Stranger Things, S3, Ep 5,6,7,8, Spoiler Review by Case Wright


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I am reviewing these four episodes as a block because only 25 minutes mattered combined.  In fact, the show rapidly devolved into gross out scenes, cartoonish hijinks, cartoonish Russians, and a terrible song and dance number duo….really.  The only way this season could get rave reviews is if the reviewer binged the show and was too tired to analyze it.  I get it- you’re around your friend(s), your girlfriend is virtual, and you can barely afford your Brooklyn apartment on your blogger salary; however, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be critical of a show that really should just go away.

I’m adding on to my review here to discuss what makes Stranger Things so terrible now.  This series was heavily influenced by Stephen King and likely Salem’s Lot because of the repeated Vampire monsters.  More importantly, season 1 was great for the same reason that Stephen King’s stories are great- It’s not about the monster in the house; it’s about how the people are living in house with a monster.  These are your neighbors and now have to deal with something beyond reality and that was exactly what Stranger Things Season 1 was about.  There is one other theme that make Stephen King’s stories terrifying: it’s not Randall Flagg, the Werewolves, The Clowns; it’s about people who are supposed to be caring for you, but in fact do not.  This theme is in nearly every Stephen King book and it was present in Stranger Things Season 1.  El called Evil Modine “Papa” even though he was an abusive kidnapper who didn’t think anything more about El than a piece of lab equipment.  The series now has left all those themes behind to become a husk.

The last four episodes broke discretely into three distinct and equally boring and poorly executed quests: 1) Joyce, Hop, Alexi, and Weirdo try to destroy the machine opening the gate. 2) Dustin, Erica, Steve, and Robin try to escape the bunker and annoy everyone. 3) The original gang drag El around so she can get her ass beat.

Episodes 4 – 7:  Joyce and Hop go through town looking for answers and end up kidnapping a Russian engineer – Alexi.  They take him to the creepy weird guy from last season and without any story arc Alexi is all in to help.  He gives them schematics to infiltrate the Starcourt Mall underground bunker and how to destroy the machine.  Why does Alexi do all this? Who knows?  It’s a good thing Alexi is so detailed because he dies later and it doesn’t matter.  But, we do get A LOT of corny banter and goofy car scenes:

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Hop steals this car in the most corny and unrealistic way possible.  It’s corny, but it makes up for it by being cartoonish and boring.  There are A LOT of scenes where they are driving around and mostly Joyce yells a lot at Hop and Hop yells at Joyce for roughly 38 times.  It’s really dull.  They manage to infiltrate the base eventually try to destroy the machine.  Do they make it?  We have to get through many many pratfalls to find out .. wakka wakka wakka.

Dustin, Erica, Steve, and Robin infiltrate the base…..and Steve and Robin get caught right away.  This could have been a great suspenseful plot point, but instead we get hijinks!!! A goofy Russian General who makes this face a lot:

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This “torture” sequence goes on for a long long long while and really goes nowhere, which is especially disappointing because there were a couple of episodes that had real suspense.  Instead now, we get this comic book torture guy:

It’s really goofy.  It’s like the Duffer Brothers couldn’t figure out if this show was horror, comedy, or just paint by numbers garbage.  Dustin manages to bust Robin and Steve out because that’s super believable after making Dustin the LEAST physical of the bunch for 2.8 seasons.

El and the gang start to battle with the least effective monster ever.  For a Big Bad Vampire monster, it can’t see very well, it has a vague agenda, and it’s unclear what can actually kill it until the penultimate episode, which sets up Hop’s likely death.  Yes, it looks gross:

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BUT it’s REALLY REALLY bad at finding and killing things that matter.

They, of course, manage to kill off the big bad, but that was never really in doubt.  What was amazing is how the writers derailed the story in favor of WACKINESS!

The “scary” general goofs around A LOT:

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So funny how it derails the suspense. Sigh.

There is car driving wackiness: Screenshot (54).png

Above: a not funny joke was made. They laughed for a very long time.  The person on the right is Alexis.  He dies and it doesn’t matter.

The big fight with the big bad where Hop gets sacrificed: the show ruined itself.  It didn’t just go for wackiness; it stalled the epic last monster fight scene where everyone is about to die for a no kidding Song and Dance sequence- REALLY!

