BY TAPPING:

SUPPORT US

CINEMA

DISCLAIMER: There are *minor* spoilers in this review. If you don’t want to know any of the general plot plus some details in between, I suggest you watch and then come back!

 

Episode ONE: “Chapter One: Suzie Do You Copy?: 

 

“Girls go to space camp?” 

 

THE FULL

  • The overly comical equation that is Mike, Hopper, and Eleven (I’m gonna call her El throughout this). I think it was the perfect way to show how far El and Mike’s relationship has gotten, which I SHIP FOREVER. This show has a great way of keeping things PG while understanding what it’s like to be the parent and the kid in the situation. When I was in high school, the door had to be at 10 inches.

  • The SET DESIGN. At the pool and even the mall, there is some swift Fast Times at Ridgemeont High homage that I just melted over. The lifeguards, the colors, the song, tied well into the 80s aesthetic. They also nailed the mall which brought me back to my hometown mall in the 90s. They both really fit the establishment of the setting and the season swimmingly. 

  • Dustin’s welcome home. We saw this in one of the very first promotional trailers for this season. I honestly forgot about it until it was happening, but it felt just as magical. The specific toys they chose to have El walk through the house I like to assume are toys the filmmakers played with in the 80s. It’s funny because the Star Wars toys especially look like they could have been from then or now. Star Wars stans might not agree with me. 

 

THE SPILLED

  • The Billy/Karen bit was what weirded me out for a hot second. Karen is bored in her marriage, which I do not blame her. That guy is ALWAYS sleeping on his recliner. However, it took me a second to figure out Billy was out of high school. Still.. he is her daughter’s age. If the roles were reversed, people would be up in arms. While I’m glad she’s getting more screen time and pleased with the outcome of this arc, it’s a shame it had to be that. 

  • Luke is the one who gets sprayed in the face with the hair spray. Why? It should have been Mike, if I’m gonna be petty. Luke is my fav and there are plenty of things involving him that I have issue that I’ll talk about in a couple episodes. 

  • I just highly dislike Billy and don’t feel bad for anything that happens to him. 

 

Wow! What a fun episode to start off season 3. A little weird if I’m gonna be honest, but overall a blast. We get to finally see these crazy mythical Soviets we’ve been hearing about all these years. It has the right amount of teenage drama and the right amount of excitement for what’s to come. I felt like I was watching a retro Degrassi episode until the very end where it reminds us what the heck we are here for! 

 

Episode Two: Chapter Two: The Mall 

 

“I dump your ass!”

 

THE FULL

  • I could definitely watch this show if it was only the angsty high school drama. Honestly, it’s great. Through all the traumatic events these kids have gone through together, its easy to forget they’re not as mature as they are when in those situations. They’re really smart kids but at the end of the day, still growing up and trying to figure out who they are as individuals. Max taking El to the mall is some of the most refreshing shit I have seen on recent television. Some rad girls running around the mall trying on clothes like I used to with my friends at that age. It was some great development for the both of them and I’m here for the girl power.

  • The blob that the rat turns into made me want to vomit. It looks so good on the screen and made me look around the room in fear of seeing one. 

  • Billy’s hallucinations are really intriguing. In the midst of all this teenybopper frenzy and Joyce/Hopper stuff, we have this really demented, fucked up side of the episode that explores his “transformations” a little deeper. We finally see this thing talking to Billy through his tethered mind leaving you wonder what else it will make him do.  

 

THE SPILLED

  • Nancy and Jon not thinking this rat problem is coincidental to the chaos they went through last season and the season before. If that were me that would have been the first thing I thought of. Even Joyce’s initial suspicion was the lab when her magnets kept falling. 

  • Having Joyce go see the science teacher, but setting it up like they’re have a potential romance was weird. They didn’t have to zoom on him all heroically like that. 

  • Finn Wolfhard’s portrayal of a boy at that age stuck in a rut was so spot on that he annoyed me for the rest of the episode.

