Thursday, October 6, 2016

Stranger Things II: Electric Boogaloo


On the previous Thursday, I posted about my entry into the world of Stranger Things.

My daughter asked if I was going to do another blog post after watching two more episodes of Stranger Things last Friday. I said probably not, that I would likely wait until we finished all episodes before I did a follow up post.

 

But damn, Stranger Things is so good!

 

Episodes 3 and 4 advance both the plot and the characterizations of our cast.

 

Chief Hopper just Sherlock’s the shit out of some clues then goes bad ass beat down on some schmucks in his way. This guy is amazing to watch. He’s a cop who’s on the outside of a mystery but he keeps circling, circling, bringing him closer and closer to details about this strange case he’s on.

 

We get some significant flashbacks to flesh out Eleven’s story and oh the feels! This poor girl has been put through torment and torture in a cold, loveless environment. If your heart wasn’t going out to El before, it better be after those scenes or your heart is a burned out husk devoid of compassion and you have my pity.

 

Meanwhile, the mother of the missing boy, Joyce, is going crazy. She knows her son Will is alive! She knows it even if the way she knows it is pure madness that nobody believes. The lights wink and flicker. Is it a pattern? Is Will trying to communicate? As the audience, we see what Joyce sees and now we share her madness because she can’t get anyone to believe her as much as we’re shouting at the TV, “Yeah, she SOUNDS crazy but it’s TRUE! Listen to her!”  

 

Not even her older son Jonathan is believing her about the lights and the things coming out of the walls. Until Nancy makes him see.

 

Oh yes, Nancy, our good girl who left her friend Barb on her own while she had sex with Steve. It seems Barb is missing and only Nancy seems to care or even notice. She checks the area around Steve’s house where Barb was last seen and it’s here that Nancy has an encounter with something out of nightmare. A chance encounter with one of Jonathan’s photos he took that night of the house (and of Nancy) shows the creature she saw, a creature that looks like the one Jonathan’s mom said she saw coming out of the walls of her house.

 

And there’s more stuff on top of more stuff and I could fill out an entire post with summarizing it all. We get a close up look at the domain of the big bad (alas, poor Barb), we see the science types poking around with a weird looking portal that looks an awful like Cthulhu. We get our hearts torn out when we think someone is dead (I wasn’t fooled!) and our hearts get hurt some more when Mike turns against Eleven for a while after her efforts to help have led to more pain for Mike and his friends. And I think I’ll shut up now rehashing the story.  

 

Stranger Things continues to embrace it’s 1983 setting, paying homage to movies of that time. One real big stand out is a brilliant homage to Poltergeist when Nancy’s younger sister stands in front of a wall in Joyce’s house and sees something starting to come out of the walls. (Don’t worry, she doesn’t get hurt.)  And then there’s a sequence when Mike, Dustin and Lucas need to get El to their school (it’s important), they need to make her look more like a girl and not an escapee from an insane asylum. So out comes a blonde wig and pretty pink dress which is how Elliot and his friends disguised E.T. to hide him in plain sight.  

 

I’m really enjoying this ride and trying not think about that there’s only 4 more episodes to go?!  Argh! 


And I’m so glad my suffering amuses you. 

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