Stranger Things: Chapter Two: Trick or Treat, Freak
October 27, 2017 6:12 PM - Season 2, Episode 2 - Subscribe

After Will sees something terrible on trick-or-treat night, Mike wonders whether Eleven's still out there. Nancy wrestles with the truth about Barb.
posted by Fizz (39 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh also the two Venkmans! That was brilliant.

(Expecting Lucas to be Winston IS total bullshit.)

(Also I always wanted to be Egon. But I'm more of a Harold Ramis than a Bill Murray anyway. Know thyself?)
posted by elsietheeel at 6:31 PM on October 27 [15 favorites]


Really enjoying Eleven's arc so far. Though it makes me sad to see her feel so many feels.
posted by Fizz at 6:54 PM on October 27 [2 favorites]


As November 8th, 2017 approaches, all the talk about revisiting trauma a year later is feeling a bit on the nose :|

Gosh, Millie Bobby Brown is a terrific young actress.
posted by HeroZero at 6:57 PM on October 27 [11 favorites]


Ohhh I just remembered a thing that annoyed me!

Jonathan was at the party and asked a girl dressed like Siouxsie Sioux if she was from KISS....

I'm sorry, but someone who makes a mixtape for his little brother that has The Clash, Joy Division, Television, The Smiths, and David Bowie would (should!) know Siouxsie and the Banshees.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:42 PM on October 27 [38 favorites]


I couldn't figure out what Nancy was dressed as. I get that her boyfriend was doing Risky Business, but couldn't figure hers out.
posted by Catblack at 9:56 PM on October 27


Oh, she's Lana from Risky Business. I bet it was on HBO in 1984.
posted by Catblack at 10:23 PM on October 27 [3 favorites]


I couldn't figure Nancy's costume out either.

MOAR of Lucas' sister dammit. I like the expanded cast of family members; it definitely gives a more lifelike vibe to the town.

I'm also really digging on the thing, unfolding into the sky like that. And Millie Bobby Brown is just killing it. I hope she has a long successful career.
posted by Existential Dread at 10:26 PM on October 27


Expecting Lucas to be Winston IS total bullshit.

Although Lucas is an awful lot more Egon than he is Venkman.

Trying not to watch it all at the same time. Definitely a new 'n' improved version 2.0 rather than a sequel so far, though. A Terminator: Judgement Day rather than a Gremlins 2.
posted by Grangousier at 3:10 AM on October 28 [3 favorites]


Yeah, the ribbon makes Nancy's outfit it particularly Lana looking. Lucas is a bit more socially capable than Egon, but it's bullshit to expect him to be Winston.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:22 AM on October 28


I thought it was great that they had Lucas call Mike out on the racist shit.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 5:35 AM on October 28 [12 favorites]


Lucas' little sister was terrific.

I was a little underwhelmed by the first episode -- I remember the pervasive dread watching the first season inspired, and wasn't getting the same feels from the premiere -- but I feel like the creepiness amped up a bit in this episode, what with all the destroyed crops and introducing how violent Max's brother Billy is. Like, not that I expected the show to actually crash a car into the 4 boys, but it showed how afraid of him Max is.

When Max joined the trick-or-treating, I was afraid we were going to get a reveal of sad Eleven watching them in her ghost costume, I'm glad we got that psychic walkie-talkie scene instead.
posted by oh yeah! at 9:23 AM on October 28 [1 favorite]


If anything, Dustin should be Venkman, not Lucas or Mike.

Dustin is Venkman
Mike is Ray
Lucas is Egon
Will is Winston


(Will is actually Dana.)
posted by elsietheeel at 9:25 AM on October 28 [15 favorites]


Will is Dana, Max is a potential Winston.
posted by mordax at 10:25 AM on October 28 [6 favorites]


I'm finding this a pretty painful slog, mostly due to the incredibly slow pacing. Two episodes is where I checked out of Daredevil and Luke Cage, too. I like all the stuff with Eleven, but I wish they'd come up with a new big bad. Apparently Cthulhu lives in the Upside Down, which I feel like I should care about, but I really don't at all. I'd love it if they went Full Buffy and just had some crazy new threat completely unrelated to the first season appear. Vampires would be cool. What if Max and her brother were vampires? Come on, that'd be rad as hell.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:02 PM on October 28 [3 favorites]


it takes a few episodes to get going.
posted by Bee'sWing at 2:30 PM on October 28


* So I guess Eleven later closes the rift with the Upside Down that she enlarged to get back into Hawkins Middle School? Offscreen, on a subsequent visit?

* Is a government dude bugging the Wheelers' TV remote? Also, if you're supposed to keep everything top secret, maybe don't park 6 Big Brother cars with the lights on all over the lawn? The neighbors are going to notice that.

* Hopper is the world's worst surrogate dad.

* If this is roughly day 350, and Eleven is learning a word a day, so her vocabulary is approximately 500 words strong.

