Stranger Things Season 2 Chapter Six: The Spy Recap

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This episode begins with a Silkwood shower for Hopper, and emergency treatment for burns that aren’t externally visible for Will. At Hawkins Lab. Things are definitely different under Dr. Owens, as he moves from definitely willing to kill people/evil into a morally ambiguous gray area this episode. Brenner and his henchwoman Agent Frazier would have shot everyone at the Pumpkin Patch and left their bodies in the tunnels, without a second thought.

Dustin and Steve are still on the road to Dustin’s house, which moves around according to plot needs. Sometimes it’s a couple of doors down from Mike and Lucas, sometimes it’s a couple of miles.

Once it’s fully dark for maximum scary movie effect, they’re allowed to find Dustin’s driveway. Steve gets out his nail-studded bat, which feels like it needs a name. ANYTHING BUT LUCILLE, PLEASE. Dustin sends Steve and his pal, the bat, into the basement. Steve doesn’t find anything unusual down there except the skin that Dart shed with this growth cycle. Dustin follows him down to look around more closely. Oops, Dart’s gotten a little stronger and has busted out through the cement basement wall.

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Stranger Things Season 2 Chapter Five: Dig Dug Recap

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Well, that’s an image out of a horror movie, isn’t it. We get more clarity on El’s origin story this episode, as she finds her mother and aunt. She’s welcomed once they discover who she is, no monstrous acts required.

Back in Hawkins, Dr Owen’s quote from Sarton echoes through the episode, as decisions are made that will undoubtedly set us up for the eventual finale. Dustin finally understands that Dart is dangerous and seeks out help. Hopper is rescued from the tunnels, but the rescue exposes more problems than it solves. Bob the Brain helps Joyce, Lucas talks to Max, while Jonathan and Nancy talk to Murray Bauman, bringing the secret further into the world in different ways that may or may not be wise.

Joyce continues to work on the puzzle map, while Will explains his current experiences of the monster to Mike. Will sees what the monster sees and feels what he feels as the monster spreads further into Hawkins. The monster’s consciousness has gone from feeling like a barely remembered dream to an overwhelming presence in the front of his mind at all times.

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Stranger Things Season 2 Chapter Four: Will the Wise Recap

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Yikes! Things are heating up! Or cooling off, in Will’s very eerie case. Everyone is slipping back into warrior/investigative mode.

It’s especially nice to see in Nancy and El’s cases, since they’d both been relegated to the sidelines in their own lives by well-meaning but clueless men. Being safe starts to become meaningless if you’re a prisoner or expected to be a bystander while decisions are made for you.

Joyce races into the school parking lot and jumps out of her car. She and the kids quickly find Will in one of the ball fields, still stuck in the Upside Down and engulfed by the Shadow Monster. To the outside world, he appears to be having a seizure. Joyce tries to snap him out of it, but he doesn’t respond. Finally, the monster releases him and he snaps awake.

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Stranger Things Season 2 Chapter Three: The Pollywog

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In this episode, things take a distinct turn for the worse, though, following in the tradition of horror shows, the characters don’t necessarily realize it yet. Dustin thinks he’s found a cute, cool new pet. It’s like he’s never seen a movie before. Bob thinks he’s helped Will face his fears. He’s clearly never read a Stephen King novel. Max thinks she’s made some quirky new friends with no complications. Mike thinks he feels El nearby, and hopes to find her soon. Everything in Hawkins is always more complicated than that, and soon is a very relative term.

We pick up moments after we left off in episode 2. Dustin is stealthily sneaking whatever was in the garbage can into his room. His mom is asking way too personal questions. The family cat doesn’t like what he’s carrying. And Yertle the Turtle is being kicked out of her home.

Dustin pulls out a handful-sized unidentifiable amphibian and puts it in Yertle’s aquarium. I start fearing for Yertle’s life. This is surely connected to the Upside Down. Possibly it’s the larva that Will coughed up last season. Dustin’s curiosity is engaged, so he’s blinded by science and love. He can’t see the danger. He looks at the three musketeers bar that he and the pollywog are sharing (Dustin’s favorite), and names it D’artagnan, after the most noble of the musketeers. Dart for short. THIS WON’T END WELL. It’s not okay to break Dustin’s heart, show.  Or Metamaiden’s.

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Stranger Things Season 2 Chapter Two: Trick or Treat, Freak Recap

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This episode catches us up with what happened to El after she destroyed the Demogorgon and disappeared from the classroom.

El pops awake in the Upside Down version of the classroom where she fought the Demogorgon. It’s moments after she vanquished the monster and season 1 ended. She’s terrified, and wanders the school halls calling for Mike. No one hears her, and no one is looking for her. She’s completely alone.

