Stranger Things' second season amped the horror threat to Hawkins way up. Instead of one Demogorgon we got a whole pack of killer “demodogs.” And they were led by the Mind Flayer himself, the giant, terrifying Shadown Monster. And even if we missed a few things during all that carnage, we also got a lot of answers to questions we had after the first season.
We found out what Will spit up in the bathroom sink (a baby Demogorgon, how…. adorable) and that he was still connected to the Upside Down.
It was also revealed that Eleven wasn’t surviving on her own all this time, but instead Chief Hopper had been caring for her. We also learned if there would be justice for Barb—even if it required a watered down version of the truth to get it.
But in a season with so many subplots, where different characters were off on their own for much of the time, plenty of new questions were raised. And while the portal to the strange Upside Down (seems like it) was successfully closed by Eleven, that final scene let us know the danger to Hawkins is still out there and will return.
So to get ready for season three, here are the 15 Burning Questions We Have After Stranger Things 2.
15 Is Matthew Modine's Dr. Brenner really alive?
In season one we last saw Dr. Martin Brenner, the unscrupulous senior research scientist and director of Hawkins National Laboratory, being attacked by the Demogorgon. While his death wasn’t confirmed, it certainly appeared he was another victim of his own crimes, because didn’t seem possible he could have survived.
But when Eleven and Eight went to kill one of the men who worked for Brenner, he begged them to spare his life. That included offering to help the two of them locate Brenner, who he said was still alive.
Was this just the desperate pleadings of a man who was doing anything he could to save himself? Did he honestly--but mistakenly--think Brenner is still alive? Or was he telling the truth, and Brenner is still out there somewhere? If so, could he still be working for the government? Does he still pose a risk to Eleven and everyone else in Hawkins?
If Brenner survived his attack, does he want revenge? Could he open up the portal to the Upside Down again? Will season one’s main human villain be season three’s as well?
14 How many more kids like Eleven and Eight are out there and what powers do they have?
It was clear Eleven wasn’t the only child test subject of the Department of Energy, otherwise they would have called her “One.” But meeting her "lost sister" Eight proved Eleven isn’t the only one of them to escape. It also showed they didn’t all share the same abilities.
So how many of them are out in the world? Is there a Twelve? A Twenty? How hgh does the number go? Eleven’s mother had a folder with lots of other missing kids in it. Were they all taken away for their superhuman powers as well?
And if Eleven was able to find Eight, will she go searching for more of them? Or will one of them be able to find her instead? And what kind of incredible abilities will they have? Their skills might be needed to help save the world from the Upside Down someday.
13 Why exactly did Eleven's mother show her those visions?
Eleven’s “lost sister” Eight immediately put her powers to use, by having Eleven help her gang of vigilantes find one of their targets. However, when they got to his house Eleven wouldn’t go along with the plan to kill him. Instead she let him go free after realizing it would hurt his two young daughters.
Then, when the police raided the gang’s hideout, Eleven said she wasn’t going with them. Eight told her they were meant to be together, and that’s why her mother had shown her the vision of the two of them in the Rainbow room. But Eleven said that wasn’t the reason, and she left anyway.
But if Eleven’s mother didn’t mean for her to find Eight, why did she show her those specific visions? Did she just want her daughter to know what happened to her to make her that way? Or did she was her daughter Jane to know she wasn’t a freak? Could it have been a warning about Brenner and the government?
Is there some secret contained within those visions for Eleven to still uncover? And how might they prove helpful in the future?
12 Can Steve get over Nancy now that she's with Jonathan?
The Steve we first met early in season one is long gone, replaced by a loving, caring young man who treated Nancy far better than she treated him. But that wasn’t enough to make Nancy love him, and their relationship ended after she got drunk on Halloween and told him everything was “bullshit.”
But Steve wasn’t ready to give up on her yet, but by the time he wanted to make things right Nancy and Jonathan were already together.
Steve said he was cool with it, and encouraged her to help Jonathan free Will from the Shadow Monster. However, the final shot of himin his car staring at her at the Middle School dance proved he isn’t over her just yet.
So will Steve still try to get her back? Will he try to steal her back from Jonathan? What type of problems will they have to work together again when the Upside Down’s monsters return?
