Pieces Of The Puzzle
Episode 3 of Stranger Things begins with Max and El deciding to spy on the boys by using Eleven’s power. She blindfolds herself and relays what she sees back to Max.
Meanwhile, Hopper comes back from his unsuccessful dinner where Joyce failed to turn up, pleased to see El with Max and not Mike. The girls then decide to spy on Billy instead. El sees him kneeling next to the girl he kidnapped and as we hear screaming, Billy sees an outline of Eleven. The girls decide to investigate what they saw and as they look for Billy in his house, they find a bath with empty bags of ice. They also find the kidnapped lifeguard’s things with blood stains on them.
The next morning, Joyce visits Hopper to relay her findings however he’s not happy with her as she stood him up. She insists that a large-scale magnetic field could have been build somewhere in Hawkins and she worries it might be in the lab again. Nancy goes back to the newspaper to convince them that something is going on with the rats. However, they all make fun of her and don’t take her seriously because she’s a woman.
Will finally manages to convince Mike and Lucas to play Dungeons and Dragons, but they don’t seem too into it. Will then gets angry and leave as he wants things to be like how they were before.
Learning the lifeguard’s name was Heather, Eleven decides to try and find the lifeguard, blindfolding herself again. She sees a red door and an ice bath with Heather in, begging for help. El tried to reach her but she sinks deeper into the water.
Joyce heads to the lab and Hopper follows her there. Disappointingly, they fail to find anything useful. Outside, they have a heart to heart where Hopper tells Joyce he knows that she is thinking of selling her house. While Dustin and Steve look for Russian men in the mall, Robin tries to crack the codes. She finally starts to figure it all out when she sees a delivery driver from Lynx and, with their logo being a feline, she realizes that this could refer to the silver cat mentioned in the riddle.
Nancy wants to go and collect the rat so they can figure out what’s wrong with it but Jonathan is reluctant at first. Eventually, they agree to head back to Mrs Driscoll’s only to find her looking possessed and chewing loudly on the fertilizer.
As Lucas and Mike go looking for Will, the latter heads to their tree house, upset over the distance growing between him and his friends. After destroying the house, Will starts feeling the same familiar, daunting sensation at the back of his neck, the feeling he used to get when the Mind fayer was nearby.
Dustin, Lucas and Robin decide to investigate the delivery company while Hopper continues looking around the lab. Suddenly he’s ambushed by one of the Russians who starts beating him to a pulp.
Meanwhile, El and Max head over Heather’s house. We find out that she’s the daughter of the Editor-In-Chief of the Hawkins post, Tom. Billy is there having dinner and Heather suddenly turns up but looks very odd. Billy then has a vision of Eleven closing the gate, causing him to narrow his gaze. After Max and Eleven leave, Heather’s mother, Janet, collapses and Heather hits her dad in the back of the head. The episode then ends with Will telling Lucas and Mike that “he” is back
The plot continues along nicely in the third chapter as we’re slowly given more clues and answers about the new mystery introduced this season. As well as giving us plenty of nostalgic and tense moments, Stranger Things manages to touch on some sensitive and difficult subjects such as grief, the difficulty of growing up and feminism. Whilst never feeling overbearing or in your face, this does help the series feel more grounded and certainly makes the characters feel more relatable.
The start of this episode ultimately signals a change in tide for Stranger Things, delivering a much more grounded and consistent feel this time around. As we approach the midway point of the show, who knows what direction the series will take next.