The biggest unanswered questions in Stranger Things 2

By now, you should've had enough time to burn through the second season of Stranger Things. If not, now's probably a good time to read something else. (That's a spoiler warning.) If you have binged your way through Stranger Things 2, you might have had some nagging questions by the time the credits rolled on the final episode. Sure, it was a great ending. But did it clear up everything? Not even close. Here are some of the biggest questions we wish Stranger Things 2 had answered.

Lost sister

In "Chapter 7: The Lost Sister," we finally meet that mysterious girl from the season's beginning: Kali, Eleven's sister-but-not-really from the Hawkins Lab. Like Eleven, Kali manifests paranormal abilities. Namely, she can make people see anything she wants. Some critics had mixed feelings about this episode—it's definitely incongruous to the rest of the show—but it served its purpose well enough. Eleven pretty quickly burns through her rebellious streak and finally realizes that home is back in Hawkins with her friends. Aww.

So…what happened to Kali and her weird little gang? After literally opening the season on these guys and then devoting an entire episode to them, there's no follow up whatsoever. Not that we particularly cared where they ended up, but Kali at least could have gotten some closure at the end of the season. Don't be surprised if we see her again in Stranger Things 3.

What's Terry's backstory?

We first met Eleven's biological mother, Terry Ives, in Season 1. Presumably heartbroken at the loss of her daughter, Ives fell into a catatonic state, spending her days rocking in front of the TV and endlessly repeating a seemingly random string of words.

But there's more to the story. In the second season, when Eleven visits her mother in Chapter 5, we learn that Terry was electroshocked by Dr. Brenner when she tried to invade the lab and take back the baby they'd stolen from her. And then we get another shocker: Ives has some powers of her own, which she uses to lead Eleven through the lights and to communicate what really happened to her. After that, Eleven runs off to Illinois to track down her sister, leaving the question of how Ives got her powers unanswered. 

Is Dr. Brenner really alive?

One of the big reveals in Chapter 7 was the news that Dr. Brenner, the evil scientist from Season 1, is (seemingly impossibly) still alive. Eleven and Kali, gang in tow, track down Ray, one of the former lab workers and the guy who put the electroshock on Eleven's mother. As they're about to kill him, Ray offers to take them to Dr. Brenner, who's apparently out there somewhere (and trusted Ray enough to tell him where he went after the catastrophic showdown at the end of Season One).

But Brenner never appears in the flesh, only appearing to Eleven once in a Kali-generated hallucinated cameo, so fans can only wonder: was Ray telling the truth, or was he lying to buy himself some time? Unfortunately, the show drops the question of Brenner's whereabouts as soon as he's mentioned, so we never do find out if he survived. Honestly, it feels like the whole subplot involving Eleven's past could have been fleshed out a little more. (But hey, the rest of the show was great.)

And while we're on the topic of nefarious scientists…

What's the deal with Dr. Owens?

Dr. Owens definitely lies in the gray on the moral scale. Some scenes see him doing his best to help Will, Hopper, and the gang—even going so far as to speak out against eradicating the tunnel growths while it can still affect Will—but we also see him clandestinely monitoring all these people he's supposedly helping. One important fact to keep in mind is that Owens is played by Paul Reiser, who played a similarly not-so-good good guy in Aliens. Considering that the Duffer brothers wrote Dr. Owens with Reiser in mind to play the part, there's probably a lot more to the guy than we've seen.

And then there's the strange coincidence of Owens surviving the massacre at Hawkins Lab with nothing worse than a leg wound. Keep in mind, this is the same event that saw dozens of people viciously killed by the demodogs. And Owens managed to escape with a flesh wound? Color us suspicious. And no, we're not even letting the fact that Owens very nicely doctored up a birth certificate for Eleven change our mind. 

What is the shadow monster?

