With season two of the smash hit Stranger Things coming out this Friday (October 27th), there’s no better time to refresh yourself on what happened in Hawkins, Indiana than right now. This is part three of a four part series recapping and reviewing the first season of the Netflix series. Spoilers ahead.
Chapter Five: The Flea and the Acrobat
The role of the Hawkins Laboratory takes center stage here, with each party discovering a bit of what’s going on. Hopper goes directly to the lab and finds evidence of the Upside Down before being knocked out and finding himself back home. Nancy and Jonathan also stumble upon a gateway. The boys and Eleven, however, take the scenic route. First, they learn the concepts that make such a place possible from their science teacher, the ever informative Mr. Clarke. This leads to the realization that a compass should point to an anomaly like a gate, and they head out. This whole arc is used to explore Eleven’s background and involvement with Hawkins Laboratory, and her fear causes her to use her powers. This accidentally drives a wedge between the boys, ending the episode on a very distraught note.
Chapter Six: The Monster
There’s a decidedly “final” tone to this episode, not that it’s over but that this is the last time things are going to be the way they are. It’s like the rollercoaster carts are at the top in this episode, and it’s clear the drop is coming quickly. After escaping the Upside Down, Nancy and Jonathan spend the night together as innocently as possible, but this doesn’t stop her boyfriend Steve from misunderstanding things and picking fights. Hopper and Joyce find themselves in a conspiracy theory spiral involving MKUltra while the boys struggle to reconcile and to find Eleven. Eleven’s involvement in opening the gateway to the Upside Down (and all of her associated feelings of guilt) is cemented here in flashbacks. The weave of stories is clearly tightening, but to what end remains to be seen.