======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ==== ======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ====
If you’ve already finished Stranger Things Season 2, listen to “Touching Things,” a breakdown of the entire season packed into one episode.
October is my absolute favorite month of the year. It’s my birthday month, the month of Halloween (also known as the best holiday of the year), and the beginning of the best season of the year (don’t @ me with fake news about Christmas and spring being better). But this October, Netflix has given me another reason to wish that the month was 32 days long – Stranger Things Season 2.
That’s right, folks, the breakout hit show of last year, combining classic horror and sci-fi plotlines, nerdy pastimes like Dungeons and Dragons, and mixed into a retro vibe of the 1980s setting, is back. This show is just so fucking good. If you haven’t seen it, I would highly recommend you knock out all eight episodes of Season 1 (which is likely going to be somewhat spoiled in this article, so if you haven’t seen the first season and want to go in fresh, stop reading and go on Netflix this literal second). Trust me, it’s worth watching. It’s every Stephen King novel meets Goonies meets E.T. meets Jurassic Park in the best way. The second season is scheduled to drop on Friday, which gives us all juuuuuuuust enough time to marathon the whole thing before Season 2 drops. But I, the eager beaver I am, tried to start my rewatch this past weekend and promptly finished the whole thing in one day. So yeah, I’m hyped.
Season 2 is set one year after the events of Season 1, bringing back all our favorite characters as they must fight new foes (presumably) from the Upside Down and Hawkins Laboratory. Rumors have it that we might even get to find out who the first ten are, and we’re getting a literal Goonies connection with Sean Astin (aka Mikey) joining the cast. From the previews, it looks like the dangers and mysteries will be even more intense than last year. Given the risk that some of our favorites might be in jeopardy, here are my betting odds for each major character from last season making it through Season 2 alive.
Okay, let’s get this one out of the way first, Ele isn’t going anywhere. This is the girl, the queen, the best, our great young hope, back and with a full head of hair this time. In addition to just being a goddamn treasure, Ele is the true link to Hawkins and the Upside Down for the main gang, and brings the badass psychic powers they’re going to need to defeat the Demogorgon. There is no chance that they would kill off Ele *looks directly at the Duffer brothers* you wouldn’t do that. Don’t. Don’t. Our screams of despair will knock you back with the force of a thousand hurricanes.
I’m hesitant to just flat out say 100% she lives just because there’s always the chance that Millie Bobbie Brown decides that Netflix isn’t keeping her in enough furs or needs to lay low due to Taylor Swift constantly hounding her to be in the Swift Squad (stop calling Tay, Eleven plays second-fiddle to no one) and they need to write Eleven out of the show. Otherwise, there’s little chance Ele is in danger, so get the girl some more goddamn Eggos!
Odds of Surviving: 99.9999999%
Ele isn’t technically the protagonist of this story, that would be Mike the “leader” of this little gang of misfits. Mike is really only a leader because 1) his parents let his friends play D&D in the basement and 2) Ele trusts him the most. Mike is a massive wet-blanket and worrier (but with that quintessential kid optimism) so it pains me that he sucks so much given that he reminds me of a young Josh. If he wasn’t the main character and “leader,” his odds would be terrible, but given that Eleven has his back it’s safe to bet that Mike is going to be fine. After all, we need to get to the kids to the weird high-school phase where he’ll be perpetually friend zoned by Ele.
Odds of Surviving: 95%
It’s a cop-out to have these two listed together, but honestly, these guys are both equally as strong and integral to the story. They’re both definitely stronger characters than Mike, with Dustin being the inventive and clever one and Lucas being more fearless and decisive, but they’re just not as close to Ele as he is. Dustin probably could be a little higher, given that Lucas dared to cross Eleven last season and promptly got his ass handed to him, but they’ve since made up so I won’t hold it against him. I think the show could dial up the real levels by knocking one of these kids off, but I cannot possibly speculate which of them it could be. So, I think the odds we lose either is incredibly low. Killing both off seems improbable. But, gun to my head, if I had to give the edge to one as having slightly better odds, I’d go with Dustin. The lisp is just too endearing to lose.
Odds of Surviving: 87%
Will Byers’s mom, played by Wynona Ryder in a McConaughey-in-True Detective-like performance to remind you “oh shit she’s actually a good actor,” was great in Season 1. She teetered on the edge of a mental breakdown after her son’s disappearance, refusing to accept the more logical but ultimately wrong story everyone was telling her. She was eventually vindicated after a trip with Hopper to the Upside Down, finding her boy and bringing him home, so it might feel like her part to the story is winding down. However, the last scene from the season 1 finale and trailers for the new season show that Will definitely hasn’t left the Upside Down unscathed. Those repercussions are sure to cause more hysterical rants from Joyce, and I’m all for it.