I remember when this song sequence started because I was young man with two newborns.  When it ended, I was sending my girls off to college.  The third picture? Yep, that’s a split screen singing moment.  It …. just….kept… going.  I was really rooting for the Monster.

Did the first four episodes give me hope? Yes, but that hope and good will was squandered by plain old corny scenes and cartoonish sequences.  Maybe, we all entered  the upside down because there is no way a third season like this should have made it to daylight without all laws of physics and reason being reversed.

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Stranger Things S3 Ep2, The Mall Rats, Review by Case Wright


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I was right again!!! Stranger Things is a VAMPIRE show!!! No one else got that! Season 1- I proved that the show was a Vampire show. This season continues that theme with a Renfield! See my old review HERE!!!

Vampires especially Dracula uses a Renfield as a familiar.  These are people who are quasi-vampires who do the bidding of the Vampire and bring them victims and assist them in their lives.  This is seen in Dracula, Salem’s Lot, What We Do in The Shadows, and Stranger Things Season 3.

This episode is all about change and entropy.  In the previous episode, Mullet-Guy was pulled down into the steel mill.  In this episode, we learn that this was to make Mullet-guy into a familiar to the New Nosferatu!

If you’re not convinced that the new big bad is a Vampire:

  1. Lives in a dark crypt. ✔
  2. Kills small animals to live. ✔
  3. Takes a familiar. ✔
  4. Has familiar bring it a pretty victim. ✔
  5. Familiar is hypnotized. ✔
  6. Vampire moves from small animals to human victims. ✔

What we got here is a case of a Sci-Fi Nosferatu!!!

The big bad is feeding on rats and later has Mullet-Guy bring him a pretty victim to feed upon and likely enslave just like Lucy was enslaved by Dracula in Bram Stokers.  The vampire story also explains the Winona Ryder casting because she was in the Bram Stoker Dracula film. Also, Mullet-guy is now dizzy and sick when he’s exposed to sunlight! HEARD IT HERE FIRST!!!! *Spikes Ball* *Touchdown Dance*

Mike takes Hops lecture seriously and he starts lying to El.  Then, El and Mike break up.  Big Whoop.  Don’t Care.  Lucas and his girlfriend are much more interesting characters anyway.  They have wit and drama.  Mike and El’s relationship is basically a one-note in dullsville.

Steve, Robin, and Dustin have decoded the Russian message sort of.  I’m actually coming to the belief that neck breaking Russian guy is in the upside down and they are trying to get back to the real world.  Also, that the melted Russians from the first episode are actually the Big Bad from Season 2 and Season 3.  The experiment fused them and now they are a combined angry monster vampire.

The episode ends as said before with Mullet-Renfield bringing the Monster a pretty victim. Just like in Dracula!

 

Stranger Things, S3, Ep1, Suzie, Do you copy?, Review By Case Wright, (Dir. Matt and Ross Duffer)


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And…..We’re Back!

This series is special to me. It’s the first I ever reviewed for this site.  It was awesome- Read Here

I have watched every episode of this series.  The first season was epic and even engendered a ride at Universal Studios.  Season 2 was a show that was aired on Netflix with Sean Astin.  This season has a new big bad who looks a lot like last years big bad. So….I hope it’s better than last year’s terribleness.  This episode opened with a bit of meh, but better than Season Two’s sophomore slump.  I’m guessing that it will be kinda of fun to watch.  In any case, I write for an entertainment blog, so this is happening!

Cold Open: The Russians are trying to open the gate and they are EVIL!  One guy goes full on Ivan Drago (Rocky IV) and lifts a guy by the neck and chokes hims to death! Their experiment apparently releases the smoke monster again and he’s pissed at Hawkins!

Our older heroes are really not doing well.  Nancy is a gopher at a sexist newspaper.  Jake Busey is one of the reporters.  I’m not sure if Jake knew this was a role or if he thought, “I’ve always wanted to work at a newspaper in a dying town!” and just ran with it.  Creeper has found his niche working as a creepy photographer for a creepy newspaper.  We’re better off without elitist journalists anyway.  All Hail The Bloggers!!!!

