At the end of Stranger Things 2, the citizens of the small Indiana town at the center of the series think everything is back to normal when indeed, it’s not.

The walls of the Upside Down were weakened by the demogorgon and the demodogs in order to hunt and stay fed. The larger gate that was closed by Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) was obviously created to let something quite bigger through the realms, the mind flayer. If this shadow beast had a few more days with the gate open, it would’ve started it’s annihilation of our world.

Since the gate is now closed, that’s not likely, but the final scene of the Season 2 finale shows the mind flayer hovering over the alternate version of Hawkins Middle School, proving that it has not given up. This raises the question of how will it plan its next attack with the gate closed when the only one who can open it is Eleven.

Matt Duffer, writer and producer for Stranger Things, notes that puberty will factor into Season 3. “Even if we didn’t want to deal with it, we have to deal with it because our real-life actors are going through it,” he said. “I think that’s exciting because it forces the show to evolve and become something different every year. It’s going to test their friendships. Obviously, like Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Max (Sadie Sink) are together, but really, when you’re that age, how long do relationships last? They usually last about two weeks if you’re lucky. I think that’s going to be fun to explore.”

There’s also the possibility that the older kids are going to get a taste of adult life in Season 3. In one episode of Season 2, Steve (Joe Keery) works with Nancy (Natalia Dyer) on his college essay. As for the young kids, a new generation of kid warriors may be in the works. Erica Sinclair (Priah Ferguson) was seen in many Season 2scenes teasing her older brother, Lucas, raising speculation that she could become a bigger part of the plot in Season 3.

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