The Russian Threat
Episode 5 of Stranger Things begins where it left off with the trio and Erica plummeting in the lift. However, they manage to narrowly stop it. After a while, the door to the lift finally opens and two Russian men step inside. The gang hides, waiting for them to leave so that they can finally make their escape.
Meanwhile, Hopper and Joyce carry on with their investigation. They reach a farm and find a trap door leading them underground where they come across two Russians who don’t speak English. The biker arrives and Hopper comes to blow with him again. Narrowly missing his gunshots, they manage to escape but not without taking one of the Russian scientists with them. Unfortunately, they later break down prompting them to carry on by foot.
Determined to find her Father, a blindfolded El begins looking for Hopper and she hears that they are going to Illinois.
Nancy and Jonathan come to see the gang to explain what has been happening on their side. Nancy realizes that what happened to Mrs Driscoll is related to Billy and that more people could be flayed. They head to Heather’s house and see that many chemicals have been used. They deduct that the possessed victims must have been eating them which prompts them to realize that the threat is different from last year. They also learn that all the possessed are gathering in one place and decide to go and find it.
Back to the underground, the group make their way down a long corridor while speculating on the use of the green liquid, the same green liquid that helped them escape the lift previously. On the way, they intercept the same Russian codes on their Walkie Talkie. Dustin and the others reach the main area of the underground where they sneak into the control room. After Steve finally beats up a guard, they reach another room where we see the same electromagnetic machine and this time, it is trying to open Hawkins’ gate.
Hopper takes Joyce and the Russian scientist, Alexei, to his friend Murray who is a private investigator and conspiracy theorist, to find out more as he is fluent in Russian. At the same time, Nancy and the group head back to the hospital to free Mrs Driscoll so that they can follow her. They find an empty bed but as they turn around, Tom and Bruce, both possessed, start chasing after them.
Nancy and Jonathan get separated, both being chased by one of the editors. As they inflict injuries upon them, we see that each blow affects the other and vice versa which proves again that they are all connected. After finally defeating them both, the corpses turn into the usual bloody mass and start to move towards each other. Unfortunately, as they start to join, the light flickers off. When they come back on, we’re greeted by a fully-fledged monster.
Stranger Things’ consistent storyline is part in thanks to the way each episode blends into the next. There’s a cohesiveness to the narrative here and it really helps build one long storyline.
With each chapter, we’re given enough development to keep us hooked and as always, the acting of the cast is what shines the most here. While we see less 80’s nostalgia this time around, the biker is a nice nod toward Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator. With only 3 episodes left, it’s only a matter of time before both groups eventually collide together.