Review by J.T. Johnson
In this episode, one of the greatest bromances begins when Dustin has to team up with Steve in order to try and find Dart. Meanwhile, our other characters are trying to figure out what is going on with Will. They’re also trying to figure out how they can use Will’s connection to the shadow monster to their advantage.
QUOTE OF THE EPISODE
“Faberge. It’s Faberge Organics. The shampoo and the conditioner. Then when it’s damp… Not wet, damp… You do four puffs of the Farrah Fawcett spray.” – Steve
The episode picks up with Will writhing in pain and Hopper being cleaned up after his ordeal in the Upside Down tunnels. They finally have to knock Will out when he says he’s hurting everywhere.
Meanwhile, Steve and Dustin are heading to the storm cellar to deal with Dart. Steve takes his signature bat and heads on in. Unfortunately, Dart has apparently gotten even bigger since we last saw him and he’s escaped the cellar through one of the walls. Cue the opening.
Will has successfully been sedated while Joyce and the doctors discuss what is wrong with him. She wants to know what’s happening with her son, but the scientists must admit that they don’t know what’s going on with him. The lab is just as much in the dark as anyone else.
Hopper and Sam go underground where Sam tells Hopper that they learned that while the gate appeared to be normal above ground, it was actually growing underground. When Hopper inquires as to why they’re not burning it, Sam states that there has been a complication with the connection that Will has to the Upside Down. Anything they do to it appears to hurt Will.
Meanwhile, Joyce updates Bob on what they’ve been through and Bob once again takes the news surprisingly well. He confirms his love for Joyce and her boys and that he’ll do whatever he can for them. It’s around this time that Will wakes up, but he can’t remember who Bob is and they quickly realize that something is wrong.
Sam observes Will and while he remembers some things, he can’t quite remember everything. He reveals that the soldiers hurt him and that this upset the shadow monster. They test using a torch on the piece of the living vines and sure enough, it starts to hurt Will. Sam theorizes that the shadow monster is like a virus and not only are they connected, but they seem to be communicating like a hive intelligence meaning that all of the creatures from the Upside Down are connected.
Hopper takes a moment to try and contact Eleven through the radio, not knowing that she’s left the cabin. He tries to apologize for everything and you see how much of a father figure he has become to Eleven. While he’s doing that, the scientists are discussing Will’s condition but they say that they can’t delay the burn much longer. Sam won’t allow it for the time being because he’s not willing to kill Will, thus proving that he’s a far better man than this predecessor, Dr. Brenner.
Will’s connection to the shadow monster shows that the monster may be looking through his mind. However, Will tells Mike that he may know how to stop the monster. The doctors show Will all of the pictures they took of his drawings and he points out a place where the monster apparently doesn’t want Will to go.
The lab sends the soldiers down into the hole in order to head to the point where Will pointed out. Soon, they are attacked by monsters, revealing that Will led them into a trap.
Jonathan and Nancy, along with conspiracy theorist Murray, send out tapes that will at least expose the fact that the lab was responsible for Barb’s death. While celebrating, Murray is surprised to find that Nancy and Jonathan are not together. After being called out on their feelings for one another, Jonathan and Nancy finally acknowledge their feelings and get together.
The next morning, the three of them have a humorous breakfast. Not long after this, Nancy and Jonathan leave Murray, their mission to expose the lab having been completed. Murray leaves the series… at least for this season.
The two eventually arrive home where they discover Will’s drawings all over the house with no signs of Will and Joyce. Jonathan notices an empty polaroid cartridge, tipping him off that someone else has been there.
STEVE AND THE GANG
After getting home, Lucas learns that Dustin has been trying to get in touch with him. He finally contacts Dustin who tells him about Dart’s rapid growth and Lucas agrees to meet Steve and Dustin in the woods. Before Lucas joins Dustin, though, he goes to get Max and she sneaks out with him to join the party.
Using food on the railroad tracks to try and attract Dart, Dustin and Steve discuss how to get girls. Steve reveals that he still has feelings for Nancy and gives some advice to Dustin. It’s a pretty great scene that reveals one of the greatest team-ups in the show as Steve proves to be a pretty good guy as he becomes a sort of brotherly figure to Dustin.
Steve and Dustin head to the junkyard with all the beat up cars where they plan to set up a trap to stop Dart. Lucas and Max meet them there and they begin to set their trap. The idea is to get it set up before nightfall. They plan to lure Dart in there and set him on fire.
Lucas and Max have a moment while on lookout for Dart. We learn a little bit more about why Max had to move to Hawkins. She reveals that while Billy was always a pretty mean person, moving to Hawkins has made him even meaner, particularly towards Max. She also reveals that she’s afraid of ending up just as angry like Billy, but Lucas assures her that she’s nothing like her brother.
After this, they hear Dart and think that he is on his way. However, he’s just standing there and Steve decides to act as living bait. Unfortunately, they soon discover that Dart is not the only Demogorgon out there. Steve quickly dives back into the van and when it seems like they’re going to be overwhelmed, the Demogorgons suddenly retreat and the gang is left wondering where they went.
Will breaks through and reveals that it was the shadow monster that sent the soldiers into the trap. After the soldiers are taken out underground, the Demogorgons then make their way to the hole leading into the lab. Will warns that they should all leave as the episode ends with the Demogorgons heading their way.
This episode was just fun all the way. The first thing that works is the unlikely pairing of Dustin and Steve. Their bonding is something that people are looking forward to seeing yet again when “Stranger Things 3” is released. Also, Max is now finally a part of the story and it feels great to have her onboard as she was one of the good additions to the story during this season.
Meanwhile, it was fun trying to decide whether or not it was Will or the shadow monster that was controlling the information. When the trap is sprung, one of the best episodes that we’ll get to is set up perfectly. It was also good to get solid confirmation that Dr. Owens is also a good dude just trying to clean up a situation that he inherited from Dr. Brenner.
All I can really say about this episode is that it is pretty solid throughout. We’ll return to our band of heroes in a couple of days. Before we get to that, though, it’ll finally be time for me to talk about the most divisive episode of the season when I take a look at ‘Chapter Seven: The Lost Sister’.
Join me tomorrow as we take a look at ‘Chapter Seven: The Lost Sister’!