 

Episode Three: Chapter Three: The Case of the Missing 

 

“Now that you’re out of high school, which means you’re technically an adult. Don’t you think you should move on from primitive constructs such as popularity?”

 

THE FULL

  • El spying on the boys is so funny and something I think every girl wishes she can do when fighting with her significant other. Using this power to calculate Billy’s whereabouts is where the show was able to suck me right from the fun mode. Heather’s plea to El is in my opinion, the most chilling scene of the whole season that it still ingrained in my head when I go to sleep. 

  • Will and Mike’s conversation in the garage BROKE MY HEART. Such a powerful scene. The rain falling behind them while they’re still inside made me realize how much more cinematic this season looks. I also realize it was shot on a better camera. Leave me alone. It’s one of Noah Schnapp’s most meaningful scenes in the season. Not like there are many.

  • Heather’s house is one of the most compelling scenes in the entire season. This really hyped me up for what was to come. 

 

THE SPILLED

  • This is petty, but I wish they used different colors for the girl’s raincoats. The red and yellow makes them look like Ronald McDonald, you’ll float too lookin ass. 

  • Hopper's whole mad man temper is not doing it for me. We saw this in S2 in the big fight with El, but I forgave it because it was a one time thing. Also, I've gotten stood up and yes it SUCKS. But. He thinks because Joyce is gonna get dinner with him he has a shot. Knowing damn well she doesn't like him like that. The fact he likes her and he can't have her is what's fueling his rage which makes him look really entitled, and quite t o x i c .  

  • Billy’s record player is playing when he’s not in the room. Did people just leave their record players on like that? Does that not rack up the electric bill?

 

Deep Dive:

Nancy’s mistreatment working at the newspaper is really well done and I don’t think it’s being talked about enough. This show has a really organic way of dealing with issues that people in the 80s wouldn’t always think twice about. Nancy is trying to break barriers and trying to prove herself to these men who laugh at her. This is an issue as old as time in this country, but it’s more relevant than ever at the same time. It’s important that the show decided to touch on this topic (and others later on) to show how far we haven’t come with all these grueling issues in society... even 30 years later. 


 

Episode Four: Chapter Four: The Sauna Test 

 

THE FULL:

  • I think my favorite part of this one is when Max introduces Wonder Woman to El. Like, THANK YOU, I’M SO TIRED OF D&D TALK in this show. It’s nice to acknowledge the interests of girls their age in this decade. 

  • Nancy and Karen’s pep talk in the kitchen is so wholesome and touching. We don’t see the kids at home anymore and interacting with the parents. It isn’t central to the plot, but it’s a really important moment for Nancy getting the boost she needs.

  • The end scene in the sauna is really grand, but a little too grand for the middle of the season, especially with how much power El uses. 

 

THE SPILLED: 

  • We are in episode 4 and Dustin has barely been with his main group. I get he’s closer to Steve at this point, but it’s just really off. 

  • Hopper in the Mayor’s office is a bit over the top. I’m not sure I’m digging Hopper this season.

  • Max’s concern for Billy all of a sudden doesn’t seem earned. She’s about to finally hear the apology she’s always wanted, however we see her grow remorse before he even speaks. He’s such a dick to her, and he doesn’t even consider her his sister unless Billy’s new “talents” have a way of breaking through to Max’s core. Still... very out of place.  



Episode FIVE: “Chapter Five: The Flayed” 

 

THE FULL: 

  • Those were some SMOOTH moves by Steve and gang hustling out of the elevator.

  • I’m glad Nancy and Jon are with the rest of the kids at this point. Everyone is too separated this season, so it’s nice to feel that safety for all of them, most of them are on the same page. 

  • The hospital is the best part of the episode. I won’t say too much, but it really brought out the sci fi elements we know and love about this show. I also got some really gnarly Halloween 2 vibes.. It’s definitely my most memorable scene of Jon and especially Nancy facing her worst nightmare(s). 