Steve is working at the mall at a terrible ice cream shop and striking out with every girl in Indiana.  I suppose this is possible.  He wears a dorky outfit, but he’s still Steve.  I kinda doubted this whole constant rejection he’s getting.  I think it’s the writers were  thinking that the moment good looking people leave high school, they are nobody.  This doesn’t make sense because IRL beautiful people make tons of money as actors and generally do pretty well getting dates.  It takes me out of it a little.

The gang is all about their hormones.  Mike and El are constantly making out and disrespecting Hop, which I really can’t stand.  Hop is troubled by and turns to his unrequited love Joyce who tells him to get to get all kumbaya and I just can’t watch.  This comes to a head at the end of the episode where Hop loses it and I’m hoping he smacks Mike around- in a nice way.

Dustin returned from science camp and he built a Radio Tower to speak with his girlfriend in Utah.  Everyone keeps acting totally shocked that Dustin could have a girlfriend.  This came across as mean and dickish to me.  I mean Dustin isn’t Brad Pitt, but he’s smart and nice.  Anywho, they erect the radio tower and Dustin can’t reach her, giving his girlfriend claim a “My girlfriend is in Canada” feel to it. To my Canadian readers, we down south have been claiming that you were our girlfriends for generations.  I know this sounds weird, but here we are.   He does pick up a signal from the Russians and they are trying to open their own gate to evil town.

Ok, Cara Buono is at the pool as is Mullet-guy.  Mullet-guy is now the lifeguard and they going to have an affair.  This all seems to be ready to go, but the smoke monster is taking up space in the abandoned Steel Mill and eats him or something.  Why a Steel Mill?  Well, the Smoke Monster is really into depressed real estate and factories can be converted into lofts for the hipster set.  It’s really forward thinking on Smokey’s part.

I would say this episode is a bit clunky, but good.  Is it the thrill ride of the first season? NO NO NO, but honestly what is?!  Stranger Things season 1 was a television event up there with The Stand, Shogun, or It.  In fact, it was never meant to be a recurring series until the last minute, but hey it’s better than watching re-runs of Parks and Rec.

See you soon for ep 2!!!

 

 

 

Stranger Things: Season 1, Episode 8: The Upside Down, ALT Title: Hop’s Redemption


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Cold Open:  Evil Modine’s Government Facility:  Joyce is screaming and Evil Modine enters.  He conveys with cold calm that six people were taken this week and tries to bully Joyce like he did Karen.  Joyce isn’t having it.  Henchwoman is having people taser Hop … A LOT!  He tells them that he knows everything about they did.  They propose to have him overdose.  He counters that they arm him and let him and Joyce go.  How does Hop fit into his pants with balls that big?!

High school:  The boys are at the school and restless.  They realize that Nancy and Creeper are gone.

Joyce’s House: They set up several booby traps and the xmas lights, which sets up an inconsistency in the storytelling.

Evil Modine comes to Hop.  Hop convinces Evil Modine to to arm him, release him AND Joyce, and allow him to pursue the monster.  He offers to forget about him and their project and he’ll tell him where El is, if he agrees to his terms.

Hop and Joyce get spacesuited up and enter into the belching gate to the Upside Down.

ROLL CREDITS:

The Upside Down: Hop and Joyce are looking for Will.  The respirator noise causes Hop to Flash to happier times.

Hop is in the past… clean-shaven, with his wife and daughter, and happy.  His daughter starts to wheeze.

The Upside Down:  Nancy and Creeper cut themselves to draw out the Postmodern Vampire.  She wonders how she will know when the monster will be coming, which brings us to the story hole: Why would she be screwing the lights back in before if she didn’t know that they had a purpose? Steve bangs at the door and forces himself into the house. They both try to get him to leave and Nancy even pulls a gun on him, but then the lights flicker, the monster appears, and Steve’s brain breaks a little.  They run to Will’s room.

The Upside Down:  Hop sees the destroyed Castle Byers and a teddy bear causes him to FLASH.

Hospital Room:  He is reading to his daughter who is bald from cancer.  When he’s done reading, he goes into the hospital stairwell and sobs.  Poor Hop.

