Darkness falls across the land. The midnight hour is close at hand. Creatures crawl in search of blood. To terrorize y’all’s neighborhood …
It’s fitting that Vincent Price’s narration to Michael Jackson’s megahit “Thriller” sets the tone in the trailer for Stranger Things’ sophomore season: It’s 1984, it’s Halloween, and something even scarier than a Demogorgon is about to hit Hawkins, Indiana. While you’re waiting for the new season to debut on October 27 — whether you’re musing over what Mike, Dustin, Lucas, and Will’s Ghostbuster costumes might symbolize, or shaking your head at Nancy Wheeler’s poor taste in men — here are all the questions we’re asking ahead of Stranger Things season two.
Where Has Eleven Been?
It’s safe to assume from the trailer — in which Eleven reaches her hand through an ectoplasm-covered hole in space and time to emerge in the hallway of Hawkins Middle School — that she wound up in the Upside Down at the end of season one. But what happened to her in the nine months that followed? (Aside from finding just enough time to grow a head full of a curls that rival Dustin’s.) How long was she actually in the Upside Down? What did she eat? How did she survive? Were there other Demogorgons? Were there Upside Down Eggos? Perhaps Eleven used her time in the Upside Down to learn about its boundaries and structure — and more importantly, maybe she discovered how to close up the dimensional hole she ripped open. Let’s not forget that defeating the Demogorgon didn’t resolve the whole “there’s a rip in the space-time continuum in our town” issue. It was Eleven who opened the rift and let the monsters in, so it’ll need to be her who closes it.
When Will Eleven Meet Her Mom?
It’s cute that Mike assumed Eleven could just live at his house and join the Wheeler family, but the adoption laws of the ’80s probably didn’t allow for such things. Besides, there’s also a bigger issue of whether or not Eleven is actually Jane Ives, the baby girl who went missing or was stillborn, depending on whom you ask. It’s pretty unlikely that Eleven isn’t Jane: The timing matches up perfectly, and as her mother’s sister explained to Joyce and Hopper in season one, Terry Ives believes her baby girl was born with telekinesis, just like Eleven. So will we get a big, teary mother-daughter reunion in season two? Terry was last seen in a vegetative state, but if anyone can work some literal mind magic, it’s Eleven.
What Was That Repulsive Slug Will Coughed Up?
When Joyce and Hopper found Will in the Upside Down, he’d basically been intubated with a tentacle that kept him alive in a suspended state. Hopper had to yank that thing out of Will’s throat and then provide some (questionably rough) CPR to get him breathing again. But in the season’s closing moments, after a very merry Christmas Eve dinner with Joyce and Jonathan, we saw Will run off to the bathroom to cough up a slimy green slug.
This is alarming for so many reasons. First of all, the water supply! That little slimer made its way down into the Hawkins sewage system. Is that the same set of pipes and tunnels that Hopper is seen trawling through in the trailer, and that Will scribbles into a crayon map on his bedroom floor? There’s also their connection to the megamonster that Will sees haunting the reddish apocalyptic sky outside the arcade in the trailer. Are those little slugs incubating inside Will until they can grow into megamonsters? Or are the slugs actually turning Will into one?
What Is the New Megamonster?
Last year, the Demogorgon was imposing and more than a little angry. This season’s Big Bad takes over the entire sky to better gobble up the small children of Hawkins. The monster, which we briefly glimpse when Will steps outside the arcade in the trailer, seems to be modeled after a Thessalhydra, a multiheaded serpent of Greek mythology. If you remember, when the boys gathered for a Christmas Eve D&D campaign in the season-one finale, it ended with Will destroying the Thessalhydra with a fireball. Mike reported that the Thessalhydra’s seven heads were then put in a bag and delivered to King Tristan. Dustin and Lucas groaned that the campaign had ended too soon and had unresolved business, like “the lost knight,” “the proud princess,” and “those weird flowers in the cave.”
Just as Will’s D&D battle with the Demogorgon foreshadowed season one, maybe season two will mimic the game-table throw down with the Thessalhydra. Except there’s already one major problem: The Thesselhydra has eight heads and Will only chopped off seven in the game. If those heads can regenerate, this season won’t merely be an issue of decapitation.
How Much Therapy Is Will Gonna Need?
Let’s just say that it’s lucky for Will that more effective psychotropic drugs and SSRIs will be developed right around the time of his kidnapping into another dimension. Don’t worry, Will: Prozac is coming in a few years.
When Will Holly Learn to Talk?
Baby Holly Wheeler had just one line in season one. “Yes,” she replied, when asked if she’d seen something pulsating inside the wall at the Byers house. Now, let’s hope she developed an expanded vocabulary and a few more terrifying Poltergeist references. Creepy kids are the creepiest.
Will Dustin Have His Front Teeth?
Gaten Matarazzo’s cleidocranial dysplasia inspired the Duffer brothers to include the same detail in his character. In season one, Dustin told the resident school bullies that his teeth were coming in, but who could actually say no to another season of that adorable jack-o’- lantern smile?
Did Eleven Open Up a Hole to Multiple Dimensions?
Remember Mr. Clark’s explanation for how access to the Upside Down worked? A flea on the tightrope can walk across the top and the bottom — as well as anywhere along the sides. If the Upside Down is the direct opposite of Hawkins, what other dimensions might lurk along the sides? It’s possible we’ll find out in season two, or season three …
Will Anyone Mourn Barb?
Oh, Barb. You could just say that all day long, shaking your head in sadness. One phone call from her concerned mother is all the worry anyone afforded Barb in season one. No funeral. No candlelight vigil. Not even an In Memoriam photo of Barb and her magnificent red mane on the walls of Hawkins High. In the season-one finale, even Nancy was snuggling up to Steve Harrington as if her best friend hadn’t been snatched by a Demogorgon and taken to a nightmarish underworld. (That Nancy is one cold fish.) The least that season two could do is offer us a sign that someone, anyone, is mourning Barbara Holland.
Get all your Stranger Things 2 questions answered at the show’s Vulture Festival LA panel on November 18! Tickets available here.