Let’s get the obvious one out of the way: Millie Bobby Brown has to return as Eleven, even though she dropped a “Goodbye, Mike” in her parting scene in the Season 1 finale. Next year, we need to find out even more about her powers—and her limits. Why was she taken? Can Dr. Brenner brainwash her back to his side? Will she continue rocking the wigs or embrace her shaven awesomeness?
Winona Ryder’s character spent much of Season 1 worrying about her missing son and convincing Hawkins that she wasn’t crazy. Now that Will is back and Joyce has actually been to the Upside Down, it’s time for Stranger Things to give a female adult more to do than sound hysterical. If there’s a scarier monster out there, who better than Joyce to fearlessly lead the way against it?
Dr. Martin Brenner is an unforgiving nemesis and Matthew Modine is obviously an ‘80s god, but let’s see the boys battle an even more overpowering foe next season instead of matching them up with Brenner again. Perhaps the bad doctor has a government boss shipped into Hawkins to clean up his mess and contain the Upside Down at all costs.
It’s hinted in the finale that the Demogorgon is just the start of the stranger things, and that Will may be infected by something even more terrible. With any sequel, the stakes need to be raised—and with any successful franchise, the CGI budget will be higher for maximum monster effect.
Poor Terry Ives! One loose end from Season 1 was that the woman assumed to be Eleven’s mother is still widely presumed to be insane, despite clear evidence that her daughter was stolen by the government. At some point in Season 2, we have to see mother and daughter reunited…and find out how each reacts to the long-overdue pairing.
“We kinda just peeled back the curtain and revealed a tiny bit of the Upside Down,” Matt Duffer tells Entertainment Weekly. “So we definitely want to explore a little bit more. There’s a lot we don’t know about the Upside Down at the end of Season 1.” We can’t wait to find out, Matt!
One of the smartest choices Stranger Things made in its first season was to veer away from making Steve the stereotypical cool-guy boyfriend; in the end, he casts his popular friends aside and comes through for Nancy and Jonathan. Steve needs to return in Season 2 and receive greater depth. Nancy hooking up with Jonathan would make Steve the surprisingly sympathetic corner of that love triangle!
A big chunk of Season 1 found Mike pitted against Lucas in their war over Eleven’s loyalties, and Season 2 should include more complications to the gang. Will’s newfound infection might break up the group, or Eleven’s return could fracture the Mike-Lucas bond again. Or perhaps, the boys start to simply grow apart as they head toward high school… until they join back together to fight off the evil forces at play.