Joyce’s House: Steve freaks out and runs to his car, but he sees the lights flickering and decides to become a hero.  The monster appears behind Nancy and Creeper.  Steve jumps in and starts hitting the monster with an upgraded baseball bat.  The monster gets trapped in the bear trap.  They set the monster on fire and it disappears.  There is smoldering monster blood in the trap.  My best guess of what smoldering Vampire Monster smells like is anything on the Arby’s menu.  

The Upside Down:  Hop and Joyce are in her home and they see the blood from the monster.  The lights start turning on in Joyce’s house.

High School: Dustin finds pudding. We get it; he’s the fat kid!  Mike talks to El about how his family will quasi-adopt her. Jibber Jabber Jibber Jabber, they kiss.  Then, Evil Modine and his Goons arrive to retrieve El.  The boys and El run.   They make it into a hallway and are cutoff with ….Goons to the Left and Goons to the Right and she’s the only El in town! [Sung]

El uses her mojo and melts/explodes the brains and eyes of the Henchwoman and several goons.  This brings us to bad ideas: New Coke, The Edsel, Qwikster, The Zune, Grease 2, and cornering a pissed off teenager with lethal mental Superpowers.  Hop and Joyce pursue the monster and follow its bloodtrail to the library where Hop has looked for love.

High school: The boys get grabbed by goons and El is passed out from mental exertion. Evil Modine hugs her and promises to make everything better to make her better.   The lights flash.  Mike sees the blood, the monster breaks through the wall, and envelops Evil Modine.  Once again, it’s a monster, who hunts at night, and searches for blood.   NOSFERATU!!!!!

The Library:  Joyce and Hop are in the public library.  They see skulls everywhere and viney gooeyness.  Lastly, they see Will with a monster snake attached to his mouth.

Flash to Hop’s daughter’s Hospital Room:  We see his daughter intubated and dying.  She flatlines.  The scene is intercut with Hop watching his daughter dying and him removing Will’s monster snake from him.

High school:  The goons are fighting the monster and losing.  The monster enters the room where the boys are hiding and Lucas tries to kill the monster with the slingshot for some reason.  The monster is flung and pinned against the wall.  El is awake with red eyes and is really pissed.  She looks back at the one boy she ever loved, says good bye, and then using her mind – she creates a bright LIGHT ….AHEM … A Bright Light like the Sun and destroys the monster by disintegrating both herself and it.

Hop and Joyce:  Hop is doing CPR on Will with Joyce’s help to revive Will.  In saving Will, he will have also released himself from the prison of his grief. We flash to the Hop’s dying daughter with doctors failing to save her and we see the beginning of his beard.  However, in the Upside Down, Hop is able to save Will and, in doing so, himself as well.

High school: Karen arrives and hugs her son.

The Hospital:  Will awakens to his family.

The Waiting Room:  Everyone is waiting for Will to wake up in the hospital.  The tragedy has brought them together as one community, one tribe.  When the boys hear that Will is awake, they run in and jibber jabber a bit.  Hop goes outside and is picked up by goons, but in a friendly way.

ONE MONTH LATER:

Snow has begun.  The boys are playing D&D again.  Creeper picks up Will and gets a present from Nancy, but we rapidly see that she isn’t his girlfriend.  It’s a camera. HMMMMM, not sure if that will improve Creeper’s prospects of staying out of handcuffs. 

Hop Goes to the station and gets some food and makes some wise cracks.  He drops off some eggos in a dead drop, which is presumably for El.

Joyce’s House: It’s all fixed up because the town must have pitched in together.  Will heads to the bathroom and barfs up a slug monster, flashes into the Upside Down, and doesn’t tell anyone because I guess mash potatoes were all he could think about at that time.

ROLL CREDITS

This has been so much fun!  Demand more with all your might!!!

 

 

Stranger Things: The Bathtub Season 1, Episode 7; ALT Title: Modine, Evil Modine.


