Nov 24 2017

Stranger Things – “Chapter 5: Dig Dug” Review. Top Secret Stuff.

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Stranger Things Season 2 streaming on Netflix as of 10/27/17

Rating:

 

“It’s not a puzzle; it’s a map of Hawkins.” – Bob

 

The desire to binge watch is becoming increasingly more powerful with every single episode. “Chapter 5: Dig Dug” is chock full of amazing and intriguing gems, making me extremely curious as to how it will all end. The vines of the “upside down” are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg as we saw Sheriff Jim Hopper (David Harbour) dig a massive hole in the pumpkin patch and jump into a series of underground tunnels at the end of “Chapter 4: Will the Wise.” What is the “shadow monster” trying to accomplish in Hawkins?

The spy game is very dangerous when dealing with the Shadow Monster

Will’s (Noah Schnapp) encounter with the shadow monster is taking a toll on him. He is seeing what he calls “now memories,” events that are happening now in the upside down. His best friend Mike (Finn Wolfhard) pays a visit to see if he can help and they realize Will can use the “now memories” against the evil burrowing under Hawkins, sort of like “spying on the shadow monster.” But I understand Will’s concern, “What if he spies back?” The shadow monster took Will’s body hostage to protect itself; if harm comes to the shadow monster, Will feels it.

If Bob the Brain can’t figure this out, no one can.

“Chapter 5: Dig Dug” has a lot going on with many different story lines. We see Joyce (Winona Ryder) desperate to help her son figure out the riddle of his drawings. When Bob (Sean Astin) aka “Bob the Brain” stops by to see if Will’s up for some company, Joyce asks for his help. As Bob walks through the house covered in the drawings, he notices a pattern. The vines are not roads, per se, but they are a map of sorts of Hawkins but never go through a water source. Will’s latest vision shows Hopper in trouble and Joyce, Bob, Will, and Mike are scrambling to figure out where he is. There is a wonderful little nugget referencing the Goonies. When Joyce asks Bob to find the location where she draws an ‘X,’ Bob asks, “What’s at the ‘X,’ pirate treasure?”

Nancy and Jonathan compare their old scars they got last year when they tried to save Will from the Upside Down

Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) continue their mission to expose the scientists’ cover-up of Barbara’s (Shannon Purser) death in season one. Armed with a tape recording of Dr. Owens’ (Paul Reiser) pseudo admission of culpability in the whole “upside down” fiasco, Nancy and Jonathan seek out Murray Bauman (Brett Gelman), the private investigator and conspiracy theorist who has been investigating Barb’s death.

Dustin put on his hockey gear to protect himself from his cat-eating new pet Dart.

Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) buries his mother’s cat and traps Dart in the cellar. Is it just me or is his mother Claudia (Catherine Curtain) a little too co-dependent? After sending his mother on a wild goose chase to find her beloved and very dead cat Muse, Dustin uses the walkie-talkie to find his friends. “This is a code red.” After a hilarious exchange with Lucas’ (Caleb McLaughlin) younger sister Erica (Priah Ferguson), Dustin decides to bike over to Mike’s place first. Dustin provides the comic relief in many episodes, but the conversation he has with Mike’s dad Ted Wheeler (Joe Chrest) had me cracking up. The Wheelers’ phone line has been tied up for hours, so naturally Dustin has to go in person to find out where Mike and Nancy are. After a series of back and forth with Mr. Wheeler asking Mrs. Wheeler (Cara Buono) where the kids are, the following exchange made me chuckle.

Mrs. Wheeler loves a nice long chat with her friend and doesn’t like to be interrupted.

Ted: “Our children don’t live here anymore; you didn’t know that?”

Dustin: “Seriously?”

Ted: “Am I done here?”

Dustin: “Son of a bitch; you know, you’re really no help at all, you know that?”

Ted: “Hey, language.”

Lucas must really like Max to break the rules and tell her the group’s ‘top secret stuff.’

Meanwhile, Lucas is breaking one of the group’s cardinal rules – don’t tell the secret of Eleven’s “El” (Millie Bobby Brown) powers and Will’s disappearance. Of course, Lucas is trying to impress Max (Sadie Sink) so he tells her all the “top secret stuff,” only to be met with sarcasm and disbelief. Does he actually think Max is going to believe him right off the bat? It’s an incredible story, one that seems to be made up because of the outrageous circumstances.

Aunt Becky watches as El communicates with Terry

Speaking of El, she ventures out on her own in search of her “mama,” Terry (Aimee Mullins). After meeting her Aunt Becky (Amy Seimetz), she finds Terry in a terrible, almost catatonic state repeating the same words over and over, “Breathe, sunflower, three to the right, four to the left, rainbow, 450.” It’s not until the lights flicker that El is able to “talk” to her mother the only way they can – in their minds. Terry reveals shocking images from her memories of El’s birth and subsequent abduction at the hands of Dr. Brenner (Matthew Modine), aka “Papa,” and the lengths he went to in order to silence Terry. As an aside, Eleven has a real name.

Overall

Hopper got more than he bargained for down in those tunnels.

“Chapter 5: Dig Dug” draws you in and doesn’t let you go. At the end of the episode, Joyce, Bob, Mike, and Will find where Hopper is. As Joyce and Bob descend into the tunnels, they find Hopper in bad shape. Above ground, the soldiers and scientists from the lab arrive and when they begin torching the vines, the shocking affect it has on poor Will made me cringe. I’m preparing to watch episode six but don’t know if I am going to be able to stop myself from watching the remaining episodes. It’s getting too damn good!

What did you think of “Chapter 5: Dig Dug?” Leave me a comment below and tweet me @judybopp.

For more on the show, go to the official site.

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Photos ©2017 Netflix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

© 2017, Judy Manning. All rights reserved.

Judy Manning

Dream chaser extraordinaire! Judy is a tad sarcastic and kind of goofy! She is an avid admirer of all things supernatural, paranormal, and mystical. She finally came around to zombies, but NO clowns...she loathes clowns. She loves to read and write, watches way too much TV, and likes many genres of film. She's enjoys music of the Trance/Electronica variety (and let's be honest, most music from the 80s). She also has a wicked sweet tooth. Cupcakes beware.

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