Major spoilers for Stranger Things 2 ahead. Proceed with caution.
The Season 2 finale of Stranger Things actually felt surprisingly happy. Eleven is able to close the gate to the Upside Down and our favourite Hawkins’ kids are finally able to go to the Snow Ball. Between Max and Lucas’ first kiss, Eleven and Mike sharing a second kiss, and Steve driving Dustin to the dance and giving him the ultimate hair/girl advice, the last fifteen minutes were not only upbeat, but heartwarming! But The Duffer Brothers have more trouble planned and they wanted us to know. Things aren’t as good as they seem, and evil is lurking where they can’t see. This is not the last we’ve seen of the Mind Flayer.
I’ll Be Watching You
The song choice for the final scene was perfect. On one hand, yes, it’s a good song and can be sweet. But it’s also very haunting. Just look at the lyrics.
Every breath you take / Every move you make
Every bond you break / Every step you take
I’ll be watching you
Yeah, no thanks.
And so while the gang enjoys themselves at the dance, the camera pans outside of Hawkins Middle School. And slowly, the camera starts tilting, transporting us to the Upside Down. There the school stands, looking as dark and creepy as ever. And looming right above the school? The Mind Flayer, wrapping its tendrils around the building.
YEAH, NO THANKS.
The Gate Is Closed, But The Monster Is Undefeated
This short scene served not only as a cliffhanger/teaser into Season 3, but as an important reminder. Things may seem alright in Hawkins, and for the time being, they are. But the Upside Down still exists, and it’s only a thin veil away. Eleven may have closed the gate, but all the monsters, including the Mind Flayer, are still very much alive. And let’s face it: if Eleven can open the gate, chances are the Mind Flayer can easily do the same.
The Mind Flayer Will Be Their Biggest Adversary
You just need to look at this thing to know that it will not be easy to beat. This was actually the only thing I was worried about going into Season 2. How do you beat that in one season? But having watched it and knowing that it’s far from gone, it’s logical to assume that the Mind Flayer will not only be Hawkins’ biggest enemy, but their last.
Have you ever watched a show where the villain is absolutely amazing? But when they bring in a new villain the next season, they just don’t compare? The stakes don’t seem as high because they already defeated the ultimate villain. By extension, they can defeat anything. The Mind Flayer seems to be their ultimate villain, which means that it’s likely the Duffer Brothers plan for it to be the last one. And I’m more than okay with this. The Mind Flayer is ridiculously creepy and overwhelmingly powerful. No one has even an inkling of how to beat it which, again, raises the stakes.
Season 1’s monster was the demogorgon. But it was only scratching the surface. Now that we’ve met the Mind Flayer, we’re getting a closer glimpse into the Upside Down but also where the writers intend on taking this show. Stranger Things isn’t just about saving Hawkins. It’s about saving and protecting the world from what they don’t even know is there. And I, for one, can’t get enough of it.
Season 2 of Stranger Things is currently streaming on Netflix.