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Cold Open:  Mike cleans off El’s face.  She touches her head where the wig once was; the wig that made her a little normal and not a lab rat.  “Still pretty?” She asks.  Mike, “Really pretty.”  They are about to kiss when Dustin interrupts.  At least it wasn’t because he found a unopened box of Twinkies.  They hear shouting on the walkie talkie.  It’s Lucas.  Lucas has decided F-This.  How did I end up in this situation?! And, how come we never see my or Dustin’s parents? Did the monster eat them?  Lucas is peddling as fast as he can … If he’s smart, to Iowa and away from this horrible situation.  Lucas continues to shout into the walkie and finally warns his friends.  The boys see the Hawkins vans outside of Mike’s house and decide to flee.

El sees her “Papa” Evil Modine approach Mike’s home.  They bike in a hurry to escape and immediately run into Lucas.  They are together and cornered- vans in front, vans behind them.  Pro tip: Nobody puts El in a corner because she will f#cking kill you.  El’s response to being cornered is launching the Hawkings van into the air and hurling it toward the pursuers behind her.  They escape to the junkyard and everyone makes up.

Roll Credits:

Hop and Joyce arrive at the station. Joyce is hysterical.  The deputies tell Hop that they need to show him something.  They show Hop Creeper’s trunk. It is filled with monster hunting stuff.  Hop confronts Creeper and Creeper tries to give Hop some lip.  Really, Creeper?! Really?!  Chief Hopper makes Jason Bourne look like Rick Moranis.  

Mike’s House:  Karen is looking for Mike and finds what looks like a kid’s nest.  Then, she finds a tuft of long blonde hair, which must cause her to wonder- Are all of my kids having sex in my house?!  Doorbell rings.  It’s Modine, Evil Modine!  He proceeds to home invade Karen’s home without a warrant.  Henchlady tries to question Karen and fails.  Nebish Dad uses this time to call his son a wuss.  Evil Modine uses his eeeeeeevil powers of persuasion to get Karen cooperate.  When he says, “Will you trust me?” I got the heebie jeebies.  Shudders.

At the station, Hop learns from Nancy and Creeper that the creature is drawn by blood. The World Smallest Bully’s mom demands an apology.  Hop learns that El is with the boys and is all kinds of superpowered.

Convenience Store: Steve loses his shitty friends and we learn it was his awful guy friend who did the spray painting.

Nancy and Hop are overlooking her home.  She wants to confront Evil Modine.  Hop shows Nancy that the government hasn’t found the boys yet because helicopters are still circling. Creeper tells them that he might be able to communicate with the boys.  They go to Joyce’s house and Nancy is the first to look at the lights and say- WHOA!  Yep, we’re in Crazytown, Indiana.  Hop gets the boys to give up their location.

The Vandalized Movie Theater: Steve’s heart grows three sizes that day and he tries to make amends by cleaning off the marquee his friend defaced.

Junkyard:  Modine’s goons approach the bus that is hiding the boys and El.  Hop quickly dispatches them.

Joyce’s house: The Boys, El, Hop, Joyce, and Creeper are all together discussing their next move as one tribe.  El tries and fails to use her mojo to find Will.  They decide to make a bathtub deprivation tank.

Mr. Clark’s house: He is watching a cinematic masterpiece, The Thing, with a waaaay Hot Asian Lady.  Mr. Clark, I tip my hat to you Sir. You be you.  Dustin calls Mr. Clark- the most patient man alive- pumps him for DIY sensory deprivation tank information and then hangs up.  Dustin, you’re being a dick.

They get the bath ready and El goes into the black world of the Inbetween.  She finds a rotting Barb with monster slugs leaving her.  Dear Everyone in the World, stop asking about Barb.  She’s a rotting incubator for Vampire Monsters.  That is all.  El finds Castle Byers in the upside down.  She comforts Will.

Hop and Joyce go off to Evil Modine’s Government Facility and are rapidly captured.

The Upside Down: The Monster destroys Castle Byers and takes Will to turn him into an incubator for monsters.

ROLL CREDITS!!!!  If you enjoy these, please tell my Boss- Lisa Bowman! Also, suggest other shows or movies that you would like me to review. Cheers!

 

 

Stranger Things- Season 1, Episode 6 – The Monster; ALT Title: Are you there God? It’s me, El.


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Cold Open: Creeper is calling for Nancy. She is lost in the Shadow World.  In her haste, Nancy is has passed the exit and his alone in the with the monster.  Creeper sees the tree portal, then Nancy’s outstretched arm, and pulls the love of his life back into the Light World like a forceps baby.  The tree’s portal closes.

