More "80s than John Hughes solving a Rubik"s Cube in a leisure suit, Netflix’s Stranger Things was the surprise TV sensation of 2016, with Eleven, the Upside Down, the Demogorgon and, yes, Steve Harrington’s hair all becoming iconic overnight.

A second season dropped in October 2017, continuing the adventures of Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), Will (Noah Schnapp) and the mysterious Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), along with puzzled grown ups Joyce (Winona Ryder) & Hopper (David Harbour).

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An awful lot happened – and we got to lớn meet new characters Max and her brother Billy too – so read on for everything you missed in season two of the Netflix smash hit.


Stranger Things season 2 recap

The second season begins in October 1984, as we see a teenage girl with psychic powers và the number 008 tattooed on her arm rob a bank in Pittsburgh.

Meanwhile, over in Hawkins, the boys meet new girl Max (Sadie Sink) at school.

Her arrival isn’t the only change in Hawkins. Joyce is dating her former school classmate Bob (Sean Astin), while her son Will has been experiencing visions of the Upside Down & a shadowy monster.

Joyce & Hopper take him khổng lồ see the Hawkins’ lab’s new director, Dr Owens (Paul Reiser), who is regularly studying Will when he isn’t worrying that the gate in the lab’s basement seems lớn be getting bigger (ruh-roh!).

Nancy and Steve, meanwhile, visit Barb’s parents – who still believe she is missing – và discover they have hired local conspiracy theorist Murray Bauman (Brett Gelman) lớn find her.

Murray has suspicions that Eleven, who has disappeared, is a Russian spy, but has no idea that Eleven is very close by – while her friends think she is trapped in the Upside Down, she has actually escaped và is secretly living in a cabin in the woods with Hopper, who found her.

While he continues to lớn keep her hidden, much khổng lồ Eleven’s frustration, Hopper investigates a substance in fields where pumpkins are rotting & confronts Owens about it.

It’s not the only strange thing in town – on Hallowe’en Dustin discovers a strange little creature outside his home and brings it indoors, naming it D’Artagnan (‘Dart’ for short).

Will – who of all people should know – is convinced that Dart is from the Upside Down as the creature makes similar noises to those Will hears in his hallucinations. But Dustin thinks Dart is cute.

When Will has another episode, he tries khổng lồ confront the quái vật in his vision – taking on some well-meaning but dangerous advice from Bob about facing your fears – but it possesses him instead. As he awakens, he begins scribbling madly, and Hopper recognises that Will is drawing pictures of vines and heads off into the fields to investigate.

Nancy and Jonathan, meanwhile, are attempting to liên hệ Barb’s mother khổng lồ tell her the truth about what happened khổng lồ her daughter, but they are intercepted & taken to lớn the lab, where Owens explains that Barb died in the Upside Down, and he wants to lớn keep the place a secret from the world. (That may not happen, however, as Nancy records their conversation so she can play it to Murray).

More secrets are revealed – Hopper realises Eleven has been sneaking out of the cabin, and she discovers he has been researching her birth mother, Terry – while poor Justin finds that cuddly Dart has eaten his pet cat và is, in fact, a baby Demogorgon.


Hopper, investigating the pumpkin fields, digs & discovers a tunnel (the vines of Will’s drawings) that appears to lead lớn the Upside Down. He becomes trapped and passes out, but Will has a vision of Hopper that leads Joy, Bob, Will and Mike to lớn find him, only for the scientists lớn arrive and set the tunnels on fire.

This causes Will khổng lồ collapse in agony, và Owens realises the shadow boss khủng is a virus that has spread to lớn Will’s brain và is controlling him – he believes the creatures in the Upside Down tóm tắt a hive mind which would explain why damaging the tunnels was so dangerous for Will.

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While all this is going on, Nancy & Jonathan have shared Owen’s confession with Murray, and the trio go on to send a watered down version to lớn newspapers around the country. Lucas and Max – who have been spending time together when Max’s stepbrother Billy doesn’t get in the way – team up with Dustin and Steve & attempt to lớn lure Dart to lớn a junkyard, only for the creature lớn turn up with a pack of gruesome friends. The monsters run away, however, & attack Owen’s team on their way to lớn the lab.

It’s at this point – when Will is being manipulated by the Upside Down but his friends are unaware, when creatures are attacking the lab & everyone we care about is in danger – that Stranger Things gives us the now-notorious ‘bottle’ episode, ‘The Lost Sister.’ (A bottle episode being one of those stand-alone episodes that takes you away from the normal narrative khổng lồ focus on one or a very few characters, which in this case was a very, very bad idea as it brings everything lớn a screeching halt.)

Related: Stranger Things season 2 almost didn"t happen – và here"s why

Yes, just as the tension in Hawkins was getting almost too much to bear, we get a whole episode of Eleven running around Chicago, where she finds Kali, a girl from her mother’s memories who was also experimented on by Brenner (the same girl we briefly saw in episode one of this season).

Eleven joins up with Kali’s ‘gang’, gets a punk makeover, nearly kills someone we don’t care about, & then has a vision of Mike and Hopper in trouble at the lab, so by the end of the episode she heads back (presumably with some heavy đen eyeliner borrowed from Kali in her bag).

About time, too, as most of the scientists at the lab have been turned into quái dị munchies. Mike realises that Will is unwittingly being used as a spy for the creature, so convinces Joy that her son needs khổng lồ be sedated so the creatures can’t track them.

Mike, Joyce, Bob, Hopper & Owens take Will to the security room, but when the nguồn goes down, Bob volunteers lớn go và reset the system, giving the others time to lớn escape. Unfortunately, while the others get away, Bob – poor, sweet, selfless Bob – is trapped và eaten by the creatures in front of an understandably distressed Joyce.

Nancy, Steve, Jonathan, Dustin, Lucas và Max arrive, và the battle-weary group escape và return to the Byers’ house. Dustin compares the shadow quái thú to the Mind Flayer from Dungeons & Dragons, & the group decide that killing it will kill all the creatures mentally connected lớn it – including Will.

Using Morse Code, they tương tác Will without the creature knowing, & he instructs them khổng lồ close the gate lớn the Upside Down. The Mind Flayer’s creatures close in on our heroes, but then Eleven walks in, having killed the others that were on their way.

In a grand finale, it’s now up khổng lồ the group to find a way khổng lồ kill the Mind Flayer & its minions without harming Will. Hopper and Eleven go to the lab to close the portal, while Jonathan, Nancy & Joyce attempt to rid Will of the Upside Down virus. The others, meanwhile, head khổng lồ the tunnels, lớn lure the monsters away from the portal while Eleven does her thing.

Eleven manages khổng lồ close the gate, killing the creatures, while Will is freed from the Mind Flayer’s grasp.

A month later, the lab is closed following Nancy, Jonathan and Murray’s revelations, & Owens writes a birth certificate for Eleven, giving her the name Jane Hopper.

All looks happy và lovely for Hawkins – the kids attend the school dance, where Lucas và Max kiss, as vì chưng Mike and Eleven – but the last scene shows the Mind Flayer is still alive in the Upside Down… and he’s watching all of them.