If you haven’t heard of The Upside Down, Eleven, or the Demogorgon, then that means you haven’t watched Netflix’s hit show, Stranger Things, and that also means that you really need to reevaluate your life.
For those of you have are not completely obsessed with Stranger Things (yet), it’s one of Netflix’s most popular original shows, has won almost a dozen awards, and just received 16 Emmy nominations. The story is right in the nostalgic realm of E.T. where the kids save the day from something creepy, something paranormal, something… dare I say… strange?
For those of us who have seen it (over and over and over again), we’ve had over a year to sit back and over think everything that has happened up until this point. And when Stranger Things 2 is released on October 27th, we’ve got quite a few questions we’re hoping get answered… Here are just Eleven (see what I did there?).
1 . Is there just the Demogorgon, or are there more monsters living in The Upside Down? Stranger Things introduced us to the Demogorgon, a supernatural monster from The Upside Down that some people mistook for a bear or a man (without a face). Joyce saw it enter her home and Nancy stumbled on it several times. In the first season, that was the only monster we saw from The Upside Down. However, the trailer of Stranger Things 2 hints that something bigger and badder is headed our way.
2. What happened to Hopper after the super sketchy men from Hawkins Research Lab took him away? After bringing Will Byers back from The Upside Down, Chief Hopper is taken away in a mysterious, sleek, black car by a group of men who, no doubt, work for the lab. We don’t know exactly what happened after that. Did he make a deal with the devil? Is he working for them now? All we do know is that he brings Eggo waffles to a box in the middle of the forest, hinting that he is helping Eleven and possibly keeping her alive.
3. Is Barb really dead? If so, then that’s upsetting. Barb, Nancy’s quiet, nerdy friend who seemed uncomfortable at parties, became a fan favorite in just the three episodes she appeared in before the Demogorgon took her into The Upside Down. When Eleven is trying to find Will, she stumbles upon Barb and declares her dead. If this is the case, it’s pretty upsetting. She entered The Upside Down after Will and yet she wasn’t able to make it? Will was hanging from a wall with some super weird tentacle stuck down his throat, kept alive for whatever reason, but Barb was just cast aside, left to die and serving no purpose? The Duffer Brothers have said that they haven’t forgotten about Barb, so here’s hoping she gets a bit of justice.
4. What the heck is The Upside Down? Despite the fact that Eleven opening the doorway to The Upside Down caused all of the problems in Stranger Things, we never really learn what The Upside Down is. We see it briefly when Nancy follows the Demogorgon through the tree, and again when Joyce and Hopper rescue Will. It’s a dark, twisted version of our own world. The boys compare it to The Veil of Shadows in Dungeons and Dragons. But what is it? Why is it there? Where did it come from? We want more mythology! More information! More answers about this place!
5. Did ten other kids come before Eleven? It’s still not 100% clear just what exactly is happening at Hawkins Research Lab. Spying on Russians? Creating super human weapons? Opening portals to hell? What we do know is that Eleven is the current test subject, using her telekinetic powers. Current test subject. We see newspaper clippings of men and women in hospital gowns. We learn about a government run drug test in the 1970s that Jane’s mom took part in. And looking at Eleven’s name (and brand on her arm), it’s a safe assumption that she is not the first (or even only) test subject at this time. We see that each time Eleven uses her powers, she begins to bleed from her nose and ears. It’s clear that these powers can hurt and potentially kill these kids, so it would be no surprise to learn that ten kids came before her.
6. Who is Jane/Eleven’s father? Could it be Dr. Brenner? We only learn a very little bit about Jane when Joyce and Hopper go to visit her mother, who is now in a catatonic state. She took part in a drug test, run by the government while she was (unknowingly) pregnant. According to Jane’s mother, these drugs gave her daughter telekinetic powers and the government took her away. According to everyone else, Jane died after she was miscarried. Either way, there’s a whole lot of mystery surrounding Jane, who we assume is now Eleven. Could Dr. Brenner be her father? While in the lab, Eleven calls him Papa which makes people think this could be the case. It could also be that he is the only father figure she has in her life. Only time will tell!
7. Will Joyce and Hopper suffer any negative side-effects from being in The Upside Down? We learn that the air in The Upside Down is toxic with large particles. Everything is all fine and dandy while the duo have their hazmat suits on. But once they find Will, they take their masks off, breathing in the toxic air for some time. What does that mean? Just how long were they in The Upside Down? What side-effects would they have? Will they experience anything that Will does after returning from The Upside Down? Could we expect some references to other great 80s movies like The Thing or Alien?
8. Is Dr. Brenner really dead? To have such a creepy, calculating, cold antagonist die so suddenly is a bit of a letdown and seems a bit cheap for Stranger Things, where everything is so thought out. Brenner had been using Eleven for years, honing her skills, and when she escaped, he stopped at nothing (including murder) to get her back. As he’s about to take her back to the lab, the Demogorgon appears and attacks him. We assume he died in the attack, but we don’t actually know for sure.
9. Where did Eleven go? And how will she come back? The climax of the show comes when the Demogorgon appears at Hawkins Middle School, seemingly killing all the adults and leaving the boys with a very weak Eleven to try to defend. Eleven ends up saving the day (again) when the Demogorgon attacks her friends, but in the process, she disappears. It’s a safe assumption to think that she somehow made it to The Upside Down, possibly taking the Demogorgon with her. Mike and the others think their friend is dead and gone… but from the trailer, we know that we can expect to see Eleven again. Hopefully we’ll learn what happened to her after she fought the Demogorgon.
10. Is Will having visions? Or something way worse? Everything seems to end happily when Will returns home just in time for Christmas. We’ve got a fun family dinner, Christmas presents, bright lights and… wait–did Will just cough up a slug? Everything is not nearly as happily ever after as initially presented, and for a split second, Will finds himself back in The Upside Down. In trailers, we can see that these visions seem to get worse as more time passes for Will. Are they visions? Or is Will still connected to The Upside Down? Does he act as a sort of doorway for the monster of The Upside Down to enter our world? Has he come to possess powers similar to Eleven since visiting The Upside Down?
11. Team Steve or Team Jonathan? This one is just for fun! Nancy begins dating Steve in episode one, and everything seems to be going swell until Barb goes missing. Then Nancy teams up with Will’s big brother, Jonathan, and the duo go out to hunt the Demogorgon. Of course, teenagers will be jealous, and Steve ends up acting like a first class jerk for a while… but he comes around. Season one ends with Nancy giving Jonathan a kiss on the cheek and a Christmas present before going into the living room to sit down next to Steve. Some ship Nancy and Steve. Others are rooting for Jonathan. What are you hoping for? Team Steve? Team Jonathan? Or Team Nancy with a baseball bat ready to smash a Demogorgon’s face in? Definitely Team Nancy…
Stranger Things 2 releases in its entirety (yay for binge watching!) on Friday, October 27th on Netflix, just in time for Halloween. What questions do you hope get answered in this new season? Did we miss any? Let’s get chatting in the comments!
Amanda Woomer-Limpert is a writer for The Geekiverse and is just as obsessed with Stranger Things as everyone else you know.
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