Stranger Things’ second season is set to premiere in just a few months and a description that accompanies a new poster for the sophomore batch of episodes includes some interesting hints.
[Warning: The following may contain spoilers for the first season of Stranger Things. Be advised.]
If you haven’t seen the description Netflix included with the poster floating around the internet already, it can be read below. Although it’s just a timeline, highlighting some of the events that led up to Will’s disappearance into the Upside Down, there is one important moment mentioned: the disappearance of Barb.
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
This is all old information, but the inclusion of Barb is interesting. After Barb’s disappearance and death last season, the character quickly became beloved among fans of the show. An entire campaign, “Justice for Barb,” began in the character’s name.
During a panel at last year’s New York Comic Con, actor David Harbour (Chief Jim Hopper) told fans that Barb’s disappearance and death would be addressed in some fashion during the show’s second season. While Barb won’t be resurrected, fans will get something to console them.
"We will tell you that we do deal with the loose ends in season 2, and we do deal with some of the internet rage over Barb’s death," Harbour said. "We will have justice for Barb's death in some sense."
Since then, however, it seems like the producers and those involved with Stranger Things have gotten a little annoyed with the number of questions about Barb. In an interview last month, Shawn Levy said her character’s fate was still one of the most asked questions by people at conventions and other events.
“I’ll give one example that I’ve been asked about a hundred times which is people still think Barb’s alive,” Levy said. “Because you think you want that, but you wouldn’t really want that. I’ve had a lot of people, some huge celebrities come up to me at these awards shows, like, ‘So, between us, Barb’s coming back, right?’ I’m like ‘No, you saw, she had like a creature, slug, worm, snake, coming out of her mouth. I don’t know that there’s a bounce back from that!’
“So no, we are not going to cravenly service the wish-list of fans, we’re going to service the Duffer instincts and what they feel is the right story to tell.”
But the inclusion of Barb’s disappearance as one of the most notable moments of season one — just after Will’s own disappearance — seems to suggest that the season will acknowledge Barb in some way, much like Harbour promised last year.
Actress Shanon Purser, who played Barb, told Vulture she’s not surprised that people have responded so positively to the character. Seeing people come together to support Barb — and fight back against what happened to her — has been surreal, but said she understands everyone feeling like they relate to the outcast.
It’s been really amazing to see how many people relate to Barb. There was this hashtag going around, #WeAreAllBarb, and it’s funny to me because I think, to a certain extent there’s a stigma — we all want to be the popular, beautiful person who gets the cute boy or the cute girl and who gets invited to the parties. People saw Barb and saw how unapologetic she was about who she was and what she believed in and what she wanted to wear, even. I think they admired her for not wanting to please others too much, and for being an honest and loyal friend.
Everybody has had that experience where your friend drags you to a party because the person they’re crushing on is there, and you don’t really want to be there but you go there with them anyway. Everybody has been a third wheel, and Barb is a wonderful, nerdy third wheel. People really relate to her and her outcast, left-out position because everybody’s felt that way at some point.
Unfortunately, we won’t know just how much justice Barb will receive until the second season of Stranger Things premieres on Oct. 27.