Dork Shelf Recaps Stranger Things 2
Our friends at Dork Shelf recently recapped every episode of Stranger Things 2, cross-talk-style. Whether you're watching or re-watching the landmark Netflix series, which combines 80s nostalgia with deep-cut Lovecraftian genre tropes, the Dork Shelf TV section is there to watch along with you with factoids, analysis, wit, and wisdom.
Here they are, episode-by-episode:
It’s one year after the Demogorgon’s invasion of Hawkins was thwarted by a self-sacrificing psychic child and her friends from the high school AV club. Will Byers is back from the Upside Down, which, as far as the unknowing citizens of Hawkins are concerned, means he’s a back-from-the-dead zombie boy. Life is just going on, as if nothing bad ever happened. But a new invasion is threatening Hopkins: a new monster, a new mystery, and a new g-g-g-g-girl. Happy Halloween ’84!
Compromise is Hop’s word of the day for El. He expands on the meaning for the young girl, meaning “half happy.” For many of the characters featured on season two of Stranger Things, half happy might more mean half unhappy as they grapple with with getting back to “normal” a year after the Upside Down transformed their lives forever.
Pet ownership is a big responsibility. It requires research, investment, care, and a gargantuan stash of Three Musketeers bars. In Chapter Three of Stranger Things 2, the entity Dustin caught in his functional ghost-trap is lodging in the former terrarium of Yertle the Turtle, as the storm in the Upside Down continues to brew and the adults start to realize it will take more than good parenting and heaps of denial to negate the effects of the flesh-portals and bad dreams they’ve been dealing with for the past year.
One with the ability of truesight is able to see in normal and magical darkness – and this is a specific D&D power wherein one is able to detect visual illusions and succeed in preventing attacks against them. Will’s been seeing a lot of darkness lately. It’s not PTSD, or flashbacks, or a dream, or even a game — this is real. But like those with truesight can Will tackle the shadow monster that dwells in the Ethereal plane?
Kids grow up so fast. They move out (unofficially), they get involved in strange political movements, they rarely visit (and when they do it’s too emotional). They take over the basement (with their untrained pets), and they become psychically connected to a trans-dimensional eldritch shadow thing boring tunnels throughout town. Dig Dug, is all about growing up and getting out of town, whether that means visiting your mama or turning Upside Down.
Whether it’s a version of the truth, an apology, a confession, a resolution of long-running sexual tension, or the warfare tactics of a giant shadow monster, “The Spy” gets to the heart of the issue.
When you’re from a small town and you don’t fit in, nothing can be more liberating than a trip to the big city. In Stranger Things 2, Chapter Seven, Eleven takes the Greyhound to Chicago and finally finds her people in a divisive and divergent island episode.
Stranger Things season two has featured several disjointed groups working their way through the Hawkins horror, in this episode all roads to lead to the Lab and we finally get to see the players reunited against the growing evil virus threatening to take over this world.
A fall can feel like an eternity when you’re a kid. Time seems to move faster when you grow up, and before you know it your hectic Halloween has become an emotionally charged Snowball Dance. In “The Gate” we are given an action-packed conclusion to the eldritch horrors of Stranger Things 2 and have to decompress. Coming to terms with getting older is its own adventure.