
Hopper (David Harbour) continues to try to keep Hawkins safe and to protect Joyce and her kids. “It kind of falls on Hopper to be the voice of authority to say, ‘This did happen and this didn’t happen,'” said Duffer. “He’s struggling with the compromise that takes him to, having to lie and cover things up.”
The new season also sees the arrival of a new set of siblings, Billy (Dacre Montgomery) and Max (Sadie Sink). Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) have a crush on Max, who becomes friends with the troop. Billy, on the other hand, does not make any friends and may even be a villain. “Stephen King always has really great human villains,” Duffer said. “The evil in the real world is often as bad or worse than the supernatural evil, so we wanted to introduce a character like that.”
Another newcomer in this season is Dustin’s pet, a tadpole-looking being that Matarazzo describes as “a little creature I get to bond with. It’s obviously not from this planet or this dimension.” Hawkins National Laboratory continues open and very strange, otherworldly things continue to happen in this town. As Duffer puts it during his interview, the show will continue exploring “different kinds of horror.”
Season 2 of “Stranger Things” will be available to stream on Netflix on Halloween, October 31, 2017.