It’s not long before we reach Halloween and apart from handfuls of candy (and/or tooth decay) we’re being treated to nine brand new episodes of Stranger Things. The show that captured many people’s hearts and minds last year is back again to turn things on their heads for our favourite characters like Mike and Eleven, while once again delving into that 80’s nostalgia which surrounds the show’s aura.
At the end of Season 1, we saw Eleven help destroy the evil dimensional creature that was terrorizing Hawkins before seemingly being destroyed, while Will was rescued by his mother and Sheriff Hopper in the Upside Down. With Eleven’s continued existence being hinted in the final episode it appeared that most of the characters had a seemingly satisfying ending. So, what can we expect from this upcoming Netflix series?
The Kids & the Slimy Repercussions to Will’s rescue:
One of the most successful aspects of the first season of Stranger Things was the younger characters and their mission to help find their missing friend Will. The collective friendship of Mike, Dustin and Lucas was the driving force in the first season and will be tested in Season 2 as they learn to get used to new status quo of their friend Will. After being declared dead, trapped in a creepy dimension, and coughing up disgusting mini-gorgons, it seems likely that Will won’t be the same friend that the gang last saw that on that fateful night in 1983.
Due to the nature of his disappearance in the first season, it’s going to be interesting to see more of Will this year and his involvement with the investigations into whatever threats lurk from the Upside Down. Looking to shake up the key group of young characters this year is also the inclusion of ‘Max’ (played by Sadie Sink) who will help to change the dynamics of the group and help add some freshness to this season.
And finally, how will the original three members of the gang deal with the absence of their telekinetic friend Eleven? – it seems likely that Mike will be affected most of all.
The Upside Down Strikes Back!
While Eleven successfully managed to destroy the Demogorgon last year, the Upside Down has clearly not finished with the town of Hawkins quite yet. In fact, the posters, and trailers for the second season show an almost apocalyptic wave of energy reaching out from this otherworldly dimension but to what purpose?
As the original creature was dubbed the ‘Demogorgon’ by the kids after Dungeons and Dragons lore, could the creature that seems to be breaching through to Hawkins this year be the ‘Thessalhydra’ as mentioned in the final episode last year? It would make sense given the similarities between the Upside-Down and the game seen in the first season.
But the most intriguing look at the Upside Down in Season 2 is the way this realm is seemingly interacting with Hawkins. In the first season, Eleven was the only character to telepathically establish a connection there with the only physical entry being found in the Department of Energy. But could those walls have been manipulated with after the battle at Hawkins’ Elementary? – the trailer briefly shows Will’s reaction to both worlds flipping between each other. If the worlds are blending in together, it looks like Sheriff Hopper will need a LOT of coffee and contemplation.
New Additions to the Cast
This year we’re seeing some new additions to the cast of the show including some familiar faces from the 1980s. Firstly, as mentioned earlier we’re seeing the introduction of Sadie Sink as ‘Max’ who is a skateboarding tomboy who has some ‘suspicious, complicated’ character traits & will also have a brother introduced to the show played by Australian actor Dacre Montgomery. This elder sibling will most likely have more of a role in the storylines that feature Nancy Wheeler, Steve Harrington & Jonathan Byers. Perhaps the love-triangle will be shaken up more this season with the introduction of this new character.
Also joining the show is 80’s legend & lifelong Goonie, Sean Astin who will be playing Bob Newby – an old friend and current partner of Joyce Byers. One of the most intriguing parts of this character will be his interactions with Will and Jonathan Byers and if he knows what exactly went on last year. You would think the media attention given to Will’s disappearance and body discovery would have been quite prevalent…
Another 80’s actor joining this time around is Aliens’ actor Paul Reiser who rounds up the cast as ‘Dr. Owens’ an employee for the mysterious Department of Energy. Even though Reiser played the villain role in Aliens, we don’t know the intentions of this character, although it seems natural to lean that way based on the company’s reputation.
While we don’t know too much about these introductions, there’s something quite natural about seeing these actors with such a connection to the 80s interwoven in the DNA of this show.
More Episodes, More Nostalgia!
Throughout the first season of Stranger Things we were treated with constant hits of 80s nostalgia via old Coca Cola commercials, Star Wars merchandise, and of course the fantastic accompanying soundtrack.
Based on the trailers released by Netflix, it seems that the show’s creators The Duffer Brothers are ramping this up even more in Season 2, including Ghostbusters costumes and accompanying traps. Taking place in 1984, will we see references to other feature films such as Gremlins and nods to the Reagan administration? – quite possibly.
With regards to the soundtrack and the Halloween setting of this season, it would make sense if we heard Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ which was also used in the San Diego Comic Con trailer for the upcoming season. But other songs we could potentially look out for this year include Prince, Bruce Springsteen and of course – the titular song for Ghostbusters.
The Return of Eleven:
The most outstanding acting from the first season came from relatively unknown British actress Millie Bobby Brown who played the mysterious, telekinetic bad-ass ‘Eleven’ and since confirmation of her returning in the second season, effectively evading her supposed death, many have speculated what the character will be up to this season.
Before getting back into contact with her younger friends in Hawkins, it will be interesting to see if Eleven maintains contact with Sheriff Hopper and if they delve into her potential parentage. Was the woman we saw in Season 1 being tested on by the government really the mother of Eleven, and could we see these characters finally interact?
And what happened to the other children subjected to the cruel testing by the US Government in regard to testing the Upside Down, Eleven seems like the best candidate to watch out for these other numbered powered beings and take the fight back to the creatures.
But what everyone wants to see is Mike and the gang’s reaction to Eleven actually being alive and how they will actually deal with this good news in light of a potentially world-ending threat.
While most of the main plot for this upcoming season is still a secret, one thing that is for certain is that all new episodes of Stranger Things will be available to watch on Netflix on October 27th