TL;DR – Today we learn that even when people are not the worst, they can still disappoint you
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
It’s Halloween in the quaint town of Hawkins, and with the season there is a time for everything,
a time to make friends and a time to lose them,
a time to make promises and a time to forget them,
a time to get dressed into costume and a time to realise maybe don’t do that at school,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to say hello to a girl in the woods and a time to get hit in the head with a half-cooked squirrel,
a time to reach out and a time to miss the response,
a time to be bold and a time to run away from the all oppressive shadow in the sky,
a time to forget the past and a time to be defined by it,
a time to hold on for dear life and a time to let go,
a time to eat Eggo Waffles™ and a time to channel surf,
a time to wear all denim and a time to do literally any other fashion choice
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
a time to come together as a team and a time to be just the absolute worst, I mean come on Ted (Joe Chrest) The Russians, really, get it together.
So in the last episode, MADMAX (see review) ended with the big reveal that Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) is now living in a cabin in the woods with Sherriff Hooper (David Harbour). Well, this week we kind of see how they ended up together as we open with Eleven moments after she defeated the Demogorgon at the end of Season One (see review). I was wondering how long she would be stuck in the Upside Down World, and it turns out it wasn’t long at all, but long enough to get separated with the team as the government cover-up begins. Mike’s (Finn Wolfhard) family is surrounded by government agents, and even though he refuses to give Eleven up, she has to run, surviving in the woods. There is something deeply sad that the person that just saved the town, if not the world, is forced to flee and become homeless because of the actions of others.
As well as learning a bit about Eleven, we also get to see a brief look into the lives of two of the new characters this season, brother and sister, Billy (Dacre Montgomery) and Max (Sadie Sink). Billy is the very epitome of the dudebro, he is desperate to prove how superior he is to everyone around him. Even though he clearly states that he doesn’t care about the town or the people of Hawkins, and he seems prepared to hurt people just to get his way. Max is the more interesting character because there is more depth to her. Clearly, something has happened that has forced them to move from California to Indiana, and there is some debate as to whose fault that is. However, while Billy is just raging about the situation, Max is trying to find her place in the new town.
The big theme of this episode is ‘how do you go on with your lives’ as the one year anniversary approaches it is not just Will (Noah Schnapp) that are feeling the weight of what happened to bring them down. Joyce (Winona Ryder) still struggles to let Will go live his life, but you completely understand where she is coming from. Nancy (Natalia Dyer) desperately wants to tell Barb’s parents the truth, it is the noble thing to do because they still think she is alive, but it could also destroy her family. Mike is deeply missing Eleven who is confined to the cabin, so he sees Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Dustin’s (Gaten Matarazzo) attempts to add Max to their group as a kind of threat to her memory. However, while this is all going on, a very real threat is emerging, and like the monsters of the past, the first sign is failing crops.
While Trick or Treat, Freak is another setting the scene episode, it was still fascinating. This is because the cast is willing to go to those emotional depths that are needed, and with such a young cast it is amazing to see. It is also clear that the penny that has been arcing through the air is about to drop, and this is going to be the calm before the storm, why, well maybe Hawkins National Laboratory should stop poking an inter-dimensional portal to a realm where the indigenous life forms can just wreck stuff up, if you punch a wasp nest don’t be surprised if you get stung.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Trailer – Click Here to View (all trailers have heavy spoilers)
Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Stranger Things
Directed by – The Duffer Brothers
Written by – The Duffer Brothers
Created by – The Duffer Brothers
Starring in Season 2 – Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, Dacre Montgomery, Cara Buono, Linnea Berthelsen, Paul Reiser & Sean Astin with Joe Chrest