7 Things You Need to Know Before Watching 'Stranger Things' Season 2

Jesse Schedeen
(Netflix)

"Stranger Things" easily ranks among the most popular of Netflix's many original series, and fans have been waiting more than a year for new episodes to finally hit the streaming service.

Thankfully, Season 2 is finally dropping on Friday, October 27. Here's everything you need to know to get ready for the show's return.

1. It's Just in Time for HalloweenNot only is the series conveniently returning in time for Halloween, Season 2 will feature a lot of Halloween trappings itself.

Season 2 will pick up in October 1984, roughly a year after the return of Will (Noah Schnapp). Early footage showed the series' young cast dressed as Ghostbusters, so expect plenty of references to period-appropriate pop culture as everyone gets into the holiday spirit.

2. Everyone's Back (Except Barb)All of the major surviving characters from the first season are back, including Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers, David Harbour as police chief Jim Hopper, Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven, Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair, Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler, and Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers.

Unfortunately, that leaves one notable hole in the lineup. Despite becoming a fan-favorite in Season 1, it doesn't sound like Shannon Purser's Barb will be cheating death. That's already led fans to create the #JusticeforBarb hashtag.

But then again, you never know what weird twists might unfold on this series.

3. There Are Two New CharactersBoth of new additions are played by actors with serious '80s movie pedigrees. First is Sean Astin's Bob Newby, a former classmate of Joyce and Hopper, who now runs the local RadioShack. Do we sense a love triangle forming?

Second is Paul Reiser as Ownes, a Department of Energy representative who is tasked with covering up the strange events that lead us to paying the Upside Down a visit.

4. There's a Heavy James Cameron Influence"Stranger Things" proudly wears its influences on its sleeve, with the show owing a huge debt to "E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial" and the works of Stephen King. However, co-creator Matt Duffer said that Season 2 will be pulling from a different source.

Duffer revealed to Entertainment Weekly that this season will draw inspiration from James Cameron's films, both in terms of their general appeal and Cameron's willingness to differentiate his sequels from the originals.

5. Say 'Hello' to Hopper's DaughterWhile much of the focus in Season 1 centered around the search for Will, the series also explored Hopper's lingering trauma as a father grieving for his dead daughter. Expect that to become an even bigger focus in this new season.

"Hopper's daughter will be the primary focus of Season 2, but not in the way that you think it will be," Harbour told TV Guide. "Hopper's understanding of that relationship -- and Hopper's understanding of being a father -- and of being a man grows deeper and deeper in Season 2, and we get a lot of time to explore what that is, but it won't be in the literal way that you think it is."

6. The Upside Down Is Back (Duh)Don't think that just because Will is back, he and his friends are done with the twisted realm that is the Upside Down.

The gang will continue to explore the mysteries of that realm and face a new foe that will "make that Demogorgon look quaint." Co-creator Ross Duffer also teased that the season will open on a very disturbing note, so get ready for a dark road ahead.

7. There Are More Seasons PlannedUnsurprisingly, Netflix plans to continue making this show a major part of its TV arsenal. Expect plenty more of the series after Season 2 wraps. At first, the Duffer brothers indicated that they had a four-season road map for the series, but now it sounds as though they may be planning a fifth season, too.

That's a good thing, because fans won't be getting much closure for the next round of episodes. The show will end on another big cliffhanger this year. Hopefully, the wait for Season 3 won't be quite as long.