'Stranger Things' Season 3: What That Season 2 Ending Could Mean (Spoilers)

For the fans resurfacing from their trance-like state of binging all nine episodes of Stranger Things 2 in 24 hours, let’s examine the lingering questions. And if you haven't finished the season yet, save this for later: major spoilers ahead!

Netflix has already renewed the show for a third season, and creators Matt and Ross Duffer are hoping for a fourth. Good thing, too, because while the final episode of Season 2 wasn't quite a cliffhanger, it left a lot of loose ends.

The Shadow Monster

stranger-things-season-2-monster Eleven may have closed the gate, but the monster in the Upside Down has not been defeated by the end of 'Stranger Things 2.' Netflix

We now know there are many Demogorgons—renamed "Demo-dogs" by Dustin. These creatures share a hive-mind controlled by the Shadow Monster, the spider-like creature fans had been speculating about since the season 2 trailer. In the final episode, when Eleven—now called Jane—closes the gate to the Upside Down, it causes the Demo-dogs on the other side to shrivel up as if dead. The question is, are they really dead? 

The final shot of the season reminds us that the Upside Down still exists, as the Shadow Monster looms ominously over Hawkins Middle School, perhaps looking for its next victim. It can't be too happy with Jane right now.

Eleven/Jane

ST_207-208_Unit_0765r Hopper officially adopts Eleven (now Jane) at the end of 'Stranger Things 2.' Netflix

In the last episode, Hopper officially becomes Jane's dad, thanks to adoption papers illegally obtained by Dr. Owens, the former head of the Hawkins National Laboratory. Owens has said that Jane must remain in hiding for another year, for reasons that remain unclear.

We got the full story on Jane’s mother—whose brain was scrambled at the lab after she learned the truth about her daughter—but we’ve yet to know the identity of her biological father. The fan theory, that he is, in fact, Hopper, is still in play. We also know that at least 10 other Hawkins parents have had children kidnapped. One of those kids is Jane’s “sister,” Kali, who has the power to make people see things that aren’t real (meaning, perhaps, that any information we’ve learned so far could be an illusion). That leaves nine children unaccounted for. Here’s hoping Jane brings back that leather biker look, perhaps to lead an army of super children.

As for Hopper, is it possible that Kali's powers have made him believe that he had a daughter who died of cancer? Just sayin’...

Dr. Brenner

10-26-brenner-stranger-things We haven't seen the last of Dr. Brenner, aka "Papa." Netflix

The Hawkins lab is shut down, much to the delight of the conspiracy theorist befriended by Jonathan and Nancy. But the town still doesn't know what really went on there; most think Barb was killed by a toxic leak. (Yes, finally #JusticeForBarb.) Season 2 introduced a group of anarchist kids determined to murder employees of the lab, and we haven't seen the last of them. Ray, the Hawkins worker Kali terrorizes, confessed that Season 1’s Dr. Brenner (aka "Papa") is still alive, and likely up to no good.

Mike and Will

wv_publicity_pre_launch_A_still_33 Mike and Will are finally reunited. Netflix

The Shadow Monster that possessed Will in season 2 (kid can’t catch a break) was seemingly scared off in the Exorcist-style scene in the ninth and final episode. Will seems to be back to normal, if nervous and quiet—but he was always like that (see notable blush when he accepts a dance from an unnamed girl at the Snow Ball). But tension could be brewing for Will in Season 3. Mike, who finally got a kiss from Jane, is ready to explore the joys of teenage "love." We've never seen Will interact with Jane outside of the Upside Down world, and his friendship with Mike anchored Season 2. Three is traditionally a crowd.  

Lucas and Max

wv_publicity_pre_launch_A_still_43 Lucas (far left) and Max (far right) are becoming more than friends. Netflix

We leave 13-year-olds Lucas and Max on the verge of awkward preteen dating. Lucas seems happy enough, but that fight between Max and her stepbrother, Billy, revealed an alarmingly violent streak—similar to that of her abusive step-father. That can’t be good.

Dustin

wv_publicity_pre_launch_A_still_17 Dustin (left) didn't manage to find love in 'Stranger Things 2.' Netflix

Dustin is the only one of the friends who doesn’t get to dance at the Snow Ball, aside from the pity offer from Nancy. Maybe he’ll find a little romance in season 3 with a new character; on the other hand, after being sprayed with Demo-dog spit in the Upside Down, he could start displaying Will-like symptoms. And what of his candy-loving, Demo-dog pet? Surely we haven’t seen the last of him.

Jonathan, Nancy and Steve

E005_C001_0117JE_001 Those were Team Jonathan and Nancy won't be disappointed in 'Stranger Things 2.' Netflix

Jonathan and Nancy are together, vindicating #TeamJonathan shippers everywhere. But after getting officially dumped, Steve is clearly still into Nancy, so more love triangle potential!

Joyce

ST_205-206_Unit_5159r Will Joyce finally get a romantic arc with Hopper? Netflix

With Bob (Sean Astin) dead and out of the way, season 3 might finally introduce the Hopper and Joyce romance we’ve been hoping for. The frantic way she ran to rescue him from the Upside Down sure didn't look platonic.

So far, no date has been announced for Stranger Things season 3, but stay tuned.

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