Spoilers for Stranger Things season two below!
Netflix served up the ultimate Halloween gift with Stranger Things season two, and it's OK to admit that you gobbled up all nine episodes like you were a kid eating all of the chocolate out of your trick-or-treat bucket. Now that you've finished the new season, the question plaguing you is almost certainly what will happen in Stranger Things season three? Right now, getting an answer out of series creators Matt and Ross Duffer would be harder than taking away Eleven's TV privileges. That doesn't mean there's not plenty of room to speculate about what lies ahead for Mike, Will, Eleven, Lucas, Max, and Dustin!
Unlike last year, you don't have to wait forever for Netflix to confirm Stranger Things is returning. In an August interview with Vulture, the Duffers revealed that season three will happen, and they're hopeful that there will be a fourth and final season, as well.
After season one's cliffhangers with Eleven and Will, the show opted for a more upbeat finale this time around . . . mostly. Season two ends with the kids together at a Winter dance. Eleven closes the gateway to the Upside Down, and Will is no longer possessed. All in all, things are peaceful in Hawkins, if you ignore the Mind Flayer lurking over the school.
As executive producer Dan Cohen told TV Guide, "We talked about different ways that the season could end. There were other ways we could have ended beyond that, but I think that was a very strong, lyrical ending, and it really lets us decide to focus where we ultimately are going to want to go as we dive into season three."
In other words, the writers are heading into season three with a clean slate, and that means the possibilities are almost endless. That being said, here are some of the things that could happen in Stranger Things season three.
Eleven Finds the Rest of Her "Siblings"
There are two storylines in Stranger Things that drive everything: the ever-expanding world of the Upside Down and Dr. Brenner's experiments. Now that we know that Dr. Brenner is alive and that Kali exists, it only makes sense for Eleven (or Hopper) to become curious about the rest of the children like her. In fact, bringing all of the test subjects together may ultimately be the only way to destroy the Upside Down for good.
If all of the children have abilities, their combined strength could be enough to eradicate the dark alternate universe and its horrors. Since the gateway to the Upside Down is closed, at least for the moment, the show could shift its focus to the MK-Ultra project, Dr. Brenner, and the rest of Eleven's "siblings." It wouldn't be surprising if Brenner emerges as the primary threat in season three, especially now that Eleven has the chance to live a normal life. And by bringing the rest of the test subjects into the narrative, the show's universe could continue its expansion outward, leading to an even bigger sense of danger moving forward.
The Mind Flayer Infection Spreads
Will is officially free of his possession, but he's not the only person in Hawkins who has come in contact with the dark force lurking inside the Upside Down. At this point, the Mind Flayer is contained, but it's not defeated. It's entirely possible that the series could riff on the themes of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers by having the Mind Flayer infect multiple people, including Hopper and Mike, who are sprayed in the face multiple times while in the Upside Down.
The Upside Down May Leak Into Hawkins
So far, all the characters have managed to do is plug holes when it comes to the portals that link Hawkins to the Upside Down. Closing the gateways doesn't eliminate the threat; it only puts a patch on the problem. If season two proves anything, it's that there's something living inside of the Upside Down that wants out. However, the atmosphere of the real world isn't suitable to sustaining the Mind Flayer, as its time residing in Will revealed.
In order for the Mind Flayer (or whatever controls it) to survive in Hawkins's reality, then it needs to change the climate of the city. Basically, the Upside Down and Hawkins need to become one. The question is, how can that be accomplished, and what would stop the Mind Flayer from spreading the darkness throughout the world?
Eleven Could Become a Weapon (Again)
Stranger Things season three may pick up a year after the events of season two (much like season two does in relation to season one). You can imagine that by this stage, Eleven will be allowed to live out in the open and have a relatively normal teenage experience. However, it's important not to lose sight of the fact that she was born to be a weapon, and there are two different kinds of evil that could use her to hurt her friends. The first is Dr. Brenner. You can bet the doctor has been working on some sort of plan during his time spent pretending to be dead, and that plan surely involves Eleven. The second is the Mind Flayer itself.
The Duffers offered The Hollywood Reporter this ominous tease for season three:
"They've shut the door on the Mind Flayer, but not only is it still there in the Upside Down, it's very much aware of the kids, and particularly Eleven. It had not encountered her and her powers until that final episode. Now, it knows that she's out there. We wanted to end on a little bit of an ominous note on that level."
Right now, it would be foolish to rule out the possibility of a connection between Brenner and the Mind Flayer. Narratively, nothing is scarier than the idea of Eleven's two greatest enemies teaming up to work against her.
While it may be quiet in Hawkins right now, you can bet the Upside Down isn't finished with Eleven and her friends just yet. Season three is still a long ways off, but it's never too early to start thinking about your next return trip to Hawkins.