* Erica is the best. I would watch an entire show about her.

* Mike is going to grow up to be a gamer gater.

* Certain bits from the trailer were obviously cut to be misleading. Dustin yelling "hey guys" in front of the school, Hopper saying everything will never be the same (then the trailer omits the next line, "But it will get better").

* Natalia Dyer is really good in this episode. The little tiny determined look when Steve is trying to convince her to forget about Barbara for a night and go to the party, oh man. It telegraphs the bullshit scene, where she does a believable drunk girl. Harder than it seems.

* Max: "That's presumptuous of you." [beat] Dustin: "Yeah, totally!" Dustin is a lovable idiot.

* Eleven's learning a word a day and then whatever bad midday television teaches her. It's kind of amazing she's not totally fucked up after a year of that.

* I want to see the scene where Eleven skins the squirrel before cooking it. Also, did she murder that hunter dude? Because otherwise, Hopper is getting a report about a girl telepathically hurling a burning squirrel carcass at him when he wakes up. Gonna be hard to sweep that under the rug.

* I want Farmer Eugene in Erica's show, too.

* Lucas complains about 3 Musketeers, and there is not an immediately-following scene of the gang trading candy. Opportunity missed.

* Hopper's idea to avoid the government spook types via Morse code is asinine. As if none of the soldiers in the Hawkins lab know Morse code.

* Does the Upside Down have a functioning DWP? Because the street lamps are on.
posted by axiom at 3:53 PM on October 28 [4 favorites]


Vampires would be cool. What if Max and her brother were vampires? Come on, that'd be rad as hell.

Agreed. And also Billy kind of looks like the love child of Jason Patric and Kiefer Sutherland. David and Michael could be his gay vampire dads.
posted by elsietheeel at 4:34 PM on October 28 [7 favorites]


The first time I saw Billy I thought, "oh man, it's discount Jated Leto." Also, Billy is a dick.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 4:42 PM on October 28 [6 favorites]


Goddamn it, don't take home weird shit you find in the trash.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:41 PM on October 28 [13 favorites]


I totally dig the Max character and the background given; feels both era-TV-character appropriate and real life person verisimilitudinous. Great casting decision and so far a strong nuanced performance by Sadie Sink.

Hope they don't put the Max character on the nerd pedestal too high - the character needs vulnerability (or to show how much of a pain in the ass it is to maintain the badassed image, or if not, how doing so causes its own problems).

The PTSD stuff; appreciated pointing out how little the medical community knew about PTSD back in 1984. Nowhere as good as GLOW pointing out how ridiculous home pregnancy testing kits were back in the '80s, but still, a good example of decent "science advisors" (and listening to them) in television.

What are people calling Netflix/etc. now? Still "TV"? Television? Show? Serialized short entertainment? Original (ie., "A Netflix Original")?

Also buying the "older kids" arc; it's not overacted, that's just late teens/early adult self-absorbed drama. They're the age of the people they looked up to a couple year ago and starting to realize now how much bullshit everything is and not knowing how to deal with stuff.

Growing up, I was ok with Bill Murray (but never a fan), but I never liked the Venkman character, who I instinctually felt was a 80's proto-dudebro slimey non-respectful douche. Like, fuck that shit (and the character was introduced in the act of actively and blatantly falsifying data - I was 5 or 6 or something when I first saw Ghostbusters and I already knew that was just complete and utter bullshit).

Egon Spengler all the way.

Ray Stantz and Winston Zeddemore and Janine Melnitz >>>> Venkman.

I appreciated how the animated Ghostbusters drew Venkman a lot thinner than Bill Murray to poke fun at Murray's less-than-even-then-society-epitomized body type.
posted by porpoise at 5:50 PM on October 28 [5 favorites]


As I've gotten older and been in the workforce longer, my appreciation for Winston's blue collar pragmatism has grown. He's not a goof like Stanz, or a douche like Venkman, or a straight man like Egon, but he rules in his own way.
posted by Existential Dread at 6:32 PM on October 28 [14 favorites]


I could understand why Lucas didn't want to be Winston -- both because Lucas as Winston is kind of a racist assumption, and because the movie really does shaft Winston a little in terms of his bona fides relative to the other guys -- but I was shocked by the suggestion that Winston wasn't funny.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:14 PM on October 28 [7 favorites]


Winston gets one of the best lines in the movie: "Tell 'em about the Twinkie."

Poor Will left Sam Gamgee's very, very, VERY expensive video camera in the Upside Down. That's going to be bad in a couple of different ways. (Also huge props for the explanation of T and W on the controls, I'd completely forgotten about those labels)
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:46 PM on October 28 [4 favorites]


Trying not to watch it all at the same time. Definitely a new 'n' improved version 2.0 rather than a sequel so far, though. A Terminator: Judgement Day rather than a Gremlins 2.

