Stranger Things Season 3 Chapter 1: “Suzie, Do You Copy?” Recap

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It’s been kind of intense around here lately, so let’s take a trip back in the wayback machine to July 4, 2019 and Stranger Things 3. Season 3 got lost in the shuffle as I was working on season 3 of Dark for that entire summer, so it seems like a good time to catch up, before season 4 comes out, likely in early 2022.

Recaps for Stranger Things Seasons 1 & 2.

They are all there, even though they aren’t in order. I’m a chaotic, that’s just the way it goes. πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ

It’s now the summer of 1985 in Hawkins and things are changing. A new mall has opened in town which has become the center of the town’s social life. The kids are pairing off into couples and discovering the joys of kissing. In fact, everyone has more free time (and hormones), so Stranger Things is struggling with a series of epic romances this season. Steve, Nancy and Jonathan have graduated from high school and gotten jobs. Will is still searching for a sense of normalcy after the events of the first two seasons.

Recap

June 28, 1984: A Mysterious Lab

Things are intense here at Stargate, I mean Upside Down, Command, kids. General Hammond is chain smoking while the tech crew fires up the elaborate new gate device to bore a hole into a place where no man should go. And, as always with Stranger Things, I do mean man.

A scientist in a pristine white lab coat carries an important looking briefcase into the command booth and removes 2 vials of Cesium 137, the better to tame Time. Wait, what show is this? The better to tame that giant tentacle monster that looms invisibly over the city.

I knew I should have rewatched season 2. But, we were promised that this season is a fun summer popcorn movie, so let’s just roll with it. I know of some recaps I can check if I’ve forgotten anything…

Two scientists each put their probably-not-Cesium 137 into a slot… Oh wait, it’s a set of 2 matching keys that have to be turned simultaneously, like the ones that fire nuclear missiles. Okay. The more phallic the better. They turn the keys. The older scientist is drenched in sweat, so we know it’s scary. He’s not used to wielding that much power in his hands, even though the key itself is small.

Bursts of lightning come out of the device on the other side of the glass, because what could be more powerful than the weapon of Zeus, king of the gods? As the camera pans down, we see that the lightning comes from a long, round mechanical device with spinning parts. When the camera gets to the bottom, a bluish white energy beam shoots out of it at an underground wall.

Personally, I don’t think the device is big or mobile enough to get the job done, especially given the performance anxiety we just witnessed.

The device keeps shooting, as the wall turns red and fiery. A distinctly feminine opening appears. It gets even scarier when long, skinny tentacles crawl out of either side of the opening. Maturity is a frightening thing in a woman.

Just how many girls said no to the Duffer Brothers in high school, anyway?

The nerds all look pleased. But, nope. This girl turns them down, too, since their advances are clearly painful. The opening closes, destroying their device in the process and barbecuing their guys to make sure they get the message that no means no.

Vagina dentata, indeed. Told you the Upside Down monster was female. But everyone still uses male pronouns.

Faux General Hammond comes downstairs to examine the now fully closed wall.

Maybe he should have supervised more closely to begin with.

In Russian, the older scientist insists they’re making progress. Oh, this is the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. The Comrade-General has his super strong bodyguard, Grigori, kill the older scientist with his bare hands to show his displeasure, and tells the other, younger, cuter scientist, Dr Alexei, that he has one year to get the job done.

Maybe the Upside Down would prefer a female scientist, General. Maybe she’d prefer to be left alone. Or asked nicely, for a change.

Maybe she wants to be romanced a little, instead of treated like a monster or an object or a sure thing.

The Comrade-General exits the building to the sound of militaristic choral music. The lab is in a stone bunker in a very cold place, probably Siberia. These Russians mean business.

I always forget between seasons how great this opening sequence is.

Stranger Things S3Ep1 No Means NoStranger Things S3Ep1 Mall Rats in the Tunnels

Big Brother Mall Security Is Watching You: One Year Later in Hawkins, Indiana

El and Mike are making out in her bedroom at Hopper’s cabin, but he has to stop for the epic chorus of Corey Hart’s epic power ballad Never Surrender.

The 80s really were a great decade. I’m so sorry for all of you who missed it. 😒

El really wants to make out, though, so they get back to it.

Hopper is in his Barcalounger, watching Magnum, PI, drinking a Schlitz beer and eating Tostitos.

Time travel is real.

He remembers he’s got two teenagers alone in a bedroom and leans waaay back to check on them through a barely open door. Ruh-roh.

