Dustin’s unusual pet, Dart, will not be back in future seasons of Stranger Things. The second season of Netflix’s sci-fi hit has not only answered many questions that arose after season 1, but also introduced new characters – both human and non-human. Among those is a slimy creature first referred to as “Pollywog” who Dustin affectionately named “Dart”, short for D’Artagnan.
Dart makes its debut in the third episode, appropriately titled “The Pollywog”, when Dustin finds the creature in a trash can outside his home and uses his Ghostbusters’ ghost trap replica to capture it and take it home. Little did Dustin know at that point that his new friend was, in fact, a baby version of the Demogorgon monster. With Eleven finally closing the gate to the Upside Down at the end of the season, and Dart joining his fellow Demodogs before the closing of the gate, what could have happened to him and the rest of the creatures?
In an interview with CinemaBlend during a Master Class event at Chapman University, the Duffer Brothers revealed that Dart and the rest of the Demodogs died when Eleven closed the gate to the Upside Down. Said gate works as a lifeline to these creatures - if it closes, the lifeline is cut off. As explained by Ross Duffer, Dart is “cut off and so he died by his beloved Three Musketeers Bar.” At least Dustin got to say goodbye.
This relationship between Dart and Dustin put the group in serious danger, as Dustin lied to his friends about Dart’s nature. His fascination towards Dart, despite the danger that came with it, comes from his inclination towards science, which has been shown since season 1. Ross Duffer explained Dustin’s trail of thought when it comes to Dart:
“I think 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.”
Not only did this Dart/Dustin relationship saved the kids (and Steve) in the tunnels underneath Hawkins, with Dustin calming Dart with a Three Musketeers Bar, thus making way for the group to return to our dimension, it’s also thanks to Dart that the Dustin/Steve friendship came to be. When Dart starts growing and going out of control, Dustin gets Steve to help him recapture it. In the end, Dustin’s curiosity benefited the group.
With the Demodogs out of the picture, we can only wonder if the Upside Down has other types of creatures that can make their way to our dimension or if there’s a way for the Demodogs to be revived if the gate re-opens. And while Dustin’s actions, although irresponsible, turned out for the better, let’s hope he rethinks his choices the next time he comes across an unknown creature.
Stranger Things 2 is available to stream on Netflix.