The first season of “Stranger Things” was one thrilling ride.
We were reminiscing about the Netflix hit here at All the Moms: The exceptional casting. The weirdly wonderful paranormal/sci-fi mystery. The return of Winona Ryder.
Yet as googly-eyed as we all were about the show, we were blurry on a few details. The first season dropped July 15, 2016, an eternity ago.
But thanks to another round of binge watching, we’re all caught up and ready for the second season, which drops Friday, Oct. 27. The newest trailer reveals that maybe Eleven did NOT sacrifice herself for the boys she befriends after all. At least that’s what we want to believe.
Here’s everything you need to remember to be primed for binge watching Season 2:
- This series is so ‘80s! It’s set in Hawkins, Ind., complete with children riding bikes unsupervised, adults smoking indoors, feathered hair, Winona Ryder and a soundtrack that includes The Clash, Modern English and The Bangles.
- Middle school friends Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Will (Noah Schnapp) finish playing “Dungeons & Dragons” at Mike’s house and are racing bikes home when Will separates from them and disappears just as a thunderstorm rolls in.
- A young girl (Millie Bobby Brown) with a shaved head, some strange powers and the number 11 tattooed on her arm escapes from a tucked away laboratory near town wearing a hospital gown. A government organization connected with the lab wants her back and kills anyone who gets in the way.
- The middle-school friends find and hide the girl, even from their parents. She becomes especially close to Mike, who names her Eleven.
- Will’s mom, Joyce, (Ryder) goes to police chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour) about her son’s disappearance, and he initially doesn’t seem too concerned. Plus he appears to be fighting his own demons (of the pill-popping variety). Meanwhile, Joyce gets some shocking phone calls. Literally. She hears her son’s labored breathing and then the phone zaps her.
- An unseen monster also escapes from the laboratory and is killing people.
- Eleven doesn’t speak but manages to convey to her new friends that she knows Will is alive. She says Will is hiding from the escaped lab monster.
- Mike’s older sister Nancy (Natalia Dyer) is dating Steve (Joe Keery), a creep who is constantly trying to get in her pants. He invites her to a party, and she brings geeky friend Barb (fan favorite Shannon Purser). Barb is pulled by the Monster into the Upside Down world. We learn that the Upside Down is like a mirror of our world only darker and without furniture, and the monster hangs out there.
- Will’s older brother Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) is there also, though he’s too uncool to be invited to the party so he’s just snapping pictures nearby in the woods. This becomes important later.
- Will’s mother is holding it together as best she can (read: chain-smoking), but the walls in her house begin warping and lights are flicking on and off.
- While Eleven is hiding out in bestie Mike’s room, we learn that she has had a really sucky life. The man she calls “Papa” is Dr. Brennan (Matthew Modine) of the lab, and he made her do all kinds of crazy in the name of science, like torturing kitties with her mind. She also can kill, as she did with two orderlies.
- People already think Joyce is crazy. Stringing Christmas lights around her house and talking to her missing son with an alphabetic grid will hardly matter. It works, yes. The lights twinkle. He answers he’s alive. No. He’s not safe. When the boys ask Eleven to show them where Will is, she leads them to his own house. They get mad.
- A body is pulled out of a quarry, and it looks like Will. The state-assigned coroner said it’s him. Joyce denies it because this Will didn’t have a birthmark. Finally, Chief Hopper decides to check out the body. In a bold move, he stabs it, and the mom’s proven right. He pulls cotton from the fake Will.
- Remember creepy Steve? When he finds out that Jonathan was snapping photos of everyone, he smashes the camera and rips up the photos. Jerk. But girlfriend Nancy discovers that he took photos of missing friend Barb and the monster — the first we see of it. Jonathan and Nancy team up to find out if the monster took his brother.
- Chief Hopper finds the opening to the Upside Down in the lab, but Dr. Brenner’s people drug him and dump him back in his bugged trailer. But it’s on like Donkey Kong because Chief Hopper knows a conspiracy is afoot with missing children and alerts Joyce she’s not crazy.
- Nancy and Jonathan team up for monster hunting and find another opening to the Upside Down world in the woods. Both barely escape being attacked by the monster.
- Joyce and Chief Hopper find a woman who took part in Dr. Brenner’s crazy experiments for money. She also was pregnant at the time. Unfortunately, she’s now catatonic. Her sister, speaking for her, said she miscarried the baby in her third trimester. But did she? She certainly believed her baby was alive before she lost the ability to speak and believed her child had certain special “abilities.” That baby is probably Eleven.
- Eleven flashes back to a time in the lab when she’s confronting the monster. That’s when it breaks out of its dimension and into this one. No! Eleven was responsible for the monster’s escape?
- Chief Hopper and Joyce return to the lab to break into the Upside Down but are stopped by lab heavies. They strike a crazy deal as Hopper actually convinces Dr. Brenner to let them look for Will. And they find him! After they pull a tentacle-like chord from his throat and perform CPR, Will breathes. They also find some odd eggs.
- Jonathan and Nancy aren’t done trying to kill the monster and lure it back to Jonathan’s house, bringing the gasoline they intended to use on it in the woods. Self-centered Steve happens by and gets in on the action. The monster shows up. The house is set on fire. The high schoolers don’t get the job done.
- Meanwhile, Eleven is hanging out at the school waiting to see how everything plays out, but Dr. Brenner shows up intent on taking his greatest work back to the lab. Eleven takes out several of Brenner’s goons but collapses from the effort. The monster shows up and everyone starts firing on it. The boys escape with Eleven but are quickly found again by the monster. Eleven uses her own magical brand of firepower to save them. Her last words: “Goodbye, Mike.” Then the monster and she — maybe — are gone, forever. Until Season 2, anyway.
- All the boys, including Will, are back to role-playing games at Mike’s house. Nancy continues to date Steve. Yuck. Back at home, Will yaks up a slug in the sink as he remembers the monster. What is he hiding?