Entertainment Weekly has announced elements of the plot of the second season of Stranger Things in a cover story on the series:
From the previously-released teaser trailer, there were some things that could already be gleaned (Eleven is back — but it looks like she’s in the Upside Down; there’s a new monster out and about), and some questions left very much open (what the hell is that new monster? Why’s Hop shadily digging a hole? Will conservatives be mad that children who are not Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, et al are dressing as Ghostbusters?). And now EW is filling in some blanks.
As the trailer indicates, the series begins on Halloween in the same small town — Hawkins, Indiana — in which the first season took place, seeing the central, wonderful gaggle of geeks dressing as Ghostbusters characters. And while Halloween festivities can still happen, not all is jolly in the small town where two young people — Barb and, seemingly (but obviously not really, as Millie Bobby Brown is very much back), Eleven — just died. And Mike and his sister Nancy are currently beleaguered by the apparent lost of their respective besties.
Though Will Byers is no longer on the run from the Barb-eating flesh flower in the Upside Down, he’s experiencing a sort of sci-fi PTSD, where he’s seeing visions from the barren shadow world he was stuck in for so long. (Plus, if you recall from the end of Season 1, there’s the whole issue of him vomiting a shadow-world slug to resolve.) Meanwhile, his mother Joyce — played by Winona Ryder, who, it seems, will get to portray a new emotion! — is trying to return everything to normal, which includes dating a character played by oh-so-on-brand-Goonies-star Sean Astin. His name’s Bob; he went to high school with Joyce. And apparently Hopper is covering up certain things from last season in an attempt to protect our protagonists — thus seemingly explaining the digging we see in the teaser trailer.
There’s also the new arrival of siblings Billy (Dacre Montgomery) and Max (Sadie Sink); the latter becomes a love interest for two of the young characters, while the former is apparently a malignant new (human) force in Hawkins. Duffer said of Billy in EW:
Stephen King always has really great human villains. The evil in the real world is often as bad or worse than the supernatural evil, so we wanted to introduce a character like that.
Unfortunately, not much is revealed about the gargantuan lightning-arachnid thing you see in the trailer, though Duffer teases “different kinds of horror” than that depicted in Season 1. And apparently Dustin now has a pet from another dimension.
Stranger Things’ second season debuts on Halloween, 2017.