Get ready to theorize, Stranger Things fans – not that we ever stopped. Netflix casually released six episode titles from Season 2 on Thursday. The sophomore outing was originally announced with a list of titles, but as you’ll see, some of them have changed – and some are still as big of a secret as Eleven’s past.
When Season 2 was first announced, Netflix shared a video listing all nine episode titles, but nearly all of them are different. They used to be as follows:
2. The Boy Who Came Back To Life
3. The Pumpkin Patch
4. The Palace
5. The Storm
6. The Pollywog
7. The Secret Cabin
8. The Brain
9. The Lost Brother
We know a lot more about Season 2 now than we did a year ago, so let’s unpack this. The main constant is “Madmax” as the season premiere; presumably, the writers had already started on Season 2 when this episode list went public, so changing up the premiere wasn’t an option moving forward. “The Pollywog” moved up significantly, perhaps because of importance or timing of a plot line – or perhaps because it was just a better title for episode 3 than episode 6 depending on Dustin’s relationship with his pet.
Episode 2 makes sense given the series’ proximity to Halloween (not only for when it premieres, but for where the Hawkins crew is when we catch up with them). We know the boys dress up as ghostbusters, and it makes sense that they’d go trick-or-treating (think of the fun Dustin would have). But what about the “freak” part? Are they still getting bullied, or is this a reference to Eleven, whose return is confirmed while the circumstances surrounding it remain a mystery?
Probably the most intriguing episode title is “Dig Dug,” which refers to an old Atari arcade game – an on-brand item for our characters to have been obsessed with in the show’s timeline (Will is positive he’s getting an Atari for Christmas in the Season 1 finale). But nothing on Stranger Things is that simple; The way to win Dig Dug is to drop rocks on “underground-dwelling monsters” (Upside Down-dwelling, perhaps?) or inflate them with an air pump until they explode.
“The Pumpkin Patch” was nixed as episode 3, but a poster from early October shows Hopper amid a field of rotting pumpkins. Are they just less important, or are the poster and old episode title both red herrings? And what about this titular spy in episode 5 – how worried should we be about our characters being infiltrated by the “bad men” from Season 1, considering we have two new kids in the gang’s orbit this year?
We know that “Will the Wise” is having strange visions from the Upside Down, so could these be giving him useful insight for the team to use as they investigate new mysteries? Does he have supernatural abilities now?
The last three episode titles are still under wraps, so we could easily see a return of “The Secret Cabin” or “The Storm” or “The Lost Brother” among others (does the spy live in the lost cabin? Are the spy and the lost brother the same person? I CAN’T KEEP DOING THIS, HELP ME NETFLIX).
Stranger Things 2 premieres Oct. 27 and will likely keep us guessing until then.