Stranger Things Season 2 Episodes 3 & 4 Recap
Things are moving quickly in Hopkins, and it’s not good.
There is more than just trash in Dustin’s garbage can. He calls it a “Pollywog”, but it’s straight up creepy. Looking sort of like a tadpole, it exists on candy and darkness. Dustin loves it.
El is acting her age, and its pure pre-teen/teen angst. She and her protective Fake Dad Hopper are at odds. Hopper wants to keep El safe, and El wants him to keep his promises, mainly to see Will. She doesn’t get that he’s protecting her from danger, but like many parents, he’s being seen in the role as jailer and well, a big meanie. She decides she’s tired of waiting, and she leaves the compound.
What about Bob?
Bob makes a big statement when he emerges from Joyce’s room the morning after Halloween, offering to bring Will to school. While both boys are surprised to see him. “He’s sleeping over now, Mom?” Will grabs a ride in the Bobmobile where he shares some advice about how he stood up to his nightmares, and once he did, they went away. Will seems to listen, somehow thinks that telling the big black scary shadow monster to “go away” will take care of the problem.
Nancy wakes with a heck of a hangover and doesn’t remember much about the night before, including breaking up with Steve. What she does remember is Barb, and she’s decided to talk to Barb’s parents and tell them the truth about what happened. She gives them a call to meet them and tell them the truth.
Dustin can’t wait to show off his newly discovered species at school, when Will realizes that the Pollywog is that slug that he threw up in the sink months ago. No one knows what to do, when they decide to Dustin’s chagrin, that it has to die, and in the mayhem that happens as they try to kill it, it escapes through the door that Max picks open, having been left out of the “what do we do with an evil creature from the Upside Down” discussion. Later, Dustin finds the slimy thing and even though he knows its evil and from the Upside Down, he sneaks it into his hat to bring home. He has a serious case of “not MY Child” with his Pollywog.
A moment alone…
During the hunt for the creature, Mike has a moment alone with Max. He obviously has issues with her and he’s called out by her. She wants to know what his problem is with her. He tells her that she is NOT part of their squad, and hit bothers him that she is trying to be. After all she is NOT El. Max tried to convince him that she’d be a good addition to the group by showing off her mad skateboarding skills, but then, she crashes and falls. It seems that El in her escape from Hoppers Cabin has been searching for Mike and has found him finally, at the school. But she found him engaging with another girl, and fearing she’d been replaced, she used her special talents to knock right off her skateboard and on her ass. She runs away before she talks to Mike.
After leaving Max in the gym, Will walks into the hallway which has become the Upside Down. He runs away to escape the huge shadow shape shifter when he remembers Bob’s advice. Will decides to give it a try and actually faces off to the monster, screaming at it that he’s NOT AFRAID. He should have been, because the swirling malevolence surrounds him like an evil tornado, that pushes its way into him. The dark literally becomes a part of him.
Things are becoming dark and scary.
Joyce has to face her worst nightmare, again. She arrives at the school to find Will frozen – unable to respond to anything as he has been invaded with the monster from the Upside Down. He told the monster to go away, but the monster didn’t listen. Joyce worked hard to comfort him, all while panicking while trying to figure out how to actually help him to comfort him, while trying not to show the extent of her panic.
Part of her panic is how scary Will is talking, and his explanation how the THING inside him hates heat. Apparently, anything from the Upside Down dislikes warmth and light. While Will can’t say exactly how the darkness is taking over, he is able to draw it. Pages and pages of abstract art eventually are put together by Joyce and Hopper as a map of Hawkins, showing how the darkness will take over.
Meanwhile, back at the cabin Hopper and El are having a teen/parent fight, except this isn’t a normal teen. All Hopper wants is to keep her safe, and the fact that she left the safety he set up for her and risked everything has him furious.
He’s not the only one furious, because El is really chafing at the limits places on her life. Nothing ever happens. Until, it does. What happens now is an epic fight that caused El to compare Hopper to the evil Papa. Hopper decides to remove Els lifeline to the outside world, her television. She shows her power with a single scream, blowing out the windows and destroying the place with her powers. Hopper leaves, telling El to have the place cleaned up before he gets back.
Learning about herself…
In her cleaning, El find a trap door to the basement where she finds boxes that Hopper has hidden away. When she finds a box with information on her, she investigates and find a photo of her birth mother. She uses her powers to connect with her mother, who is obviously mentally ill, and it breaks her heart.
Meanwhile Nancy recruits Jonathan to visit Barb’s parents, where they are quickly surrounded by creepy Hawkins Lab members who whisk them to a meeting with the creepy Dr. Owens. He tried to explain the whole rotten Upside Down and how it needs to be burned away. He tries to lay the onus on the teens to do their part and keep quiet. What he doesn’t know, is that Nancy has caught his entire spiel on tape. I’m pretty sure they are not going to be quiet.
Max seems to have more trouble than what we thought. When she tries to help the boys with the issues with Will, she’s excluded which upsets her. When Lucas tries to talk to her about it, she angrily tells him that she’s not interested in being part of their group anymore. Then her evil step-brother Billy tells her to stay away from the boys, especially Lucas. He’s not just mean, it seems, but racist, as well.
Dustin is learning…
It’s not just Will who has a problem with heat. Dustin has snuck the Polliwog back into his house, safe in the now cool turtle cage with the heat lamp removed. Dustin went to check on him, and found the glass broken, and Dart hiding behind a chair, making a strange noise. The noise was Dart eating, but not Halloween candy- he was eating Dustin’s cat! He now realizes that maybe Will was right, and Dart should have been destroyed.
Episode 4 ends with Hopper using Wills drawings as a map to explore the tunnels of darkness leading to the Upside Down underneath Hawkins.
There is a lot of things happening in Hawkins, and the dark is coming.
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