Warning: Episode 9 spoilers ahead! The second season of Stranger Things introduced a new monster who was bigger and scarier than the Demogorgon from Season 1. Known as the Shadow Monster, this creature not only controlled the Demogorgons, but was able to use Will as a spy. During the season finale, Eleven was able to close the gate to the Upside Down, seemingly ending the problem of the Shadow Monster once and for all. However, the end of the finale seemed to hint that it wasn't really over. So what does the Stranger Things Season 2 ending mean? I have a few ideas on the matter.
After Eleven closed the gate, there was a little one month time jump in the last 10 minutes of the finale. All the kids went to the Snow Ball and there was an incredibly cute scene where Lucas and Max shared a kiss, as did Mike and Eleven, while Will shared a dance with a girl and Dustin danced with Nancy. But then the camera panned out from the school and turned completely upside down. The school was then seemingly transported in the Upside Down where the Shadow Monster could be seen looming over the building in a very menacing way. Although the gate is closed, this definitely doesn't look good. But what exactly is this supposed to imply?
While Eleven was able to close the gate, it's a bit terrifying to know that the Shadow Monster is still alive and well in the Upside Down. If the Shadow Monster is able to somehow open up the gate again, it could easily return to Hawkins, Indiana and continue its reign of terror. But how could this monster possibly do that? There may be a few ways.
For one, even though Joyce, Jonathan, and Nancy burned the Shadow Monster out of Will, he could still be connected to the Upside Down. The whole reason the Shadow Monster was able to get ahold of Will in the first place was because he was already connected to the Upside Down when he was taken there by the Demogorgon in the first season. Therefore, even though he's no longer being possessed by the Shadow Monster, that doesn't necessarily mean Will is no longer connected to the Upside Down in some way. Maybe the Shadow Monster will figure out a way to use Will again, although hopefully not since Will has clearly been through enough.
Another possibility may involve the tunnels that were running under Hawkins. Could they somehow still be used by the Shadow Monster? Presumably, after Eleven closed the gate, all of those tunnels/vines died just like the Demogorgons, but it's hard to say for sure if that's truly the case. If the tunnels still exist under Hawkins, that could easily be a way for the Shadow Monster to get back in, but this seems maybe too easy.
Another option is that Eleven somehow gets tricked into opening the gate again herself. Eleven never meant to open up the gate the first time, but when she was using her ability to spy for Dr. Martin Brenner she accidentally reached the Demogorgon and brought him into her world from the Upside Down. In the third season, Eleven will probably use her psychic abilities to locate someone again, most likely Brenner or maybe Kali, and during that time she could accidentally make contact with the Shadow Monster. Or the Shadow Monster could make contact with her.
In either case, it wouldn't be surprising if the Shadow Monster attempted to use Eleven to open up the gate once more, but hopefully now that Eleven's powers are stronger than ever, this won't happen.
Unfortunately, it'll most likely be another year before fans find out what that mysterious ending really meant, so for now, let's hope that maybe things won't get too much stranger in Season 3.
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