Stranger Things Season 3 drops July 4th, 2019 on Netflix. In case you don’t have 17 hours to re-watch the first two seasons of the hit Netflix original series, I’ve put together a quick recap to help you remember where we left our favorite bike-riding, Eggo-loving kids.
Season 1 Recap of Stranger Things
In the small town of Hawkins, Indiana, four pre-teen boys are playing Dungeons & Dragons. When their game ends, they mount their bikes and ride home… except for one. Will Byers mysteriously disappears in the forest, his bike abandoned.
Will’s disappearance kicks off a town-wide search and while his buddies Mike, Dustin, and Lucas are searching in the woods near Will’s abandoned bike, they run into a strange girl with a shaved head who doesn’t talk.
They hide her in Mike’s basement and call her “Eleven” because of the number tattooed on her arm.
Will’s mom, Joyce, starts going seriously nuts and thinks she is getting messages from Will through the phone and electricity. No one believes her, but she is right.
We also find out that Eleven was taken from her mom as a baby and used for experiments, since she has telekinetic powers. And the “doctors” from Hawkins Lab want her back ASAP.
The boys, with the help of Hawkins Police Chief Hopper, use an inflatable pool and the ever-useful duct tape to build a “water tank” to amplify Eleven’s powers so she can search the “Upside Down” where the Demogorgon is keeping Will.
She finds Will, but Joyce and Hopper have to get into Hawkins Lab to the entrance to the Upside Down to actually get him out. They successfully rescue him, but the agents from the Lab are hot on Eleven’s trail and track her to Hawkins Middle School.
The Demogorgon is lured there and Eleven uses her power to blow him up. When the dust settles, Eleven is nowhere to be found.
Will is back home, though clearly suffering some PTSD. We don’t know about Eleven, but we’re hopeful she’s alive and well when we see Hopper leaving some Eggos (her favorite food) in a box in the woods.
Season 2 Recap of Stranger Things
Season 2 takes place a year later and we find Eleven safely in the care of Hopper, though he was hiding her and basically keeping her prisoner. Will is seeing visions of a big scary Shadow Monster, later known as the Mind Flayer, who eventually possesses him.
We are introduced to Mad Max, a girl who moves to town and really rocks at Dig Dug. Dustin and Lucas are both immediately enamored with her and a sort of competition for her attention begins. Max’s older brother Billy also joins the show. He’s your basic 80’s bad boy. We also meet Bob, the sweet Radio Shack dude that Joyce is now dating.
Will starts drawing some weird pictures. Bob and Joyce lay them all out and realize they are a map. Hopper follows the map and starts digging and uncovers some creepy tunnels under the rotted-black-pumpkin patch.
They try to burn the tunnels, but this sets Will into convulsions, as he is possessed by the hive-minded Mind Flayer.
Meanwhile, Eleven decides she’s had enough of the cabin in the woods and sets out to find her real mother. She makes some enlightening discoveries about what happened to her as a child and she tracks down another girl, Kali, that was also imprisoned with her at Hawkins Lab. Kali tries to use Eleven’s powers to assist her in her vendetta against everyone involved in their experiments. Eleven decides this isn’t the life for her and goes back to Hawkins.
Bob dies saving Will. Joyce, Nancy, and Jonathan literally burn the Mind Flayer out of Will (it doesn’t like it hot). Eleven and Hopper descend into the fiery depths of Hawkins Lab and close the portal to the Upside Down.
Do you want to see where Stranger Things was filmed? Here’s a road trip you can follow to tons of great Stranger Things filming locations!
Where Did We Leave Everyone at the End of Stranger Things 2?
Eleven: After Eleven’s “adventure” to find her mother and sister, she returned to Hawkins to save the town from the Mind Flayer/Upside Down. The season ended with Hopper being given a birth certificate for her in the name of “Jane Hopper,” implying that we might see her have the chance for a normal life. She attends the Snow Ball dance at Hawkins Middle School and shares a kiss with Mike on the dance floor.
Will: Will spent most of Season 2 possessed by the Mind Flayer. In the finale, Will had the Mind Flayer (literally) burned out of him in Hopper’s Cabin. He seemed to be mostly back to normal as we left him dancing at the Snow Ball.
Mike: Mike had a tough year. He got his best friend Will back, but lost Eleven. In the end, he reunited with Eleven, fought the Mind Flayer, and shared a kiss with El on the dance floor at the Snow Ball.
Dustin: Dustin had to catch a baby demogorgan and come to terms with the fact that Max liked Lucas and not him. But in the end he got some solid advice from Steve and Nancy and he’s ready to move on.
Lucas: Lucas’s mission this season was to win over Max, the new girl in town. He did by being truthful and open with her, even though she didn’t quite believe his story of the gang’s season 1 escapades. In the end, he won her over.
Max: The new girl in town proved she was a badass when she took down her abusive brother with a baseball bat, then drove the guys to the pumpkin patch to save the day.
Billy: Max’s pretty-boy brother was a pain in everyone’s ass this season. And from the look of the Season 3 trailer, Billy will continue to causes trouble…
Steve: One of Season 2’s best unlikely friendships was Dustin and Steve. Steve had a great character arc this season as he recovered from his breakup with Nancy. He turned into quite the babysitter, helping the gang through some tough battles and even sharing his super-secret hair care tips with Dustin before the Snow Ball.
Nancy & Jonathan: Nancy was hot on the trail of the Hawkins Lab controversy this season, trying to find someone to blame for her best friend Barb’s disappearance. She and Jonathan worked together, eventually spending the night together. So it seems they are now an item, but will it last?
Joyce & Hopper: Joyce spent most of this season worrying over Will like the last, and Hopper seems a bit out of sorts and unsure of his place in Hawkins after everything he’s been through. Hopefully we’ll see him become a good Dad to Eleven. And hopefully we’ll see him getting closer to Joyce. I’m #TeamJopper all the way.