To be clear, though, Gremlins 2: The New Batch is way more fun, creative, and in just about every way superior to the first.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:43 AM on October 29 [2 favorites]


re: Risky Business Yes it was all over HBO in the early 80s. Definitely a staple in the 82 -83 years, I don't particularly remember 84.
posted by Burgoo at 5:11 AM on October 29


Billy is like a combination of Rob Lowe and Robert Downey Jr. His mullet is super fake looking!
posted by apricot at 9:25 AM on October 29 [1 favorite]


I'll be honest here, Winston was my favorite. He seemed the one I could most easily identify with.
posted by miss-lapin at 10:45 AM on October 29


I like that we see all the characters still dealing with the trauma of the previous year. Also, Nancy’s lines about Barbara felt like a bit of meta-commentary on season 1: “It's like everyone forgot. It's like nobody cares.”
posted by mbrubeck at 4:22 PM on October 29 [4 favorites]


To be clear, though, Gremlins 2: The New Batch is way more fun, creative, and in just about every way superior to the first.

I think they're doing different things and comparing them is silly.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:03 AM on October 31


Ohhh I just remembered a thing that annoyed me!

Jonathan was at the party and asked a girl dressed like Siouxsie Sioux if she was from KISS....

I'm sorry, but someone who makes a mixtape for his little brother that has The Clash, Joy Division, Television, The Smiths, and David Bowie would (should!) know Siouxsie and the Banshees.


Ehhhhhhh . . . . *hand-waggling motion* . . . . .

This actually seems pretty plausible to me - for anyone not in/near an actual city and not of age to go see live shows in smaller clubs, we picked up our music knowledge in odd little spurts and dribs and drabs, from older brothers and sisters, sometimes from radio, from magazines, from the newspaper "Entertainment" section, maybe MTV if you or one of your friends had cable, browsing through record stores. I mean, I was a music nerd, desperately searching for interesting stuff beyond what got played on the "Classic Rock" radio station, and in '84 (my sophomore year of high school) I'd heard The Clash, Bowie, and New Order (and the Talking Heads), heard of Television, Siouxsie, and Joy Division (but not actually heard any of their music), never even heard of The Smiths, and would've maybe kinda vaguely known there was such a thing as "goth" but couldn't have told you what anybody looked like besides Bowie and The Clash. And I grew up in a more cosmopolitan area than Nowheresville, Indiana. It wasn't until college in the big city, and access to the college radio station, and meeting people who knew about underground/indie/alternative music stuff that I didn't (and me in turn filling in some gaps in their knowledge), that I was able to get a handle on the whole history and "scene" of non-mainstream music and actually hear many of these artists for the first time.

TL:DR - getting ahold of or even learning about non-mainstream music was such a catch-as-catch-can endeavor in the 80's that a sixteen-year-old kid in the small-town/exurban Midwest knowing Band X but not knowing Band Y seems entirely realistic to me, because I lived it (except the Midwest part.)
posted by soundguy99 at 9:06 PM on November 1 [6 favorites]


I'm a little weirded out by all the ginger women on the show. I don't remember red hair being a big thing in the 80s, but we've got Max, Barb, the lady in the library, two of the three girls who were ogling Billy... what is that all about?
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 10:46 AM on November 2


With the exception of recent import Max: small town. They probably all share at least a great-great-grandparent.
posted by asperity at 11:32 AM on November 2


Agreed. And also Billy kind of looks like the love child of Jason Patric and Kiefer Sutherland.

He reads as Tremors Kevin Bacon plus Jimmy Fallon for me, for some reason.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 11:53 PM on November 2


Wait, I'm thinking of Jonathan. Billy is definitely discount Leto/Lowe.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 11:56 PM on November 2


Or, as we call Billy in our house, LOW RENT ROB LOWE.
posted by cooker girl at 5:57 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


I watched this episode last night and am confused about how Hawkins can support so many pumpkin patches.
posted by castlebravo at 9:05 AM on November 3 [8 favorites]


In my small New England town, I can think of four pumpkin patches off the top of my head.

I spent a lot of time vocally reminding the characters about the camcorder, but they didn’t hear me.

I’m still not used to Steve being a sympathetic character, so I’m glad they brought in Billy for a stare down to remind me. No, really, I actually liked that scene for its brevity and for fact that absolutely nothing came of it. New keg stand master, ok, but moving on to the punch bowl.
posted by Ruki at 5:50 PM on November 5 [1 favorite]


Those Ghostbusters costumes needed to look 90% jankier, especially considering the movie was a fairly recent release and there was no internet to serve as a visual reference.
posted by Atom Eyes at 6:52 PM on November 12 [2 favorites]


I’m still not used to Steve being a sympathetic character, so I’m glad they brought in Billy for a stare down to remind me. No, really, I actually liked that scene for its brevity and for fact that absolutely nothing came of it.

With Tommy H in a Cobra Kai outfit as a bonus.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:22 AM on November 13


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