Warning, there be spoilers ahead.
If there’s anything the near-universal acclaim for Netflix’s Stranger Things has confirmed, it’s that a second season will happen.
Netflix hasn’t confirmed a continuation of the show just yet, though CEO Reed Hastings is on record as saying “we would be dumb not to.” While the streaming service doesn’t release numbers, the sheer amount of people fawning over the 80s love letter implies that it’s a breakout hit and deserving of another round. Not to mention the show leaves some pretty obvious breadcrumbs for characters and audiences to follow if and when the story continues.
Besides, if Fuller House, Hemlock Grove and Marco Polo can get second seasons, Stranger Things certainly deserves a follow-up.
First of all, let’s keep in mind what the season will look like as a whole. The Duffer Brothers have said that a second season would mirror the first season in length (eight seasons) and would act as a “sequel” to the movie that was the first story. They’ve also said that they “want it to feel a little bit different, maybe a little bit darker, but still have the sense of fun.”
Knowing all of that, let’s take a look at what clues we can ferret out from the results of the first season in order to inform where the second one might go.
Eleven’s Not Actually Dead, Right?
Obviously, she’s not dead. Or at least, she still exists in some form. Hopper is very clearly leaving her some Eggos in the forest close to the portal, though it remains to be seen how he knows to do so and if that means she’s alive in our universe or the upside down (or someplace else entirely).
Matt Duffer basically confirmed that Eleven will return in an interview with Variety as well.
“Obviously something happened to [Eleven] when she destroyed and killed that monster and we don’t know where she went…we like the idea of potentially putting her and Hopper together.”
What IS The Deal With Hopper, Anyway?
One of the show’s most intriguing characters is Chief Jim Hopper, who is the prototypical hero of the series, complete with a heartbreaking backstory involving a daughter who died young. However, he’s also revealed as a man willing to make the decision to sell out Eleven in order to try to save Will. Furthermore, in the final moments of the eight episode, he’s whisked away by shady government types and it’s implied that he might now be working with them in some fashion.
What Happened With Hopper’s Daughter?
There’s a big question mark surrounding Hopper’s daughter regarding her sickness and death. That question mark is the scene in the woods where Sarah looks downright horrified by…something. She’s looking around as if she’s seen something terrifying and is genuinely spooked. Did she have some kind of run-in with the monster or a telepathic connection with the Upside Down for a brief moment? The Duffers conveniently left it ambiguous but the actor who plays Jim Hopper basically confirmed there’s more going on in a Reddit AMA.
“It’s a secret we may explore in [season two], so don’t wanna say right now.”
Perhaps she somehow ended up as one of the ten subjects to come before Eleven?
If She’s Eleven, What Happened To One Through Ten?
Speaking of, it’s possible that the first ten subjects used in the experiment are all dead, but perhaps they’re not? We shouldn’t even assume that the name Eleven means she’s the eleventh participant, but they obviously chose that for a reason. If they’re going to dig into the backstory of the Upside Down, perhaps that will intertwine with the backstory of the creepy experiment that connected it to our universe. Matt Duffer has said we will see “a lot more backstory built in for Brenner and Eleven” in the coming story.
Will Eleven Be Reunited With Her Mother?
It’s pretty strongly implied that Terry, the catatonic woman who Joyce and Hopper visit, is Eleven’s mother. So naturally, if you’re going to introduce her and leave her dangling out there, it would make sense she comes back into play at a later time. That also means that if we’re going to meet Eleven again, she’s probably going to want to find her mom. Or perhaps her mother will be the key to finding her once more (which snaps her out of the catatonic state).
What’s Wrong With Will?
Poor Will. The kid spends most of the show in the Upside Down, hiding from a nightmare monster and unable to contact anyone he loves. It’s a miracle he survives at all but he hasn’t come back to our world alone. In the show’s final moments, we see him head to the bathroom and vomit out a tiny wriggling creature that then disappears down the sink. Uh-oh.
Will is going to have to deal with the effects of being in the Upside Down for a week moving forward and according to the Duffers that effect is mental as well as physical.
“The idea is he’s escaped this nightmare place, but has he really? That’s a place we wanted to go and potentially explore in season two. What effect does living in there for a week have on him?”
The monster might be dead but something tell us that it was able to live on in some way through Will.
And What Of Dr. Brenner?
Dr Martin Brenner, a.k.a. “Papa,” appears to have met an untimely demise at the hand of the monster. But did he? We don’t actually see him die and that’s probably on purpose. Whereas it’s usually made clear that the monster has killed someone, it stands to reason that the nefarious mastermind of the secret experiment at the heart of the series will return. But in what form? And in how many pieces?
Will We See The Monster Again?
We all saw the monster get blown to smithereens by Eleven but that doesn’t mean we won’t see it again. In fact, The Duffers seem to have confirmed that we’ll see some kind of origin story at some point.
“With the Upside Down, we have a 30-page document that is pretty intricate in terms of what it all means, and where this monster actually came from, and why there aren’t more monsters.”
There’s actually a ton to explore in the Upside Down. What else is lurking there? What did that opened egg that Hopper finds indicate? What happens to creatures that get captured like Will was and what would have been his fate had they not found him?
Is Barb Dead?
Yes. Barb is dead. She will be missed. R.I.P., Barb.