Never mind the dangers of teenagers alone in a bedroom. Those chairs can tip over if you lean back too far. I have definitively proven this, so my fear while watching Hopper lean back too far is real.

El waves her hand and the door shuts. Hopper heaves himself out of the chair while yelling that the door needs to stay open 3 inches, but the door is somehow stuck closed. πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ By the time it unsticks itself, πŸ˜‰ Eleven and Mike are at opposite ends of the bed, reading books like the angelic children that they are. Hopper’s pretty sure he was hoodwinked, but he has zero evidence to make his case.

Later on, as Mike rides his bike from El’s house to the mall, they talk on the walkies about how much they miss each other already. Lucas, Will and Max are waiting for him, cranky because he’s late and they’re going to miss the opening. Lucas and Max efficiently combined romantic time and mall time so that they wouldn’t be late.

El must still be on house arrest, either from Hopper or the government, so Mike didn’t have that option. They tease him about kissing.

The kids push through the crowded mall like they own it. This is the era when the mall was the preteen and teen’s natural habitat, and what a glorious time it was. Lucas’ sister Erica is there with her own squad of friends. The siblings engage in a brief but loving round of name calling as he runs by. Psycho! Mall rat! Fart face!

Erica is clearly the superior warrior in the family and should be granted a light-saber immediately.

They troop into the Scoops Ahoy Ice Cream Parlor, where Mike rings the bell about 10 times, 9 more than necessary. The girl at the counter calls for Steve, now a proud employee, who grudgingly sneaks them into the mall’s service halls, which run behind and between the stores like secret passages, AGAIN, with his usual warning to keep the secret of the employees only passageway or they die.

They creep through the tunnels halls into the movie theatre complex. Once inside, they sneak into a preview of the George Romero zombie film Day of the Dead, long awaited sequel to Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead. Will passes out snacks while Lucas and Max insult flirt.

As it must in all zombie films, the power goes out in the mall just as the movie begins. Steve flips the light switch in the ice cream parlor on and off repeatedly. When his coworker, Robin, tells him it’s pointless, he flips the switch even faster. The power outage spreads to the rest of town.

Obviously it’s Steve’s fault.

In a rat infested abandoned building on the edge of town, dust and glass swirl in the air, as if they’re going to form into a monster.

The power comes back as if nothing happened. Guess the Upside Down’s version of Frankenstein needed a quick jolt to bring it to life.

Steve says, “Let there be light,” just like God in Genesis when he created the universe.

Maybe Steve is God in the Upside Down. It’s a cool place like that. Dustin loves him, and the hellhounds love Dustin, so now everyone down there loves what Dustin loves, which is Steve.

Oops, Will’s getting a message from the beyond. Beyond the theatre, where the Mind Flayer affectionately cocoons the mall. Whatever it was that happened during the power outage took him right back to his season 2 possession. He still has an active connection to the Mind Flayer.

Mike jostles him out of the trance, just as the woman on screen in Day of the Dead looks at a calendar picture of a pumpkin patch. Suddenly, dozens of hands emerge from the wall.

Quick cut to Nancy waking up. The zombies are coming for her.

Nancy and Jonathan were asleep together in Jonathan’s bed at home. She tells him that they have to rush because they’re late for work. The clocks are all flashing 12:00, since they didn’t get reset after the power outage. Nancy throws on her work outfit, tosses her shoes and purse out the window, then jumps out herself. She ducks down as she runs by the windows so that Joyce won’t see her.

Except Jonathan has a lipstick print that covers his entire cheek and Joyce isn’t remotely surprised by it when he goes to the kitchen.

Will’s eating breakfast at the table and says Jonathan and Nancy are gross. Joyce tells him he’ll think differently when he falls in love. Will says, “I’m not gonna fall in love.”

There’s still a Bob Newby, Superhero drawing on the fridge. Joyce sends it a little kiss as she picks it up from where it’s fallen on the floor.

Nancy puts on her makeup in the car and tells Jonathan to drive faster because she can’t be late. Jonathan tries to remind her that THEY can’t be late, since they work at the same place, but she reminds him back that the bosses love him, while they see her as a glorified coffee cart.

Dustin is on his way home from genius camp and is already anxious that he’s been left behind, since no one in the gang is answering his Star Wars themed radio calls. His mom suggests they might have forgotten when he’s coming home, since he’s been gone a month.

Once he’s settled into his room and said hello to Yertle the Turtle, all of his robot toys come to life and lead him to the living room. Dustin grabs some of Farrah’s hairspray to use as a weapon and follows them.