Roll Credits.

Steve is driving with his crew all worried about Nancy.  He uses his much improved Ninja Skills to go up to Nancy’s bedroom, but is frozen with shock and rage at the sight of Creeper comforting Nancy on her bed.

Joyce’s House:  Hop is mentally exhausted, but pushes through it.  He explains that he saw Will’s room because there was a kid’s bed and kid’s drawing on the wall.  However, when Joyce asks, “Was [the drawing] good?”  Hop describes it as a kid’s drawing.  She shows Hop an example of Will’s very good artwork.  Hop realizes that all this time that he’s been looking for another kid.  David Harbour plays this scene with a mix of realization and rage that they did this to yet another kid.  I haven’t seen acting this good since the Robert Mitchum or Gary Cooper.  In five years, he’ll be holding an Oscar.  

Mike’s house:  Nancy showers off her evil goo.  She has Creeper sleep in her bed.  Maybe, he’ll take some photos of her when she sleeps? You two deserve each other. 

Hop and Joyce:  They go on a quest to find El’s mom, using his library research.  Given that was a trolling ground for Hop, I didn’t mean to have that previous sentence to read vaguely dirty.

Nancy’s Room:  Nancy Nancy Drews (sorry had to go there) a theory that the monster is a predator, who hunts at night, and detects blood.  HMMMMMMM, whatever could it be????  They decide to set a trap.

Mr. Clark’s house:  He is visited by Evil Modine’s Blonde Henchwoman and is duped into revealing the boys’ identities with promises of nerdy tech programs for promising youths.

Flash to El: Evil Modine brings El a one-dollar Target store plant because he wants to her to make contact and he’s obviously cheap.

El wakes in the woods.  She puts her wig on to become a normal girl again.  She looks into the water seeing herself as a freak, a monster, an ersatz girl.  El tosses the wig and screams her energy into the lake.

Mike’s House:  Karen uses her bobby pin to gain access to Nancy’s room, expecting to find a sleeping kid.  Instead, she sees an empty bed and the indications that a boy spent the night.

Lucas’ House:  The boys try to make up. It’s a bit corny, but in a good way.  Lucas is determined to find Will on his own and he’s convinced that El is a traitor.  Dustin insists that it was pretty awesome; she threw him  into the air with her mind.  Lucas’ face says it all- that’s why she sucks, SHE’S NOT HUMAN!

El decides to go shopping for some Eggos.  She’s dirty, she’s weird, and the villagers are scared.  FLASH to the Evil Bathtub:  El is being submerged into the dark world -the in between space that separates our world and the Shadow World a membrane that acts a terrible bridge.  Back to the store where once again, we find a dickish manager.  She calls the manager a Mouth Breather; it’s pretty awesome.  He tries to stop El because she’s leaving the store without paying and El’s like – LEGGO MY EGGO! BOOM- The sliding glass doors explode.

Hop and Joyce:  They arrive at Terry Ives’ home to ask her about her daughter.  She is catatonic.

Lucas: We see him leaving to find Will.  He sees a white Hawkins Power and Light van. Dustin and Mike, separated from Lucas, discuss why Lucas is upset.  Dustin explains that Lucas is jealous because he’s being replaced by El.

We learn from Terry’s sister that she got into MK Ultra in college.  They gave Terry loads of LSD, put her in the salt water tank, but she was pregnant.   This gave her baby enhanced superpowers.  This is an obvious nod to Dean Herbert’s Dune, when Lady Jessica takes the Water of Life when she was pregnant; thereby, giving her daughter Alia superpowers. Yep, I just laid some nerd knowledge on you! Boom!  Terry’s sister explains that Terry believed she would have telekinetic and other badass powers; we flash to El’s mojo badassery throughout the series.  All the while she describes this, there is baby music playing in the background that is extra creepy.

Lucas uses his compass and arrives at Evil Modine’s Government Facility.

Nancy and Creeper find supplies to set their trap.  When they go outside, she sees the movie theater marquee – All The Right Moves Starring – Spray Painted – Nancy the Slut Wheeler.  She’s mortified.  She hears spray paint cans being used and finds Steve and his cohorts.  She slaps him.  Steve starts insulting Creeper and Creeper kicks Steve’s ass.  The cops arrive and in a funny accidental assault on a police officer, Creeper is arrested.

