On Wednesday (Aug. 31), Netflix announced that retro hit horror series “Stranger Things” is coming back for Season 2 in 2017. The teaser trailer flashed various titles on the screen as the red letters reading “Season Two” assembled themselves opening credits-style. But what do these mean?
At first glance, with the first phrase being “Madmax,” one might think they’re references to more 1980s TV and movies that will influence Season 2, which is set in the fall of 1984. But that’s a misdirect — “Madmax” is the only title of already-existing work from the ’80s (the two sequels were in the 1980s) and in those movie titles, it’s actually two words, “Mad Max.”
But the renewal announcement reveals that there will be nine episodes in Season 2 and there are nine phrases, so it looks like fans were just handed the episode titles. Let the speculation begin!
Episode 1, ‘Madmax’
This sounds like a reference to Chief Hopper (David Harbour), since the storyline in “Mad Max” starts out with a father out for revenge for the killing of his wife and son. It doesn’t fit exactly, but Hopper is a lonely “Mad Max”-like figure whose daughter died. Now his surrogate daughter, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) is …. gone? Hiding? And based on the Eggo waffles he left in the Season 1 finale, he’s either helping take care of her or hoping she’s still out there.
Episode 2, ‘The Boy Who Came Back to Life’
This one seems to point entirely to Will Byers (Noah Schnapp). He came back from the Upside Down, but as viewers saw in the finale, he’s not OK. There’s either something still inside him that he brought back with him, or he’s simply experiencing PTSD from his time in the bizarro, terrifying version of the world. Will we get answers early on in the season, based on this episode title?
Episode 3, ‘The Pumpkin Patch’
This one is definitely one of the creepier titles because it could mean so many things. Is it referring to the Demogorgon’s eggs? Perhaps it means we’re in for a Halloween episode, which would be awesome. If the four boys don’t dress up as the Ghostbusters, that would be a shame.
Episode 4, ‘The Palace’
Hopefully this refers to either the Department of Energy building or some other establishment that’s at the center of the mystery. In the D&D-like quest of the first season, the Department of Energy building could definitely be seen as some sort of castle-like structure that the heroes have to invade.
Episode 5, ‘The Storm’
This one seems fairly self explanatory, but knowing the Duffer brothers, who created the show, it’s not going to be your typical fall thunderstorm.
Instead, what if this is a reference to Stephen King’s “Storm of the Century”? We know the show loves its King influences and references. In that miniseries, a blizzard cuts a town off and a murderous stranger places all the town’s children into unconsciousness. The man turns out to be a demon who takes one of the children as his protege. That sounds right up “Stranger Things” alley.
Episode 6, ‘The Pollywog’
A polliwog is also known as a tadpole, the larva of a frog or toad. Could the Demogorgon’s offspring be hatching from the pumpkin patch? That’s one possibility. However, “pollywog” with a “y” is a term used to describe a sailor who has never crossed the equator. Who didn’t visit the Upside Down in Season 1? Mike (Finn Wolfhard) didn’t. Perhaps it’s his turn, he’s the titular “pollywog.”
Episode 7, ‘The Secret Cabin’
Could the Duffer brothers possibly make us wait until episode 7 to find out where Eleven is hiding? That seems mean, but also it seems like a great Season 2 mystery. We wouldn’t put it past them to keep her fate a secret until we find out she’s been hiding in this secret cabin.
Episode 8, ‘The Brain’
This one is tricky because it’s so ambiguous, but we’re going to bet this is about finding the brain of the operations — the source of the Demogorgon and the Upside Down. The penultimate episode will set up the final battle where the brain must be defeated.
Episode 9, ‘The Lost Brother’
The only two brothers we know of on the show right now are Will and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), but that feels a bit obvious. Also, how much can Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) take? Hopefully she ends Season 2 with both her children intact and safe. Mike, who is Nancy’s brother, also feels a bit obvious.
It seems more like the creators will introduce another “number kid,” this one a boy. Maybe he’s one of the Nos. 1-10 who came before Eleven? Or maybe he came after her? Either way, that would set up a possible Season 3 — let’s track down the other kids from Dr. Brenner’s (Matthew Modine) experiment.