Farrah was one of Charlie’s Angels. Her hairspray is undoubtedly a superior weapon.

All of his friends are there, hiding where he can’t see them, while El works the toys. They sneak out into the living room behind him, then blow noisemakers to startle him. Dustin turns and sprays the hairspray in the first face he sees. It’s Lucas.

After one month, Dustin has forgotten that he has a friend who could be moving the robots as part of a surprise for him. He assumes alien invasion or worse.

Over at the Hawkins municipal pool, Max’s brother Billy is a tyrant lifeguard who Karen Wheeler and the Real Housewives of Hawkins love to ogle. They have the lifeguard rotation memorized and are wearing their best bathing suits. Billy knows this and milks it.

He also goes out of his way to publicly humiliate a kid. Still the town bully.

Also, this is largely another male fantasy. 18 year old boys don’t look as mature as Dacre Montgomery, who would’ve been about 24-25 when this was filmed- men wish they looked that good at 18. And most grown women aren’t ogling boys about the same age as their teenage kids. When you’re parenting teenagers, the last thing you want is sexy times with yet another teenager. The thought of it is cringeworthy.

The businesses in downtown Hawkins aren’t doing well, thanks to the new mall. Some, like Bob Newby’s Radio Shack, have already closed. Others, like the general store where Joyce works, are about to go under.

Hopper stops by to visit Joyce at work and complain about parenting a teenage girl with a boyfriend. Complaining to a mother of sons maybe isn’t the best choice, if he wants sympathy. He’s convinced that Mike is corrupting El and they should break up. There’s entirely too much kissing going on and Mike and El enjoy it an abnormal amount.

To her credit, Joyce doesn’t laugh in his face. She tries to convince him that he can’t think like a cop on this. If he tries to order them around, they’ll just rebel, because that’s what kids do. Joyce suggests that Hopper have a talk with them: a heart to heart, where he talks to them with respect. She’s found that kids tend to listen if you talk to them on their level.

This is a foreign concept to Hopper. Joyce cautions him that he needs to stay calm during the discussion. She even makes a little script for him to practice and follow, then coaches him through the speech.

Nancy brings the lunch order to everyone at the Hawkins Post, the small town’s daily print paper. She accidentally walks in on Jonathan in the darkroom where he’s developing film and printing photographs manually. He hisses at her and she rolls her eyes at him as she leaves, but the darkroom actually needed to be dark, hence the name. He wasn’t being a jerk.

As the long time girlfriend of a photographer, she’d have that ingrained already, and wouldn’t have ignored the red light. There was no need to suddenly make her look clueless about what he does. Jonathan would have had a makeshift darkroom at home, too, since he’s a serious photographer.

Then she goes to the conference room, where the writers are holding a staff meeting to discuss potential stories. The editor wants a local story. One guy, Bruce, played by Jake Busey, thinks they should cover the local beauty pageant. He won’t shut up about one of the contestants and her breasts, even when the editor says they need a serious story to put “above the fold”, at the top of the front page. Most of the other writers think Bruce’s sexist jokes are hilarious.

Nancy takes a chance and suggests they do a story on the way the mall is killing downtown Hawkins, but the other reporters laugh at her and drive her from the room. Bruce makes sure of it by mocking Nancy for forgetting the mustard on his sandwich order. The editor seems to notice her, but he’ll still give the story to one of the men.

Probably whichever one waits 5 minutes, then steals Nancy’s idea using slightly different wording.

Max helps Lucas rinse the hairspray from his eyes. When he’s done, the king of romance looks at her forehead and asks if she has a new pimple.

Lucas is the kind of guy who always forgets your birthday, but also always keeps your car in perfect condition. That’s a lot more romantic in the long run than it’s given credit for.

Dustin shows off the inventions he created at science camp: a wind powered clock, an automated hammer, and his masterpiece, Cerebro, a superpowered radio tower that runs on batteries. It can carry and pick up signals over vast distances, from the North Pole to South Pole.

ET will be phoning home this season.

And Dustin will be using Cerebro to phone his girlfriend, that’s right, girlfriend, Suzie, a science babe he met at camp who’s both a genius and a Phoebe Cates look alike. We’re in Weird Science territory now. The rest of the gang are much more interested in getting the scoop on Suzie than the specs on Cerebro as they all troop out of the house to find a spot where they can assemble the super antenna.

