Obviously, this article includes some fairly major spoilers for season two of ‘Stranger Things’. So if you haven’t finished the season yet, bookmark this article and come back when you have.
Those of us who did manage to find time for a bit of binge watching this weekend know that this season’s ending was a markedly different creature from that of the first season. While the first season’s ending could best be summed up as “bittersweet”, this year’s had a decidedly more celebratory tone. Or at least it did, before returning to the Upside Down for its incredibly ominous final moments. This, of course, was a very deliberate choice. In the wake of the new season’s release, the series’ co-creators Matt and Ross Duffer offered some insight into their approach to the ending and what it might mean for the future:
“Yeah, we don’t end it on a totally happy note, do we? There were discussions about that, but then we went, “Nah, we have to hint at what’s to come.” The hope we wanted people to get out of it is that this thing [is still out there]. 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, particularly Eleven. It had not encountered her and her powers until that final episode. Now, it knows she’s out there. We wanted to end on a little bit of an ominous note on that level.”
More generally, the nature of the ending speaks to the approach the Duffers have in mind for Season Three and beyond. The brothers have said more than once that they don’t want to find themselves doing the same thing every season. As they explain:
“Last year we had a lot of little cliffhangers at the end of the season. We didn’t want to do that again. We didn’t want to box ourselves in for season three. We wanted to be able to start season three on a very clean slate. It felt totally unnecessary, when we had the Snow Ball. Once we had the Snow Ball, we didn’t know [if we wanted to do] anything else as an ending.”
This also connects with some of the teases the Duffers offered ahead of the season’s Friday premiere. Namely, that the first two seasons of ‘Stranger Things’ would form a more or less complete narrative, while simultaneously laying track for future seasons.
Both seasons of ‘Stranger Things’ are currently available to stream on Netflix. The show’s acclaimed cast includes Winona Ryder, David Harbor, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Joe Keery, Natalia Dyer, and Millie Bobbie Brown.