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Warning: spoilers ahead for Stranger Things Season 2.
Season 2 of Netflix's smash hit Stranger Things premiered on October 27, and a whole lot of fans finally got to check back in with what's been happening in Hawkins. The second season introduced a monster so big and incomprehensible that the Demogorgon seems practically tiny in comparison, and unlike the Demogorgon, the Mind Flayer was still alive and active by the final scene. In fact, the final scene featured the Shadow Monster in the Upside Down, looming menacingly over Hawkins Middle School. While the Stranger Things kids were adorably dancing the night away at the long-awaited Snow Ball, the Mind Flayer still seemed to have taking over their dimension on his mind, despite Eleven closing the gate in his face.
There are still a lot of questions about the Mind Flayer as of the end of Season 2. Fortunately, CinemaBlend's own Conner Schwerdtfeger was able to speak with Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer at a Master Class event at Chapman University. When asked if the Mind Flayer will have a vendetta against Eleven, the Duffers had this to say:
Matt Duffer: Another really good question. I don't know. No, no, no. It's kind of the first thing, where you see him at the end of the show purposely coming face to face with her.
Ross Duffer: And the idea that he didn't know Eleven existed, much less someone with this kind of power, in order to keep him out. So then with that final shot, we wanted to hint at is maybe, yeah this thing is still there and it's not thrilled with the way events happened.
Matt Duffer: It's a little bit of the Harry Potter thing, in terms of 'oh this is the one person who can stop me?'
The Mind Flayer was dominating the good guys of Stranger Things Season 2 from the very beginning until almost the very end, and the best they could say was pretty much that only Bob had been killed... until Eleven strolled into the Byers house after dispatching the Demodogs that had been sent to kill her friends. The game changed once Eleven reunited with Hopper, Mike, and the others, and there's no way they would have trapped the Mind Flayer back in the Upside Down if Eleven had decided to just stay in Chicago with Kali in Season 2's most divisive episode.
The Mind Flayer has every reason to be unhappy with how Eleven turned the tide in the finale. According to the Duffer brothers, the final showdown revealed to the Mind Flayer that the Hawkins crew has a very powerful ace in the hole, and she just so happens to be a 13-year-old girl. In that final showdown when Eleven went to close the gate on the Mind Flayer, there was a clear moment when the monster faced her and got a good look at her. Given that she was enjoying Mike keeping his promise at the Snow Ball in Hawkins Middle at the end of the finale, it stands to reason that the Mind Flayer was looming over the Upside Down middle school because of her.
Of course, the gate was quite clearly shut in the Season 2 finale, as proven by the sudden deaths of all the Demodogs still in Hawkins, so the Mind Flayer doesn't have access to El or any of the others at the moment. That said, the Duffer brothers said this about the Mind Flayer possibly returning:
Ross Duffer: Nothing is ever final in Stranger Things.
Matt Duffer: It's science fiction. I mean, who knows? Who knows? Anything is possible. It's been opened up. The door's been shut, but i guess the question is--
Ross Duffer: The Mind Flayer is still on the other side and he's right there in The Upside Down, so the question is 'Are characters safe?' And they are for a time.
It sounds like the characters will at least be okay from the end of Season 2 to the beginning of Season 3. Maybe the Mind Flayer will have figured out a way out of the Upside Down by the time the action picks up again in the next batch of episodes. Then again, if Stranger Things does go the Harry Potter route with the Mind Flayer vs. Eleven, maybe the next installment will feature a brand new villain while the Mind Flayer is off-screen to bide his time, a la Prisoner of Azkaban. Stranger Things does love its homages.
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We'll have to wait and see. The full first and second seasons are available streaming on Netflix, and our fall TV guide can help you find some shows to watch if you're already in Stranger Things withdrawal after watching Season 2. If you haven't checked them out yet, be sure to take a look at the key Stranger Things Season 2 details you may have missed and 8 big questions we have after Season 2.