Apparently, Lifeguard Heather’s father is the guy who runs the local newspaper. I didn’t realize they were the same guy before. That’s how much of an impression most of those guys made on me.
But we do have some good news. Here it is: different groups are starting to come together, and the kids, teens, and adults of Stranger Things always work best when they compare notes.
But not everyone is back yet. Take Joyce and Hopper for example. They find one of the properties Starcourt Mall bought up. And there’s a hidden passage underneath it, complete with two guys who don’t speak English. It doesn’t matter how much an angry, armed man shouts at them. No English. Joyce has a bit more luck by being nice. But then some Terminator-looking guy shows up. He does speak English…with a Russian accent. This time Joyce and Hopper kinda subdue him. Hopper loses his gun, but they do get one of the two other guys and make a run for it.
Bad news: they end up in Illinois.
Good news: Hopper knows a few tricks to get a car and drive to the house of someone who speaks Russian, that paranoid journalist guy from season two.
Worse news: Terminator guy is still on their tail.
Ambivalent news: Eleven can see Hopper and knows that he and Joyce aren’t around to help because they are in the wrong state.
However, Nancy does recognize the old lady as behaving the same way Will did when the Mind Flayer possessed him, so she calls Jonathan up. The two teens in turn round up Will, Lucas, Max, Mike, and Eleven. And sharing how Max and Eleven were looking for Lifeguard Heather draws a recollection. See, Heather’s father, Editor Tom, just fired Jonathan and Nancy. He might be in danger. The group goes to check out Heather’s house.
They find evidence of a struggle. Plus, the teens remember Editor Tom had a bandage on his head when he fired them.
So, can the group find where Billy and the other Flayed people are meeting? Maybe if they let the old lady out of the hospital and follow her. Then they can…well, they’ll think of something.
Though someone does stop to wonder where Dustin is.
Dustin is, of course, still stuck in an elevator with Steve, Robin, and Erica. Erica’s best plan involves maybe drinking the green liquid so she doesn’t die of thirst. Also, she lets it be known she can’t be late for a family party or else her mom will kill someone. You gotta admire the priorities of some people. Oh, not these. These are horrible priorities. But this girl sticks to her guns, maybe realizing drinking the green stuff is bad when a container is crushed and the stuff looks extra nauseating. But hey, it looks like there is a long underground passage beneath the mall. A little forward scouting shows there are a lot of Soviet types down there.
So, the Soviets financed an ode to capitalism and built a mall. Makes sense.
The kids do get into what looks like a control room. There may be a radio in there strong enough to call for help. And Steve knocks a Russian out. Finally, Steve won a fight.
Didn’t Steve prove instrumental in helping Nancy and Jonathan beat up the Demogorgon? Eh, never mind. Dustin wasn’t there for that.
So, they can call for help, right?
Er, no. Instead, they find the Russians are building a gate to the Upside Down.
That’s never a good idea.
But good ideas don’t work on Stranger Things. Nancy and Jonathan use the kids to distract the desk nurse long enough to get up to the old lady’s hospital room. She’s missing. Editor Tom is there, though. And he’s kinda possessed now, trying to capture or kill the teens. Nancy runs off while Jonathan fights Evil Editor Tom. But he isn’t the only newspaper employee possessed down there. Jake Busey is bad too. I don’t know his character’s name. He sure does look like his dad, though. Plus, despite being possessed, these two numbnuts are still using the sexist nicknames they had for Nancy. So, I guess the Mind Flayer is also sexist.
So, did Editor Tom take care of all the newspaper employees? Maybe it was a good thing Nancy and Jonathan don’t work there anymore.
Also, this may be why print journalism is dying. Those guys really should have listened when Nancy pitched that story about old businesses dying when new ones crop up.
Well, we can’t have two major characters assimilate into the collective. How do they get out? Well, fortunately for Jonathan (since he was losing his more direct fight), these things have a hive mind. Clunking Jake Busey hard in the head also hurts Editor Tom. Stabbing Editor Tom in the throat with a pair of scissors at around the same time should find them off.
Except the two crawl off, turn into sludge, and merge into one bigger monster.