 

THE SPILLED :

  • Don’t get me wrong, I love Erica. However, I feel like they took this new character and gave her an important part in this season that could have easily been given to Luke. I get trying to make the cast more diverse, since quite frankly there isn’t enough of it. But you can’t just give a main character’s little sister more lines than them when you didn’t even flesh out his character the last two seasons. I really like Luke and this bothers me every season, especially this one. They do the same thing with Will, but I will get into that in another episode. You can have an equal amount of Erica and Luke and still make it good. 

  • This whole Terminator-after-Hopper business is such an eye roll. Idk, it bored me. He’s a watery plot device and just drives Hopper to turn into even more of a lunatic. 

  • Joyce and Hopper in the car at the gas station. That whole altercation was cring-ey. 


Episode SIX: “Chapter Six: E Plurbius Unum”  FULL

 

THE FULL: 

  • Hopper’s plan to keep Alexei, who I’ve grown very fond of, is my favorite part about Hopper this season. It reminds us that he can be good at his job, despite the fact he has been… not great all season. I really loved being at the edge of my seat during that scene. It was badass.

  • Steve and Robin’s bonding in the base is perfect and even funnier that they’re under the influence. We are here for it. I love them. Okay, okay, you get it. 

  • The finale of this one is pure classic horror. I’ve never seen 1958’s The Blob (only bits), but I assume this is what it’s kinda like.  

 

THE SPILLED:

  • The D.E.R.S. gang wandering around the Russian base is getting dragged out a little too far at this point. I really wished they would have found another way out. I know it’s a fictitious show, but it’s highly unlikely Dustin would have been able to scoot past all those commies with ease. And again, a finale type scene at the start of the episode. 

  • I actually really dislike how everything at the hospital ends outside and no one else sees it. These characters get away with too much. No way there wasn’t one damn nurse out there having a smoke break. Oh, wait, am I gonna offend Netflix by saying that?

  • I know I said the end is horrifying but, before we get to that part, I think Billy’s speech to El is really dumb. They already had their huge moment together back in ep. 4, so it just feels like we’re on a less eventful roller coaster at this point. They could have saved the other scene for this, along with Billy’s monologue. It would have felt more epic. It’s all over the place at this point. 

 

Deep Dive: 

I want to add that Billy’s beach scenes in his youth were not as fleshed out as I had anticipated. Visually, it was spectacular, don’t get me wrong. I knew we were going to get an explanation of Billy, but I just felt like the “abusive father” was already obvious from last season. With such a big scene for Billy and for El, I can’t help but feel underwhelmed and dissatisfied.


 

Episode SEVEN: “Chapter Seven: The Bite”  FULL

 

THE FULL: 

  • Robin’s confession to Steve is the GEM of this episode. I’m glad the Duffer bros decided this for her character. That whole convo is truly organic and emotional. The color palette, lighting, and framing is beautiful. More of what I was saying earlier about the show tackling relevant societal issues. 

  • A really enjoyable scene is Joyce and Karen running into each other on the GRAVITRON. Not only was this one of my favorite carny rides as a kid, but it’s hilarious. When Karen exclaims how “it’s summer!” which is why she doesn’t know where the kids are (and why Joyce is so damn frantic), it really gives it the 80s stamp of approval. It’s a good reminder to us that Mike’s parents still don’t know what the hell is happening around them, like the rest of the town. Also, the carny calling Hopper “Magnum” makes me lose it every damn time. 

  • I love love LOVE the score. Like in the theater when Dustin is running back and forth gave me a jolt of excitement that I needed. The eighties techno/action soundtracks are much more fleshed out in this season and seem to match the overall setting of season three.

 

THE SPILLED:

  • The kids in the house when big boi Flayer comes knocking is the same damn thing I feel we see every season, yet a little more amplified. The only real difference between the Mind Flayer this season is that it’s bigger and seemingly more in-destructible. Nancy should know by now a shotgun will do nothing. It was all really blown up for me and made me bored. 

  • Murray is either really horny, really aggressive, or both. Him yelling at Joyce and Hopper was irritating. It was funny last season with Jancy, but it was so stale this time. Why can’t people just let Joyce BE? This queen is still grieving, for god’s sake. 