At his Scoops Ahoy job, Steve attempts to multitask by serving ice cream to cute girls, then asking them out on dates, but his sailor boy uniform and Gilligan’s Island hat have stolen his mojo. Plus, the worst has happened and college girls don’t want to date a loser who works at the mall. After failing to get into his preferred college, his dad decided to teach him a lesson, so he’s become that loser.

Robin gleefully keeps a tally of his strike outs. Steve blames it all on the hat, which hides his best feature- his brain? No, his hair, obviously. When the next group of girls walks in, Steve ditches the hat, company dress code be d**ned, and pulls out his best pick up lines. Robin can tell before he’s finished taking their order that he’s still doomed to failure.

The words of Hopper’s modern prewritten parenting speech to El and Mike don’t come naturally, no matter how much he practices. Joyce, trying to be helpful, tells Hopper that eye contact is important for making an emotional connection, so he shouldn’t check his notes. He thinks it would be easier to kill Mike and use his clout as police chief to cover up the murder.

Joyce takes Hopper’s hand when she offers him support and suddenly he forgets all about his issues with El and Mike. He asks her out to dinner instead. She says she has plans and runs toward the next customer who comes through the door.

As the gang climb a high hill outside of town, Dustin explains that he can’t call Suzie on the phone because she’s a Mormon who lives in Utah and her super religious parents would never approve of her dating someone outside of their faith. After the gang clears up that she’s not Amish, so she does use electricity, Dustin tells them that he and Suzy are star-crossed lovers, like Romeo and Juliet. He thinks it’s romantic, clearly not having seen the end of the play.

Suzy and Dustin are star-crossed lovers like season 1 & 2 El and Mike .πŸ˜‰ Maybe even season 3 El and Mike, if they aren’t careful with Hopper. On cue, as they near the top of the hill, El and Mike tell the others that they need to leave because of her curfew, then run off holding hands. The others help with Dustin’s confusion about El’s 4:00 curfew- their friends are actually running off for some alone time to make out. Dustin is insulted, Lucas is disgusted and Max thinks it’s romantic.

Will looks sad and lonely, touching the back of his neck before he continues up the hill. Rats scurry across the spot where he was just standing. It looks like all of the rats in town are congregating in the abandoned steel works where the dust devil kicked up during the power outage. When the rats reach the room where the event happened, they writhe in pain, then explode.

They’re probably creating biomass for some Upside Down entity to repurpose into building its own body.

But we go from rats popping to a close up on Karen Wheeler swimming. Not actually funny to equate murdering hundreds of animals with sex and women. Misogyny, rape culture and animal cruelty all tend to travel closely together in pathological societies and in individuals. Here that point is illustrated, both in front of the camera, when Billy arrives, and behind it, since this show promotes these images as cool and entertaining.

Karen swims; her makeup remains perfect; Billy fantasizes about her. Foreigner’s Hot Blooded plays in the background just in case we’re too dense to get the message. As soon as she steps out of the pool, he’s right there with her towel. They flirt for a minute, then he offers to give her “private lessons” at a local Motel 6. She says she didn’t think he taught adults, but he insists that he occasionally gives advanced lessons.

Despite that attractive offer 😜, she turns him down. She’s not the one who needs advanced lessons. Billy doesn’t know when to quit and tells her that she does need advanced lessons, effectively insulting her technique before he’s even experienced it. He assures her that he’ll be the best teacher she’s ever had and give her the workout of her life.

I think we can all agree that Karen is right- she’s definitely more advanced in the subject they’re actually discussing and he definitely won’t give her the workout of her life. In fact, he’ll be lucky to last 5 minutes, while she can probably go for hours. Billy is okay to look at until he opens his mouth and ruins it. He’d be terrible at motel swimming lessons, where he’d assume these older women should be grateful he showed up.

The gang finally make it to the top of the mountain. Lucas nearly empties the canteen he shares with Max, then spits some back in when she complains. It’s the thought that counts? Will wishes they’d stayed in the basement and played D&D. Dustin is playing his own real life game of D&D, but he hasn’t done enough to make the others feel like they’re part of the game- usually his strength. Did Suzie divert all of his Bard energy toward her?

Cerebro requires an elaborate assembly process and it’s late by the time Dustin attempts to make first contact. Shockingly, Suzie isn’t sitting by her radio waiting for his call. As the sun sets, Dustin continues his attempts to raise her.

