Major spoilers for Stranger Things 2 follow below. Turn back now if you’re not caught up.
Like at the end of Season 1, Stranger Things Season 2 has left us with a ton of questions about where things might go next. But the second season’s finale was a little less overt in setting that up, and when our own Steve Weintraub sat down with executive producers Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen, they explained that that was very intentional.
As you’ll recall, Season 2 ends with the lovely Snow Ball, which we then exit out of as the camera slowly turns, revealing the Upside Down and the “Shadow Monster” (a.k.a. the Mind Flayer, but the producers said on set they called it the former). “From the beginning, we all knew that this had to end with the Snow Ball.” Levy said. “Not only do our fans need it, but our characters need it. They need moment where they get to return to normalcy.”
But what does that shot mean? Is Hawkins in for Round 2 next year? Levy explained that the plan of turning the camera upside down at the end came out of an idea he pitched in Episode 4 about doing that when Hopper goes underground. That image stuck in everyone’s minds, and that led to the final shot. As Levy continued,
“We cannot top that Snow Ball. We will never make people happier than that dance will make people. So let’s not leave there with the promise to come. Let’s let people have a moment of joy. And then we have The Police song, ‘I’ll Be Watching You,’ and then indeed the camera turns and we see that something is.”
That was not supposed to be the very end, though. Originally, “There were epilogue scenes that were considered for after that shot that would have hinted more at Season 3. But there was a decision made by all of us where we said let’s not back in to any promises again,” Levy told us. He added:
“We always felt after Season 1 that we had to payoff that slug that Will coughs up in the sink, or whose black car Hopper was getting into, and had to — and wanted to — follow-up on Hopper putting the Eggos out in a wooden lockbox in the woods. This time the [Duffer Brothers] very consciously wanted to promise less, so that their freedom is more.”