Chapter Three: The Monster and the Superhero
Episode 3 of Stranger Things Season 4 starts in Nevada with a helicopter arriving. Sullivan shows up to see Dr Owens, showing the good doctor shots of Chrissy’s body. Sullivan believes Owens is responsible for what happened, and is secretly using Eleven as a weapon to do his bidding. Sullivan warns that they have a lead now, and are going to find Eleven no matter what.
After the skating incident, El and the others show up at Joyce’s for dinner. She reveals to them all that she’s heading off to Alaska for a “business trip.”
With Jonathan babysitting, he tries to do his best to lighten the mood but things aren’t so hot right now. Between Will and Mike’s issues, along with Eleven isolated and suffering from depression, there’s a lot going on.
Unfortunately, police show up with an arrest warrant for El (Jane) after what happened with Angela. Mike promises to try and fix this for her but it’s no good, she’s taken down to the station. There, she’s questioned about the attack and, specifically, whether she wanted to kill Angela. “I don’t know,” is the answer she gives. Because of this, the officers decide to throw her in Juvie. With no Joyce right now, given she’s bound for Alaska, things don’t look good.
Speaking of the frozen wasteland, Hopper continues to survive, paying off the guards for info. It’s here he learns Joyce is on the way to save him. Hopper though, needs to find his own way to get to the plane.
Part of this comes from paying off another prisoner, getting him to help break his leg chains. Hopper ends up badly injured as a result. Still, the severed ankle (and a pretty nasty gash on his leg) allow him to slip the chains off his foot.
Lucas’ basketball group decide to head out and go on a trip of their own. Specifically, they’re going to find Eddie and “have a little chat.” Eddie though is still hanging at Rick’s place with the motley gang but there are bigger problems to deal with. Specifically, another dead body showing up. Fred has been found by police and they begin questioning Nancy about what she knows.
Away from the police though, it would appear that whatever is going on here with the Upside Down, it’s originating from Hawkins, because of course it is. This weird dark wizard known as Vecna appears to be using some form of Cerebro (shout out to the X-Men fans reading this) and begins cycling throu0gh numerous different people across town before presumably finding his next target – one of the boys in the basketball team, Patrick.
On her way to juvie, El is stopped by agents – led by Dr Owens – who take Eleven into custody. In a diner, Dr Owens promises to make the roller-skate incident go away but that’s not why he’s there. Owens is actually there to reveal the truth.
Hawkins is in danger from Vecna’s wrath, as Owens wans that a war is coming. He also promises that there’s a way of getting Eleven’s powers back. He’s been preparing for all of this, with a program set up to make sure she’s bigger and badder than before. If the program fails? Then She’ll never see her friends again. No pressure then!
At the same time, Robin and Nancy head off to the library, researching Victor Creel. This allows a good deal of jealous angst to filter out. Robin is quick to squash that though, pointing out that she and Steve are strictly just friends.
Anyway, it turns out this whole adventure wasn’t just for chewing up run-time after all. It turns out Victor is in the archives after al, and he was convinced a demon was in his house. He tried (and failed) to have it exorcised. The angry demon then killed his whole family and left him alive as a form of punishment.
With Victor locked up classed as legally insane, it explains the origin of where this Vecna creature came from. It also backs up Dustin’s initial theory last episode about Vecna being responsible for all of this.
While they close in on the truth, Dr Owens mentions to El that everyone is in grave danger and they are well and truly in the eye of the storm. Unfortunately, it would appear that Vecna has reached out to Max.
As the episode reaches its climax, we see Max wandering through the school hallways, hearing the unnerving chimes of that same clock Chrissy saw. Time’s up. Vecna is coming for her.
The Episode Review
Stranger Tings delivers a much more urgent chapter this time around, with everything closing in on our characters and the horror just starting to become that much more tense and alarming. This fourth season has been a bit of a mixed bag so far on that front, but this has definitely a step up compared to what we’ve seen before.
This fourth volume has been a decent watch all the same though, and despite the vast number of characters this is now juggling, they’re all getting a good amount of screen time.
Stranger Things definitely has a knack for ramping up the tension at key moments, and that much is especially apparent here. With Max’s life hanging in the balance, we’ll have to wait and see what happens next.