  • @ the kids. I know y’all were in a big hurry to save the world and all, but do you think one of you could have cleaned up your bloody bandages? It isn’t a post apocalyptic setting where you just raid a grocery store. This is still an operating place of business. Bogus.

 

Deep Dive:

I want to add that the product placement is horrendous this season, but especially in this chapter. While it works with the set design, it’s too much. The kids openly advertising for Coke in the grocery store  ALSO, the carnival scene ripped my heart out of my chest and stomped on it. How dare you again, Duffer brothers. 


Episode EIGHT: “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt”  HALF 


 

THE FULL: 

  • The Battle of Starcourt is glorious. There is so much NEON and fun colors. The destruction of the mall as a whole was great because as cool as sad as it is to watch such a cool place… die, it gives the town it’s small businesses back. With the lack of Luke this season, he finally gets to show what he’s made of here. The fireworks were a brilliant idea to fight the monster and show us to marvel at the screen over and something other than bullets. 

  • Joyce, Murray and Hopper killed me running around in those uniforms. It was like watching the Three Stooges or the Marx Brothers. They bring much needed comedic relief to this very draining episode. 

  • Nancy and Jonathan outside with the car. BADASSERY at it’s finest.  

 

THE SPILLED:

  • Will’s lack of importance in this season. I talked about this earlier with Luke. Will had better story last season, this time he has nothing but sadness which is all we see. I think it’s complete bullshit that he’s the only one that can physically sense these things, yet just keeps rubbing the back of his neck to no avail. In my honest opinion, it’s a slap in the face to the character and also the actor, Noah Schnapp. I just feel like they were doing too much as it is, leading to other characters falling to the wayside in development like Luke.

  • I think her powers suddenly disappearing was whack. It better make sense next season. With all the shit El goes through this season I’m just surprised she isn’t dead yet. And the definitely didn’t need to have Jonathan do what he did to El’s wound like that. That was… nasty on all levels. 

  • Wtf is with the cutting in Joyce’s driveway? We go from them all outside hugging, driving away FROM THE HOUSE, and then back to them hugging and crying before they leave again. Nonlinear editing, yo. 

 

Deep Dive: 

 

For the most part I had fun with it. I think I had more issues with this episode the second time around. Watching Max witnessing a highly tragic thing happen to someone she loves was hard. I really only had feelings towards her in this moment, I’ll just put it that way. Just so everyone knows, I cried for 20 minutes straight after it all ended. I have to thank my boyfriend for his incredible support during this excruciating last half of the episode. 

 

Don’t forget to watch the credits for a mid-credit scene! It was definitely what put me a shit mood after!!! =’] If they are doing what most people are predicting, the show can shove it. I will be so disappointed if they emotionally exhaust us for nothing. 

 

Season Thoughts:| FULL: 5, HALF: 3, SPILLED: 0 | VERDICT: FULL

 

I still think it’s better than last season. Season 1 is and always will be my fav. I’m not entirely sure the government can keep all of these strange occurrences from the people of Hawkins much longer. I’m interested to see what the next chapter brings, however, I’m not going to over hype it for myself. What else could they possibly do with this show? Ep 8 felt like a series finale and I would have been perfectly fine if it was. Anyway, I know it seems like I had a lot of beef with this season but it didn’t completely take away from all the great stuff that made me feel happy and sappy. I hereby rate this exciting, yet very weird season... full! 

Happy streaming!

  • Connor Petrey
  • crpWritescom
  • crpwritescom
  • crpWritescom

Show Review

CASUAL

Written By Tiffany McLaughlin

Published: 07.31.19

  NETFLIX

Support Us

Release: 07.04.19

Genre: Horror. Drama. Fantasy.

jjhjhhggf76898 (7).png
crpWrites Patreon
SUPPORT OUR PATREON
tip-jar-1.png
crpWrites.com

All Rights Reserved. © 2018-2019  crpWrites.com

 follow us on social media 
  • crpWrites
  • crpWritescom
  • crpwritescom
  • Patreon