There’s fashionably late and then there’s ridiculously, are-you-kidding-me late. My name is Justin Hamelin and I admit that when it comes to watching the first season of the Netflix smash hit Stranger Things, I am a party of the latter group.
My wife and I just finished the season a few nights ago and if you haven’t seen the show yet, rest assured it is as amazing as everyone says it is. If you are like the bajillion other people who have already seen and love the show, then let’s talk Season Two.
Warning: From here on out, there are Season One spoilers like you wouldn’t believe, so stop reading now if you plan on catching up with the show.
All good? All right.
It didn’t take long for Stranger Things to become one of my favorite shows. In fact, I think it only took until about fifteen minutes into the first episode for me to say aloud, “I love this show.”
As I am fresh from viewing the Duffer Brothers’ fantastic inaugural season of a show that is going to just continue to dominate the pop culture scene for as long as the story keeps chugging along, I figured why not bring up my five most pressing questions as we wait for October 31st, 2017 when Season Two is slated to premiere?
What’s next for Will Byers?
The last we saw of the Byers family, Joyce was enjoying a Christmas Eve dinner with her sons, Jonathan and Will. The younger Byers boy excuses himself from the table to “wash his hands” but when he gets to the bathroom, he retches up a slug that slithers down the sink drain. Immediately after, the scene in the Byers’ bathroom shifts drastically and suddenly we see the bathroom as it would appear in The Upside Down. The scenery quickly flickers back to “reality” and Will heads back down to the Christmas Eve feast, reassuring Joyce that nothing is wrong.
Clearly, there is something still wrong with Will. It took me nearly three weeks to recover fully from my appendicitis a few years ago, so there’s no way in Hell I believed that Will was all good to go just a month removed from his rescue out of The Upside Down. Theories are running rampant online, with everything from Will turning into a Demogorgon in Season Two to Will having the power to see into the future. Perhaps what he saw in his bathroom was what the future holds?
Will was found and taken by the Demogorgon in Season One for a reason. There wasn’t a trace of blood on the boy when he was captured, which eliminates the main theory of how a Demogorgon hunts and who or what they catch, so this leads me to believe that something else attracted the monster to poor Will.
My theory is that Will is slowly going to turn into everything Hawkins National Laboratory has always wanted from their test subjects. He’s got something very unnatural in his natural being. I believe Will, essentially, will turn into Twelve. When Eleven mind-slammed the Demogorgon back into The Upside Down in the Season One season finale, we saw the toll it took on our beloved heroine. Hell, it took her with it! I believe that Will is going to be able to not only open portals easier and more frequently than anyone before him, but he’s going to struggle with harnessing this power and thus, Season Two should be jam packed with insanity from this world and the next.
When will we see Eleven again?
Millie Bobby Brown, who plays everyone’s favorite pint-sized bad ass gal, will return for Season Two. We know that for a fact. Everything else, at this point, is merely speculation. Judging by the awesome Entertainment Weekly cover that dropped earlier this year and featured the awesome child actor quartet of Finn Wolfhard (Mike), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas) and Brown (Eleven), the other thing that seems to be for sure (but who really knows?) is that Eleven will be rockin’ some curls this season. Does this mean that there will be a time jump between Season One and Season Two?
In the teaser trailer that debuted during this year’s Super Bowl, there is a brief flash of Will being monitored on surveillance tape. The date is October 30, 1984 on the screen. Season One began in 1983 and ended on Christmas Eve of ’83. If the consultation between doctors and Will occurs in episode one of Season Two, this would mean roughly eleven months have passed since Season One ended and Season Two begins. That would give Eleven plenty of time to grow her locks out. The curly hair could also mean that Eleven doesn’t appear until later on in the season, giving her even more time to grow out her hair. I don’t think we’ll see Eleven for some time in Season Two, perhaps even the first handful of episodes. She’ll be mentioned, of course, and Mike will miss her dearly, but I believe the second season will play on the fact that everyone thinks everything is OK now that the Demogorgon is gone and Eleven has vanished. Of course, it’s only going to take one terrifying sequence of events to throw our favorite kids into chaos again, thus prompting Eleven’s return.
