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S03.E06: Chapter Six: E Pluribus Unum

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Dr. Alexei reveals what the Russians have been building, and Eleven sees where Billy has been. Dustin and Erica stage a daring rescue.

 

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Huh, when I started the episode it was titled "The Birthday" but now it's showing as "E Pluribus Unum." Given what happens at the end, I prefer the former.

I was holding out hope that there was a way to save the possessed, especially since it seemed like Billy was still in there somewhere and even looked to be in some anguish when he was threatening Eleven.

I don't buy that Hopper would be content to wait for help after making the call to Owens. I'm surprised his first move wasn't to track down Eleven when Alexei mentioned the doorway.

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Based on it's title, I went into this episode thinking it had something to do with money.  Afterwards I realized it was probably just based on the Latin phrase itself, "Out of many, one."

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Well I guess its not a season of Stranger Things until Steve gets the shit kicked out of him. Poor guy, its always something. At least he didnt get his fingernail pulled, I mean OWWWW! being drugged and beaten is really enough for one day I would think. I really like him and Robin, the whole conversation about how he never noticed her in high school while Steve ended up feeling that being cool and popular just left him feeling empty, was just really great. Its honestly kind of hard to remember that season one Steve was a pretty big asshole, even if in retrospect it seems more like he was overcompensating for feeling insecure and empty, and had a lot of crappy friends who egged him on. 

If I cant get "You cant have America Without Erica" on a shirt, can I at least get "Steve "The Hair" Harrington" on something? 

Joyce wants to speak to your supervisor damn it Mr. Secret Military Line!! Joyce going full ritious indignation is one of my very favorite Joyce's. So what exactly are the Soviets trying to accomplish here by opening this thing up? I guess the same stuff the Americans were trying to accomplish, and we all saw how well THAT went!

It seems like Billy might still be in there somewhere, like he is still stuck in his most important memories and seemed to show some regret in the last confrontation with El, but I think this is the end for the other Flayed. That was next level nasty. 

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47 minutes ago, DearEvette said:

It has only taken me six episodes but I finally decided not to eat while watching.  The oozing of the flayed is just too much.

That somehow didn't bother me, after watching Chernobyl.

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Woo boy! We're in the middle of this roller coaster of a season at the end of this episode and I'm alternately both Kevin Hart and Jimmy Fallon here:

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Edited by VCRTracking
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4 hours ago, DearEvette said:

Really liking Max putting nascent male chauvinist Mike in his place  I get that he is concerned and protective of El, but it does come off as a bit patronizing.  They are right, she knows more about her limits than he does.  They forget, she went on her little road trip last season  and found her people.  She learned something about her capabilities there.

It has only taken me six episodes but I finally decided not to eat while watching.  The oozing of the flayed is just too much.

I was on Mike side on this. It might be the love googles, but unlike Max (and Will for that matter) he has seen the toil El's powers can take on her and she has been using her powers a heavy amount over the last few days and recently gotten the life nearly chocked out of her. It isn't a crazy fear of Mike that El could possibly over extend herself and stroke out, or worse, die. El isn't stupid, but considering the urgency and the danger of the situation, she would push herself over her current limits if she thought it could help. I think Max's combination of  Billy being the new host for the Mind Flayer (most important), her frustration with Lucas, possible residual anger with Mike over his initial treatment of her, are clouding her judgement as much as Mike and Hopper's over protectiveness clouds theirs ( I found it kind of hilarious that Mike described Max the same way Hopper described Mike, as "corrupting").

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South Park kills Kenny, Family Guy insults Meg, Stranger Things beats the shit out of Steve. The Classics are classics for a reason, ya know?
I loved Erica having no comeback to Dustin identifying her as a nerd. She tried that weak, “How do you know so much about My Little Pony?” But Dustin is quite comfortable with who he is.

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Ooh, summer carnival! I love that even in Hawkins, which is supposed to be Small Town, USA, Mayor Kline is walking around dressed like every Wall Street douchebag from the 80s with the suspenders and everything. Hilariously obnoxious that the carnival sign says that the fair is being presented by Mayor Kline. Okay then, Larry.

I'm starting to feel bad that Cary Elwes is getting his ass kicked every time we see the mayor. You know the Dread Pirate Roberts would have beaten Hopper and the Russian guy with one hand tied behind his back!

And I'm sorry, Hopper, but there IS a difference between fake cherry and fake strawberry, whether it's candy or Slurpees.

I was already getting some Buffy vibes from this season (like in the previous episode when they came up with the idea to let Mrs. Driscoll go back to wherever was calling her similar to the way the Scooby gang let Tara wander back to the tower that Glory was having her minions build) and then in this episode, Alexei said that the key emits a great energy. I hope the key has shiny hair and isn't as annoying as Dawn!

I can't lie - I loved Alexei enjoying Woody Woodpecker, Whoppers, Marlboros, and french fries. I totally cracked up when Alexei told Hopper that the fortress was designed by the greatest Russian minds and guarded by the greatest Russian warriors and therefore it was impossible for anyone to break in - and then they cut to two CHILDREN who managed to get themselves into said fortress. I loved that those two children are the ones who managed to rescue Steve and Robin from the Russians.

I'm glad that they had the discussion about Eleven being the one to decide how much she wants to do. Even though she's technically a child (not an adult), it was a bit much for Mike to be the one trying to decide if it was too risky for her. He and his friends have repeatedly risked their lives to save the world, so why shouldn't she be allowed to make the same choice? It's called free will. No matter how much you care about someone, that doesn't give you the right to make their choices for them. The fact that Mike has put himself in danger and potentially life threatening situations just makes him a hypocrite because he's allowed to make that choice for himself but he doesn't think El has the same right.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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I loved how confident Dustin was when Erica tried to turn his My Little Pony knowledge around on him. “I’m a nerd!” No shame in his game!

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8 hours ago, DearEvette said:

They are right, she knows more about her limits than he does.  They forget, she went on her little road trip last season  and found her people.  She learned something about her capabilities there.

That's right, but does anyone else know that? A 13 y/o boy is stupid by definition and I surely know that, but if she talked about her road trip maybe they'd be better. 

I don't necessarily buy that she knows her limits either. None of the rest know, and it's her decision what she thinks she can do, but I don't know if she knows either. 

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I don't usually pay much attention to stuff like this but that shot of Eleven falling in the black was gorgeous.

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Wow, that ending was even more intense than episode 4's ending. It's nice to know that there's potential in Billy being saved, but at the same time, I fear that him getting scenes of him as a kid to show how he became the asshole he was today is just prepping for his death. It's hard to see how he survives this season, in my perspective, although it'll be interesting to see if they actually find a way to save him. Billy is still in there, evidenced by the tears as he was confronting Eleven. It's nice to know, even if he does die, that Billy was still human and still had feelings. 

Seriously, how was Hopper not trying to reach Eleven once he found out about the gate reopening? You'd think that would be a major concern of his, unless he was living in denial. 

I see that the climax is going to be Eleven vs the Mind Flayer. I don't even know how that's going to turn out, but I imagine it won't be easy...and may not end well for not just her, but for the gang.  

Max vs Mike was interesting since both made good points. Mike is right to be concerned about Eleven's health and safety. She's being used, for the right reasons, mind you, but it is still endangering her life. But Max is also right in that Mike needs to learn to trust her and not be so overprotective.  

Steve gets the shit beaten out of him, and him and Robin get drugged. Poor guy is not having a good day. I did like their conversation. Not only is it setting up their romance but it's also showing how far Steve has come since season 1. 

Dustin/Erica's nerd conversation was fun. I love Dustin being unabashedly himself while Erica tried to deny her nerd status.

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12 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I'm glad that they had the discussion about Eleven being the one to decide how much she wants to do. Even though she's technically a child (not an adult), it was a bit much for Mike to be the one trying to decide if it was too risky for her. He and his friends have repeatedly risked their lives to save the world, so why shouldn't she be allowed to make the same choice?

You said it so much better than I did.  I think what rubbed me wrong isn't so much is his concern or voicing it, but the way he did it.  Like he just knew better.  It was the same when he saw at her at the mall and said she shouldn't be there.  I do really get his concern considering who sand what she is, but the tone.  Ugh.

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Actually, I liked that Mike brought up brain damage, because I've been thinking the same thing. These constant nosebleeds can't be good for someone's health.

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Oh Steve. It wouldn't be ST if he wasn't getting beat up. Glad Dustin saved him and Robin.

Really liking Steve/Robin I dont know if they are setting up a romantic vibe or what but I like them. Steve "The Hair" Harrington. 😍

As much as I love Dustin/Steve I do miss him with the other kids. So I hope they meet up soon.

Hopper would just wait around. He would want to get to El.

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The last few minutes were borderline horror movie stuff. (I love SciFi but NEVER watch horror.) As I mentioned in the last episode thread, I cannot handle the goo on this show. Thankfully for once I wasn't in the middle of lunch or supper, but I still spent the last few minutes staring out the window, just watching with my peripheral vision. Yuck. 

ETA. I feel the same about all the nosebleeds and Steve's beat up face. A lot of stuff in this episode made me queasy. 

Edited by Melina22
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Episode started kind of weak but got much better at the end. Many times I get the feeling that Mike is the only one of the kids who actually cares about El. The others just see her more as an oddity. Someone who can do neat tricks like spy on people. Max is still the new kid in the group. She knows the least about what's going. She should stop being so argumentative and listen more.

Edited by WritinMan · Reason: Typo!
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I can actually see both sides of Max and Mike's arguments. It is altmently up to El. I think that that it would have been though if they found him another way, as oppose to always using her powers.  I think they are the two that are closest to her that were there. She never really seems to interact with the others (besides Hopper). So its nice to see her have scenes with them. 

Again the ice crew was the best. I loved Erica and Dustin's conversation about being a nerd. And Robin and Steve's scenes. He really has changed a lot since season 1.

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On 7/6/2019 at 1:52 AM, ganesh said:

I don't necessarily buy that she knows her limits either. None of the rest know, and it's her decision what she thinks she can do, but I don't know if she knows either. 

The limits thing is interesting. I am sure Mike fully remembers how El using her powers to kill the Demigorgon got her sent to the upside down

On 7/6/2019 at 10:10 AM, ally862 said:

I don't usually pay much attention to stuff like this but that shot of Eleven falling in the black was gorgeous.

The whole scene with her in the black space then her walking through Billy's memories was really well shot.

On 7/5/2019 at 4:36 PM, tennisgurl said:

So what exactly are the Soviets trying to accomplish here by opening this thing up? I guess the same stuff the Americans were trying to accomplish, and we all saw how well THAT went

Remember though that the gate from the Hawkins lab was opened by accident because they were trying to use El's spying powers. It seems the Russians are intentionally trying to open it.

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1 hour ago, Kel Varnsen said:

Remember though that the gate from the Hawkins lab was opened by accident because they were trying to use El's spying powers. It seems the Russians are intentionally trying to open it.

Right, but why? Especially since they know there was a previous gate in Hawkins. 

And it’s not like they’re trying to open a portal to screw the US - they were previously trying to open a portal in their own territory.

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13 minutes ago, QuantumMechanic said:

Right, but why? Especially since they know there was a previous gate in Hawkins. 

And it’s not like they’re trying to open a portal to screw the US - they were previously trying to open a portal in their own territory.

Well Erica and Dustin found that Demigorgon  sized cage with the cattle prod thing. And she asked him how big the monsters were. So I guess their plan is to capture Upside down monsters and use them as weapons. Which seems like a terrible and really ineffective plan.

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So Erica finds the weapon and Dustin is the one who gets to use it? Urgh. (Sorry, still salty about the time I ran and grabbed the fire extinguisher and some douche yanked it out of my hands because he just COULD NOT allow a woman to save the day).

I liked the Mike/Max argument simply because I could see both sides. Mike is right: she's been working overtime lately, and Max is right: El knows her own limits. Also, glad she got called out over spying on the boys. Not cool, girls. 

Trying to sell Robin as a loser nerd at high school doesn't work when she's clearly the daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke. That said, she's just the latest in a VERY long line of stunners that films/TV tries to pass off as pathetic losers.

Not buying that Joyce and Hopper wouldn't immediately be high-tailing it to Hawkins to reach the kids - heck, the fact they've spent so much time away from El and Will this season is a little hard to fathom.

All these episodes are starting to blur, so maybe this was the last episode, but I liked seeing Lucas distract Max with a "can you catch this in your mouth?" competition to give Mike a chance to talk to El. That's probably the smoothest we've ever seen Lucas. 

Loved that Erica believed everything Dustin told her about the Upside Down... but not that her brother was involved. 

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14 hours ago, QuantumMechanic said:

Right, but why? Especially since they know there was a previous gate in Hawkins. 

And it’s not like they’re trying to open a portal to screw the US - they were previously trying to open a portal in their own territory.

The US and Soviet Union were in the midst of a Cold War.  The mindset was that any new technology or discovery needed to be explored whether to catch up from a technological disadvantage or gain an advantage that could be used against any perceived enemy.   I'm not sure who discovered the Upside Down first, but eventually both countries knew it existed and both needed to find out as much about it as they can.  Getting more knowledge, in secret, about the Upside down required access to that realm and that's why they wanted to open portals in their own territory.

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The goo is too much. I also avoided eating anything as I watched. 

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On ‎7‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 11:22 AM, backhometome said:

Oh Steve. It wouldn't be ST if he wasn't getting beat up. Glad Dustin saved him and Robin.

Really liking Steve/Robin I dont know if they are setting up a romantic vibe or what but I like them. Steve "The Hair" Harrington. 😍

As much as I love Dustin/Steve I do miss him with the other kids. So I hope they meet up soon.

Hopper would just wait around. He would want to get to El.

Poor Steve and Robin. Yay Dustin and Erica to the rescue!

Steve "The Hair" Harrington, love it! I need a bumper sticker.

I thought Dustin and Erica was going to get the other kids to help with the rescue and that's how they were going to get back together.

So funny that Erica believed everything except that her brother could be involved. LOL!  

Those Russians remind of something I would see in a Austin Powers movie. 

On to the next. 

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I know this show revolves around uninvolved parenting, but have Erica's parents noticed that their 10-year-old has been missing for a good 24 hours at this point? We could make a case for all the other kids having convinced their parents they are having sleepovers with one another, but Erica was expected at a family event - and presumably Lucas as well therefore - and has had no opportunity to call home with an excuse. Her parents should be climbing the walls by now!

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9 hours ago, Llywela said:

I know this show revolves around uninvolved parenting, but have Erica's parents noticed that their 10-year-old has been missing for a good 24 hours at this point? We could make a case for all the other kids having convinced their parents they are having sleepovers with one another, but Erica was expected at a family event - and presumably Lucas as well therefore - and has had no opportunity to call home with an excuse. Her parents should be climbing the walls by now!

I remember her rambling on about her friend covering for her or something but yeah if she's 10 (I didn't know how old she was) someone would be asking where she's at. It's dark and people are setting off fireworks and in the summer it gets dark around 9:00 so if she was supposed to be at a family event I would think her family would be worried or at least calling around to see where she's at. 

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Should have known that Steve winning the fight in the last episode would mean that he would get kidnapped (along with Robin), get the shit beat out of him, drugged, and almost have his fingernails yanked.  Such is Steve's lot in life!  At least it led to some good "bond while being tied to a chair" moments between him and Robin, including her admitting that she had a crush on him back in the day.  Yeah, they're totally happening (assuming both of them come out in one piece.)

Loved Dustin proving that Erica is just as nerdy as the rest of them, and she really had no response to it.  And of course they would end up going back to save Steve and Robin, because Dustin would never abandon his main bro!

I saw both sides of the Mike vs. Max debate, when it came to Eleven.  I do think Mike can unwittingly be over-protective and even possessive when it comes to Eleven, but I do think his concerns about her pushing herself too far are legit.  And while Max is right that Eleven does know her limits best, Eleven is someone who would be willing to cross them to protect those she loves.  In the end, I think it ending with her being watched by the rest of the gang was the right solution.  And I did like that Mike did call Max out about the spying thing, even if Lucas was the only one that seemed to care about it.

Definitely felt like Hopper should have been way more concerned once they find out the Russians were opening up the gate again.  At least it led to Joyce unleashing hell on the covert military guy!

The sequences in Billy's mind were intense.  And that final scene!  These last two episodes are going to be insane!

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Not for the first time, the show reminded me of Sense 8 when El is “visiting” other people in their minds or on another plane of existence. In Sense 8,

”you let the bad telepathic guy see you and now he will always be able to find you and be in your head” was a major plot/tension point.

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That final scene with the Flayed getting dissolved was so disturbing, especially since there were a few kids among them.

Never thought I'd say this, but poor Billy. Nothing excuses him being a racist asshole, but his mother should have taken him with her. Why would you leave your child with someone you know is abusive? I know we don't know the full score yet -- maybe she lost custody because the dad made her out to be an unfit parent -- but still!

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On 7/7/2019 at 11:18 PM, Ravenya003 said:

So Erica finds the weapon and Dustin is the one who gets to use it? Urgh. (Sorry, still salty about the time I ran and grabbed the fire extinguisher and some douche yanked it out of my hands because he just COULD NOT allow a woman to save the day).

You have every right to still be salty. I'm a touch salty just hearing about it.

That was one heck of an episode. I'm don't generally get too upset by kids in jeopardy in this type of show - but I was truly tense and worried about these kids.

Billy's backstory is sad. It doesn't quite excuse everything - but it does explain him.

I'm thinking (based on nothing, so not a spoiler) that El needs some extra help on this one. Though it's hard to see how they'd pull it out of a hat in the next two episodes.

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On 7/14/2019 at 5:12 PM, Clanstarling said:

I'm thinking (based on nothing, so not a spoiler) that El needs some extra help on this one.

I haven't watched the last two episodes yet, but I agree with you. She was on the verge of being choked to death just by Billy/Mind Flayer a couple episodes back. Now that thing has absorbed even more people, so how strong has it become??? She isn't invincible, and it's making me kind of worried to watch the last two episodes...........

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That this thing is absorbing the flayed into itself to grow in size and power is just horrifying.  They're really upping the horror aspect of the show this season.

Joyce just being done with the shenanigans with everybody and telling them what's what was a thing of beauty both times.  I concur that she and Hopper both should have been hightailing it out of there to track down their kids the moment they understood Alexei was talking about opening the gate.  The Russian Alexei gleefully wallowing in American culture and food is such a staple of '80s tropes.

Mike and Max both had valid points about where Eleven's limits are, or they did as much as they could for 13- and 14-year-old kids.  Yes, it should be Eleven's decision and she is in a position to know where those limits are better than most.  But also yes, that that it can't be good for her to be nosebleeding out into what had to be an entire box of kleenex on what at the time felt like a complete crap shoot.  Mike can be a bit possessive and sometimes borderline controlling where she's concerned, but he more than anyone has seen up close the toll heavily using her power takes on her where Max really hasn't much and still mostly thinks they're cool to play with.  There's also the unspoken issue that free will is a relatively new concept for Eleven and we've seen her repeatedly struggle with it in wanting to be helpful and accepted by people who clearly do want her to use her powers.  It's hard to imagine her really feeling comfortable telling them sorry guys, but no, and being confident with that decision, especially when we see that part of the scene that terrified her so much was coming out of it to find that everybody had left her alone.  There were some really lovely shots in that entire sequence, particularly of her falling.

Of course Steve had to take his seasonal beating.  I too loved that after the long monologue about how thorough the Soviets were in making their activities untraceable it cut to these kids who had stumbled onto the whole thing because they were playing around with a radio and then basically fell into it.  Also loved that the head Soviet guy just could not accept that that was really what happened and kept insisting that they must be working for someone.

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4 minutes ago, nodorothyparker said:

There's also the unspoken issue that free will is a relatively new concept for Eleven and we've seen her repeatedly struggle with it in wanting to be helpful and accepted by people who clearly do want her to use her powers.  It's hard to imagine her really feeling comfortable telling them sorry guys, but no, and being confident with that decision, especially when we see that part of the scene that terrified her so much was coming out of it to find that everybody had left her alone.

That is such an excellent point!  I was way more annoyed by Max than Mike in that whole bit, and you just articulated why.  Especially agree with this -

5 minutes ago, nodorothyparker said:

Mike can be a bit possessive and sometimes borderline controlling where she's concerned, but he more than anyone has seen up close the toll heavily using her power takes on her where Max really hasn't much and still mostly thinks they're cool to play with. 

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I don't know that I'd characterize Max as thinking that El's powers are fun to play with at this point, she's obviously concerned about Billy's safety and is desperate for anything that might help while Mike has no connection to Billy or any of the flayed unlike in previous seasons when he was fine with El using her powers to help Will.

If Karen had been the second flayed instead of Heather would he still be trying to talk El out of using her powers, or would he be rolling with what looked like the only chance to help his Mom?

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On my rewatch tonight all I could think about was these Russian goons are beating up an 18 year old kid (I'm guessing that's how old Steve is) and slapping a 17 year old girl, and couldn't help but wonder if Dustin and Erica was there would they be hitting them too?

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19 hours ago, nodorothyparker said:

There's also the unspoken issue that free will is a relatively new concept for Eleven and we've seen her repeatedly struggle with it in wanting to be helpful and accepted by people who clearly do want her to use her powers.  It's hard to imagine her really feeling comfortable telling them sorry guys, but no, and being confident with that decision, especially when we see that part of the scene that terrified her so much was coming out of it to find that everybody had left her alone.

That's a really good point. Poor Eleven is like the rich kid who doesn't really know if people like her for her or for her money/powers. Since most of her life she has been little more than her powers, and all the people around her were only concerned with her powers, it isn't surprising that she would feel she has to use them or she might lose her friends. 

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They might be able to save Billy, but poor Heather is a goner.  I can't see how they'd bring her back.

They might defeat the Mind Flayer and all the "parts" it absorbed come back, but not necessarily on the same people!  Cue Season 4!

On 7/28/2019 at 9:54 PM, foxfreakinmulder said:

On my rewatch tonight all I could think about was these Russian goons are beating up an 18 year old kid (I'm guessing that's how old Steve is) and slapping a 17 year old girl, and couldn't help but wonder if Dustin and Erica was there would they be hitting them too?

They slapped, but did not beat, Robin, so I think the Russians are bound by the limits of 80s TV (in some shows these days, women get beat as much as the men).

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On 7/29/2019 at 12:54 AM, foxfreakinmulder said:

On my rewatch tonight all I could think about was these Russian goons are beating up an 18 year old kid (I'm guessing that's how old Steve is) and slapping a 17 year old girl, and couldn't help but wonder if Dustin and Erica was there would they be hitting them too?

On the Stranger Things Wiki it lists Steve's age as 19. Robin went to school with him so she's probably the same age or a year older. 

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On 8/6/2019 at 12:20 AM, Female83 said:

On the Stranger Things Wiki it lists Steve's age as 19. Robin went to school with him so she's probably the same age or a year older. 

I don't think the show would have the baddies beat a woman of any age, and definitely not the kids.  It just doesn't fit with the 80's vibe they're going for.

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Seriously, how are four brightly dressed kids able to wander around a crowded secret Soviet base for this long before they're noticed?

Also, how does Nancy manage to keep going into rooms with only one door? Good grief, girl. More really effective body horror stuff, with the Flayed monster oozing under the door and then reforming. The fact you could still see bones and organs in it was truly disturbing. And the scene at the end, with the Flayed throwing themselves into the Mindflayer is one of the nastiest things I've seen in a long time.

Hopper continues to be irrationally angry all the time. The man is seriously exhausting, as well as being seriously unbalanced. The endless bickering between him and Joyce isn't charming or fun, it's grating.

I wonder if Gaten Matarazzo was bummed out as he ready the scripts this season, and realised he had no scenes with the friends he's spent the last couple of years working with? Someone else who should be bummed out? Noah Schnapp, who basically gets to stand or sit around looking worried.

The more I watch, the more I think Finn Wolfhard is the worst actor out of everyone who's in this. Everything he does and says just comes across as completely artificial. And I really, really don't like Erica. She is honestly unbearable.

The 'evil, heartless Russians' thing is really tacky, and wasn't even good in the 80s. Beating up kids and laughing cruelly about it? And the fucking comic book evil doctor? Sure, okay. They're smart enough to build huge secret base on enemy soil, but get outwitted by a bunch of teenagers.

Seeing the flashes of Billy's childhood was a surprise, and he's definitely a character with unplumbed depths (which we'll probably never get to explore).

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I'm not surprised other parents aren't concerned over their kids, like Erica, or the other kids.  As Joyce said, they expect the kids to be at the carnival.  Even a kid like Erica, who had already told her parents she was sleeping at a friends, would then be expected to hang out with said friend all day, probably at the mall, until the carnival, then be there at night.  Back before cell phones, in the summer kids would be out all day and into the evening without necessarily checking in at home, and parents weren't worried, especially in small towns like that (where else would they go?).

Loved Joyce laying into the Fed on the phone.  And Hopper knowing exactly what Alexei would do with the car.

Lol at the Russian hubris that no one could penetrate their fortress, only to find out that 4 teenagers did so (ok, Erica may not yet be a teen).

We didn't see Billy absorbed by the mind flayer, so there's some hope for him.

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