While most people woke up dreaming of Tom Brady’s epic Super Bowl comeback, we woke up pondering what the heck we saw in the first footage from Stranger Things’ second season.
Netflix spent a pretty penny to showcase the hit show during the game and, in just under 30 seconds, left us with a lot to discuss before the show comes back on Halloween.
The footage starts with an actual Eggo commercial featuring Wonder Years and Monster Squad star Jason Hervey. Nothing crazy here except, of course, one character’s affinity for Eggos.
The commercial is intercut with a few quick images. One is of a spinning arcade sign, possibly a location in the upcoming season. Given the show’s love of ‘80s homages, we’re expecting a Tron reference or two.
And the other is of these weird lights. They’re presumably here for a reason because they’re obviously not from the commercial. Anyway, between these and shots of waffles and syrup we hear Mike scream “Eleven!” Odd lights in the darkness are usually reminiscent of aliens, although of course Stranger Things links them to the Upside Down, since people there can affect those in the real world.
As expected, Millie Bobby Brown is back as the popular character who disappeared after defeating the Demogorgon. Her being upside down is either indicative of her actually being in the Upside Down in this shot, or it’s a fun cinematic allusion to her time there. Also, maybe she was dreaming of Eggos and some other subliminal images before being woken up by Mike’s voice, or perhaps a memory of Mike’s voice.
We see three of the four main boys riding their bikes down the street. They seem to be going incredibly fast and wearing matching outfits, two mysteries which are actually solved a few seconds later.
Jim Hopper is touching a wall and something explodes, forcing him away from the wall with a ton of debris. We’re guessing this is Will and Joyce’s house, but can’t be sure. He is, however, in his police outfit so he’s on duty, and clearly didn’t leave the police force to work for the Laboratory.
Mike, Dustin, and Lucas were biking to school dressed up like the Ghostbusters, but it doesn’t look like any of the other students are wearing costumes. Meanwhile, Dustin is worried about something and turns around to look at it. Whatever he sees, he is not happy.
Hopper is digging something at night, which is never good. Nor does he seem happy to be doing it.
This is certainly the most mysterious shot in the footage, and that’s saying something. Is it one person? It seems much too wide for one. Two people? Then they’d be standing too close. There’s some kind of optical illusion here, thanks to whatever’s separating the two halves of the image. Likely some kind of door. The end of the welding device that also looks a bit like an electric cattle prod. We assume this scientific, yellow-lit, high-tech location has something to do with Dr. Brenner and/or the Laboratory.
If you remember the end of season one, although Will was rescued from the Upside Down, something was wrong with him. He doesn’t seem to have gotten better, as his mom Joyce has brought him in for some tests. The significant fact here is the date; it’s the day before Halloween, 1984. The first season was in November of 1983 so we know about a year has passed between seasons. This is likely why Will isn’t with his friends at school in the above shot, and why the kids were dressed up.
The camera pulls back from the shot of Will to reveal his room is under surveillance, and it’s not alone. It doesn’t look like much is going on with the other monitors at this very moment. However, that top-right monitor shows a rock with a hole in it, which looks an awful lot like a portal to the Upside Down.
I’m not sure who this is. It’s probably Mike, but he looks like he needs a haircut. So maybe it’s Will. Either way, he also looks pretty distraught, which isn’t good.
Next there’s a desk, on which is a drawing of a giant, spider-like creature looming over a field. Next to it is a harmonica, a baseball in a homemade ashtray, a small trophy, and god knows what the thing in the jar on the top-left is. Based on the next few shots, we’re going to guess it’s Will’s drawing. And it’s also likely why Will was taken in for tests—he’s seeing things. Bad things.
Will is up in the middle of the night, looking at his door. Is he dreaming? Is this real life? Is he in the Upside Down? Somewhere else? Either way, the door opens and a scary red light begins to creep into the room. This is a classic Duffer Brothers homage to Close Encounters of the Third Kind, of course.
Outside the window is whatever terrifying creature Will was drawing, almost exactly—that huge, spider-like creature towering over the town. It looks like a creature from the end of The Mist. Lightning crashes and we get the title, which comes to Netflix on Halloween. Coincidence? We think not.