She finds a small gate to our world and listens to what’s on the other side for a moment. When she decides it’s clear, she tries sticking her hand through the sticky, slimy membrane to find out if the other side seems safe. She agrees with the rest of us that the membrane is gross, then uses her powers to knock down part of the wall and enlarge the opening.

Hopefully there aren’t any other dangerous creatures in the Upside Down who are about to follow her through. She tumbles through the gate, into the school hall in our world.

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Stranger Things Season 2 Chapter One: MADMAX Recap

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They’re back! Something wicked this way comes, into the town of Hawkins, and it’s come to stay. This first episode serves as a check in with all of the residents that we got to know last year, and an introduction to a few new arrivals.

10/28/1984 Pittsburgh, PA

The season 2 cold open takes us to a nighttime robbery in Pittsburgh. A gang of robbers made up of men and women of diverse races spills out of a city building, and into their getaway van. After a chaotic chase with several police cars pursuing them, they go through a tunnel. A woman named Kali appears to use her mind to collapse the tunnel entrance before the police can go through, causing the police cars to pile up in a multi-car accident.

It turns out that the collapse was an illusion that could only be seen by the driver of the first car. As Kali wipes away the trickle of blood dripping from her nose, we see the number 008 tattooed onto her wrist. We’ve just met one of El’s fellow test subjects.

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Riverdale Season 2 Episode 3: Chapter Sixteen- The Watcher in the Woods Recap

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In this week’s exciting Riverdale news, Moose and Midge are not dead! Despite appearances at the end of episode 2, Midge wasn’t even shot, and Moose seems barely injured. This shooter has to have the worst aim ever, or he’s mostly just trying to scare people. Except for Grundy. He freakin’ hated her.

The other interesting news is that Riverdale is big enough to have a park for Kevin to go cruising for gay midnight anonymous sex in, but not big enough for him to have any other viable options. Grind’em, Riverdale’s Grindr knock off, is too uncertain for Kevin’s tastes. He wants the what-you-see-is-what-you-get visceral certainty that a hook up in the park gives him. I think he’s still working out some issues from Joaquin’s deception.

Jughead reminds us in his opening voiceover that the Big Bad Wolf is real and lurking closer than you could ever imagine. There’s talk of fairy tales, children wandering into the woods, and monsters worse than devils and wolves.

The visuals start with Kevin out jogging in the forest. He runs straight into the lips of a cute guy, who, I can’t help but notice, is the same physical type as his missing boyfriend, Joaquin. They lean against a tree, lips still locked and holding onto each other, to recover.

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The Defenders Season 1 Episode 7: Fish in the Jailhouse Recap

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In the penultimate episode of the season, we’re reminded why Danny is the Iron Fist instead of the Iron Brain, Elektra proves that the Black Sky is more than just a killing machine with a pretty face, and Foggy shows that he’s the best best friend a guy could want. Some of the color returns to the screen as the 3 remaining Defenders rally to find Danny and stop the Hand.

The cold open reminds us that Elektra and Matt met because, years ago, Stick sent her as an undercover operative to recruit Matt to the Chaste. Stick was ruthless in his criticism of both of his surrogate children when Elektra failed. He couldn’t tolerate weakness or hesitation in anyone.

In the present day, we see red and blue police lights flashing over the scene where Stick’s body lies, presumably dead, and Matt, Jessica, and Luke lie unconscious.

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The Defenders Season 1 Episode 6: Ashes, Ashes Recap

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This episode continues the color desaturation begun in episode 5, as the Defenders begin to question each others’ loyalty again. Their animosity is sparked by the chaotic, homicidal influence of Stick, who has to be the worst army leader in the history of armies.

If there is a theme to this episode, it’s best summed up by the famous Vietnam War quote (which is often misstated), “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.” Everyone runs around destroying or threatening to destroy whatever they’re sworn to protect, all in the name of some perceived greater good.

Alexandra sits alone and listens to classical music on a gramophone. The needle begins skipping, repeating the same few seconds over and over until Alexandra lifts the needle up to stop the play. The record and the gramophone are old, damaged, stuck, and nearly obsolete, just like Alexandra.

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The Gifted Season 1 Episode 4: eXit Strategy Recap

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This week on The Gifted, characters are faced with decisions that force them to cross lines they don’t want to cross, and work with people they don’t want to work with, in order to successfully rescue Lorna and Reed. Some are faced with the negative consequences in this episode, others will face continuing consequences down the road. Jace is just plain old screwed, and even more determined to screw everyone else in the future.

We begin with a flashback to a rescue op two years ago, at a mutant relocation facility, somewhere in Georgia. John and another mutant, Pulse, wait outside a security fence for the mutants who are inside.

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