Stranger Things: Chapter Four: Will the Wise
October 28, 2017 7:17 AM - Season 2, Episode 4 - Subscribe

An ailing Will opens up to Joyce -- with disturbing results. While Hopper digs for the truth, Eleven unearths a surprising discovery.
posted by Fizz (50 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's hilarious that Joyce is still making the promise to Will that nothing bad will happen.

Instead of Stranger Things maybe this thing should be called BROKEN PROMISES.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 7:55 AM on October 28 [9 favorites]


“FRIENDS DON'T LIE!”
posted by Fizz at 7:56 AM on October 28 [8 favorites]


I find it extremely funny that even after getting caught breaking into Hawkins Lab in S1, Hopper is still charging in on his own.

Maybe call for backup before stepping into the underground network of creepy monster tunnels?
posted by OmniPrincess at 7:57 AM on October 28 [5 favorites]


HE LIKES IT COLD. And somehow Histrionic Joyce doesn't lose her shit right then.

The kids are all killing me with their angst.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 8:04 AM on October 28 [6 favorites]


I would like to discuss how the Byers' residence is now way bigger on the inside than it was last year. The inside seems palatial now.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 8:14 AM on October 28 [5 favorites]


I would like to discuss how the Byers' residence is now way bigger on the inside than it was last year.

TARDIS?
posted by Fizz at 8:35 AM on October 28 [2 favorites]


They needed the room for Will's giant drawing. That's filmmaking for you...instead of reducing the size of the plot point, you expand the set to fit it.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:31 AM on October 28 [5 favorites]


I just need everyone to know that my mom bought me the very same bookshelf that is in the Byers' family room...when I was 14...IN NINETEEN FUCKING EIGHTY-FOUR. And it currently lives in my basement.

Oh also, I grew up in central Indiana. WTF, Duffer Brothers??
posted by cooker girl at 9:42 AM on October 28 [19 favorites]


So everybody has to act like idiots to keep this plot moving along don't they?
posted by gnuhavenpier at 1:57 PM on October 28 [4 favorites]


I have several thoughts about this one.

I would like to discuss how the Byers' residence is now way bigger on the inside than it was last year. The inside seems palatial now.

I for reals spent several eps telling myself they moved in with Bob because it looks way bigger now.

So The Nothing finally got Atreyu and he turns from being the kid who is haunted to kid who is possessed.

Dustin went from being the kid harboring a cute wuvable fwend to Ash the Pokémon Trainer harboring a Ghoulie/Xenomorph. Not sure how that kid can do that much reading up on amphibians, already have a pet turtle and dog, and then think chunks of candy bars is a suitable diet for an animal.

Jim needs to treat El/Jane as a human.

NOBODY GiVES A SHIT ABOUT STEVE! I have no idea why i’m supposed to be interested in Steve’s Karate Kid storyline and we’ve only gotten 10 seconds of Lucas’ backstory which includes a sister that apparently can carry her own show.

Why did Jonathan and Nancy end up in the park?

As soon as I saw the crayons I knew we were getting a Close Encounters of the Third Kind art project that was going to be a sprawling living room size scribbles of roots on pages.

So I guess we get to say Racist Fake Rob Lowe from now on.

I didn’t really expect the caves but was any other part of that discovery at the end surprising to anyone?
posted by P.o.B. at 2:06 PM on October 28 [3 favorites]


I LIKE STEVE.

So there. I said it.
posted by cooker girl at 2:31 PM on October 28 [34 favorites]


I would like to discuss how the Byers' residence is now way bigger on the inside than it was last year. The inside seems palatial now.

Can we also discuss the ginormous hole Hopper was able to dig with just a shovel? Pretty sure you need a backhoe, or a team of shovelers to dig a pit that wide & deep in the course of an afternoon.
posted by oh yeah! at 2:52 PM on October 28 [9 favorites]


I’ve dug a hole like that one and that would be around 8-12 hrs of work with just a shovel, and there isn’t much left in the tank to want to go spelunking afterwards.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:02 PM on October 28 [1 favorite]


I love Steve.
posted by elsietheeel at 3:08 PM on October 28 [4 favorites]


At least I don't have to worry about the cat any more.
posted by Grangousier at 3:11 PM on October 28 [32 favorites]


Steve is a perfectly likable character. I just don’t care about what he’s up to as much as any other main character in the show.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:23 PM on October 28


Hopper is the Paul Bunyan of hole-digging.

So everybody has to act like idiots to keep this plot moving along don't they?

Hopper gets the idiot ball in this respect at the end of this episode. It dawns on him that it's vines, and he promptly walks out the door without explaining anything or saying where he's going. Then he digs a hole to the tunnel system, gets down there where it's obviously all kinds of fucked up, and doesn't nope right the hell back up out of there, or call for backup (he's a cop for fuck's sake). Idiot ball.
posted by axiom at 5:27 PM on October 28 [4 favorites]


Stranger Things, I have been 100% buy-in on everything that has happened so far.

