Life has not been very kind to young Will Byers. Spoilers for Stranger Things Season 2. In the second season of Netflix's monster madness series, the kid is put through the wringer again. But is Will OK at the end of Stranger Things Season 2? His friends and family can only hope that the Upside Down is out of his system for good. Because the alternate dimension is literally a constant threat, coexisting with their own world.
It's a good sign, however, that there is no moment at the close of this season that's quite as directly ominous as Will coughing a slug up in the middle of Christmas dinner in the Season 1 finale. (Yeah, so the Upside Down is still there — maybe it's time for creatures living there to pick on someone else besides Joyce Byers' youngest.) There was concrete proof last season that his retrieval from the Upside Down didn't mean that Will's ordeal with it would be over.
At the end of Season 2, we get a hopeful scene instead: Will and his friends finally attend the Snow Ball Mike had promised Eleven back in Season 1. And though Will doesn't appear to have gained a whole lot of self confidence, he does get what is probably his first slow dance. He doesn't appear quite as into it as his buddies, but hey, what's more average and normal than feeling awkward as hell at a middle school dance?
If Will is, in fact, back to normal, that means that that excruciating method that Jonathan, Nancy, and Joyce used to force the virus out of his body actually worked. The scene where they "burn it out" of him is hard enough to watch without considering the possibility that somehow, whatever infected Will in the Upside Down — seemingly, the Smoke Monster — kept its grip. But since we know that the Smoke Monster was using Will to spy on his friends and on Hawkins in general, it's unlikely that any of them would have survived unless that monster were blinded, so to speak.
Still, the barrier between the two worlds is thin and cracking. So it doesn't take Will being a carrier for some seriously bad stuff to go down in the next season of Stranger Things. Netflix has yet to confirm a third season for the show, but in an interview with Vulture, co-creators the Duffer brothers said that they're in the process of planning Seasons 3 and 4, which, for now, is their planned end point. As for what the follow-up to this season might entail, Matt Duffer intimated that the Dungeons & Dragons crew might actually get some time off from the fake corpses and demonic possessions. "I don’t know if we can justify something bad happening to them once a year," he told Vulture.
That's great news for Will, who seems to have been the series' punching bag up until this point. But it's likely that young actor Noah Schnapp's portrayal of Will's sickness, possession, and distress will get fans and critics talking. All the Stranger Things kids became stars when word of mouth about Season 1 got around, but you can't deny that Millie Bobby Brown's performance as Eleven was the breakout. This might be Schnapp's year to be the talk of Hollywood, considering how harrowing he made those scenes and how utterly hopeless it feels as a fan to watch Will struggle against the darkness.
It's too much to hope that Will won't face that darkness again, but at least Season 2 seems to have restored him physically to himself. Of course, he'll still carry the trauma of what's happened to him. And that's an entirely different kind of "not OK." But with people around him who'd literally risk their own lives to save him, Will's future is definitely looking up.