It's time to grab your twinkle lights and your Eggo Waffles, because Season 2 of Stranger Things is premiering Oct. 27. Your favorite distressed mom, bike-riding pre-pubescents are back and better than ever... except for Will, who seems a little worse for the wear. The Season 2 trailer reveals that a lot of this season will focus on how Will copes with returning from the Upside Down. But exactly what is wrong with Will in Stranger Things Season 2?
To refresh your memory (like you haven't been rewatching the first season in preparation) Will (Noah Schnapp) was the kid who spent most of last season stuck in the bleak and terrifying parallel universe of the Upside Down. When he was eventually rescued by his mother Joyce (a frantic Winona Ryder) and Sheriff Hopper (David Harbour), it looked like all might be well finally for Will and his family. But in the final episode, Will left the dinner table to cough up something in the bathroom... and what came out was more than a little unsettling.
It looked like it might be a slimy black slug, or a tentacle of some kind: definitely not your typical pre-cold phlegm. This was something Will got from the Upside Down for sure. And moments after he hacked up this goop, the bathroom briefly turned into the Upside Down version of his home, terrifying Will, until it all flipped back to normal. This cliffhanger signaled to fans that even though Will is back in the regular world (the Rightside Up, if you will), some part of the Upside Down still maintains a grasp on him.
Based on the trailer, it looks as though Will's connection to the Upside Down will be a major plot point of this coming season. And maybe part of the reason is that the kid is traumatized. After all, you don't spend a significant amount of time in an evil and deadly world without suffering some sort of trauma. Maybe the visions he has of the Upside Down are more like flashbacks, a natural reaction to the terror he must have faced. It's only normal that it would take Will some time to adjust to life in the real world.
But the end of Season 1, as well as the Season 2 trailer, suggests that it's more than that. That black goo seems to indicate that the Upside Down has some sort of physical grip on Will, and from the trailer it almost seems like Will is possessed by the Demogorgon, the monster who inhabits the Upside Down. Scenes in the trailer depict Will scribbling out pictures maniacally, as if being overtaken by some otherworldly force, and communicating the needs and desires of the Demogorgon itself.
Teasers from one of the show's co-creators, Ross Duffer, revealed that this possession theory might actually be the case. In an interview with Us Weekly, Duffer shared:
"Will Byers, who was sort of trapped in the Upside Down for most of season 1, now has a much more sinful role, which we’re really excited about."
Hmm. A "sinful role" does seem to suggest that Will is either being possessed by the evil forces of the Demogorgon, or he's become evil himself. But it would seem out of character for Will to suddenly turn against everyone he loves, so if he does, it will be because of the influence of the Upside Down. In one scene pictured in the trailer, he cries to his mom about feeling some kind of presence with him. In another, he's latched up to electrodes, and seems as if he is undergoing some tests to figure out what's going on. It definitely looks as though whatever is happening with Will is out of his control.
But maybe, just maybe, this curse can actually be helpful to Will and his friends. In a second trailer for Season 2, Mike asserts, "if anyone knows how to destroy this thing, it's Will." This could be setting us up for a Harry Potter-esque twist, where the imprint left upon Will by the Demogorgon links them together, but also enables Will to destroy the monster that is tormenting the residents of Hawkins. I think that in the end, Will might be able to triumph. And who knows? Maybe he'll even save Barb.