Stranger Things Season 2 streaming on Netflix as of 10/27/17
“I told you, they upset him. They shouldn’t have done that.” – Will
Things are starting to take a darker turn in Hawkins, Indiana and Will (Noah Schnapp) is at the epicenter of the “Shadow Monster’s” master plan. The monster invaded Will’s body at the end of “Chapter 3: The Pollywog” to protect itself and its interests in taking over Hawkins. In the opening scene of “Chapter 6: The Spy,” we see Will being wheeled into the Hawkins lab. Throughout the episode, Will’s docile persona takes on a disturbing metamorphosis, one that will cost many people their lives.
In “Chapter 4: Will the Wise,” Will and his best friend Mike (Finn Wolfhard) talked about using Will’s “now memories” to essentially spy on the “shadow monster.” But in “Chapter 6: The Spy,” Will’s concerns about the monster come to fruition. As Dr. Owens (Paul Reiser) conducts an experiment to find out how Will’s pain correlates to the soldiers burning the vines, pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place. With each passing moment that Will is conscious, the shadow monster gathers information to use against the scientists and soldiers.
Schnapp’s award-worthy performance in “Chapter 6: The Spy” had me spellbound. Schnapp deserves every accolade for his diverse portrayal of a young boy trapped in his own body, sharing his mind with an evil presence that’s hell-bent on destroying him, everyone in Hawkins, and perhaps the world. Stranger Things’ strength lies in its cast delivering tremendous performances with such ardent conviction. They make the audience believe they live in this fictional town, experiencing these terrifying events. I’m not religious but damnit, I believe in series creators, the Duffer Brothers. And kudos to director Andrew Stanton; the direction throughout “Chapter 6: The Spy” gives equal balance to each of the main plot points of this episode.
“Chapter 6: The Spy” focuses on two key plot points but there is a third yet equally intriguing sub-plot. First and most important plot point involve Will and the shadow monster as mentioned above. Second is Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) who’s trying to find his not so nice pet Dart. Clearly Dart is a “demigoron.” Dustin enlists the help of high school jock and heartthrob Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) to help him with locating Dart, who is locked away in Dustin’s cellar. The two boys forge a bond over spiked baseball bats, buckets of meat, and hair products. What I find crazy is how much meat they throw on the railroad tracks that can attract other unsavory beasts. I guess when you’ve battled a “demigoron,” woodland creatures are not so scary anymore. While Will tells the scientists how to defeat the shadow monster, Dustin heads to an old junk yard to set a trap for Dart. But both parties get much more than they bargained for.
As an aside, I truly enjoyed the bonding scene between Dustin and Steve. As they walk and talk about impressing girls, Steve shares his “perfect hair” secrets. “Fabergé; it’s Fabergé Organics. Use the shampoo and the conditioner and when your hair is damp — it’s not wet, OK— when it’s damp, do four puffs of the Farrah Fawcett spray. You tell anyone I just told you that, your ass is grass; you’re dead, you understand?”
The third sub-plot point deals with Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton). After paying a visit to conspiracy theorist and private investigator Murray Bauman (Brett Gelman) for help to get the word out about the shady business going on at Hawkins Lab, the trio crank out an assembly line of cassette tapes with incriminating information to send to multiple media outlets. During their time together, Murray makes keen observations about the underlying chemistry between Nancy and Jonathan. Of course, the two try (feebly) to deny it but some things cannot be contained. Let’s get a sock on that door knob, shall we? (bow-chicka-bow-wow).
Sheriff Jim Hopper (David Harbour) gets a scrub down after being exposed to all the pollutants in the underground tunnels. Dr. Owens then shows him something Hopper probably already knew existed but didn’t want to believe. The expansive network of tunnels and the glowing red walls prove the “upside down” is thriving. But while listening in on the soldiers heading into the secret cave Will told them about, Hopper gets an uneasy feeling when he hears screeching over the intercom. When he sees all the bones, he remembers being in that very same place in the tunnels and immediately knows something is terribly wrong.
Speaking of Hopper, the CB radio call he makes to El (Millie Bobby Brown), who, unbeknownst to him, isn’t home right now is so touching and heartfelt. You can hear the lump in his throat as he apologizes, telling her, “I don’t want to lose you.”
During the stakeout at the junk yard, Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Max (Sadie Sink) have a deep moment. Max opens up about moving from California and dealing with her dick-ass brother Billy (Dacre Montgomery). “My stepbrother has always been a dick, but now he’s just angry – all the time. And, well, he can’t take it out on my mom so…” The mystery is solved – they are step-siblings and not something creepier. Of course, that doesn’t explain why Billy is such a douche bag. Side note: I did watch a clip on IMDb about Montgomery’s career and I know a future episode this season will reveal the cause of Billy’s epic dick-ness.
Joyce (Winona Ryder) doesn’t seem to notice her other son Jonathan hasn’t been home. It’s obvious her concern for Will consumes her, but she shouldn’t neglect Jonathan. Just saying. Although, I’m pretty sure Jonathan doesn’t mind too much since he’s been spending time with Nancy for the better part of two days and one steamy night.
Steve is pretty brave especially when he steps off the bus to fight Dart. The only problem is, Dart isn’t alone. This scene provides some intense moments in “Chapter 6: The Spy” as Steve, armed only with his “Fabrege Organics” hair and a spiked baseball bat, goes head to head with several “demigorons.” Where did they all come from?
Bob (Sean Astin), now known as “Bob Newby, Superhero,” still doesn’t fully understand what’s going on but I commend him for sticking by Joyce during this troubled time. Bob truly cares for Joyce and wants to be there for Will.
Lucas’ little sister Erica (Priah Ferguson) is a scene stealer. The conversation she has with Lucas while using his He-Man action figure, making kissing sounds and more, cracked me up!
Throughout “Chapter 6: The Spy,” something feels amiss with Will. His inability to remember the people in his life worries me. He barely remembers his own mother and lifelong friend Mike, and doesn’t know Hopper, Bob, or Dr. Owens. Just when Will begins to resurface, apologizing for what he’s done with the soldiers, Mike realizes the shadow monster has become “the spy.” The final scene is quite disturbing, with the claws reaching up from the tunnels into the lab’s antechamber. I don’t think that glass will hold back these demigorons for long.
I will definitely be watching episodes 7-9 immediately because I need to know how this goes down.
What did you think of “Chapter 6: The Spy?” Leave me a comment below and tweet me @judybopp.
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Photos ©2017 Netflix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
© 2017, Judy Manning. All rights reserved.
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