If you're really about this Stranger Things life, you've already copped the socks, done the Hopper dance, and binged the fuck out of the impressive nine-episode Stranger Things 2, which hit Netflix on October 27. While many people have expressed their feels for this return to Hawkins (and how much they disliked the seventh episode), one thing is clear: the finale is VERY intriguing and has people talking. What does it all mean, though? The Duffer Brothers explained it during a recent interview.

khal note: IT'S SPOILER CITY PAST THIS POINT. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED AF!

For those of you who caught season one, you'll remember that series creators The Duffer Brothers left a lot of loose ends, most importantly that slug Will threw up into the sink, which ended up foreshadowing Stranger Things 2's return to the Upside Down. At the end of Stranger Things 2, we don't get nearly as many cliffhangers, aside from a glimpse of the Upside Down, which is still very much alive, and the Shadow Monster, who looms over Hawkins Middle School's Snow Ball. This, the Duffer Brothers say, was by design.

"Yeah, we don’t end it on a totally happy note, do we?" the Duffer Brothers told Screen Rant with a laugh. "There were discussions about that, but then we went, 'Nah, we have to hint at what’s to come.' The hope we wanted people to get out of it is that this thing [is still out there]. They’ve shut the door on the Mind Flayer, but not only is it still there in the Upside Down, it’s very much aware of the kids, and particularly Eleven. It had not encountered her and her powers until that final episode. Now, it knows that she’s out there. We wanted to end on a little bit of an ominous note on that level."

Why choose to not go down the same well when it came to cliffhangers? The Duffer Brothers say they "didn’t want to box ourselves in for season three. We wanted to be able to start season three on a very clean slate. It felt totally unnecessary when we had the Snow Ball. Once we had the Snow Ball, we didn’t know [if we wanted to do] anything else as an ending."

The thing is, aside from the Shadow Monster, there is that dead (?) demodog that Steve and Dustin stuffed in the Byers' refrigerator. We never got to see where that ended up "one month later," but you have to imagine that it'll come into play at some point. Plus, the remnants of Hawkins Lab survived, and Eleven has a birth certificate now, so at some point, Eleven and the Shadow Monster must meet. Right?

For more insight on what the ending of Stranger Things 2 means for the future of the series, check out this breakdown over on Collider.