If you’ve seen the trailer that aired during the Super Bowl, you’ll know there’s a moment where we see Dustin, complete in his amazingly perfect Ghostbusters costume, staring off camera in awe. Imagine if that’s when we see Eleven again for the first time this upcoming season, fresh out of a portal and ready to let her young adult comrades know that shit is about to get real again?!
Is Brenner truly dead?
I’m going with “no” on this one. First off, he’s far too menacing a character in Eleven’s past to simply be eaten alive like audiences may believe he was towards the end of Season One. The Demogorgon pounced on Jonathan Byers when he and Nancy were trying to capture the monster in the Byers’ residence, if you recall, and the only thing that happened to Jonathan during that altercation was he got a face full of Demo-slime. Is there a chance Brenner actually got eaten by the monster in the Season One finale? Sure, but man-oh-man, there’s so much sleaziness to still be squeezed out of Modine’s fantastic acting. Like Eleven, I believe we’ll be seeing Dr. Brenner pop up suddenly in Season Two.
What deal will Hopper strike with Hawkins?
My favorite cliffhanger from Season One was the Chief Jim Hopper storyline. He clearly makes a deal with Brenner and Hawkins and even goes so far as to state during the Season One finale that he’ll tell Brenner where his “science experiment” (Eleven) is so long as the boys (Mike, Dustin, Lucas, Jonathan) don’t get hurt. Brenner seemingly agrees to this, as Brenner and the Hawkins Lab team allow him and Joyce to find Will in The Upside Down. We also see Hopper leave the hospital after learning that Will is, in fact, alive and “well,” only to immediately be followed by a black vehicle that he gets into with a sigh. The season ends for Hopper with him dropping off a plastic container of Christmas cookies in a small metal box in the middle of the woods on Christmas Eve. He also places – gasp! – a few Eggo waffles that are plastic-wrapped on top of the cookie container! Does he know how to contact Eleven?! Is he getting some sort of Christmas lights communication from her like Joyce got from Will in Season One?!
What’s up with Paul Reiser’s character?
Reiser isn’t the only new face joining the second season’s cast, but he is the most intriguing in my eyes. Reiser plays Dr. Owens, a man higher up in the chain of command than Brenner, and I suspect he’s ready to either fully blow the top off of what’s going on in sleepy Indiana or he’s prepared to kill everyone involved to keep the story quiet, if necessary. Either way, I’m guessing I’m going to dislike Dr. Owens almost as much as I disliked Carter Burke, Reiser’s character in Aliens.
I lied. There’s actually six questions I have.
Will The Upside Down and everything going on in Hawkins Laboratory be contained to Indiana or will things get a little more global for Season Two?
I love a good ol’ fashioned, single-location story. However, this one is just too good to keep strictly to Indiana. It’s also too insane to keep strictly to Indiana. You’d think reports of monsters tearing through time and space continuums would garner some national press coverage. Granted, we are led to believe from the beginning of Season One that Hawkins, Indiana is one of those towns where everyone knows everyone and nobody really seems to leave town, as evidenced by the fact that everyone seems to wonder why Hopper returns after the death of his daughter and why everyone seems to know that Lonnie Byers is a loser and deadbeat-dad to Jonathan and Will. But when I think of a town that would be able to keep something this huge a secret, I think of a place with a population of a few dozen, with one gas station and one stop light—maybe a stop sign for good measure. Hawkins, Indiana is definitely large enough to have at least one person in town who decides to contact the local news and mention that, uh, there are monsters running around snatching up kids and tearing holes into our dimension.
I don’t necessarily want the show to branch out to different towns, cities or states mostly because I like how compact the character roster currently is and we’ve seen how shows can struggle at times if you force too many areas and people into one story line. I love you, The Walking Dead, but I’m pointing right at you on this one. There’s no doubt in my mind that the Duffer Brothers can make an expanded Stranger Things universe work, but why mess with something if it isn’t broken? The last thing this series is is busted, so here’s to a speedy few months and a helluva Season Two premiere!
Season Two of Stranger Things premieres, fittingly, on Halloween on Netflix.