Stranger Things S3Ep1 Max & LucasStranger Things S3Ep1 Cerebro

Stranger Things S3Ep1 Hopper & JoyceStranger Things S3Ep1 Bob & JoyceStranger Things S3Ep1 Bob Newby, Superhero

Joyce comes home to an empty house. She heats up some dinner leftovers in the microwave Bob got her. Then she watches an episode of Cheers and remembers how much she and Bob enjoyed watching it together. She didn’t go out to dinner with Hopper because her heart still belongs to Bob Newby, Superhero.

And who can blame her?? Bob would’ve moved his Radio Shack franchise into the mall and business would still be thriving. A year ago she had a stable guy and they both had stable jobs. Now she has neither, while both of her kids are on their way to independence.

As if the spirit of Bob is still in the house, the fridge magnets all loose their grip on the metal. Everything falls to the floor for the second time that day, including the Bob Newby, Superhero drawing.

At the end of the day, Nancy is left to clean up after the man babies she works for. Since she’s the last one in the office, she answers the newspaper’s phone and takes a report about diseased rats.

El and Mike Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore and honestly, why would they even wanna try? Hopper, on the other hand, has done nothing but fight this feeling all day and it’s not going well. He’s just about done fighting this feeling, even though he’s practicing the lines of his speech.

Maybe if he didn’t have to fight his feelings for Joyce, he wouldn’t care so much about Mike and El. Alas, the show’s adult star-crossed lovers remain star-crossed.

He knocks on El’s door and she opens it for him using telekinesis. When he enters, the two kids stare at him with empty hands, empty eyes and vaguely hostile expressions, instead of pretending they were doing something else. Hopper pulls up a chair, which he turns backwards, and El moves closer to Mike- the battle lines are drawn.

Given all 3 actors’ expressions throughout this scene, I have to wonder how many takes it took. Because they’re all really good, but they’re also clearly having a ball with it and ready to burst out laughing at any moment. The chemistry between David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown and Finn Wolfhard is still off the charts.

Hopper makes a valiant attempt to remember and stick to his lines, but Mike starts inserting mocking comments immediately (I can relate.). Then he whispers them to El, cutting Hopper out of the conversation. Hopper goes with a variation on his original plan. I can’t really blame him. He had no choice but to rein in that level of disrespect.

He tells Mike there’s an emergency with his Grandma. They go out to the truck so Hopper can drive Mike home, Mike peppering Hopper with questions the whole way. As soon as they’re in the truck, Hopper confesses to the lie and tells Mike that the real problem is him and El. Mike tries to get out, but Hopper uses the automatic locks to keep him in.

We’re having a classic drive and talk, the best way to force someone into a conversation they don’t want to have, on screen and in real life. Just keep your eyes on the road, I beg of you. TV drivers make me crazy.

Mike calls Hopper crazy. Hopper doesn’t quite say that yes, he is, so Mike should be very afraid, but the sentiment is there. Instead he tells Mike that things are going to change around here- Mike will show him respect from now on and he’ll listen carefully to the rest of Hopper’s lecture on the drive home. If Mike behaves on the drive, Hopper will consider allowing him to continue to date his daughter. His voice rises with every syllable. Mike is sufficiently cowed by the Alpha male exerting his true authority that he agrees to Hopper’s terms.

Mike will probably complain about it to the other kids, but I suspect he secretly appreciates it. Hopper is the only strong male authority figure left in these boys’ lives (except maybe Lucas’ dad?). They really need him to step up, erratic alcoholic that he is.

Hours later, Dustin hasn’t given up on Suzie, but Lucas, Max and Will are pretty sure she’s not real. They take off for home, since Dustin isn’t ready to disassemble Cerebro and call it a night. He still feels like they didn’t give him much of a welcome home, even though they gave him a surprise welcome, then spent hours listening to him repeat essentially the same phrase.

Science camp really raised his expectations.

Just after Will leaves, Cerebro picks up a transmission, but it’s not Suzie. Instead, it’s a Russian spy reading code phrases in Russian that sound like nonsense if you don’t know the code. Dr Alexei, the younger scientist from the opening sequence, who was given a year to reach his research goal, walks through the radio room portion of the spy bunker and into an observation deck which overlooks the research area. Another scientist turns and says whatever is beyond the glass is beautiful. Dr Alexei doesn’t answer.

It’s been a year since the opening sequence.

Karen gives herself the works as she prepares to go out that night, finishing by taking off her wedding rings. As she’s leaving the house, she almost walks right past her husband and young daughter, who are both asleep on his lounge chair.

