If there was one major question left at the end of Stranger Things, it would be this: What is happening to Will Byers? While the Season 1 finale left a lot of cliffhangers, it was Will's fate that left many of us scratching our heads the most. To be fair, he's the one character fans had spent the smallest amount of time with; to characterize him as "enigmatic" at this point would be just the tip of the iceberg. So, when it comes to figuring out his Season 2 trajectory, it may come as no surprise that, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Noah Schnapp (who plays Will) revealed he's already rooting for him to go darker. "If he's coughing up these baby Demogorgons, or eggs, or something, maybe he's incubating or holding these eggs inside of him and he's trying to fight his good side against his bad side in the next season. That would be cool to see, to see him become evil," Schnapp said. Cool, indeed, Mr. Schnapp. Cool indeed.
But, does Will going to the dark side (or is it the Upside Down side?) even make sense? Well, actually, I've been mentally preparing for Will to get completely sinister during Season 2. It makes complete sense. I can't reconcile the idea that, after spending more than 24 hours in the Upside Down — a place no other character was able to explore for more than a few hours without either getting killed or freaked out — Will somehow emerged unscathed? Think again.
Schnapp noted in the same Hollywood Reporter interview that Will's moments in the finale were ominous. After noting that his character is definitely "the heart" of the group, he said, "...Will's mind is going crazy right now... He's seen this crazy monster. He's been in another dimension. He's seen this other world. He's probably thinking: 'What is happening with me?' When he comes back, I think he's trying to fit in and act normal. But he's trying to hide what's actually happening to him." I contend that with this line of thinking from Schnapp, there's no logical way Will could be anything but evil come Season 2. Things don't add up to this kid somehow shaking the hold of the Upside Down so quickly. Vomiting slugs and then acting as if everything is alright around your loved ones is not normal behavior. Even if Will is trying to spare everyone's feelings, the fact that he has an impulse to even withhold this kind of information is foreboding.
If anything, Will becoming a baddie — or, at least, a very sinister obstacle would be a great emotional battle between him and the boys. Think about it: after all that Mike, Caleb, and Dustin went through to find and save Will — and with Eleven ostensibly gone, unable to help them — the mere idea of them have to battle their bestie and defeat him is intense. It would be a gut-wrenching conflict to watch and would leave each of the boys forever changed. Considering that the boys are living in a Stephen King-esque world, this kind of emotional transformation through supernatural struggle seems quite apropos.
No matter how Season 2 shakes out, I am growing quite fond of the idea of Evil Will. It would definitely keep things spicy and goodness knows that if Eleven is going to stay MIA, we need someone to keep our attention. It may as well be Will Byers.
Image: Netflix; Giphy