Welcome to a post-Stranger Things Season 2 world, where we now get to spend the next year or so trying to figure out what the heck just happened, and where we go from here in Hawkins, Indiana. While we, unfortunately, do not have answers about the shadow monster right now, we do have an answer to something else: How Steve feels about Nancy at the end of the season.
Season 1 painted Steve (played by Joe Keery) as a d-bag we loved to hate — and also love. Was he the right choice for Nancy? Probably not. But the two were cute together, in a very high school love way. Flash forward to Season 2, and Steve and Nancy are still together. Nancy’s even helping Steve apply for college! But, unfortunately, since nothing gold can stay, the two break it off when Nancy sets off on an adventure with Jonathan…who later becomes her boyfriend. (And no, they don’t put a label on it, since they’ve got better things to do like save the world, but we can assume they’re together.)
However, just because Steve and Nancy aren’t an item anymore doesn’t mean that Steve doesn’t get his own Stranger Things adventure. He teams up with the kids, and even finds a new ‘lil buddy in Dustin. Episode 9, “The Gate,” ends with Steve dropping Dustin off at the dance and OUR HEARTS.
Peering inside the building, Steve sees Nancy, and the faintest smile crosses his face before he drives away.
So what does this mean? Does it mean Steve is letting Nancy go, or that he’s still got feelings for her? According to Joe Keery, the answer is yes…and also yes.
I asked Keery on the Stranger Things red carpet, and he believes that his lingering look is a “mixture of both” love and letting go when it comes to his feelings for Nancy.
Might this mean that the Steve-Nancy-Jonathan love-triangle will live on in Season 3? We’ll just have to wait and find out.