She didn’t even bother to put the kid in bed. We already knew Ted would be asleep in the chair. I remain concerned for his health and safety. Either he’s seriously ill or being poisoned by the CIA. Maybe Holly has now been taken over by whatever has affected Ted. There’s just no way I’m going to condone Karen sleeping with Billy, who’s disgusting, violent and too young.

At least go for a lifeguard who’s 21 and not jailbait.

At the last second, she stops to look at Ted and her daughter, then has second thoughts and stays home. She got dressed to the tune of Cutting Crew’s I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight. The rules of foreshadowing tell us she’s dodging a bullet. Or maybe she’s choosing to wither away in her marriage. But seriously, she’s an upper middle class white woman in 1985. She has options beyond sleeping with future serial killers. The average UPS delivery guy would be a better choice.

Billy drives too fast while looking at himself in the rear view mirror and practicing the lines he intends to use on Karen. But, oops, something slimy hits his windshield near the abandoned steel works, causing him to lose control of the car and hit some of Monty Python’s ominous shrubbery. When he gets out to investigate, he’s dragged into the room where the rats exploded.

Dead Rat

Another rat bites the dust.

Stranger Things S3Ep1 Russian Spy Reads Secret CodeStranger Things S3Ep1 Dr AlexeiStranger Things S3Ep1 KarenStranger Things S3Ep1 Bye Bye Billy

Cutting Crew’s I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight, the unofficial theme of season 3.

Commentary

Watching this during the coronavirus pandemic, I had HazMat suit/PPE envy during the opening sequence, until the suits proved inadequate. There’s just no replacement for vaccinations and social isolation to prevent strange pathogens from attacking.

I will probably talk more about this as the season continues, but in order to understand this season it’s important to know that the 1980’s were the height of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States. Russia was the automatic, underlying global super villain of the day and this didn’t need to be explained, since the Cold War had been going on for decades by that time- many adults’ entire lives, just like the Wars on Drugs and Terror, which began in the 80s and late 90s/00s, respectively, have now gone on for so long that it seems like they will last forever. When Communism fell in one country after another at the end of the 80s, like dominoes, it came as a shock. The systems largely collapsed in on themselves, but up until then, they were formidable, sometimes unpredictable, enemies and rivals, much the same as the way we view North Korea, China and Russia today.

For background on the Cold War spy vs spy technology and information rivalry between the West and the Communist block, watch War Games (1983),The Falcon and the Snowman (1985), For Your Eyes Only (1981), or A View to a Kill (1985). Or if you want to get scared, watch the Russian invasion/nuclear holocaust genre: The Day After (1983), Red Dawn (1984), Firefox (1982), Threads (1984), Testament (1983). These films are all from the 5 years leading up to this season of Stranger Things, the formative period for the gang’s imaginations. It was also the period when kids were obsessed with the original Star Wars trilogy, with the Evil Empire vs the Rebels, not exactly a subtle metaphor (Star Wars, 1977; The Empire Strikes Back, 1980; Return of the Jedi, 1983).

El is now a real girl. We can tell because she has a unicorn in her bedroom. 😘 Like El, Suzie might be a unicorn, a girl who’s so special she’s almost too good to be true. We begin a game of “real or not real?” with this episode. Does Suzy exist or did Dustin make her up because he feels left out, since Mike and Lucas both have girlfriends?

The Duffers, like their characters, have discovered they like girls after all. Females are still overwhelming and scary, but a few of them might be friendly monsters who could be tamed. They still seem to come with dangerous weapons, like long pointy things- unicorn horns, super long antennae, and obviously their tongues, used to exercise their rapier wits.

Dawn of the Dead (1978) is the one that takes place in a mall. Day of the Dead (1985) takes place in an underground bunker. Foreshadowing, dear readers.

“Romero describes the film [Day of the Dead] as a “tragedy about how a lack of human communication causes chaos and collapse even in this small little pie slice of society”.Wiki

Thank goodness Yertle the Turtle survived Dart’s stay in Dustin’s home. I wasn’t clear on whether Yertle was able to hide somewhere or had a safe new home after Dustin gave Dart her aquarium in S2, then Dart ate the cat. The moral of the story is, perhaps, grow a hard outer shell, then hide somewhere until it’s safe to come out! Be your own bunker. 😘

For future reference, this is the translation given in the subtitles of the Russian spy’s transmission:

“The silver cat feeds when blue meets yellow in the west. A trip to China sounds nice if you tread lightly. The week is long. The silver cat feeds…”

Images courtesy of Netflix.

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