Spoiler alert for episode 2 of Stranger Things season 2.
Episode 1 recap:
Looks like there’s another telekinetic girl, who is committing robbery in Pittsburgh, with a “008” tattoo. She knocked down a wall in front of a cop car, and either she reassembled it within seconds, or she’s got the power to give people visions of altered reality.
Will is approaching the one year anniversary of his disappearance into The Upside-Down, and is experiencing what his doctor, played by Paul Reiser is describing as episodes of post traumatic stress disorder. This diagnosis seems on point, but what Will is experiencing is closer to actual visions of a giant shadow monster in The Upside-Down.
It’s looking like the best solution to keeping The Upside-Down at bay is burning the stuff that comes out. Genius. There’s no way that stuff will find another way to escape and possibly rot a few pumpkins along the way. Right?
We were introduced to Max, who is apparently absolutely amazing at Dig Dug, which catches the attention of Dustin and Lucas. We also catch a glimpse of her brother Billy, played by Red Ranger, Dacre Montgomery, who sports a hideous mullet and listens to jock rock, but we don’t delve too deep into his character.
Joyce has got a delightfully normal boyfriend, Bob Newby, played by Sean Astin, who is just as lovable as he is charming.
Barb’s parents have hired a private investigator to look for Barb, and Nancy is feeling especially guilty, but let’s herself be convinced to go to a party by Steve.
Eleven is living with Hopper in a fortified cabin in the woods.
Episode Two Recap & Review:Opening up with a flashback on how Eleven got out of The Upside-Down after the events of the season one finale, it’s nice to see her interacting with Hopper. It’s a father/daughter dynamic that I hope is explored more in this season.
Seeing the boys getting ready for Halloween is evoking a real sense of nostalgia, a feeling this show has pretty much mastered.
This episode does a great job of pushing the plot along, also getting Max to feel like she’s interested in being a part of “The Party”.
Speaking of party, the Halloween party scene is stacked with Easter eggs and references, from The Karate Kid to Risky Business. A real “who’s who” of 80’s pop culture (I feel like I should point out, our main boys are the only ones with the idea of dressing up as Ghostbusters? Either unbelievable, or the kids in Hawkins are in fact, totally lame.)
We get more of a look at Max’s brother Billy, and surprise, surprise, the guy with the horrible mullet, full clad out in denim, is NOT the seasons new sweetheart.
The seasons new sweetheart seems like it most absolutely is Bob Newby, Joyce’s new squeeze. With a charming Dracula costume, and an overall calming vibe, I almost feel bad for him. He has no idea what he’s in for, getting involved with this family.
In a brilliantly ominous sequence involving the portal into The Upside-Down, I’m reminded of Jurassic Park. It’s very clear things will not go according to plan, and the suspense is killing me!
Overall, this episode is pushing the plot along very smoothly, all while giving these characters room the grow and get to know each other a bit more. They’re relationships, while shaky and uncertain, are established, and we’re ready for things to get strange.
Written by: Andrew Valencia