Except for Hopper digging that hole in a few hours.
posted by curious nu at 6:31 PM on October 28 [1 favorite]


Also

Dustin went from being the kid harboring a cute wuvable fwend to Ash the Pokémon Trainer harboring a Ghoulie/Xenomorph.

Pokethulhu
posted by curious nu at 6:35 PM on October 28 [2 favorites]


Cinematography has been gorgeous this season. Especially loved the moment where Eleven opened the folder on her mom and the white reflected light off the paper warmed up her face.
posted by HeroZero at 7:00 PM on October 28 [3 favorites]


I would like to discuss how the Byers' residence is now way bigger on the inside than it was last year.

Remember, that house is a Horror Movie Residence, and as such obeys horror movie rules. It expands or contracts as needed to contain the horror.
posted by happyroach at 12:27 AM on October 29 [16 favorites]


I legit don't understand how we got from "it's vines" to whatever hole Hop was digging that led him to literal hell.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:52 AM on October 29


We got from "it's vines" to hole because Hop finally figured out weird shit was actually happening at the pumpkin patch and where to dig. I mean, he suppressed that thought for 3.5 eps because he's Hop.

The huge hole didn't bother me as much as the sudden realization because the ground would be weakened from all the tunnels.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 2:51 AM on October 29 [2 favorites]


I have rewatched the hole scene. What bothers me about the gigantic hole isn't necessarily how huge it is but how loose all of the soil is. Just show us a backhoe, man.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 3:32 AM on October 29 [1 favorite]


I always figured the house looked bigger now that the old shitty wallpaper was gone. Clean walls, more light, and all that.
posted by Jilder at 6:50 AM on October 29 [1 favorite]


I have been 100% buy-in on everything that has happened so far.

When the farmer said "these were prize-winners" I knew no one on this show had ever actually been to a pumpkin judging. Those were no way prize winners, even before they got rotten and fly-infested.
posted by Miko at 9:18 AM on October 29 [10 favorites]


Yeah, in Indiana a state fair prize winner would be 1000+ lbs. Not bog standard size pumpkin patch pumpkins.

Though I will say that the pumpkins looked more like midwestern pumpkins than a lot of other pumpkins you see in shows/movies.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 9:37 AM on October 29 [3 favorites]


Though I will say that the pumpkins looked more like midwestern pumpkins than a lot of other pumpkins you see in shows/movies.

What, rotten and fly infested? :D
posted by elsietheeel at 9:38 AM on October 29 [1 favorite]


The texture and thickness of those rotten pumpkins looked okay. Not like thin-walled pumpkins you find in other regions.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 9:52 AM on October 29 [3 favorites]


Goddamn pumpkin-truthers
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:02 PM on October 29 [24 favorites]


I'm still enjoying the series, but yeah, it does feel like everyone got pretty stupid. Mind you, I think Hop and Eleven having a falling out makes sense. If anything, it's a bit odd that she hadn't rebelled sooner. But they way it played out felt off for both characters. Hop would have tried a gentler tone/style at first.

The hairstyles are one of the scariest things of the series. Except for eleven, I love that her hairstyle reminds me of Ripley from Aliens.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:13 PM on October 29 [2 favorites]


Why did Jonathan and Nancy end up in the park?

You may recall that Nancy phoned Barb’s mom to explain how she and Steve were responsible for Barb’s death. The Park was their rendezvous point and Jonathan was there for emotional support.
posted by mykescipark at 9:23 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


I thought Hopper and El’s troubles felt completely realistic, and their scenes together are very well-acted.

Favorite line: “Let’s burn this lab to the ground.”

(Also: Nancy and Jonathan planned that whole thing from the start? That's badass.)
posted by mbrubeck at 9:29 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Seriously, vines? Submerged, giant networks of tunnels and you go with vines, not arteries? COME ON

I must admit, the Barb guilt thing had me groaning internally until the reveal. Good job, Nancy.

The jump scare at the end definitely got me, even though I was expecting it. The strength of this horror aspect of this series really is in the sound design.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:56 PM on October 30


When the farmer said "these were prize-winners" I knew no one on this show had ever actually been to a pumpkin judging. Those were no way prize winners, even before they got rotten and fly-infested.

I just assumed he was immediately exaggerating to get Hopper's attention. "My prize-winning pumpkins" sounds a lot more important than "I lost a few hundred dollars in bog-standard carving pumpkins."
posted by explosion at 7:29 AM on October 31 [5 favorites]


Why did Jonathan and Nancy end up in the park?