Hop and Joyce: She’s devastated that it’s been 12 years since Terry saw her daughter, meaning she may never see Will again. Hop explains that there’s still a chance.  He explains that he’s been through what she’s going through, but his daughter was taken permanently, but he will get Will back to her.  People in pain will sometimes lash out because a person tries to share their pain, thinking that the sharer is trying to make it about themselves.  WRONG! Don’t be that way! Pain is not unique.  There’s sympathy and empathy.  Sympathy- wow, that sucks.  Empathy- I felt your kind of pain because this happened to me.  This is a vulnerable act of sharing, creating intimacy and intimacy is the bedrock of any relationship. 

Hop gets a call that Creeper was arrested.

Back at the Police Station, Nancy brings Creeper some ice for his candid photo taking hands.

Lucas:   He sees a bunch of Hawkins Power and Light vans.  Lucas realizes that the government is on to them.

The Bullies find Dustin and Mike at the Quarry.  The World’s Smallest Bully (WSB) catches Dustin and threatens to cut out Dustin’s baby teeth, if Mike doesn’t jump into the quarry. The tension builds and he jumps.  The boys run to see a likely dead Mike; instead, Mike is suspended in mid-air and hoisted back to the top of the cliff.  We cut to El who has her signature bloody nose.  She shoves one bully into the air and breaks the WSB’s arm.  El says, GO!  The bullies do.

Flash to In between dark room: She sees the monster and approaches.  She reaches out to it’s scaly skin and touches the creature.  It shrieks at her with a head full of teeth.  El’s terror is so great that she releases a huge energy burst that tears a hole in our dimension, linking our world to the shadow world and the Monster.

Back to the quarry, El confesses she opened the gate; therefore, she is the monster.  Mike eschews that notion- You saved me El. They all hug.

Dustin, Mike, and El have return to Mike’s house and the Hawkins Power and Light Van is waiting for them.

 

Stranger Things- Season 1 Episode 5- The Flea and The Acrobat; ALT Title: Hop is my Spirit Animal.


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Cold Open:

Evil Modine’s Government Facility: Hop is being a total badass and sneaks into the facility. He sneaks around the facility and hides in rooms as evil scientists go by in the halls.  He goes through biohazard plastic and is about to head to the entrance to find Will.  Hop runs into the shittiest security chief ever and kicks his ass and the ass of a Military Policeman. Hop – you win the badass award of 1983.

Joyce’s house: Lonnie is getting Joyce liquored up and generally trying to take over her life. Lonnie – who might be one of the earliest Mansplainers – tries to convince Joyce that all of this in her head.  This show is really good at showing people’s reaction to grief and potential mental illness. The people are marginalized, ignored, and bossed around. It’s especially poignant because the show is postmodern gothic horror and the way “normal characters” deal with the people they can’t understand is truly medieval.  

Evil Modine’s Government Facility:  Hop continues to search for Will.  He finds a room with a kid-sized bed and a drawing of two stick figures and a cat- a call back to where Evil Modine tried to harness El’s powers to diminish the local feline population.  Hop’s face is cool rage.  He’s certain that they have Will.

The director intercuts the boys’ discussion and Hop’s search for Will. The intercut between the boys’ discussion and Hop’s search is truly gooseflesh inducing. El is completely drained.  The boys are going over what was said on the AV equipment.  Lucas emotes that he is really tired of this shit.  Hop has his pistol drawn and is being pursued by Evil Modine’s goons.  The boy’s describe the World of the veil of shadows.  Hop finds the elevator that leads down to the gate to the shadow world.  Hop enters a hallway that the boys describe as – out of phase.  There is evil snow coming down around Hop.  Hop enters the room with the main portal to the shadow world and is grabbed and drugged.  This story really grabs at the ancient themes of storytelling- Hop is the sullied knight on Crusade looking for redemption and he plays it perfectly!  Fade to Black.

Roll Credits:

Joyce’s House:  Creeper arrives home to see his Mom drinking and generally hanging out with Lonnie.  Poor Creeper.

