Stranger Things Season 2 Almost Had A Darker Ending Between Eleven And Her Mom

I've lost count of how many times I've watched something wacky or frustrating unfold in "Stranger Things" and asked myself, "Why?" Over the past six years, the writers' room for the massively popular Netflix series has made decisions that are alternately exhilarating, awesome, and unfathomable. The show has soaring high points, but also some repetitive bits, and a few truly head-scratching narrative decisions (see: Will Byers, seasons 3 and 4). So it should come as no surprise that the choices they've left on the cutting room floor are often just as mind-boggling as the ones that were left in for the final cut.

The "Stranger Things" writers confirmed as much today with tweets that revealed two alternate plotlines for the show's second season, both of which involved core characters murdering their loved ones. The writers' room's official Twitter first shared that "a possessed Will was going to kill Bob," before admitting to an even more shocking plot twist. Under the handle @strangerwriters, they posted:

"Crazy s*** that almost happened #2:

In season 2, Eleven was going to mercy kill her mother."

Here's what actually happened to Terry

The writers are right: that is crazy s***. Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) meets her birth mom, Terry Ives (Aimee Mullins), in the show's second season, and despite Terry's catatonia, she's still able to share her tragic backstory through her thoughts. It turns out, Terry tried to save a previously abducted Eleven from government experimentation when she was younger, only to end up caught and tortured via shock therapy. This left her nearly entirely unresponsive, which is how Hopper (David Harbour) and Joyce (Winona Ryder) found her in the show's first season.

It's unclear exactly when the show's writers planned to have Eleven "mercy kill" her mother, but it probably would've been sometime after the pair met in "Dig Dug," the season's fifth episode. Terry's story also came back around in the polarizing episode "The Lost Sister," which sees the superpowered teen travel to Chicago to find her long-lost friend — and fellow experiment — Kali (Linnea Berthelsen). There, under Kali's vengeance-tinged tutelage, Eleven corners the man who tortured her mother, but decides to spare his life after finding out he has a family of his own. El never goes back to her mom, though, and Terry (who is still alive) hasn't appeared in the series in any major way since.

El's journey might have been even darker

Personally, I'm very glad the show didn't follow through with this jarring plotline. As depressing as Terry's situation is, the idea of "mercy killing" is controversial for a reason. Terry may be extremely disabled, but she's still a person, and her mental conversations with Eleven showed she could still share thoughts and feelings. "Stranger Things" often puts Eleven through tremendous emotional and physical anguish, and while some of it makes sense with her character, other times, it feels excessive and redundant. Her killing her mom wouldn't do anything for anyone, except inspire a moment of shock in viewers and make her even more sad and convinced she's a monster in the long run.

Still, it is exciting to hear about the big swings the series almost took. The final product viewers got was great (I'm in the small but vocal group of people who considers season 2 the best of the bunch), but it started a pattern the show would fall into again and again, with new supporting characters dying in an act of sacrifice while the main characters all make it out in one piece. As messed up as it would be to see El kill her mom, I hope the writers take that bonkers energy and apply it to the show's final season, which is reportedly being written as we speak.