Millions of Stranger Things fans binge-watched season two this past weekend only to find themselves this Monday wondering, “What now?”. Not only because there are no new episodes for at least a year, but also because it’s unclear if there even will be a season 3. The Duffer Brothers do seem to confirm there will be more in the Beyond Stranger Things recap episode “Mind Blown” when Matt Duffer said, “We wanted to make sure it could sustain for at least a few more years.” That seems to suggest season 2 may be laying the groundwork for many plots to be developed further. Strangely, however, this season ended without an obvious cliffhanger like season 1. Thankfully, there are still plenty of theories and some interesting tidbits to go off of. Having seen all of season 2 I have a few theories on where this story can go from here. Spoilers, obviously!
Someone’s getting sick
Much like the first season, it appears the Upside Down has gotten inside a character. In the first season, we learned in the final minutes that Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) had a slug inside him which he coughed up in the sink. This season had not one, but two characters ingest something while in the Upside Down tunnels — Sheriff Jim Hopper (Jim Hopper) and Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo) were both unfortunate enough to breathe in the spray from an Upside Down pustule in two separate episodes. Will they be getting sick from this? So far, neither have shown signs of a virus taking hold, but given how our focus was on their coughing and fear of what they breathed in there must be something more to this. Whether or not a Demogorgon (or Demodog as Dustin puts it) will be coughed up remains to be seen. The second season seemed to amp up a lot of elements so I wouldn’t be surprised if we see something new come out of their eventual sickness.
Hold your nose — this could be huge for season 3!
Papa ain’t dead
In episode 7, “The Lost Sister,” we learn from one of Dr. Martin Brenner’s lackeys that he’s not dead — in fact, he’s hiding out. If you’re like me, you probably thought he’d sadly it’s just a midseason tidbit that’s not explored further. Season 3 will most likely bring back Matthew Modine’s character, which actually makes sense since The Hawkins National Laboratory was shut down in the season 2 finale. With no big bad science lab to be influencing characters, something new must sprout up. With over two years to plan and prepare, we suspect Dr. Brenner will be fully functional with his own army of telekinetic children. Or, at the very least, sprouted another gate by accident!
We’ll be seeing this jerk soon enough.
It’s time for college…maybe
Early on in season 2, Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) is going over his college application essay and it’s pretty obvious he won’t be going to his school of choice. That doesn’t mean he won’t be going to college at all, though, and it would be an interesting way of pulling the narrative to a new location. It’s possible he’ll forego college entirely — he’s not the brightest kid after all, but his new role outside of high school, whether it’s in college or not, will be playing a big part. His character was developed so damn well in season 2 (seriously, who thought he’d be so likable?) that I just hope he gets a bigger role.
Revenge of the bully
Dacre Montgomery played Billy, the new bully in town so as to give Steve a bit of a break, but also to add a new element to the growing cast. After being injected by his sister Max (Sadie Sink) so the group could get away and save the day, he’s most likely going to have a real issue with Max and her new friends. The show has set up the abusive relationship between Billy and his father which can only develop further. Will Billy become even more vicious and dangerous to the gang? The bully plot is a popular one in ’80s movies so it won’t be surprising if he becomes an even more vicious antagonist.
Make sure to send us a post card, Mind Flayer!
The Mind Flayer returns
Even though season 2 ended with a whimper of a cliffhanger, the final shot still contained the Shadow Monster aka The Mind Flayer lurking over the school. With the gate closed, it can’t reach the real world, but it’s at least suggesting that its desire to take over Earth hasn’t diminished. Season 2 did a lot to build up the Shadow Monster and its presence and it would be a mistake not to have it appear again, but how and in what form remains to be seen. We just know it’s not going away anytime soon.
A trilogy of punishment
If we’re to look at this series as a trilogy, Will Byers seems to be a focal point. He disappeared in season 1 and then ended up being corrupted in most of season 2, which leads me to believe he’ll most likely be connected to the Upside Down again. This season ended his arc by basically cleansing him of all that, but he’s sure to have some part in being the center of something, if for no other reason than Schnapp was so flipping good in the role. If (or maybe when!) he wins an Emmy, the Duffer Brothers will most likely give him another main character focus.
How can they torture this poor boy even more in season 3?
Bye bye Eleven
Eleven received a ton of new backstory and character development in season 2, part of which involved her “sister” who was also graced with powers by Dr. Brenner’s laboratory. In a scene where Kali (Linnea Berthelsen) shows Eleven a vision we watch Dr. Brenner tell her about how that her powers will eventually kill her. Gasp! This bit of dialogue is used again in the final episode while Eleven musters all her strength to close the Shadow Monster’s gate. Since we’re seeing it for the second time the directors want to hammer home Eleven’s eventual fall, as whatever gives her powers are going to be taking her life eventually. I don’t suspect she’ll be dying in season 3 unless the Duffer Brothers want to do a Jesus Christ resurrection thing, but it’s certainly going to be a story element they’ll be building up.
It’s likely Kali will show up again too, especially with an entire episode (and the first episode introducing her) devoted to her. Whether or not she projected Dr. Brenner saying that because she knows things, or because she’s guessing is beyond me, but she’s closely tied to this plot element.
All that said, at least we know for certain that Eleven will be attending school the next time we see her. That’ll not only integrate her into the group further, but also further integrated into society. If nothing else, I’m sure her unique past will play a part in the show’s humor.
We may not be seeing this crew again, but Kali is sure to come back.
The beauty of Stranger Things season 1, and now season 2, is that we can all think about and discuss our theories. Whether or not they come true will most likely not be answered until 2018 or even 2019. Netflix has yet to officially announce season 3, but you can bet the Duffer Brothers are already writing it.