It’s time to fight back as threats grow stronger in Hawkins.
Chapter Four of Stranger Things season 3 is titled ‘The Sauna Test’. We see Mrs. Driscoll being taken to the hospital. She keeps screaming that she needs to go back. As the ambulance passes the Steel Works building, Doris reaches out to it.
Tom and Janet Holloway are tied up and gagged in the Steel Works building. They beg daughter Heather (or Feather, fake Heather, as I like to call her) to let them go. Well, that does not happen. The monster covers each of their faces with its tentacles and presumably takes control of them. Did they just become Mr. and Mrs. “Followay”?
El continues to struggle with thoughts of Heather’s well-being. She is also plagued with a vision of Billy as he brushes her teeth. Max assures El that Heather is fine and Billy is just weird.
Hopper wants information
Hopper awakens in his cabin, sore, bruised and nauseous. Joyce tends to his injuries. The two of them speculate on the identity of the thug who attacked Jim. Joyce tells Hopper he was riding a motorcycle, but her recall of the license plate is sketchy at best.
Hopper then remembers seeing the thug exiting Mayor Kline’s office the day he was called in about the protesters. Joyce and Hopper pay a visit to Larry Kline to identify the mystery attacker. Joyce waits outside Larry’s office with his assistant Candice.
Hopper locks the office door and begins asking questions. Larry is not very forthcoming initially. He suggests that the mystery man was doing maintenance on the plumbing. Hopper threatens Larry with knowledge of his escapades with drugs and infidelity with Candice. Larry counters with threats about Hopper’s history of drinking on the job. Larry really hits below the belt when he dismisses the Chief’s pain of losing a daughter a few years ago. That is the last straw.
Hopper breaks Larry’s nose and threatens to cut off his finger with Kline’s trusty cigar cutter. Candice tries to telephone for help and Joyce rips out the phone cord. Finally, Kline admits that the Russian man was part of a group that owns Starcourt Mall. He has been excepting gifts and bribes in exchange for cooperation in the purchase of properties on the east side of Hawkins. But for what purpose? He says he does not know.
Joyce and Hopper take Kline to his home and demand the property records. They leave Kline tied up in his room waiting for his wife Winnie’s return. Winnie is one of the pool moms that drools over Billy.
The guys and girls regroup
Mike calls Max insisting that he and El come over to his house to discuss a matter of life and death. They are unable to reach Dustin, however, who is busy with a mission of his own at the mall.
Will suggests that The Mind Flayer never really left Hawkins. Even though Eleven closed the gate and Joyce masterminded the extraction of the monster from Will, it does not mean the monster was on the other side of the that gate. It could still be in Hawkins.
Will surmises that the monster needs another host now that Will is free from him. The group suspects Billy. The group makes plans to trap Billy in the sauna. Will reminds them that The Mind Flayer needs cold, so the sauna will be the perfect place to confront Billy.
so pure. pic.twitter.com/dRVXeevUWG
— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) July 6, 2019
Just the facts
Tom Holloway (Followay, wink!) calls Jonathan and Nancy into his office. He berates them for going against his orders and meeting with Doris Driscoll. Tom claims that Doris is schizophrenic and unreliable as a source. He then fires both Nancy and Jonathan from their internships.
Nancy notices that Tom is sweating profusely the whole time. We have seen that before with Billy after the monster possesses someone. Jonathan lashes out at Nancy for being so insistent about the story and putting their summer jobs at risk. He points out their economic differences and suggests that Nancy is spoiled and unrealistic.
Nancy tells Jonathon that he does not understand her situation. She is presumably referring to the chauvinism she faces repeatedly from the male staffers.
The couple’s status appears to be on shaky ground. Mrs. Wheeler is surprised to see Nancy arrive home so early. Nancy has a heart to heart talk with her mom. Her mom encourages her to pursue the story. She knows how hard it can be to be taken seriously sometimes as a female.
Nancy takes her mom’s advice and goes to visit Mrs. Driscoll in the hospital posing as her granddaughter. She feverishly records notes from Mrs. Driscoll’s medical file.
Mission at the Mall
Robin, Dustin and Steve try to figure out a way to get inside the room with the Russian deliveries. An armed guard and key card are obvious obstacles, even though Steve suggests he could surprise the guard and steal the key. Dustin squashes that idea and reminds Steve of his bad track record with fights.
Robin goes to the public records office and purchases a copy of the mall blueprints including the duct work. Aha! There is a direct path from Scoops Ahoy to the delivery location. If only they could find someone small enough to traverse the air duct!
Erica arrives at the ice cream parlor demanding her latest round of ice cream samples. Her tiny stature is just what the team needs! Erica agrees to crawl through the air ducts in exchange for a lifetime supply of ice cream. Not a bad exchange for a child endangerment mission as she calls it.
Erica makes her way through the vent and lets the others into the storage room. They open one of the boxes to find a large tubes of a green substance. They decide to take one and leave, but have trouble opening the door.
Dustin: have you ever actually… won a fight?
— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) July 5, 2019
The teens lure Billy to the sauna after the pool closes. Mike is the mystery voice behind the radio calling to Billy. The radio is strapped to a first aid dummy inside the sauna room.
They gang turns up the heat and Billy feigns innocence begging Max to let him out. He uses the plea as a distraction as he grabs a shard to break the glass window. Lucas hits Billy using his sling shot and knocks him to the ground. Billy’s anger reaches new heights.
Billy manages to break free and El slams a weight lifting bar against his neck. The power begins to flicker. It is a showdown between Billy and El. Veins are bulging through Billy’s skin. He breaks free from the bar and grabs El by the throat choking her until Mike hits him from behind. Ultimately, El uses her powers to lift Billy off the ground and slams him not into but through the brick wall landing outside in the grass. Billy runs away.
Joyce uncovers that the properties the Russians have purchased are all near the power plant. She believes they have indeed built a machine like Mr. Clarke described that has enough power to break the electromagnetic field.
Joyce and Hopper begin visiting the properties, but so far find no such machine. Next on their list is the Hess farm.
Just as Billy’s body appears to be bursting, so is Mrs. Driscoll’s. Her heart rate leaps to 151 beats per minute and veins are bulging through her skin as well. It is as if Doris and Billy are going to explode. Meanwhile, the mall crew feels the storage room move. All of a sudden it begins plummeting to depths below. What is going on with the power?
Is the monster multiplying?
The episode closes with “Filly” telling “Feather” that El knows that he is a host. Feather is not so concerned, though, because she glances over a at a small army of people who have presumably also been possessed by the monster. After all, there is strength in numbers, right?
So many missions, so many scares! This third season of Stranger Things is amped-up like no other. We are only halfway through the season and have already seen some epic developments.
Stay tuned for further observations on Stranger Things season 3 on Netflix.
Find reconnaissance for Chapter Three here.
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