All part of the plan; they phoned Barb's mom to invite her to the park to tell her something important about Barb. They knew - because they are all under secrecy agreements with the Hawkins Lab goons - that things in the town are being monitored, whether their own phone lines or Barb's and that the Lab would be aware of the meeting.

They then went to the park to ensure they got caught, taken to the Lab, and get notBurke to say something incriminating.

Jim needs to treat El/Jane as a human.

Part of what really came out in this episode (for me) is how holding all these secrets is really starting to fuck everyone up. The boys can't deal fairly with Max, because they know stuff they can't tell. Nancy is screwed up over Barb. Hopper is messed up because he's protecting the secrets of Hawkins Lab from the town; he's also protecting the fact that El is still alive; and he's dealing with his own complicated grief over his daughter - keeping El safe is all he can think about (and I don't think he's told El anything about his daughter). And Max and Lucas appear to have all kinds of secrets as well, though I'm not sure they will carry the narrative weight of the other ones. Steve is kinda fucked because he has all the same secrets, but no one to talk to about them anymore.

Anyways, was I the only one who picked up on a Lucas-Steve vibe in the shower scene?
posted by nubs at 8:54 AM on October 31 [8 favorites]


You mean Billy, not Lucas, and no. You are not.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:17 AM on October 31 [3 favorites]


Gah. That's what I get for staying up too late trying to catch up on this show.
posted by nubs at 11:38 AM on October 31


I'm four episodes in, so admittedly this take is incomplete, but it feels a bit like a missed opportunity to expand the worldbuilding and think bigger. The strength of S1 was the unknown: the creature and its habits, the lab itself and experiments therein, the exact nature of the Upside Down. S2 so far seems to be hey, all that stuff you liked from the original? Here's more!

I like it, and I'll keep watching, but more demogorgons is not exactly the answer I was looking for.
posted by Existential Dread at 11:51 AM on October 31 [1 favorite]


Can pumpkins only win prizes for size, not for flavour or orangeness? Seems very restrictive.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:46 PM on October 31


Like if you go to an ag show the baking prize isn't automatically awarded to the biggest cake.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:47 PM on October 31


I’m sure you can win a “nice produce” ribbon. But my cousin grows prize pumpkins and it’s really a scene. It’s all about the size for those people.
posted by Miko at 4:31 PM on October 31 [5 favorites]


I don't understand what happened on Barb's mom's side of this subplot. She got that phone call from Nancy last episode and then decided to not show up at the park? And somehow Nancy was expecting that? Or did Nancy do something during that original phone call to only made it SEEM like she called Barb's mom? (But how?)
posted by easternblot at 3:21 AM on November 1 [2 favorites]


They show Barb's mom pick up and respond to Nancy and they also show people listening to the call. Hawkins Lab folk could have drugged Barb's mom ...we know they did that to Hop in S1. Or there could have been a household power/electrical issue or whatever.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 4:22 AM on November 1 [2 favorites]



I don't understand what happened on Barb's mom's side of this subplot. She got that phone call from Nancy last episode and then decided to not show up at the park? And somehow Nancy was expecting that?


Nancy knew that the Lab was listening, but yeah - the plan is fuzzy on what happens to Barb's mom. I'm guessing that Nancy & Steve either showed up early, so as to allow themselves to be snatched up before Barb's mom arrived or else the Lab intercepted her with something else (likely the latter idea; something seemingly innocent that kept her from getting to the park in a timely way)
posted by nubs at 10:06 AM on November 1 [1 favorite]


Given the level of paranoia Barb's mom has shown over her daughter's disappearance, I don't think anything that stopped her from meeting the nearest thing to an eyewitness to the event who's just promised to tell her the Real Truth would be "seemingly innocent." She just sold he house to hire an investigative journalist.
posted by layceepee at 4:36 PM on November 4 [2 favorites]


and I don't think he's told El anything about his daughter

The very first thing Hopper does when he gets to the cabin with El that first night is hide his box labeled "Sara". So, yeah, he definitely hasn't told her.

The Billy-Steve shower scene was extremely Top Gun. Really, all of their scenes together have been pretty Top Gun.

I don't know what Dustin was expecting to happen after watching that damned thing sprout a second set of legs right in front of him.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:03 AM on November 6


I'm watching this episode now and I swear that there's a Dart in a tank at 27:07. Did anyone else see it?
posted by fiercekitten at 10:06 PM on November 8


There's a suspicious-looking terrarium on the shelf in that lab, but the glass is foggy and it's out of focus. So it's hard to tell whether there's actually another Dart in there or what. I wouldn't put it past the Hawkins Lab folks to have some live animal samples from the Upside Down to go with all their plants and stuff, though.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:39 AM on November 9


I’m sure you can win a “nice produce” ribbon.

"Nice Produce" was my nickname in school.

Just kidding I got beat up in school and everybody hated me!
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:04 PM on November 15


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