Stranger Things Season 2 Chapter Eight: The Mind Flayer Recap

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Today, we say a tearful goodbye to Bob the Brain, founder of the Hawkins AV Club, mentor to my husband Mr Clark, electronics wizard, puzzle solver, surrogate dad, supportive boyfriend, and superhero. You will be missed, Bob. Your heroic nerd legacy lives on. Samwise would be proud.

But we have other things to do before the Demodogs have Bob for dinner.

The dogs have waited patiently at the top of the elevator shaft since the end of episode 6, but they’re done waiting. Owens assures Hopper that the glass is polycarbonate and won’t break, so of course the dogs break though in less than a minute. Owens really didn’t read the lab files closely, or talk to the survivors from last season, when he took this job.

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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 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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