Preview: “Stranger Things” Season Two

When we left Hawkins, Indiana, things had gotten a little messy for our younger friends on the Netflix original series, “Stranger Things.” 

Having retrieved the “missing” Will Byers from “The Upside Down,” they are left to face yet another disappearance of their new psychokinetic friend, Eleven, or more fondly, “El.” 

The series, having dropped in July 2016,  almost immediately secured its second season in the subsequent month, leaving its dedicated audience in anticipation for over a year. Season two will be released Friday, Oct. 27, just in time for the die-hard fans to hole up in their bedrooms all of “Halloweekend” and finally find out if Mike, Will, Lucas and Dustin are capable of saving El from her return to “The Upside Down.”

So what will we learn this time around? In the most recent trailer released for the upcoming season, not much is revealed, aside from the fact that Mike, Will, Lucas and Dustin will be dressing up as the Ghostbusters for Halloween. Joyce Byers is still seemingly neurotic, but apparently with more people in her corner this time around, namely Chief of Hawkins Police Department Jim Hopper and new love interest Bob Newby. Nancy Wheeler, older sister to Mike, is still seen as struggling with her romantic interests amidst the chaos of life and death, even after the loss of best friend, Barb. Will she remain loyal to dimwitted but charming boyfriend Steve Harrington? Or will she continue to find a deeper connection with Will’s older and ostracized brother, Jonathan? And what of Mike’s clan? Will there continue to be a power dynamic struggle between Mike and Lucas? Not being able to agree on whether to trust El or not, the two repeatedly did not see eye-to-eye. And what of bumbling Dustin? Will there be more quips from him to break up the tension? I hope so.

The question that I wholeheartedly believe will not be answered this season surrounds the origin of our rather mute friend, Eleven. Sure, our collective brain power has deduced that she was brought up as a test subject in the Hawkins National Laboratory, which ostensibly performs scientific experiments of a paranormal nature under the ruse of providing energy for the U.S. Department of Energy. Regarding her parentage, things become progressively murky. Who was Dr. Brenner, and why does El call the malicious man “Papa”?

In recent interviews with executive producers Matt and Ross Duffer, the duo explains that the upcoming season will take place almost a whole year after the events of the first season, leaving a lot to the imagination, primarily regarding El’s wellbeing and Will’s coping with his trauma. Without contact to the outside world, it’s hard to imagine that when we finally meet up with El, there will be little to be said. Ironically enough, I think we are all hoping that she has a lot to say considering the adorable actress only had a few lines on screen throughout the entire season due to the character’s limited vocabulary. 

In the upcoming season, one can only be hopeful to see more character development for Eleven—anybody who follows actress Millie Bobby Brown on social media knows that the youngin’ is bursting with personality that has yet to be seen on screen. Aside from her status as a loyal badass who looked out for the residents of Hawkins by sacrificing herself to the revolting Demogorgon, we did not receive much insight on who she is. Perhaps the most touching moments of the previous season were when we saw the character’s humanizing traits, making her less alien and more young girl. The most endearing scene involving Brown’s character would be when she is given a wig and a dress to fit in with her news friends at school. Eleven approaches the mirror, and for the first time, experiences herself as something other than a freak or a test subject. Gender roles aside, the moment pulls on quite a few heartstrings. 

In little over a week, answers will be revealed. Fans worldwide will be lying in bed, laptops open, hopefully with The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go” blaring out of their speakers, ready to find Hawkins, Indiana in a state of spooky and paranormal disarray.