Here’s Who The Next Monster That Terrorizes Hawkins And Its Resident Heroes Should Be
So Stranger Things Season 2 is now in the books. First of all, if you haven’t finished the second season of Stranger Things yet, how come? Seriously, it’s been over two weeks already. Get on that. But be warned, here be spoilers so if you haven’t completed Season Two yet, go watch some cat videos.
With the recent news that Netflix has given the Duffer brothers a green light to begin seasons three and four (with the fourth season looking like it will wrap up the story of Hawkins and its inhabitants), I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to pitch them on who I thought the next season’s big bad should be. Or rather, who they should be.
Season Two revealed that Hawkins had attracted the interest of a powerful, extra-dimensional shadow beast which the gang dubbed the Mind-Flayer. The Mind-Flayer was a dimension travelling being of immense power attracted by the breach between worlds that the government had opened in Season One (and everyone thought had been closed).The Flayer had little interest in the beings that lived on the planet and was only truly interested in spreading its unknowable will across as many dimensions as possible. It was an indifferent god that conquered by psychically enslaving entire planets, a god so powerful that such a massive feat of power was essentially an effortless exercise.
So Earth was just another object to be added to a cosmic collection while everything on it seemed beneath the Flayer’s conscious attention. Until now.
The final scene of Season Two implied that the Mind Flayer had not only taken a keen interest in the sleepy little American berg of Hawkins, but was now also more than a little pissed off as well. It might, in fact, be downright vengeful.
Season Two revealed two other things as well; that the Mind Flayer can possess and work through inhabitants of other worlds (like it did with Will Byers) and that there are other children like 11, possessing incredible psychokinetic powers as a result of the experiments they were subjected to. Not only are they all out there waiting to be found, but 11 likely turned the one she encountered in Chicago (the vengeance seeking anarchist 8) into a very dangerous enemy.
When we last saw 8 (or Colleen), she and her gang were being pursued by a small army of very determined Chicago police while 11 fled back to Hawkins. There’s a very good chance things didn’t end well for 8 and her gang and if most of 8’s gang were captured or killed, she would have no reason to stay in the Windy City (outside of a few easily resolved personal vendettas). But she could have all sorts of reasons to follow 11 to Hawkins, especially if she blames 11 for the fate of her gang.
Wouldn’t a powerful, hate filled telepath thirsty for violent revenge make an attractive partner for a near omnipotent extra dimensional god looking for some payback against the same people? Or more importantly, wouldn’t said telepath make a willing and useful pawn for such an entity?
Will was able to resist the Mind-Flayer enough to communicate with his friends while possessed, but he was a reluctant host who likely fought the Flayer as much as he could at every turn. But 8 could be a very willing, very obedient host.
A nice little twist could be that, upon learning of the Upside Down and the Mind-Flayer’s existence, 8 uses her powers to tear a sliver between the two worlds, just big enough to let the Flayer inject part of itself into her.
And imagine how much the Mind-Flayer’s presence, even a tiny fraction of it, could ramp up her already considerable powers. She could easily surpass 11 in pure, raw might, forcing everyone’s favourite telekinetic to push herself beyond her boundaries and still come up short.
8 would essentially become an Avatar for the Mind-Flayer, and a powerful scene could be 8’s realization of both the Flayer’s true power and its intentions just as it drives her mind or soul or whatever makes her her out of her own body. Imagine 11 witnessing 8’s final moments, watching as her sister’s eyes widen in knowing terror just as she is extinguished. And then imagine 11 left facing a virtual anti-God wearing her sister’s tattered skin like a costume or a cheap coat. If that isn’t powerful genre television, I don’t know what is.
And if that is the case, would 11 and her fellow Hawkins Avengers have to ferret out the other super survivors of the government’s nefarious experiments as much needed allies in the fight against the Mind-Flayer? It would be like recruiting a team of X-Men to fight a corrupted Jean Grey and the Dark Phoenix Force. Given that Stranger Things is essentially a love letter to the geekdom of the 80’s, that’s an idea that would fit nicely into the spirit of the show.
It would also be a perfect opportunity to bring Dr. Brenner (Mathew Modine) back, quite likely as an ally to 8 and her otherworldly master (he’s essentially a mad scientist and there’s no way that he sides with the good guys). That would not only offer 11 closure on that troubled chapter of her life, but it would also give her the chance to put him down like a dog in the context of the larger battle. Or maybe Hopp, as 11’s new father, could put a well deserved bullet through the good doctor’s brain (a development I wouldn’t be opposed to either).
There’s easily two seasons worth of content in that idea. Season Three could be about 8 tracking 11 to Hawkins, discovering the Upside Down and the Mind-Flayer, striking her ill-fated partnership with the dark god. Season Four could be about establishing the Mind Flayer’s superior power and 11 recruiting an army to defend Hawkins and the Earth, capping it all off with a jaw dropping battle between the forces of good and evil that wraps up the whole show with a nice little bow.
One other thing we should see is Will becoming an important piece of the battle. The poor kid spent the majority of the first season running and hiding from a nightmarish monster in the Upside Down and he pretty much spent all of Season Two being violated and possessed by an alien powerful beyond human understanding. In the final two seasons he should discover some sort of advantage (a residual link to the Mind-Flayer perhaps?) that he uses to become a total, day saving badass.
Oh, and Billy needs an ass kicking. Like a serious one.
Consider it an early Christmas present Duffer brothers. I’ll expect my cheque in the mail.