Despite clocking in at a mere eight episodes, Season 1 of Stranger Things packed a mammoth punch in terms of drip-feeding us ambiguous concepts that, almost two months on, we're still obsessively picking apart. Spawning more fan theories than your average TV series, discussions regarding Eleven's monstrous origins and Will's potential powers have been flung around the web like hot waffles, but could a mystery clouding one minor character become a major plot point for the second season?
If you cast your mind back to Episode 6, around the time Eleven just smashed through the doors of the local supermarket with a butt-ton of Eggos in her mitts, to the scene in which Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Hopper (David Harbour) pay a visit to El's mother, Terry Ives:
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A journey that from first glance seems fruitless for both Joyce, Hopper and the viewers, may carry deeper connotations that have the power to roll over into Season 2 — or at least the interpretation of Redditor TholomewP suggests this could be the case.
He begins with a little recap:
For those who forgot: Terry is Jane's (Eleven's) mother, who participated in the MK Ultra training and "miscarried" a child who Terry believed was taken by the government and experimented on. Joyce and Hopper visit her to find out more about her child, but Terry is unable to move or speak and it is Terry's sister that explains everything, telling Joyce and Hopper about how Terry actually miscarried her child and that she went insane.
So, as the scene starts we're guided into the house by Terry's sister — though we're never given her name — told we're "five years too late" to get any kind of response and lead into a living room in which Terry, a living vegetable, sits with a glazed but not totally unresponsive look in her eyes. It's the manner in which Terry portrays emotion — namely through closing her eyes on hearing her daughters name and moving her mouth as the duo leave the house — that sparked TholomewP's theory. He explains in further detail below:
I think Terry does not have a sister and that her "sister" was actually a part of Dr. Brenner's team. She was sent to Terry's house to throw Hopper and Joyce off the trail. She paralyzed Terry with some kind of drug that stops you from being able to move or speak, and then told a lie about how Jane was never actually born and that the whole thing was a crazy story made up by Terry. When they're leaving Joyce notices Terry's lips moving, and I think this is her fighting against the paralyzing drug and trying to tell Joyce and Hopper something and ask them for help even though she's paralyzed.
TholomewP continues, throwing shade at the suspicious circumstances:
I think her whole condition is pretty strange (she does not move at all, not even a little) and her "sister's" behavior is pretty strange too (she thinks her sister is completely insane,calls it "hippy crap", "all make-believe"), which is why I think this might make sense. Terry would definitely be on Dr. Brenner's radar and Hopper had already broken into the lab meaning Dr. Brenner would have been watching him too, so it's possible he knew he was going to visit Terry.
It's certainly food for thought! While Terry could simply be displaying symptoms of catatonia thanks to her traumatic experience during the MK Ultra training, it's not too far fetched to think Dr. Brenner could've sent someone around to throw Joyce and Hopper off the scent. As is discussed in the thread beneath this Reddit post, it's debatable whether Brenner would've gone to such lengths — wouldn't he have just killed Terry to save himself the effort? Or, perhaps he's keeping Terry alive in the hope she'll spawn more power-ridden creatures?
What do you think? Could this theory have any bite? Sound off in the comments!
Before you leave, why not check out the teaser trailer for Stranger Things Season 2?