They gave it plenty of names: the Shadow Monster, the Mind Flayer, and our personal favorite, a "real son of a bitch," but what is that big leggy thing, specifically? We know it has intelligence because it gets into a giant game of cat and mouse with our heroes, and we know it shares a "hive mind" with the rest of the organisms that come out of the Upside Down. But the closest thing we get to a backstory for the Shadow Monster is Dustin's Dungeons & Dragons analogy, in which he explains that the Mind Flayer "is so ancient that it doesn't even know its true home. It takes over races of other dimensions by taking over their brains using its highly developed psionic powers."

But since that's only an analogy, it still doesn't explain anything about the actual Shadow Monster threatening Hawkins. And, big surprise, neither does the show. All we know is that it's probably pretty mad. About as mad as anyone who just got shoved out of an all-you-can-eat buffet would be. Looks like we'll have to wait until Season 3 for this one, too.

Is Hopper infected?

While Chief Hopper's exploring the underground tunnels in Chapter 5, he discovers some weird new organisms from the Upside Down, including a flower that sneezes right in his face. Two of them, in fact. As the episode progresses, he slowly gets weaker, until he collapses in the tunnels and gets smothered in vines. Later, the doctor gives him the all-clear, even though he's still puking into a bucket. But what did that flower really spray on him, and is he now infected with something? Because there is some precedent for people in Hawkins acting as incubators for other critters.

While it's not exactly the same, Hopper's episode is reminiscent of what happened to Will Byers in Season 1. When Hopper and Joyce found Will in the Upside Down in the season finale, Will had a vine-like thing rammed down his throat, which Hopper pulled out. After he'd been pulled safely back to our reality, Will choked out a slug that slithered down the drain—one that looked a lot like the thing Eleven sees crawl out of Barb's mouth when she finds her body in the Upside Down.

Flash forward to Season 2, and Dustin finds a slug in his trash can. When Will sees it, he even has a flashback to that slimy Christmas surprise. Is Dustin's pet D'Artagnan the same thing Will yakked up, or at least the same species? That seems to be the takeaway, which means what Will actually spewed up was a baby demodog. So is there something living inside Hopper now? And if so, what is it? Keep in mind, one of these flowers sneezed on Dustin in Chapter 9 of the new season. So if Hopper's infected, Dustin could be, too.

Is Dart a demogorgon?

During this season, we see a creature grow from a slug with legs to a demodog in a ridiculously short amount of time. The demodog phase seems to be the cap at this point, but those faces sure look familiar, don't they? It begs the question: after spending some time on four legs, do the demodogs molt again and eventually turn into the demogorgon creatures from Season 1?

There's no real reason to assume they do—it's totally understandable for two different creatures with the same messed-up face to live in the Upside Down—but admit it: as soon as you saw Dart eating Dustin's cat, there was only one word in your mind. Demogorgon. Unfortunately, the show never confirms whether or not Dart actually is the same species as the monster from Season 1, and even though the easy answer is "yes, of course that's going to become a demogorgon," there's nothing to confirm that either way.

What are those eggs?

Come on! We waited a whole year to find out what those eggs from Season 1 were, and got zero—count them: zero— answers in the new season. In light of all the new information about the Upside Down, including what may be an entire multi-species ecosystem, we were really hoping for those eggs to get an explanation. Do the demogorgons eat them? Do they lay them, like big scary chickens? What hatched out of the one Hopper found? We just have a million questions about those eggs, and we cordially request some answers.

What about Yurtle?

By the end of the season, most of the characters are checked off and accounted for (with the notable exception of Kali). But there's one more character still missing that nobody seems to be asking about. When Dustin finds teensy little Dart in his trash can, he takes his turtle, Yurtle, out of its cage to give Dart a home. Eventually, little Dart turns out to be a killer pre-demodog, busts out of the cage, and devours Dustin's cat. After that, it's a whirlwind of hockey pads and nail-studded baseball bats as Dustin and his unexpected ally, Steve, try to track Dart down.

But…what about the turtle? Did Dart eat the turtle? Did it ever get a new home? Or is it just gathering dust bunnies under Dustin's bed? Will Yurtle make a triumphant return in Season 3? Forget Dart, forget that whole Shadow Monster reveal at the end. This is clearly the question on everyone's mind—and if it isn't, why not? You monster!