11 What kind of threat does Billy pose to Max?
When Billy gets angry he breaks things. That included Max’s skateboard and Steve’s face. But after injecting Billy with Will’s medication and threatening him with the baseball bat full of nails, Max seemed to finally be free from his mistreatment.
But will that last? Will Billy continue to leave his step-sister and her friends alone because of what happened that night? Or will his anger issues eventually lead to him breaking his vow to stay away from her?
We don’t even know exactly how far his abuse of her went. Billy’s father resorted to physical violence when he was angry with his son, is it possible Billy has been hitting Max too, and his abuse isn’t just mental? If so he could be as great a threat to her and the rest of her pack as any creature from the Upside Down.
10 How can the Shadow Monster cross over if the main gate is closed?
Eleven saved the day—again—this time by using her incredible powers to close the gate she had previously opened to the Upside Down. The Shadow Monster tried to stop her from doing so, but she was too strong and shut him out.
But as the season’s final shot let viewers know, he’s still out there, and we doubt he’s going down so easily. But how can he cross back into the plane of mankind without the door that was opened for him?
Can he create one himself from the other side? Are some of the smaller portals that were opened in season one—like the one Nancy found in the woods and the gateway Eleven used to come back at the school—still out there?
Are those tunnels under Hawkins totally closed off to him and his "demodogs?" Or do they have their own pathways to the Upside Down?
The Shadow Monster is likely to return, but how will he get back?
9 Will Eleven and Eight cross paths again?
Eleven and Eight are “sisters,” each with their own amazing abilities, but they are vastly different people with different ideas of how to use their powers. Eight is determined to get vengeance against the people who hurt her and her friends, but Eleven realized she wasn’t like them.
Eleven might have killed before, but she is not a killer. That’s why she left Eight to return to her real home in Hawkins, to save her true family.
However, what does that mean for the future relationship of the two girls who were raised by Dr. Brenner in his lab? Was their reunion a one-time event, designed to let Eleven know she’s not a freak who is alone? Or will the two see each other again?
With the threat the Shadow Monster still poses to the world, the two of them might need to come together and combine their strength to defeat it.
8 Will the government actually leave Eleven alone now?
Paul Reiser’s Dr. Owens turned out not to be a heartless, amoral government official like Matthew Modine’s Dr. Brenner in season one. He not only tried to protect Will when the other doctors didn’t care about whether he lived or died, he pulled off the difficult task of getting the Chief a birth certificate for his “daughter” Jane Hopper.
That should hopefully allow him to take Eleven out of hiding (in a year at least), so she can finally lead a normal life after being a prisoner since the day she was born.
But will that piece of paper really keep the government away from her? She is incredibly powerful, and that means they might always view her as a danger that needs to be watched. Also, she has saved them from their horrible mistake twice now, and with the Shadow Monster still out there, they might need her a third time.
Is there any chance she will ever be free to live her own life, or will they always be close, waiting to grab her when they can?
7 Are Billy and Mrs. Wheeler going to hook up?
Will and Nancy’s father might be the most boring person in all of Hawkins, a fact that does not seem to be lost on his wife. That lack of excitement is how she ended up reading a romance novel in a candle-lit bubblebath by herself while he slept in front of the TV.
That’s also why it wasn’t surprising when she greeted the young, good-looking Billy at the door—in a somewhat revealing bathrobe—she started flirting back with him.
There certainly were sparks between the two, so does that mean we might see them them take it (a lot) further in the future? Was that first meeting prelude to a physical relationship one day?
Some harmless innuendos—and yes, a little hand holding—is a far cry from cheating on your husband with a high school student, but that possibility was definitely raised in that scene, and it’s a question likely to be addressed next season.
6 With poor Bob gone, will Hopper and Joyce get together?
Sean Astin’s kind, nerdy Bob the Brain was one of the best new additions to the cast. But while he proved to be an unlikely hero who helped save the day, it cost him his life in the process, during one of season two’s saddest moments.
But with Bob gone, does that mean Chief Hopper and Joyce Byers will take their long-standing friendship to the next level.
The two have been through a lot together (that’s an understatement), and have been friends since they were kids. Season two featured them talking about their past together multiple times, and it was Hopper who was consoling her about Bob.
The possibility of them ending up together was hinted at in season one, and that only seemed to grow more likely in season two. Will season three finally see it happen, or will Hopper’s fear about being a “black hole” keep him from getting any closer to her?
