After more than a year of teasers, theories, and adorable late-night appearances, it’s finally almost time for the premiere of Stranger Things season two. A year is basically an eternity in TV-watching time, though, so here’s a quick refresher on everything that happened in season one. Did you remember, for example, that Nancy and Steve got back together? I sure didn’t, but it’s also possible I blocked it out because Nancy obviously belongs with Jonathan.
Mike, Lucas, and Dustin are thrilled to have Will back in the gang but are disappointed that Eleven has vanished. Mike is especially shaken up because he’d just asked Eleven to attend the Snow Ball with him (he also kissed her). Meanwhile, Eleven is hiding out in the woods and subsisting on Eggos left for her by Sheriff Hopper. Will, though outwardly fine, is still struggling with the after-effects of his captivity, and in episode eight, he coughed up some sort of slug and saw a full-fledged vision of the Upside Down. Nancy got back together with Steve for some inexplicable reason; this is made partially bearable by the fact that both of them are being nice to Jonathan. Barb is dead.
After rescuing Will from the Upside Down, Joyce and Hopper go their separate ways — Joyce to her home and Hopper to a mysterious government car. It’s not clear where he went or who he spoke to, but he’s still finding time to leave waffles out for Eleven. Dr. Brenner was attacked by the monster during the showdown at the school, though we didn’t definitively find out if he lived or died.
Having broken in to the lab and seen the gaping hole in the wall leading to the Upside Down, Joyce and Hopper are now absolutely certain that the Hawkins Laboratory is up to some shady shit. Brenner might be dead but the lab is still standing, and Will’s vision indicates that the portal to the Upside Down is still open too. The black car that picked up Hopper also implies that the lab is being protected by government higher-ups, so expect season two to go heavy on Hopper’s quest to bring it down.
THE UPSIDE DOWN
Even though Eleven destroyed the monster before she disappeared, the Upside Down still seems to be intact. The biggest portal is inside the lab, but as we saw throughout the season, there are plenty of other entry points in Hawkins — the Byers house, Steve’s pool, etc. Will is seeing the Upside Down at home, and while it’s hard to say whether those are flashbacks, hallucinations, or actual visions, the slug he coughed up is a decent clue that the kids of Hawkins haven’t seen the last of the alternate dimension that haunted them all season long.
The second season of Stranger Things will be on Netflix on October 27.