[Season 3 SPOILERS AHEAD]
Shadow monsters. Dungeons and Dragons. Uniquely decorated living rooms. Stranger Things season 2 has been out for just over a week now, which means that most of us with a Netflix subscription have already watched it at least twice. Don’t pretend you haven’t.
Season 1 was a great standalone run for the science fiction-horror series; the Duffer Brothers recently stated in an interview on the Nerdist podcast that it was written to be a story that, if not picked up for more episodes, would satisfy viewers. Of course, its runaway success meant that didn’t happen, and season 2 had a lot in the world of Stranger Things that it could elaborate on, loose ends to explore, and characters it could introduce. A few skeptics, including myself, wondered whether or not it could even come close to the quality of the first season.
But, it appears to have reassured fans the world over. With positive reviews and reportedly high viewing figures (but who knows with Netflix), Stranger Things has set the pace again for the genre and are currently working on a third. So, what can we expect from season 3? What would be fun to see? What might not work?
Prediction One: Hawkins Middle School Invasion
The Upside Down is no longer going to be the Upside Down. In Season 3, the likelihood is that it will become the Right-Side Up. If not, that’s the inevitable outcome of the series as a whole. At the end of season 2, the Mind Flayer (or Shadow Monster), looms over Hawkins Middle School in what looks like a preparation for a full-scale invasion.
So, why Hawkins Middle School? The hive mind knows of the gang, especially Will, and the ease in which it can get into the minds of young people and bend them. It had almost complete control of Will before it could realise that no one messes with Joyce Byers’ family. With that being said, I would place my money on the Shadow Monster (somehow) gaining access to the real world again; this time directly underneath the school. With access to plenty of malleable minds, we might be looking at a zombie-style infection of Hawkins Middle School in Season 3.
With all of her friends, including her young love, Mike, enslaved by an alien creature, Eleven would really have an interesting challenge on her hands. Could she use her powers on her best friends, potentially killing them if she can’t control herself properly?
Prediction Two: Eleven Out of Control (Literally)
Similar to the first prediction, this posits that the Shadow Monster, upon catching a glimpse of El (do we call her Jane now?) as she closed the gateway to the Upside Down in the finale, realises that she’s the key. Again, it somehow gains access to the real world and endeavours to use Jane in expanding its domain.
Being a pretty bad-ass young lady already, a hive-mind-controlled Jane is probably going to be stupidly unstoppable to any of the Hawkins gang. Put down that baseball bat, Steve. Of course, there’s Kali, whose rather short-winded storyline in Season 2 must suggest a return. Probably feeling wronged after Jane bails on her and her gang in Chicago, Kali is likely hot on her tail and hoping to find her ‘sister’. With her psychic powers, she could add an interesting dynamic into the storyline of Stranger Things 3, which definitely enjoys playing with the idea of mind over matter. Perhaps she’s the one to help destroy a hive mind?
Prediction Three: Hopper v Eleven
Hopper seemed to have spent an unhealthy amount of time in the infected underground tunnels of Hawkins. Not to mention being enveloped and almost killed by grasping vines, too. Although not alluded to in season 2, which would make it look shoehorned in season 3, perhaps the Upside Down had its own malicious effect on our favourite cop. Like with Will’s prolonged exposure during the first season, it’s not impossible that Hopper has been infected and, due to his position of authority, plus his emotional attachment to Jane, could unwittingly help in the invasion of Hawkins. This is probably the most unlikely theory, but it would create an interesting and tumultuous dynamic between himself and his adopted, super-powered daughter.
Ridiculous Prediction: Steve and Dustin do Vegas
Needing a break from the supernatural life of Hawkins, Indiana, Steve and Dustin realise that they both want the same thing. A vacation. Together, they pack up some gear and head off on a journey of discovery across the American landscape, only to find themselves in Sin City. Casinos, fancy hotels, and as bright as a Christmas tree, it’s likely that Stranger Things 3 will give fans a spin-off season involving everyone’s favourite friendship getting into some ridiculous mishaps of their own.
Any thoughts about Stranger Things 2, or what the next season could include? Leave a comment below or @forusnerds on Twitter!