If last episode dealt with the different characters coming together, then this episode has plans that work only because different characters immediately go off on their own.
For example, Hopper manages to convince Evil Dr. Brenner to let him and Joyce go into the Upside Down to find Will. The conditions are, of course, that Hopper not only tells Evil Dr. Brenner where Eleven is, but also to stay quiet about, oh, everything. So, off go Joyce and Hopper, equipped in environmental suits, into the Upside Down. Will the monster get them?
Well, no. It’s busy. Nancy and Jonathan get their trap set up and lure it to them. Yeah, Steve shows up and actually proves helpful. Seriously. I will have to completely re-evaluate my opinion of Steve now. He manages to hold the monster off longer than the other two.
What’s that thing made of anyway? It gets shot, bashed with a spiked baseball bat, caught in a bear trap, and set on fire. And it still didn’t die!
But all that keeps that Frilled Lizard Man Thing out of the Upside Down, where Joyce finds Will barely alive. Hopper’s been having flashes of the death of his daughter, so he knows enough to first pull that worm thing from Will’s mouth and then how to do CPR.
But hey, does anyone kill the monster? Er, maybe.
See, the monster left the teens, but then the agents found the kids. And after Eleven killed a mess of them–including Evil Glenn Close– by making their brains explode, there sure was an awful lot of blood. Say, doesn’t the monster come when things bleed? Oh, there it is.
Wow. Those agents and soldiers shoot that thing a bunch of times. And then it seems to eat Evil Dr. Brenner. What do the kids have? Lucas’ slingshot! And hey, it sure looked for a second there that they pushed the thing clear across the room!
But that was Eleven (obviously). She seems to disintegrate the thing and disappear. The kids are OK. Will has been rescued. Mike’s upset because he gave Eleven his first kiss and asked her to a school dance. But Will’s back. Hopper gets picked up by a mysterious car. Don’t know what happened there. A month later it’s Christmas, the most appropriate time to actually hang Christmas lights. Things seem mostly back to normal. I mean, Nancy’s still with Steve, but he’s trying to be a better man, and the two give Jonathan a replacement camera.
About the only thing wrong is Will coughing up slugs in secret and getting flashes of the Upside Down.
Well, that does it for all the currently existing episodes of Stranger Things. What’s up for Monday’s next week? Well, we’ll do a short mini-series for now. Come back next week for my coverage of the AMC adaptation of John LeCarre’s The Night Manager starring Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie.