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Athena

S03.E04: Chapter Four: The Sauna Test

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Yikes!  Possessed Billy is strong.  The ending was intense. 

Eleven is right - whatever the reason, Mike chose to lie to her.  Bad move.

I feel bad for possessed lady in the hospital.  She seemed nice and didn't deserve the black goo.

Erica is still getting on my last nerve.  I LOVED Dustin to Steve "if you die, I die".  

I also liked Nancy's talk with her mom.  Nancy should push forward.  I understand Jonathan's point about needing the job and all that but he doesn't have to go along with her. 

I thought I could pace myself but nope, gonna have to watch all of the eps now.

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Okay, with this episode, I really see what they're talking about with the strobe light warnings.

Steve in his sailor romper - with the ice cream cone patch - aww.  Don't tell me if we ever see him in other clothes.

And Billy - who was always a real jerk - did he get replaced with an even more evil clone a couple episodes ago?  Again, don't tell me! 

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Well...

”We’ll Meet Again” is going to have a whole new connotation after this episode. 

That ending was chilling. 

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That. Was. INTENSE.

Enjoyed seeing El and Will sharing scenes and interacting.

Karen being a good mom again!

Hopper beating up the Mayor Wesley especially in that shirt. Also Joyce pulling the secretary's phone cord. They're a power couple.

I love the shenanigans of the "Scoops Ahoy" crew. 

I like Erica. As someone who grew up watching Gary Coleman and Keisha Knight-Pullam she's the most 80s thing about this season.

"If you die, I die." Awww.

Man, Maya Hawke really looked and sounds so much like her mom.

Dacre really killed it this episode.

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51 minutes ago, AimingforYoko said:

Best acting beat of the episode, Gaten Matarazzo and the look on Dustin's face when Erica said, "You can't spell America without Erica." I laughed for a good two minutes after that.

This problem is gonna be a bit too big for Eleven to wish into the cornfield.

After seeing what she had to go through/is going though, I'd say free ice cream for life is a relatively low price to pay...

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I am gonna need "You cant spell America without Erica" on a tee shirt ASAP. Dustin's expression as he worked out if that was actually true was hysterical. Erica is a fun addition to the mall crew, she reminds me of a lot of sassy precocious kids in 80s sitcoms. 

"If you die, I die" Awwwww! I would watch a whole side show that is just Dustin and Steve getting into hijinks, I love Steve so freaking much.

Good thing we got some early laughs because holy shit that ending was intense! Possessed Billy was seriously strong, enough to give El a real fight, and now he is gathering more and more people. Will trying to help her was sweet, even if it didnt do much. "We`ll Meet Again" has never been creepier. This show really is great at picking songs that fit the mood and plot perfectly. 

Its sad that Nancy and Jonathan are on the outs for now, I do kind of get where both of them were coming from. Nancy suffered from endless harassment, sexism, and mockery, so I understand why she wanted to show them what was for, but Jonathan really needed the money, and neither of them seemed ready to acknowledge that about the other one. It was great to see Mrs. Wheeler do something besides thirsting over a lifeguard about the same age as her daughter and support her daughter when she needed her. 

Hopper beating up Mayor 1920s Business Man while Joyce kept anyone from getting in and even pulling the phone line was some serious power couple stuff. "Who are you gonna call, the police? 

Edited by tennisgurl
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Wouldn’t wearing long sleeves and covering up with a towel make mr lifeguard warmer, not colder? And a sauna set at 220 kill him?

I would kill for Philip and Elizabeth Jennings to show up. 

Edited by kokapetl
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The brass shelving unit in the bathroom (seen while El was brushing her teeth) was SO 80s! So was Nancy's purple dress with the little cutouts. It was nice to see Nancy have a good moment with her mom.

I love that even after getting beat up, Hopper took the time to roll up the sleeves on his Miami Vice colored date night shirt.

As much as I love Hopper, it pained me to see the Dread Pirate Roberts getting beat up.

I am really dreading what will happen when the Scoops Ahoy gang gets off that elevator.

Possessed Billy was scary. Poor Max. Human Billy is a shit, but he's still her brother. She really didn't want it to be true. Billy gave El quite a fight so I don't know how she's going to defeat him and the army of Flayettes.

I'm glad that Lucas made an effort to apologize to Will again. I love the friendship between the kids and I hated seeing poor Will feel so left out. But like so many other heroes, he put aside all that personal stuff aside when the shit hit the fan.

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13 hours ago, Last Time Lord said:

We’ll Meet Again” is going to have a whole new connotation after this episode. 

That ending was chilling. 

Was that supposed to be Barb in the blue dress? 

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Just now, ElectricBoogaloo said:

As much as I love Hopper, it pained me to see the Dread Pirate Roberts getting beat up.

I am really dreading what will happen when the Scoops Ahoy gang gets off that elevator.

Agreed about the DPR! 

... assuming they do get off and didn't get squished at the bottom. Just kidding. They wouldn't do that to Steve and his magic hair. 

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1 hour ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I love that even after getting beat up, Hopper took the time to roll up the sleeves on his Miami Vice colored date night shirt.

Please, Hopper is totally going for the Magnum PI look.

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8 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

It was great to see Mrs. Wheeler do something besides thirsting over a lifeguard about the same age as her daughter and support her daughter when she needed her. 

/\ THIS x 100!!!  I was amazed that she actually knew how to parent at all based on what we've seen so far.

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Oh this was an exciting ep.  Kinda reminded me of Dig Dug last season.  So much happening on all front and it is all starting to pop.

Everybody did great work in this ep.  Millie Bobby Brown was excellent showing Elle's growing dread through the whole thing.  She had been so happy being a regular girl, wearing disturbingly bright clothing and eating ice cream.  And in this ep she just looked so lost.  I liked seeing El and Will interact since the two of them really haven't had  a lot of screen time together.  More than anyone those two have have the closest relationship with the creature and probably have been the most traumatized.  Seeing the twin looks of despair on their faces was really well done.

And even though my preference has been since his intro it to burn Billy with fire, I liked that Max just wished so badly that he was only being a jerk. 

That entire scene at the Sauna was super exciting and tense.  I loved seeing the kids back in action, altho I was getting mad at them just standing there while Billy was choking El.  It seemed like it went on forever before Mike hit him with the weight bar.

The Scoops Ahoy troop are still the light comedy we need.  Even though they are probably in as much danger as everyone else.  I agree with how funny the 'You can't spell America without Erica' scene was especially as you can see Dustin spelling it in his head and coming to the realization that she was right.

Also, Erica was a blast.  "Operation Child Endangerment."  LOL.  She is right though.  She is a little girl, being asked to crawl through (remarkably dust free) air ducts after hours in a mall,  to a place where they know there have been men armed with guns and rifles.  For a moment, in that loading room, she was all alone in harms' way if any of those men returned.  The rest were up on the roof safely out of it.  She doesn't know Steve or Robin at all beyond them as servers at her favorite ice cream store.  And she has no real reason to believe there are Russian spies running around the mall.  It may have been sassy, but everything she said was truth.  Also she is right to know her worth and demand it. Also  she looked hella funny in her spy get up and her girly little backpack.

Poor Dread Pirate Roberts.  He deserved it tho.  Also I loved Joyce and Hopper coming all the heavy on him.  Man, Hopper in a rage is a thing to behold.  And Joyce being apologetic and saying "have a nice day."  LOL.

Nancy and Jonathan's storyline is the one that is seeming to lag, I hope that one gains a more traction soon.

Edited by DearEvette
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among the possessed people I believe i saw the farmer from the last season, one of the ones with spoiled pumpkins, and wouldn't that be Farmer Hess of Hess farms?? Can't be sure as it was just a glimpse and i don't care enough to rewind. Love this invasion of the body snatchers scenario. What a great season so far.

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Just remembered where I’d seen Michael Park (actor who plays the newspaper editor) before - he was on As the World Turns back in the day.

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Erica is incredibly annoying, but so realistically annoying that I feel like I went to middle school with her.  And her dialogue is so in line with her being Lucas's sister.  They really sound like family.

I felt bad for Max watching Billy.

It was nice to see Nancy and her mother in a positive interaction.

9 hours ago, kokapetl said:

Wouldn’t wearing long sleeves and covering up with a towel make mr lifeguard warmer, not colder?

I think it's to avoid the kind of second degree sunburn he got previously.

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5 minutes ago, MisterGlass said:

I think it's to avoid the kind of second degree sunburn he got previously.

Why did pod-Billy even go back to his lifeguard job in the first place?  I can't imagine the Mind Flayer being more worried about Billy's job status than the pain the sun can inflict on him through his minions.

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1 minute ago, domina89 said:

Why did pod-Billy even go back to his lifeguard job in the first place?  I can't imagine the Mind Flayer being more worried about Billy's job status than the pain the sun can inflict on him through his minions.

Recruitment? Seemed like the entire town was at the community pool. 

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10 hours ago, kokapetl said:

I would kill for Philip and Elizabeth Jennings to show up. 

I know, right? I wanted to tell them, the real Russians are in suburban DC, running their travel agency and taking their kids to hockey practice. 

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1 hour ago, domina89 said:

Why did pod-Billy even go back to his lifeguard job in the first place?  I can't imagine the Mind Flayer being more worried about Billy's job status than the pain the sun can inflict on him through his minions.

1 hour ago, Last Time Lord said:

Recruitment? Seemed like the entire town was at the community pool. 

I thought it was mostly to keep up appearances. If the Mind Flayer thing is using Billy to get more recruits, then it's in the MF's best interest to have Billy keep going to his job and being seen around town so that it seems like business as usual. If Billy quit his job or disappeared, that would raise suspicions, invite questions, and draw unwanted attention.

11 hours ago, kokapetl said:

I would kill for Philip and Elizabeth Jennings to show up. 

57 minutes ago, SoMuchTV said:

I know, right? I wanted to tell them, the real Russians are in suburban DC, running their travel agency and taking their kids to hockey practice. 

Ha, I would love to see Philip and Elizabeth show up in Hawkins, even if the kids just passed them on the street. The timelines fit perfectly so let's make this cameo happen, show!

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I don't think that Billy was a thrall 24/7, like Will explained, the MF only takes over the host when it needs it, so Billy was doing his job and probably just thought that he was sick or something.

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48 minutes ago, Perfect Xero said:

the MF only takes over the host when it needs it

The way my brain interpreted this sentence was so not how you intended it. 

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Wow. That was a lot. Great episode.

Sorry but I was 100% with Erica on child endangerment. They never should have involved a child in this. 

"If you die, I die" 😍 Steve and Dustin are cuties. I love their bickering too.

The mind flayer possessing so many people now is so creepy. 

The whole scene with Billy and the kids in the sauna was so well done. 

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My favorite little moment of this episode was Max and Eleven's sleepover. I just thought it was really sweet how Eleven leaned against Max to listen to the Wonder Woman bedtime story.

I'm seriously wondering how much the uninvolved parents know about Eleven. Max sleeps over and Hop asks if her parents know about it and she says yes. Then Eleven sleeps over at Max's - again, assuming the parents know. Plus, Eleven called Mike's house which seems like a regular occurrence. 

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On 7/4/2019 at 10:13 AM, raven said:

I understand Jonathan's point about needing the job and all that but he doesn't have to go along with her.

He is so ride or die with her though. 

21 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

Will trying to help her was sweet, even if it didnt do much.

It reminded me of Highlander where Brenda stopped the Kurgan just long enough for Connor to regroup. Which, given this show, that might have been deliberate. She used a pipe too. "Heh. What kept you?"

I do like that El is not the deus ex machina anymore. Billy gave her a real run, and it's going to get so much worse. I do like that the kids came up with a legit plan (the sauna) and it worked. They didn't account for Billy being so strong, which isn't their fault. 

I can buy the whole, hey maybe the MF got locked *out* when you closed the gate. It's kind of thin because it looked like Elle shoved it back in through the gate, but I guess it's enough. At this point, and I do like the show, I feel like they just want to hang around with these characters. And that's fine.

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Wow, the ending here really ramped things up. Poor Max, having to face the reality that her brother was being controlled by the Mind Flayer. And damn, for a moment, I felt the tiniest amount of sympathy for Billy when he was crying to Max in the Sauna Room, right before the Mind Flayer took over. He is just as traumatized as Will and Eleven are. Am I possibly starting to root for Billy to survive this and get some actual help? Actually, yes, because I want to see if he does become a better person after all of this. I'd like to see more purpose to Billy that's not either being a racist asshole or being possessed by the Mind Flayer and being used to recruit people. 

Meanwhile, we got to see Eleven in action (and hating it) and Will use his Mind Flayer senses. 

The Scoops Ahoy Group continues to add to its members! Now including Erica, who is basically using the group for free ice cream and spitting truths about them using her in a dangerous situation. Not everyone is comfortable with risking their lives, you guys. On the plus, Steve/Dustin's friendship still works, oddly enough.

Joyce/Hopper team up for answers of their own. Beating up the Mayor probably wasn't a smart move, though.

And Nancy/Jonathan break up...and Nancy gets a nice moment with her mother. I do like Nancy. I've never been entirely fond of Jonathan, so I'd rather just see more Nancy.

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She's been annoying, but I did like, "You can't spell America, without Erica." 

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Really enjoying this season so far, especially after this intense episode. Love the humanity in all of these characters. They care about each other and, as a result, the audience cares about them. (Yes, even Evil Billy.) 

I love Hopper but his "take no prisoners" attitude about everything may not be the best course of action. Beating the stuffing out of the mayor is going to cause further problems, particularly because the mayor seems to have Russian friends.

The '80s clothes, hair/wigs, music and set pieces are marvelous. These elements are crucial to setting the scenes and immersing the characters - and the audience - in the story and I am never disappointed. 

This show knows it strengths and that sets it apart from so many others that get lost in their narrative.

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I think Hopper is smart enough to know something is going on weird again and he's just so over everyone's shit that he's taking the most direct route. 

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23 hours ago, MisterGlass said:

Erica is incredibly annoying, but so realistically annoying that I feel like I went to middle school with her.  And her dialogue is so in line with her being Lucas's sister.  They really sound like family.

I felt bad for Max watching Billy.

It was nice to see Nancy and her mother in a positive interaction.

I think it's to avoid the kind of second degree sunburn he got previously.

I think Erica is a nod to the sassy younger sister Dee, on the show 'What's Happenin" (hilarious show), which was definitely more late 70's, but it was rerun for several years after in the 80's (that's how I saw it). I don't mind the sass so much, but I think it needs to be toned down a bit or come out in waves, as opposed to constant annoying sass. It would be much funnier that way. With the sass at a constant level, it's annoying and disrespectful.

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After four episodes, I think this season is definitely the creepiest. The confrontation with Billy was great, and the use of ”We’ll Meet Again” was one of the best uses of music in the show so far.

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Its kind of interesting that things are getting this crazy this fast. But I like it. I am looking forwad to Millie Bobby Brown growing up so she can become the badass lady movie action hero it seems like she could do really well at. And I am not sure movies these days have a Linda Hamilton style badass anymore. 

On 7/4/2019 at 6:56 PM, VCRTracking said:

Hopper beating up the Mayor Wesley especially in that shirt. Also Joyce pulling the secretary's phone cord. They're a power couple.

They are pretty awesome together. I liked Hopper pretty legitimately offering her a job at the police station. It is actually kind of cool how intelligent she is.

On 7/5/2019 at 7:23 AM, Melina22 said:

Was that supposed to be Barb in the blue dress? 

I thought so. I also thought the little kid near her was young season 1 era will.

On 7/5/2019 at 11:09 AM, DearEvette said:

Also, Erica was a blast.  "Operation Child Endangerment."  LOL.  She is right though.  She is a little girl, being asked to crawl through (remarkably dust free) air ducts after hours in a mall,  to a place where they know there have been men armed with guns and rifles.  For a moment, in that loading room, she was all alone in harms' way if any of those men returned.  The rest were up on the roof safely out of it. 

The dust free thing didn't bother me because the mall is brand new. Althoigh I generally hate the climb through the ducts thing because ducts have shit inside them like dampers that would make that difficult. But in this show I'll allow it because it is totally an 80s trope. Also why would you not leave a lookout instead of all being in the room with the doors closed.

Edited by Kel Varnsen
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I really enjoyed this episode. So it seems like Billy is really Billy he's just processed as Will was last year. I was kind of hoping that it would mention the connection with Will. But maybe in a later episode. I was wondering why Lukas, Will and Max were just standing there while he attacked Eleven instead of helping her. Of course then a minute later, Mike comes in and attacks.

The highlight storyline was still the ice crew. I found Erica okay actually. She still had her snark but was able to help. I loved the scene with Dustin trying to fit into the air vent. And I'm looking forward to seeing where they end up. It seems to be some sort of elevator, probably to the lab.  And the scene with Nancy and Karen was great. I can see where Nancy was coming from, but I agree with Johnathan. They should have dropped it when asked. And he really does need the job, where she didn't.

Lastly, I loved Hopper getting to fight the mayor and winning.

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On ‎7‎/‎4‎/‎2019 at 10:35 PM, tennisgurl said:

If you die, I die" Awwwww! I would watch a whole side show that is just Dustin and Steve getting into hijinks, I love Steve so freaking much.

Me too! :-)

Loved Hopper take down of the Mayor and Joyce had his back.

I thought Billy choking El went on a little too long and found myself telling the kids to do something. Thank you Mike.

Oh shit, an elevator going down to where? I'm worried for our gang.

The ending was creepy with everyone standing there. I didn't notice any familiar faces kudos to all who did.

On to the next.

Edited by foxfreakinmulder · Reason: forgot something.
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Very intense episode in what's shaping up to much higher octane season.  They really went all out on nailing the shiny mid 80s decor in Mayor Not Westley's house.   Hopper seems even more done that usual with this shit.

While I'm mostly enjoying the adventures of the Scoops Ahoy crew, I was struck this outing that Dustin hasn't had a scene with the rest of the kids since the first episode.  They're really riding the Steve-Dustin pairing hard.  His presence was definitely missed in the scenes of trying to get the gang all together to confer.  As much as I really loved "Child endangerment.  Can you say child endangerment?" Erica is really walking that line for me in almost being too much to where she feels like a sassy sitcom kid in a cast that otherwise feels pretty natural. 

It was inevitable that Eleven wasn't going to easily win one, but it was no less gutwrenching watching her and then the rest of the crew also have that realization when possessed Billy was seemingly choking the life out of her.  Good for Mike trying to step up to give her a chance to escape/regroup even if he probably weighs a hundred pounds soaking wet and had to know he was no match.  Sadie Sink was doing nice work with Max knowing full well that Billy is a complete douche but still hoping that he wasn't a host or that he'd be able to fight it off.

Eleven was right that Mike's "context" for lying didn't make it better just as he was right that she shouldn't be using her power to invade his private conversations.  Max introducing Eleven to Wonder Woman comics was made of win.

The "We'll Meet Again" ending was horror movie level chilling.

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2 minutes ago, nodorothyparker said:

 Hopper seems even more done that usual with this shit.

He's totally, 'yeah no, this has happened enough. fuck off" I think it's a great take on where the character would be after shooting demon dogs while his adopted daughter literally almost tore herself apart closing the gate to hell. 

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Erica isn't like any kid from the 80's I ever knew.  However, she is exactly like kids were depicted on television and thus stands out on the show as a bit of an oddity.

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23 minutes ago, Mr. R0b0t said:

Erica isn't like any kid from the 80's I ever knew.  However, she is exactly like kids were depicted on television and thus stands out on the show as a bit of an oddity.

I don't think she is.  The thing is, it seems this season, moreso than the previous two, the show seems to be leaning in to its own 80s tv and movie nostalgia. 

If you can accept a a bunch of Russians all wearing uniforms out of a cold war propaganda movie operating secret facility under mall in mid-Americana, if you can accept a Terminator like figure marching through town with guns a-blazing, if you can accept a girl with no knowledge of the Cyrillic alphabet cracking a Russian code in the space of little more than an afternoon, and if you can still accept a group of poorly supervised pre-teens fighting a monster from a mirror world using only their bikes, walkie-talkies, and  ingenuity, then it feels odd to pump the breaks at a little girl whose character brief seems to be: act sarcastic.

I think her character this year is supposed to be a call back to 80s brand smart mouth siblings.  They actually exist in life but I think for tv they get turned up a notch.  So in that sense, Erica is very much in alignment with what this season is selling.

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Regarding Erica, the points about her being like an 80s sitcom child are good ones.  Actually, she plays a little bit into the trope of introducing a younger family member when the original kids get older.

At the same time, I think her behavior this season is similar to what it was last season in her interaction with Lucas.  However, now she's older, and she's interacting more with non-family.  She's at the borderline between child and teen where what was cute, and endearing, and encouraged in a child is obnoxious and off-putting in a teen (or preteen).  She can still get what she wants by force of will and cuteness right now, but she'll have to adjust as she gets older.

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As they say: shit got real. 

This was definitely the best episode so far, and I loved the intercutting between all the secret plans that were initially going pretty well: Dustin/Steve/Robin/Erica at the mall, Nancy at the hospital and the rest of the gang at the swimming pool. The staredown between Eleven/Max and whatever's in Billy was intense and frightening, so kudos to Dacre: you could really see something cold and cruel staring out of him (one that's much crueller than Billy at the best of times).

Also, I'm glad the show has finally justified Billy's existence. Last season he seemed so extraneous - just an eighties Stephen King bully for the sake of having an eighties Stephen King bully.

Liked Will stepping up and taking charge of the operation, though I'd dearly love to see some more interaction between him and Eleven. They're the most scarred and traumatized of all the kids, and they have so much in common (not to mention a bit of competition over Mike) so I'd like to see that potential mined. 

Erica reminds me of Lyanna Mormont in Game of Thrones: wildly popular in her first appearance, leading to the show bumping up her appearances, after which she's immediately disliked by audiences. I enjoyed her in this episode - girl knows how get the best out of a situation.

"I die, you die," was adorable, but Steve's nonchalant reaction was amusing: it was such an over-the-top pre-teen thing to say that you can really only shrug it off.

As someone with claustrophobia, I was wincing at Erica's air duct crawl and the room suddenly being an elevator. *shudder*

Oh, and Mrs Wheeler finally gets to be a mother to one of her children! That was lovely, and you could see the regret in her face when she thinks of her own life choices. I hope it works out and Nancy DOES sell the story to a much bigger newspaper.

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Against my better judgement, I actually was wondering if someone going to die in that showdown with Possessed Billy.  Realistically, I know it wan'ts likely they would kill someone that important so soon, but they had me going for a bit.  Even briefly though Eleven herself might actually be a goner.  Glad they got by for now, but Possessed Billy is clearly a danger, and I'm curious to see how they'll thwart him and the other ones possessed by the Mind Flayer.  Haven't said much about him so far, but credit to Dacre Montgomery, who has really been stepping it up this season so far.

Not surprised that Mayor Wesley (heh, love that nickname!) was shady as hell, and it was fun watching Hopper take him to task.  But I totally think trouble is ahead for both Hopper and Joyce, once the mayor recuperates.

Erica is a bit much, but I got to give her credit for being able to assess and take advantage of a situation.  Granted, if there was any form of realism here, I don't see Steve or Robin working at that ice cream shop for much longer, considering how they keep abandoning it or their lack of customer service skills.  Frankly, I was impressed that even had that much money in the tip jar!  But I'm looking forward to seeing what these four have gotten themselves into now.  And, of course, Dustin and Steve continue to be the best damn relationship on the show!

Speaking of relationships, Nancy and Jonathan seem to be in rough waters now.  I still feel bad for all of the sexism and disrespect that Nancy has had to deal with, but I do think Jonathan is right on some levels that she has a bigger safety net compared to him, and losing this job could really hurt him and his family.  Granted, an argument could be made that he had the option to just stay out of it, but I feel like that would have still hurt his relationship with Nancy, even if the offer was there.  But I'm glad she is staying in the game for now.  And it was nice seeing Karen being a supportive mom. 

That said, I do hope some Jake Busey's character still gets some form of comeuppance, heh. 

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Holy smokes, that was intense and pretty scary! Possessed Billy is quite terrifying. I felt sad for Max, as you could tell she was really hoping there would be some shred of humanity left in her brother. Apparently not - and as others have already mentioned, I'm actually feeling a bit sorry for Billy. I predict if any main character dies, it will likely be him.

Poor Mrs. Driscoll. That hospital scene was also terrifying.

The air-duct thing is such an 80's trope: Die Hard as well as The Breakfast Club among others that I'm probably forgetting.

The show continues to nail the period details: Nancy's purple and teal dress with the little cutouts was peak mid-80's fashion. She's wearing some outfits that I envied on other girls back in the day! I actually like Nancy, and am interested in following her story, but I'm super-bored with Jonathan - he feels totally extraneous to me now, and the show drags when they are together.

I also laughed at the Mayor's gloriously tacky eighties bedroom decor. Hopper and Joyce are probably now up the creek without a paddle once the Mayor calls in for back-up.

Like everyone else, I'm loving the Scoops Ahoy gang (Robin has now grown on me), and hope they are reunited with the rest of the cast soon.

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Yeah, I would kill for Elizabeth and Philip from The Americans to show up too.  But everyone would then be dead.

Edited by benteen
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10 hours ago, thuganomics85 said:

Frankly, I was impressed that even had that much money in the tip jar!

Were there even tip jars back then for businesses like that??

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Yikes! As intense as that final show-down was, I didn't find it nearly as intense and upsetting as Hopper beating up the mayor. I find it EXTREMELY off-putting when characters we are supposed to root for as good guys resort immediately to violence and torture to get their way. Beating someone up and threatening to cut off their finger is not "badass" or "tough;" it is psychotic! Not that it would make any difference, but what even were the stakes? It's not end-of-the-world stuff (or at least they didn't know it was at the time), Hopper just wanted the name of the guy who beat him up, and he already had a vehicle type and partial plate to work from. Why go to such extremes? Especially on a guy we haven't seen be any more evil or corrupt than your standard politician? What the mayor did to Hopper (keeping secrets and threatening to get him fired) was not NEARLY as straight-up evil as what Hopper did to him, and yet we're supposed to uncritically accept Hopper as the hero?

I see this trend in American TV and movies all the time, and it really freaks me out. It has been soundly proven that torture, as an interrogation technique, DOES NOT WORK. It results in people fabricating whatever the interrogator wants to hear in order to make it stop, and prevents them from thinking clearly enough to give honest information. Effective techniques play on rationality or emotions OTHER than stark mindless terror. But studies show that when torture is portrayed as working on TV or in movies, the general public is more likely to believe it does, and will see it as a "necessary evil." This is disingenuous and dangerous. Whenever I see the quick and easy torture solution get results in media, I wonder if the writers genuinely believe that's how it works, or if they are not creative enough to think of ANY alternative solution. 

This is so pervasive I wonder if American audiences even notice it's happening. You watch British and other foreign crime dramas, and see detectives use their exceptional intelligence to gather conclusive evidence by coloring extremely carefully inside the lines of their rules and regulations to avoid any whiff of impropriety, and lean on suspects with the certainty of their conviction in order to get them to crack (and man is that ever satisfying). Then you turn on American cop shows and see one "good guy" look the other way while the other "good guy" slams a suspect's head into a wall a few times until the "bad guy" agrees to talk. I know neither of these is a genuine representation of a cop's real-life job, but it speaks to what foreign audiences and American audiences WANT to see their "good guys" doing in fiction. What they think cops SHOULD be doing to solve cases. And it also informs what kind of people will be drawn to a job when it is portrayed in certain ways. Careful, analytical, ethical types, or violent bullies who will gladly break a few bones when convenient?

I've had issues with this show before, generally about their gender and racial dynamics, but that scene genuinely disturbed me more than anything else it's done. Not just because it was vile, immoral, and unnecessary, but because it was portrayed so lightly and easily, like we were supposed to be cheering Hopper on or finding it fun. I beg you, writers, strain at least ONE brain cell thinking of ways for good guys to get information from other guys that does not involve maiming! How about look to the real world for ideas, rather than the same tired stereotypes designed to normalize a despicable practice?

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This was a rip-roaring episode. Really intense.

That being said, my favorite line was Joyce's (paraphrased) "who you gonna call - the police?" Much sassier than her usual mode.
 

On 7/5/2019 at 10:09 AM, BonnieD said:

among the possessed people I believe i saw the farmer from the last season, one of the ones with spoiled pumpkins, and wouldn't that be Farmer Hess of Hess farms?? Can't be sure as it was just a glimpse and i don't care enough to rewind. Love this invasion of the body snatchers scenario. What a great season so far.

I saw him too. I saw a mailman, and I think there was a mailman in a previous episode in the series, but I can't remember when. Otherwise, I didn't recognize anyone.

On 7/5/2019 at 4:30 PM, backhometome said:

Sorry but I was 100% with Erica on child endangerment. They never should have involved a child in this.

While I can't disagree with the child endangerment aspect, I think she's probably not much younger than the rest of the gang when we first met them, and Dustin's not a grown-up either (Steve barely is.). So she's getting her chance to be a hero too.

On 7/6/2019 at 6:54 PM, Kel Varnsen said:

Its kind of interesting that things are getting this crazy this fast. But I like it. I am looking forwad to Millie Bobby Brown growing up so she can become the badass lady movie action hero it seems like she could do really well at. And I am not sure movies these days have a Linda Hamilton style badass anymore.

Watched any superhero movies lately? Like, say, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, etc... Might not be Linda Hamilton style badasses, but there sure are plenty of 20teens (what are we calling this decade?) women badasses who are pulling in the big bucks at the box office.

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2 hours ago, Slovenly Muse said:

Yikes! As intense as that final show-down was, I didn't find it nearly as intense and upsetting as Hopper beating up the mayor. I find it EXTREMELY off-putting when characters we are supposed to root for as good guys resort immediately to violence and torture to get their way. Beating someone up and threatening to cut off their finger is not "badass" or "tough;" it is psychotic! Not that it would make any difference, but what even were the stakes? It's not end-of-the-world stuff (or at least they didn't know it was at the time), Hopper just wanted the name of the guy who beat him up, and he already had a vehicle type and partial plate to work from. Why go to such extremes? Especially on a guy we haven't seen be any more evil or corrupt than your standard politician? What the mayor did to Hopper (keeping secrets and threatening to get him fired) was not NEARLY as straight-up evil as what Hopper did to him, and yet we're supposed to uncritically accept Hopper as the hero?

I totally agree. This felt like the sort of moment Stranger Things is usually better than -- just a totally uncritical regurgitation of some dumb genre trope or period cliche. What has always made the series so great is the way in which it usually elevates such moments, gives them some deeper thematic or emotional resonance. But unless there's something I'm missing, the torture scene wasn't really trying to make a statement about Hopper's volatile state of mind or the troubling implications of extreme measures; it was just a plot point Hopper had to go through to solve one part of the mystery and move on to the next.

In fact, though I like season 3 quite a bit, the reason I don't think it quite measures up to the (IMHO much underrated) season 2 is that there are too many of these kind of empty, fart-around action moments -- many of the scenes with the Russians, for instance, which just run through Cold War cliches or riff on The Terminator.

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52 minutes ago, Dev F said:

I totally agree. This felt like the sort of moment Stranger Things is usually better than -- just a totally uncritical regurgitation of some dumb genre trope or period cliche. What has always made the series so great is the way in which it usually elevates such moments, gives them some deeper thematic or emotional resonance. But unless there's something I'm missing, the torture scene wasn't really trying to make a statement about Hopper's volatile state of mind or the troubling implications of extreme measures; it was just a plot point Hopper had to go through to solve one part of the mystery and move on to the next.

I actually totally bought that scene. This is the third time in like less than 2 years that shit happening associated with Hawkins lab is screwing with Hopper's life and potentially putting him and people he cares about at risk.. I saw it has him being super frustrated and not wanting to waste time because he knew the stakes. Plus it wasn't like a typical questioning/torture of a suspect. It was basically give me the paperwork I know you have or I will beat the shit out of you. Jerk me around and I will come back and beat you more. I can see that working a lot better than your typical tv torture scene.

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