Perhaps one of the silliest (and greatest) plot lines of Stranger Things' second season was Dustin's (Gaten Matarazzo) ill-advised adoption of a pet pollywog from the Upside Down.
At the end of Episode 2, Dustin finds a slimy little pollywog vaguely reminiscent of the slug we saw Will (Noah Schnapp) barf up in last season's finale and decides to adopt the sucker and give it a healthy diet of nougat and affection. He even names it Dart, after The Three Musketeers D'Artangan, like the super dork he is.
Even though all his friends see Dart for what he is — a vicious monster from the Upside Down — Dustin is convinced his new pet is harmless and can be raised to not munch on innocent civilians for breakfast. The biggest nod to Dart not being the bad Demodoggy we thought came in the season finale, when Dart blocked the boys' path to freedom but let them pass after Dustin talked to it and fed it part of a Three Musketeers bar. But was Dustin right?
Joe Keery, who plays the ever-awesome Steve, weighed in on the situation, voicing his doubts that despite Dart's final act of goodwill, he was still probably bad news. "I think that you kind of see there's a last glimpse of hope that [Dustin] was kind of justified in this nurturing relationship, but I don't think there's any overcoming the fact that he is a demodog."
The fact that the other demodogs had no squabbles about munching on human flesh kind of proves Keery's point. Executive producer Dan Cohen had a bit more hope for this nature vs. nurture debate, when we asked him whether Dart could actually have been domesticated.
"Domesticated? I don't know, given where that ends up," Cohen told TV Guide at the Stranger Things 2 premiere. "But he's a good demodog, as we refer to him. I think he's got a good heart to him. We talked about movies like Gremlins with that storyline, and I really love the relationship that kind of blossomed between them both."
A pet demodog with a good heart and only a slight inclination to devour your friends and family is all any of us want, right?
Stranger Things Season 2 is now available for streaming on Netflix.