Odds of Surviving: 80%
I didn’t really think much of Mike’s older sister Nancy when I first watched the show. She was the typical nagging older sister, constantly up in Mike’s shit and needing to be rescued from a tree portal into the Upside Down (seriously, what else do I need to do to sell this show to you people?). On my rewatch this past weekend, I’m now of the opinion that Nancy might be one of the best and complex characters in the series (not named Eleven).
After her friend Barb vanishes to the Upside Down, Nancy becomes a much more active character as he and Jonathan Byers endeavor to hunt down the monster that took her friend. She goes from head-in-the-clouds teenager to a driven and determined character, who also has a lot of moments of levity in the back half of the first season in conversations with her brother and Jonathan. I’m also very excited to see how maybe love triangle plays out between her, Jonathan, and Steve, given they ended last season on decent terms. Someone with this much meat not having directly to do with the mythos of the main plot is unlikely to be going anywhere soon.
Odds of Surviving: 75%
Another point on the maybe love triangle, Jonathan is the older brother of Will who spent the first season obsessing over finding the vanished child. He also had the challenging task of keeping his mother from going over the edge and losing all her marbles. Jonathan definitely gives off an awkward and creepy vibe (taking those photos of Nancy changing was weird AF), but he and Nancy are ultimately the two who get the stones to team up and take down the monster from the Upside Down. I think Jonathan is likely safe, but he took a lot of risks in that first season and is very selfless. Both those qualities will eventually catch up to him.
Odds of Surviving: 63%
This is one most will be surprised to see this low, given that he was so central to the main plot last season with his obsession over finding Will and exposing the government cover-up. Hopper may still have a central role this season, but he also has an air of a guy who’s run his course. He solved the mystery of Will and came to terms with the death of his daughter; is there anything else for him to do? All I know is that those crazy conspiracy-theory cop skills might have been great for a missing child case, but a drunk, pill-addicted, chainsmoker is going to have a rough time outlasting the Demogorgon. Let’s also not forget, he’s the one who gave up Eleven to the feds in order to get Will back. Anyone who would dare betray our girl Ele should sleep with one eye open.
Odds of Surviving: 54%
Nancy’s boyfriend, he alternated between complete douche and charming, kind-hearted soul for most of the first season. He got to the world of Upside Down monsters pretty late but held his own in smacking the faceless fiend with that bat with nails in it (after attempting to run away like a scared little bitch). Steve probably still has a lot more going on this season, with dating Nancy and liking/hating Jonathan, but if one member of that triangle is dying this season the smart money is on the likely father of Jean Ralphio Saperstein.
Odds of Surviving: 45%
A bit overlooked by more casual Stranger Things fans, Mr. Clarke was actually fairly integral in Season 1, helping the boys with all their science queries about Ele’s telekinesis, how to reach alternate dimensions, and how to create a sensory deprivation tank. I’m sure we’re going to need his science knowledge going forward, but I could also see this exposition character getting caught in the crossfire.
Odds of Surviving: 40%
The boy who vanished. Will returned home to a group of friends who had a crazy adventure without him, forming stronger bonds of friendship. Much like Doug from The Hangover, we get the whole gang together and realize we were better off with just the trio. He’s basically a poor man’s Mike who never met Eleven so that automatically makes him the most expendable kid of the group. The trailer for Season 2 makes it seem like Will is going to be the key to stopping whatever comes out of the Upside Down, but I’m willing to bet that’s before Ele makes her triumphant return. Can’t you just see it now?
“Hey guys, I’ve figured it out! All we have to do to kill the Demagorg–”
“Shut up Will, Ele already took care of it!”
“Go back in your cage, freakazoid!”
Will is going to the dark side. He’s going to become the Demogorgon. Take it to the bank.
Odds of Surviving: 30%
Tommy/Carol/Lonnie/Any Other Parents/the Two Dumbass Cops/Any Hawkins Employee or Government Agent
These people are barely interesting enough for me to remember their names. They’re all basically cannon fodder for the creatures from the Upside Down. Across the board, don’t be shocked when those people drop.
Odds of Surviving: 15% .
Images via YouTube