Hawkins, Indiana, is home to a lot of mysteries. Is Eleven okay? What’s going to happen to Will Byers? Stranger Things Season 2 will hopefully answer these and much more. A new timeline from Netflix, released alongside a teaser on Tuesday for the series’ highly anticipated second season, outlines six points in Hawkins’ history, one of which really stands out.
In an interview with TV Guide on Tuesday, Jim Hopper actor David Harbour said that, yes, Hopper was “shut down,” “sarcastic,” and “kind of a jerk to kids” during Season 1. “He’s just a total mess. By the time he saves Will though, you really get to see this other side where this sweet man that’s been beaten down so much gets to do something heroic and noble that he’s always dreamed.
“You get to see this guy open up and have this moment of, Maybe I can live my life in a bit more of a fuller way,” he added. “Maybe I don’t have to carry around all this rage.”
Hopper certainly comes a long way in Season 1 and moves more toward accepting his daughter’s fate and, possibly, moving on with the help of his new-found friends and taking care of Eleven after her final run-in with the Demogorgon. And despite fan theories surrounding the relevance of Hopper’s daughter to the story’s future, things seemed kind of wrapped up in that department.
1953, date unknown - MKUltra comes to Hawkins and begins experimentation
1979, Police Chief Jim Hopper returns to Hawkins
1983, November 6 - The vanishing of Will Byers
1983, November 8 - The vanishing of Barbara Holland
2016, July 15 - Part 1
2017, October 27 - Part 2
In 1979, “Police Chief Jim Hopper returns to Hawkins” after the death of his daughter, Sarah. Diagnosed with cancer, Sarah went through cutting-edge chemotherapy treatment that was unable to save her. Her death resulted in Hopper separating from his wife and returning to his hometown of Hawkins from the “big city,” wherever that may be.
It’s odd that Hopper’s return to Hawkins would be included on the timeline. By all accounts, his story is over and he’s moved on (as much as one can from that sort of tragedy). But Netflix intentionally pointing out when Hopper returned — the point falling on the timeline directly after MKUltra arriving in Hawkins to being experimentation — feels significant. The catalyst for his return, Sarah’s death, might be more important than ever before in Season 2, especially if you take into account all the fan theories surrounding Sarah.
Was that state of the art cancer treatment Sarah went through connected in any way to the experimentations that Eleven’s potential biological mother, Terry Ives, went through and that resulted in Eleven’s powers? Is Sarah connected to Eleven in any way? Are they, perhaps, either physically or spiritually connected? Hopefully, Season 2 will solve some of these mysteries.
Stranger Things Season 2 premieres on Netflix on October 27.