[This story contains spoilers for Stranger Things 2. You have been warned!]
The Stranger Things love triangle reared its head again in Season 2, and this time things definitely heated up. Instead of some slight jealousy that was eventually set aside in favor of fighting off a demogorgon from another dimension, we got full-on make outs, breakups and hookups galore.
Nancy's (Natalia Dyer) guilt over Barb led to some pretty nasty fights with Steve (Joe Keery) and eventually they called it quits, but it could be argued that their relationship never had a great foundation to begin with. On the other side of the triangle, Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) and Nancy apparently never reconnected after the events of last past year, which left things awkward between them. There was, however, always a bit of charged tension between them when they were together, even if they were too scared to act on it — at least at first.
That chemistry eventually lead them to a pretty steamy hookup while they were out trying to get #JusticeForBarb. And yet despite all the twists and turns the Steve-Nancy-Jonathan triangle took this year, the season ended with a lot of ambiguity about where everyone is headed next.
"I think it's ambiguous for a reason," Dyer told TV Guide. "I think that's kind of the way the Duffers like to do it, and I appreciate that. Nancy loves and cares about Steve, and they obviously have a special relationship together, but I think what's happened in Season 1 has kind of forced everybody to cope with things and deal with things and grow in certain ways, maybe apart and maybe together. I think she's also shared a kind of kindred spirit with Jonathan from Season 1."
The connection Nancy and Jonathan have has been undeniable since some of their first scenes together, but does that mean he's the guy she needs to be with? Not necessarily. It's hard not to notice that these two characters only ever come together (romantically and otherwise) when there's a catastrophe to handle or a mission to complete. Would their relationship even work on a daily basis if there were no demogorgons to defeat or evil scientists to take down?
As far as Dyer is concerned, the question of who Nancy should end up with isn't what's important. "I think Nancy's just taking things as they come," Dyer said. "I don't think she necessarily has to pick or be with anybody, but I think both of those relationships are very special to her in different ways."
Here, here! Who says Nancy has to pick either of them, when push comes to shove? A girl's got more important things to worry about, like avenging her best friend's death, making sure her little brother gets a happy ending with his psychic girlfriend and being an absolute BOSS chaperone at the school dance.
As for Steve, Joe Keery said that he's come a long way since Season 1, and while that growth might be a good thing for him as a person, it might not be the best thing for his relationship with Nancy. His last, soulful look at her through the gym doors leaves room for interpretation, but Keery said that it may have been a goodbye for him.
"If you love somebody, you're always afraid of losing them," Keery said. "In some ways, he kind of has lost her, and he's let go of her, realizing that maybe he isn't the right thing for her, and he's trying to do what's best for Nancy. That being said, I think he does have unsettled feelings about her, and I think that he cares for her deeply and misses her, but he's trying to put her before himself."
Well, crap. Isn't that kind of behavior just evidence that he maybe is right or her? And now we're back to square one.
Stranger Things 2 is available for streaming on Netflix.