Warning: spoilers ahead for Stranger Things Season 2. Read forward at your own risk!
When Stranger Things Season 2 ends, it's still raising almost as many questions as it answered. Chief among these for some fans is the ultimate fate of Dustin's carnivorous Upside Down monster pet, Dart. I had the chance to sit down with The Duffer Brothers to talk about Season 2 during a recent Master Class event at Chapman University in Orange, California, and they explained to me that Dart -- like the rest of the Demodogs -- died when Eleven closed the gate to The Upside Down. Ross Duffer confirmed this most depressing fact:
I would say Dart has unfortunately perished. Spoiler alert. Yeah. Once the gate gets closed, he's cut off and so he died by his beloved Three Musketeers Bar.
For any monster that crosses from The Upside Down through to Hawkins, Indiana, the gate to that dark dimension is a lifeline. The moment that barrier is closed, the lifeline is cut off. In that regard, it sounds like Dart was no different from any other creatures. Although Season 2 concluded with Dustin bidding farewell to his little buddy/nightmare pet, fans had hopes for Dart's survival, but it now looks like Dart curled up next to a wrapper of Three Musketeers and died with a tummy full of nougat, house cats, and possibly some leftover Bob.
Of course, it's no secret that the Dustin/Dart subplot has become one of the more mind-boggling aspects of Stranger Things Season 2 for many fans, due to the amount of danger Dustin creates by merely lying to his friends. Later in my conversation with The Duffers, I asked about the boy's connection with the vicious beast, and they explained that his love for Dart stemmed from his objective and scientific mind. Ross Duffer continued:
I think that Dustin, no matter what, science is his love. So even when Mike is saying that line about 'Just because it's from the Death Star doesn't mean it's bad,' I think that's where Dustin feels different. Which is that, you know, this is still an amazing discovery that I had. He has no idea until it eats Mews that this thing is actually dangerous. So I think it's that excitement of discovery as, he's this kid who's into science and this is a mind-blowing thing. I think he is naive about it, but in the end I like to say this: his being friendly to this thing, instead of trying to kill it, ends up saving the kids at the very end. So that generosity ends up saving the day.
Viewed through that lens, it actually makes a bit more sense why things played out as they did. Now we're kind of starting to feel bad for the little guy -- not that we want to see anymore Demodogs running around Hawkins anytime soon...unless it meant Season 3 would arrive quicker.
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Stranger Things Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix. Looking beyond the hit series, make sure to check out our fall TV premiere guide for more information on everything left to debut this season, and listen to The Cord Cutter Podcast to hear what we have to say about anything and everything in the realm of streaming content.