With season 3 of Stranger Things debuting on Netflix soon, scary things are afoot again in Hawkins, Indiana.
After two critically acclaimed seasons of supernatural adventures, the hit series has given us plenty to be excited about as it heads into its third story arc — as well as quite a few mysteries that remain unsolved. From the identity of a key character in season 2 to the very nature of one of the show’s biggest narrative elements, here are some of the big questions we have going into the third story arc of Stranger Things.
After spending a pair of second-season episodes building up the introduction of Kali Prasad, the girl who spent her troubled childhood with Eleven at Hawkins National Laboratory, Stranger Things seemingly tossed the illusion-crafting character in the rearview mirror just before the season finale. Given how impactful she was on Eleven’s personality and powers in just one episode, it’s reasonable to expect we’ll see more of Kali — but there’s been no indication so far that she’ll return.
Her presence added another sinister element (and another human face) to the experiments that went on at the mysterious laboratory, so it would be a shame if her plot thread is left dangling.
We know that the Mind Flayer rules the dark mirror-dimension known as the Upside Down, but what is that realm, really?
The first two seasons have played coy with details about the Upside Down, likely because they want to establish a sense of mystery while also reflecting the human characters’ own lack of understanding about it. At some point, though, we need to know a bit more about why the dimension seems so closely linked to the human characters’ own world.
If there aren’t any humans in the Upside Down, for example, why does it have its own Hawkins Middle School (as glimpsed in the final scene of the season 2 finale) and various other town landmarks? We don’t need all the answers just yet, but offering some hints about why the two dimensions are linked — and this town, in particular — will do wonders to expand the show’s mythology.
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The mastermind of Project MKUltra, Dr. Martin Brenner (as portrayed by Matthew Modine) seemingly met his end in season 1 at the teeth and claws of the very creature he let into this dimension: The Demogorgon. Not many humans could escape the situation Brenner found himself in during the season finale, but good villains always find a way back to the screen.
In the second season, the rumor mill got revved up when a former orderly at Hawkins National Laboratory confessed — while under extreme duress — that Brenner was still alive. Is he to be believed? Only time will tell.
We know that Kali was test subject number eight and Eleven was, well … number 11. So what about all of the other test subjects who were part of Hawkins Laboratory’s experiments? What happened to the numbers before 11? And were there more?
Although there’s been some exploration of this aspect of the Stranger Things mythology in a pair of licensed tie-in comic books, there’s been no indication as to whether these stories are truly part of the franchise canon, and no mention of the characters from the comics in the show itself.
At this point, all we know is that there have been at least 11 test subjects — possibly with powerful, superhuman abilities — and we only know the identities of two of them. Here’s hoping we open that narrative door (even just a little) in season 3.
Throughout the first two seasons, the kids at the heart of Stranger Things have used the terms and elements of Dungeons & Dragons to help themselves and everyone else — including the show’s audience — wrap their heads around some of the series’ more fantastic (and terrifying) concepts. That holds particularly true for the creatures tormenting them.
The monster of the first season was dubbed “The Demogorgon” in reference to the antagonist from the group’s last gaming session. In season 2, the telepathic entity that infects Will’s body is named after The Mind Flayer, another dangerous monster from Dungeons & Dragons lore. What’s next? A Beholder? A Displacer Beast? We’re just hoping the villain of season 3 isn’t a Gelatinous Cube.
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