Funeral:  Lonnie holds Court and shakes a lot of hands as if he is the man of the family and not a human-turd.

Hop’s Home:  Hop wakes with sweat stains and surrounded by pills and booze.  Hop tears his place apart like he’s looking for Rebel Plans of the Death Star.  After much destruction, Hop finds what he’s been looking for- a listening device in his light fixture.

Evil Modine’s Government Facility:  Evil Modine has decided that the monster is hanging around Will’s home.

Post Funeral:  Nancy and Creeper are making plans to hunt down and kill the Monster.  He gets a pistol out of his father’s glove box.

High school: A fake AV Club Repairman investigates the equipment that was fried by El.

The Wake:  The boys go up to Mr. Clark and they have him lay some science down on them.  Are there alternative universes? You bet! Does Mr. Clark know about Dungeons and Dragons? Right again!  Does he explain that someone would have to create immense power to create a tear into another dimension much like the plot of Bioshock Infinite? OH YEAH!!!  BTW, this tear could destroy us all and wonks up compasses as well.

Hop’s House:  The deputies arrive and talk to Hop.  They think he’s a bit nutty and we find out that Barb’s car was found at a bus station.

Joyce’s House:  Lonnie talks about the Statler Corporation and how they need to be held accountable as he does some pretty shitty home repair.  This gives Joyce a moment of clarity that perhaps Lonnie is infact a dirtbag.

Mike’s House:  Dustin is experimenting with the compasses.  He explains to his friends that the compass is not facing True North; instead, they must be pointing to the Evil Gate.

Joyce’s House:  While Lonnie is showering, Joyce snoops in Lonnie’s stuff and discovers a personal injury attorney’s flyer.

Mike’s House: Nancy talks to Steve.  It’s boring.

Joyce’s House:  Joyce fights with Lonnie and tosses his ass out of her house.

Hop’s House: Hop is exhausted and calls his estranged wife.  We learn that after their child’s death, she left, and now has a new family.  Poor Hop.

The boys are trying to get to the portal via the local railroad tracks.  El flashes to Evil Modine.  He has her focus on a Commie.  To accomplish this task, she must get into a scary bathtub with a helmet on her.  Huh? The boys notice that El is acting stranger.

 Nancy and Creeper are walking through the woods hunting for the Monster.  They argue about her and Steve. Blah. Blah. Blah.

Joyce’s House:  Joyce hears banging at her door and thinks it’s Lonnie.  In fact, it’s Hop holding up a sign for her to be quiet.  He looks at all of the lights that are up in her home that he must now check for listening devices and says, “Oh Jesus”.  I have had to inspect Christmas Lights a time or two and it is a pain in the ass!

Junkyard:  Dustin realizes the compasses are not leading them to the gate.  Lucas discerns that it was El misleading them using her powers, discovering fresh nose-blood on her sleeve.  She explains that [the gate] is not safe.

Joyce’s House:  Hop’s finished checking the lights.  He explains to Joyce that they bugged his place, they took Will, Will’s body was a fake, and she was right all along.

Lucas emotes that El likely opened the gate and that she might be the monster!  Lucas and Mike fight and El launches Lucas into the air.  El flashes to the evil bathtub.  She goes to a totally black room with water in it that looks identical to the kill room in “Under the Skin”.  Under the Skin is a must watch!  She hears the commie talking and goes up to him.  He can’t see her.  While she is broadcasting the commie’s speech, she hears something horrible.  A monster using sonar.  She flees.  We return to the Junkyard and Lucas comes to and storms off.  El has also disappeared.

The Woods:  Nancy and Creeper come upon a dying deer.  They decide to put it down.  In an act of knight-like chivalry (AHEM), Creeper attempts to shoot the deer.  It is pulled into the darkness.  Creeper and Nancy split up to look for the deer.  Nancy sees a hole in a tree that is covered with evil slime and decides to go inside it alone and without any weapons because she’s really really smart.  Nancy enters the shadow world and sees the Monster crouched and feeding on the deer.  She attempts to back away and crushes a branch. The Monster turns and it’s face opens in four quadrants to reveal nothing but teeth and rage!

Roll Credits!

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