[This article contains spoilers from Stranger Things Season 2.]
We've been waiting more than a year for Stranger Things Season 2, and now that it's out, we can confidently say it was worth it. The dazzling drama stole the hearts of Netflix subscribers in the summer of 2016, channeling beloved '80s classics while boasting supercharged modern day special effects. Within the second season's first 47-minute episode alone, two major bombs were dropped about Eleven. We also got a crash update on Will's status post-Upside Down debacle and welcomed several wild new characters.
Here's what viewers can expect from episode 1.
Eleven is not alone!
The first five minutes of Episode 1 center around Kali and friends, a group of teens on the run from the police in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When their chase hits the streets and cops begin to catch up with the teens' clunky van, Kali uses powers not unlike Eleven's to convince the fleet's front driver that a bridge ahead has collapsed. He puts on the breaks, effectively allowing the teens to escape while the rest of the cops are baffled. It's mind manipulation! It's magic! It's proof Eleven is far from alone! What a way to start a season.
Eleven is back and secretly living with Sheriff Hopper
Thanks to promos, we already knew Eleven would reappear in Season 2. What we didn't know (and what should come as a big surprise to fans) is that she almost immediately escaped the Upside Down after defeating the Demogorgon in the Season 1 finale. We don't get the full picture in episode 1, but somehow, she eventually made it back to Sheriff Hopper. Since then, Hopper has essentially adopted El on the down low. She's desperate to see her friends, even to go out for a couple hours, but Hopper keeps her safe with strict rules about staying inside.
Mad Max is killing the [video] game
Sadie Sink's Max Max makes her presence in Hawkins known even before the boys have laid eyes on her. The fiery tomboy dominates the local arcade, leaving her calling card, "Mad Max," on every machine. When she shows up at school, the group puts it all together, quickly becoming obsessed with this mysterious new competitor.
Billy is the stereotypical '80s high school punk the show was missing
Max's brother, Billy, is only briefly introduced in episode 1, but it's clear what role he'll play as time goes on. With his fast sports car, matted mullet, and devil-may-care attitude, he is truly the stereotypical high school rebel the '80s homage was missing.
Will's doctor, Dr. Sam Owens, seems a kindly figure... for the time being
Dr. Owens makes a great first impression as he checks Will out following an "episode," or a random, uncontrollable trip back to the Upside Down. He's kind, funny, and caring — all the things a children's doctor should be. It seems Will is straddling dimensions, and while Dr. Owens attributes these visions to PTSD, as the audience, we know that he knows better.