Stranger Things Season 3 Chapter 2: The Mall Rats Recap

Stranger Things S3Ep2 Max & El Try on Clothes

The nightmare truly begins for Billy in episode 2. He shares his horror with a friend by the end of the episode. Dustin visits his buddy Steve at the Scoop shop to enlist some help with the Russian transmission he accidentally intercepted. Robin is drawn into their codebreaking scheme before long. Max and El go on a shopping spree/day of self-discovery at the mall. They run into Mike, who started the day avoiding El based on Hopper’s orders, but ends up trying to win her forgiveness via Lucas’ tried and true methods. Nancy and Jonathan investigate the case of the rabid rats, while Joyce notices the magnets around town are acting strangely.

Recap

This episode begins where episode 1 left off, with Billy having a very bad night at the old steel works after his car was hit by a slime monster. He’s dragged inside, but escapes and drives away. Then he stops again almost immediately to call the police from a pay phone. The 911 operator asks him to detail his emergency.

The light in the phone booth flashes, his car’s headlights seem to watch him like eyes and the characteristic flakes of the Upside Down float through the air. Billy flashes back to what happened at the steel works. The exploding rats who were drawn to the steel works in episode 1 were reconstituted and then they attacked him, crawling all over his face and body. (Shades of the movies Willard and Ben.)

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Stranger Things Season 1 Chapter 8: The Upside Down Recap and Analysis/Speculation

ST108El
The persecuted warrior queen of Stranger Things.

This episode’s title, The Upside Down, is an accurate description of the episode. We do spend more time in the Upside Down, and learn more about it, but some of our assumptions are also turned upside down. Characters do things we don’t expect, and outcomes aren’t necessarily what they seem. And El has a few issues she’d like to discuss with The Duffers.

After the required pan down from the starry night sky that starts every episode, we join Joyce and Brenner in the lab’s interrogation room. He tries to get her to reveal what she knows by using logic and sympathy, the way he did with Karen and Ted, but she’s just buried a fake body provided by Hawkins National Lab. She’s not going to buy into his BS so easily. She tells him right where he can go.

Agent Frazier and the Hawkins Head of Security don’t bother with the nice approach with Hopper, they go straight to mild torture using tasers. He keeps his cool and lets them know that he’s gotten very deep into their wrong doings with his investigation, and has left the information with a reporter. They threaten to kill him, but he suggests a blackmail deal instead. He and Joyce and the others will keep their mouths shut about the lab’s wrong doings, and he’ll tell them where to find El, if they will let him and Joyce go through the portal to find Will and if they’ll leave the other kids alone.

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