5 Is Dustin the latest boy in Hawkins to fall in love with Nancy?
Dustin might have struck out with the young ladies of Hawkins Middle School at the dance, but Nancy stepped up to the plate to make sure he had a partner on the dance floor. It was an incredibly sweet thing for her to do for her brother’s sad friend. However, did Dustin understand that was all she was doing?
Did he recognize that she wasn’t actually romantically interested in him, but that she was making him seem more appealing to girls his own age? It wasn’t totally clear what he was thinking in that moment, except for the fact he was very, very happy.
Is that because he now has a crush on Nancy? Is he the third Hawkins boy, along with Jonathan and Steve, who is in love Will’s older sister? If he is, Hawkins has its very own There’s Something About Mary situation going on, which will only complicate things further.
Someone should tell Dustin great hair isn't enough for her.
4 Will the national attention from Barb's death mean someone will discover Hawkins real secrets?
Nancy and Jonathan’s plan to get justice for Barb turned out to be a total success. By watering down the horrible truth about the Upside Down and the Demogorgon into something more believable, they got the government to acknowledge their role in Barbara’s death.
As a news report at the end of the season finale revealed, that brought a lot of national attention to Hawkins, a place where “nothing” ever happens. But now that the entire country has been given a reason to investigate Hawkins, will some outsiders find the real truth of what has been going on there?
In the first two seasons the citizens of Hawkins have fought their battles in anonymity, but will that be possible going forward anymore? Will helping Barb’s parents get answers end up making things worse for everyone else in the future? Will it make it harder to defeat the Shadow Monster?
3 Will the government's fears about Russia turn out to be well-founded?
The threat posed by the Russians during the Cold War has been in the background of both season of Stranger Things. The only reason anyone learned about the Demogorgon was because Dr. Brenner was having Eleven use her remote vision ability to listen in on a Russian spy.
In season two, the not-evil Dr. Owens told Nancy and Jonathan that the reason they needed to keep the Upside Down a secret was because the government feared what would happen if the Russians learned about it. Even reports about Eleven herself were said to be of a “Russian girl.”
But with the United States government seemingly on the side that the Upside Down is too dangerous to weaponize, will the Russians be the next ones to open that gate? Will all of the fears about them eventually prove true, or will Russia continue to be the only boogey man in Hawkins who actually isn’t a real danger to everyone?
2 Will the Department of Child Services save the children of Hawkins from their awful parents?
Forget Shadow Monsters, Demogorgons of all shapes and sizes, and evil government officials, the most horrible creatures in Hawkins were once again absentee parents who don’t have any idea where there kids were or what they were up to. And worse, they don't seem to care to find out.
Nancy and Jonathan disappeared for days. Mike, Lucas, and Dustin were once again free to do what they wanted whenever they wanted, no matter how long they were gone or at what hour of the night they were out. Even Eleven managed to go to Chicago without Chief Hopper knowing.
Outside of Will’s over-protective mother Joyce, and Maxine’s mom and step-dad (who just moved there, so they don't even really count), do any of the adults in Hawkins care about where their kids are? Will anyone ever step in to protect these kids from their awful parents?
Say what you will about Eleven’s “Papa” Dr. Brenner, but at least he always knew where she was. Even with the whole "kidnapping and torture," that puts him in the top five parents we’ve ever met from Hawkins.
1 Is Will totally free from the Upside Down's grasp?
Although he was rescued from the Upside Down in season one, Will ended that year by flashing back into that dark world at Christmas. Then he spit up a worm-like creature into the bathroom sink (which turned out to be a baby Demogorgon).
That’s why going into season two we knew he wasn’t totally free from that world, and it turned out he was stuck between the planes of Earth and the Upside Down. After the Shadow Monster entered his body during one of his trances, he was started being used as a spy by the Mind Flayer.
But with the Shadow Monster being burned out of his body, and with Eleven closing the main portal to the Upside Down, is Will actually free this time? Is his connection truly severed, and does that mean he can finally live a “normal” life?
If not, and that mystical connection is still a part of him, could he be the reason Hawkins is still in danger? Will the Upside Down return in Stranger Things 3 because a part of it still lives in him?
Can you think of any other burning questions you had after watching Stranger Things 2? Let us know in the comment section!