Stranger Things: The Next Chapter

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Questions to contemplate before the binge

The gang is back together on Friday, Oct. 27. (Photos courtesy of Netflix)

After the first eight episodes of Stranger Things dropped in the summer of 2016 with its compelling storyline, irresistible characters and 1980s nostalgia, it was a sure bet the sci-fi show would net a second season. Now, with less than a week until the sophomore season premieres on Netflix—just in time for Halloween—fans are ready to rejoin Mike, Dustin, Lucas, Will, Eleven and the rest of the cast for a second journey into the Upside Down.

There are plenty of questions heading into the second season, with some more pressing than others—Where are Lucas’ parents? Why did Barb get such a raw deal? Will there ever be a greater redemption moment than Steve Harrington’s badass bat spin? (short answer: no).

Here are a few more unanswered questions heading into the second season of Stranger Things.

Is Papa dead?

In the eighth episode of season one, the Demogorgon pounced on Dr. Brenner (Matthew Modine)—Eleven’s “Papa”—and he was never seen again. Viewers didn’t actually see him die, but the character has not shown up in any of the trailers for season two, so one can assume that Brenner met his end. But would such a major character be killed off in such an ambiguous way? If he is still alive, why hasn’t Brenner appeared in any of the trailers? Did his run-in with the Demogorgon leave him maimed and deformed?

Eleven, played by Millie Bobby Brown, has become an iconic character since Stranger Things premiered in 2016. (Photo by Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix)

What was the deal Hopper made?

In order to gain clearance to enter the Upside Down with Joyce to find Will, Chief Hopper struck a deal with the “bad men.” In Hopper’s last scenes, we see him get into a car with shadowy men before leaving waffles in a box in the woods—presumably for Eleven. What was the deal Hopper struck to go after Will? Did he give up Eleven’s location? Is he still under the command of the Hawkins National Laboratory’s “bad men?” If he did give Eleven up, does she know? Did he leave the waffles as a form of apology?

Will (Noah Schnapp), Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin)

Did Will just barf up a slug?

After Will’s rescue and the Demogorgan’s defeat at the hands of Mike, Dustin, Lucas and Eleven, the Byers family sits around the dinner table and everything seems back to normal. Then, Will excuses himself to the bathroom. While in there, Will’s surroundings flash back to the Upside Down and he coughs up a slug-like creature, which wriggles down the drain. Should we assume that Will brought some of the Upside Down into the “real” world and does that mean the line between the Upside Down and reality has been completely blurred?

Sheriff Hopper’s character development will continue into season 2.

Are test subjects 1-10 out there?

When the boys meet Eleven, they call her that because of the “11” tattoo on her arm. As she escaped from a lab, it stands to reason that she was tattooed “11” because she was the 11th test subject at the research facility. Does this mean that there were 10 unfortunate patients before her? What happened to them? Did the experiments end up killing them or did the experiments transform all or some of them into unrecognizable creatures? Wait, is the Demogorgan merely a malformed test subject that the lab lost control of?

Winona Ryder plays Joyce, whose son goes missing during season 1.

What is the point of these experiments, anyway?

When the scientists experiment on Eleven, she is submerged in a tank of water and reemerges in a black void. There, she spies undetected on conversations and travels (we assume) to different dimensions. Who is sanctioning these experiments? Is it the U.S. government or is Hawkins National Laboratory operating independently and under the radar? Are they building a race of biological super weapons with these experiments and if it is government-sanctioned, is this a sort of Cold War defensive initiative? Did the scientists purposely open the gate to the Upside Down or was that an unforeseen consequence of the experiments?

Season 2 of Stranger Things premieres on Oct. 27 on Netflix.

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Steve Mosco is editor-in-chief at Anton Media Group, editor of Plainview-Old Bethpage Herald and Levittown Tribune, and a columnist for Long Island Weekly's food and sports sections. He fancies himself a tastemaker, food influencer and king of all eaters.

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