4 Mysteries 'Stranger Things' Needs To Explain Before It's Over
Stranger Things is full of mysteries that may never be solved, like "How did a small town in the '80s get such a bitchin' mall?" or "Why do these 15-year-olds suddenly look 20 in the new season?" But there are other mysteries that can and should be solved before the series is over, such as ...
How Did The Russians Get A "Demogorgon"?
Much of Stranger Things season three revolved around an elaborate Russian government plan to open a portal into another dimension, presumably in an effort to prevent an interdimensional portal gap between America and the USSR. Of course, thanks to a bunch of meddling kids, the plan goes spectacularly awry -- but then, in the very last scene of the season, we find out that Russians already have one of the flower-headed monsters who live in that other dimension and feed it with prison inmates.
How did they get it? Opening portals between dimensions isn't easy, as demonstrated by the scene where the Russians try to do it on their own land, and it literally blows up in their faces. It could be one of the "Demodogs" from season two, which somehow survived and kept growing, except that its skin appears to be much paler. Maybe the Russians just washed it for the first time in its life, and that's how they earned its loyalty? Although our experience with pets suggests the opposite would happen.
Hey, what if the Russians stole that dead Demodog that the kids stuffed in a fridge in season two and apparently forgot about, then cloned this one from that?
But the real question here is: If the Russians have a Demodog and portal-opening technology (successful or otherwise), does that mean they've also been experimenting with people? We wouldn't be surprised if that "human Terminator" they sent after Hopper and Joyce in season three wasn't 100% human after all -- maybe there's a whole army of semi-unkillable badasses like him. And speaking of human lab rats ...
Are There Any Other Surviving "Numbers"?
You can't name a character "Eleven" and expect us not to wonder about 1-10 and 12-who knows. Yes, the official Stranger Things comics go into more details about the current whereabouts of some of the other kids who were being experimented on at Hawkins Lab, but as usual, these things are only "official" until the show's writers come up with something that contradicts them. Hell, the first eight minutes of season four already include some stuff that seems to banish most of the comics into the realm of fan fiction (a dimension a lot more frightening and godforsaken than the Upside Down).
On the other hand, we know from season two that there's at least one other former test subject out there: Kali/Eight, who has the power to create hallucinations (which probably explains why she looks so well-groomed despite living on the street). Interestingly, one of the novels mentions that Kali was kidnapped from London. Is Hawkins Lab an international operation? Are there more labs out there with their own numbered kids who inevitably break out and befriend a group of adorable middle school dorks? What if every kid we see in the background of this show either has powers or is friends with another kid who does?
While we're at it, why exactly did Eleven lose her powers in season three? Everything we know about science-fiction tells us that being bitten by a monster from another dimension should give you more powers, not take them away. Is it psychological? Will Eleven's powers return at a decisive moment and save the day? Or is season four just 10 hours of her being mercilessly bullied at school and taking it out via terrible poetry instead of mind powers?
Okay, let's be honest: We all know they're probably coming back once Eleven gets upset enough. Like maybe after learning that ...
Will Eleven Find Out That Hopper Sold Her Out In Season One?
The last time we saw "Papa" Brenner, the unscrupulous scientist who kidnapped Eleven as a baby and fried her mom's brain, karma had just hit him pretty squarely in the face in the shape of a big, man-eating monster from another dimension.
Brenner was presumed dead until a former employee of his claimed he was still alive in season two, so we're guessing his return in season four won't be limited to that one flashback sequence in the preview. How did Brenner survive the Demogorgon attack? What's he been up to since season one? Is he the one who told the Russians about the Upside Down? And more importantly, if the show was gonna bring back a dead character, why would it be this jackass and not Barb?!
Anyway, as for what Brenner's role in season four could be, how about finally telling Eleven that her other adoptive father, the one who actually loves her, once sold her out? In the last episode of season one, Hopper gives up Eleven's location to Brenner in exchange for letting him and Joyce go into the Upside Down to save Joyce's son. Granted, this was before Hopper even got to know Eleven well, but selling out your future adoptive daughter to the guy who tortured her for years is still a pretty big deal. Especially if Brenner happens to have security footage of the moment when Hopper calls her "a science experiment."
There's also a chance that Brenner was taken into the Upside Down by that Demogorgon and changed, gaining powers of his own. Maybe he's the humanoid monster seen in the trailers for season four, having merged with the "Mind Flayer" more successfully than Billy? Which reminds us ...
What The Hell (No Pun Intended) Is The Upside Down, Anyway?
So far, the closest things we've gotten to an explanation for the Upside Down are a flipped over RPG board ...
And a punctured paper plate.
Listen, we don't need to know everything about that other dimension, but it would be neat to know more than just "It's all dark and evil." What is the "Mind Flayer" entity that seems to dominate that place, other than some blatant Dungeons & Dragons copyright infringement? Is it some elder god vanished from our reality in times immemorial? Some sort of alien entity? A symbiote like Venom but significantly thiccer? Does it have a motivation beyond killing as many teenagers as possible? Why does it want to come into our world so badly? Is its ultimate plan to possess every trashy '80s lifeguard and pool boy across America and merge their mullets into one massive being?
So there are our questions, Netflix. Hopefully, you'll address most of them ... but maybe not all, because then this might become Normal, Totally Explicable Things, and where's the fun in that?
Top image: Netflix