HOLLYWOOD—We are getting closer to the climax of “Stranger Things!” I would be lying if I said I didn’t have to re-watch the last five minutes of this episode, because I was too scared to watch the first time.
Chief Hopper manages to sneak into the Hawkins Laboratory and is just kicking butt and taking names. Something I missed in a previous episode: the older white-haired guy I think is Eleven’s father is Dr. Martin Brenner. Hopper reaches the room with the pulsing thing on the wall, which I am thinking is a portal to another dimension, when the scientists get to him and knock him out.
Mike, Lucas and Dustin are trying to put together what they heard Will saying over the school’s radio that Eleven had been channeling through. Eleven tells the boys that Will is in the “Upside-Down” and the boys start to put it together. The “Upside-Down” is like “The Vale of Shadows,” an alternate dimension that is an echo of our own world. It is next to us, but we can’t see it and it has monsters inside.
Will and Jonathan’s father Lonnie is back in the picture, arriving at Joyce’s home for the funeral. Lonnie tries to convince Joyce that maybe what she saw was all in her head, and is not happy when Jonathan arrives and “feeds” into her delusions. Everyone gets ready for Will’s funeral that has a huge turnout. After the funeral Jonathan and Nancy decide they are going to hunt the monster down and Jonathan steals his dad’s gun.
Hopper wakes up in his house where beer cans are littered everywhere. His house becomes more of a disaster area as he searches the place for bugs the men from the lab might have hidden, and he actually finds one. Dr. Brenner listens to a recording from a bug in Joyce’s house of Will speaking to his mom and the boys talking to Eleven.
After the funeral, the boys ask their science teacher about how to theoretically travel to alternate dimensions. The teacher tells the boys the metaphor of the acrobat and the flea. We are the acrobat stuck only moving backwards or forwards in our reality, the tightrope, whereas a flea can go backwards, forwards, on the side of, or underneath the tightrope. The only way to get to another dimension is to either be a flea or punch a gateway into our reality ripping through time and space, but that would cause a great fluctuation in power and electromagnetic energy.
Lonnie has taken down all of Joyce’s lights and is boarding up the hole in the wall. When he goes to shower Joyce finds an advertisement for a law firm in Lonnie’s things that advertises getting money for a “wrongful death” lawsuit. Joyce yells at Lonnie for only coming back to get money from Will’s death to pay off his own debts. Lonnie indicates that Joyce is a bad mother, because look what happened to one of their sons, and she kicks him out.
Eleven tells the boys she doesn’t know how to get to the “Upside-Down,” and the boys are stuck until Dustin notices their compasses are no longer pointing to the north. They must be pointing to the gateway! On their travels, Eleven has another flashback of preparing to mentally travel a long distance by being submerged into water with an oxygen mask.
One thing I like about this show is that the characters have depth! Instead of Steve being the stereotypical 1980s jerk, he stops by to apologize to Nancy for his behavior and tries to cheer her up. Nancy makes up an excuse for why she can’t hang out and later meets up with Jonathan for their monster hunt. Jonathan and Nancy end up fighting over whether they are following their opposite stereotypes of creepy outcast and middle-class suburban girl.
Hopper arrives at Joyce’s house with a note telling her not to speak. He searches her house for bugs, but is unfortunately unable to find the one we know is in there. Hopper does tell Joyce that Will’s body was a fake, and she finally has someone on her team!
Eleven tries to mess with the boys’ compasses to keep them from getting to the gateway. This leads to a fight between Lucas and Mike that ends with Eleven knocking Lucas out when she throws him with her mind. The flashback continues as she mentally visits a Russian. In her view, she is in a dark place with only the Russian and she is broadcasting his words through the lab’s speaker system. Suddenly, the Russian disappears and we hear the creepy laughter of the monster. Dr. Brenner has no idea what the monster is.
Here is the scene that I honestly hid behind my hands for: the monster hunt! Jonathan and Nancy are in the woods at night (super smart people) and they find a dying deer that was hit by a car. Before they are able to put the animal out of its misery the monster snatches it away. They follow the blood trail and get separated. Nancy finds a bloody tree that seems to be another gateway to the “Upside-Down” and what does she do, people! She crawls right in! Nancy sees the monster and screams, but it looks like she is also trapped in the “Upside-Down,” as Jonathon only finds her jacket in our reality.
Nighty-night horror fanatics, sleep tight and try to stay in our reality!