Stranger Things S02E02 Recap

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SOME SPOILERS AHEAD.

We got to learn a bit more about Eleven’s life leading up to her living with Hopper in this episode and it looks like we’re fairly close to catching up on the present. I thought that, having seen the trailers, revealing her to have come out of the Upside Down, with hair and taking the Eggos from the box Hopper left them in for her was a bit spoilery. But it really wasn’t. No one, I think, would have expected that she’d be living with him.

I didn’t think that she’d have escaped the Upside Down almost as soon as she’d gotten there. I figured she’d spend a little while there, but then again, how would she have survived without food or water? It warmed my heart that she went to Mike’s house straight away and then my heart broke when she had to leave in order to protect him. I don’t blame his parents for buying the story that they were fed; they don’t know anything. But dang, Mike’s father, Ted, was such a kiss ass.

I absolutely adore the dynamic between Eleven and Hopper. Again, her living with Mike would have been ideal, but it wouldn’t have been safe for her or him and I think I like the idea of Hopper being her dad even better, though. It’s so cute and so sweet and so perfect. I really wish she could have gone trick or treating and just been a normal child her age for once, even in disguise. That she’d have gotten to see Mike, Will, Lucas and Dustin in the flesh. But Hopper was right, it was too risky.

Speaking of, it’s clear that Mike was upset about Max joining their group because he wished she had been Eleven. Watching him pine over her and miss her is endearing in a very sad way. Children though they may be, we all ship Mike and Eleven and want her back with him just as much as he does.

Which makes it so much sadder that she goes into her own little makeshift sensory deprivation…thing…to see him and speak to him, maybe even touch him and she can’t. She misses him too, just as much, and those two being torn apart is just the worst. Her face as she cried was just heart wrenching. I hate seeing her cry.

One couple whose separation I’m not mad about (there are a lot of couples this season), is Nancy and Steve’s. I knew that the whole Barb thing would come between them and cause them to separate. Their approaches to it were too different. She felt guilty and he didn’t. I don’t think he understood what she meant when she said that they killed Barb. I understand where both of them are coming from, in terms of telling her parents. She wants to give them closure and prevent them from potentially ruining their lives in a fruitless effort and he wants to protect himself and his family. I do agree with Steve that they shouldn’t tell her parents, though. Just because they won’t be believed and it could do far more harm than good.

I don’t hate Nancy and Steve together, they’re perfectly fine, but we all know that she belongs with Jonathan. That’s a fact. As bad as this may sound, I wanted her and Steve to break up so that Jonathan could swoop in and sweep her off her feet. Which he did! If making sure that she got home safely, carrying her to her room and tucking her into bed doesn’t qualify as sweeping her off of her feet then I don’t know what does. They even almost had a moment too when she woke up briefly. The fan girl in me is loving this.

As much as I like that Will confided in Mike, that he finally had someone to talk to who would understand, I don’t know how I feel about him not wanting the rest of the group to know. I’m afraid that it signifies some kind of fracture in the group and that it may lead to some kind of breaking apart later. I may be overthinking it, but Mike’s anger toward Max being in the group and Lucas and Dustin competing for her affections points to the possibility that something like that could happen as well.

Max’s “brother” (I’m not convinced that he is) blaming her for their having to move to Hawkins makes me think that the fan theories that she is a child from Hawkins Laboratory could be true. It wouldn’t make sense, however, for them to return to Hawkins, right under the noses of people whom they would be running from, if that were the case. So I do ultimately think that that’s unlikely.

They’re always fighting, he doesn’t seem to like her much and he treats her poorly. Plus, we haven’t seen or heard of any parents at any point, so I think they’re on their own; two young people who ran away or something and are posing as brother and sister. Although, they would have had to do some serious forgery and lying to get a house and get into the school system. Still, there seems to be something up with them. They’re rather mysterious.

I wonder if Hopper recognises that the rotting trees look like the ones from the Upside Down. He hasn’t really made any indication that he does. I also wonder if the smell they are giving off is similar to the smell over there, if it has one at all. That one of his deputies touched them without gloves scares me somewhat. Maybe it will contaminate him in some way and he’ll get sick and perhaps even die. We don’t know what’s killing these plants. We just know that it’s coming from the Upside Down. It could kill people for all we know.

This episode only made me feel a little more strongly that Owens is lying to Joyce. Although it does make sense that they wouldn’t understand what’s going on with Will and that does seem genuine. It makes sense that they’d be exploring the Upside Down still. They never truly got to last season and it’s a major scientific discovery. Of course they would. That device being fried seemed like a common occurrence, based on their reactions to it. They didn’t seem concerned at all. But what fried it? They didn’t say what did so I’m not sure that they know. Surely, it couldn’t just…get that way on it’s own? Right?

Their lack of concern rubs me the wrong way. It’s so arrogant. It doesn’t seem like they’ve considered that whatever they’re doing could trigger something that could make things worst.

Random thoughts:

  1. The boys are so cute posing for pictures!
  2. Oh. They just wanted to ask her to go trick or treating?
  3. Will following the rotting plants lead them to the epicentre?
  4. He is still tagging trees…
  5. Will the camera pick up Will’s switch to the Upside Down?
  6. I really thought he would come home and find that Eleven had left in her ghost costume.

All 9 episode of Stranger Things are currently available for streaming on Netflix.

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About The Author

An avid reader who accidentally discovered her love and talent for writing and has loved movies for as long as she has been watching them. Stumbled into film-making and found her second love because she decided to read for a degree in it on a whim - kind of.