Stranger Things: "Chapter Two: The Mall Rats"
July 4, 2019 2:13 PM - Season 3, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Nancy and Jonathan follow a lead, Steve and Robin sign on to a secret mission, and Max and Eleven go shopping. A rattled Billy has troubling visions.
posted by Fizz (35 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Snarling goo rat??? aaaaa

Studio pictures montage: amazing. It's great seeing Max and Eleven hang out together! Even though it gets spookier as they start listening in on the radio. Eek!

There's an interesting juxtaposition of capitalism-as-horror and capitalism-as-liberation going on with the shopping mall focus this season, where I'm glad clothes can become a form of asserting individuality and distinguishing yourself as someone distinct from your adopted dad or your boyfriend, but also it feels kind of weird seeing the kids immediately resort to thinking of shopping as the cure-all for their big relationship problems (shopping: how we reclaim our individuality!, shopping: how we say we're sorry!).

All that said, I am already looking for some colorful striped tees to add to my wardrobe...
posted by rather be jorting at 2:26 PM on July 4 [10 favorites]


Steve's reuniting with Dustin. <3 <3 <3
posted by Fizz at 2:35 PM on July 4 [15 favorites]


Their elaborate fist bump handshake light saber fight :D
posted by rather be jorting at 2:46 PM on July 4 [9 favorites]


I thought Hawkins was too small for a mall, but showing how it’s put people out of business makes up for it.

There’s so much subtext in this show, hidden beneath the constant Spielberg (Corman, Hughes, etc) references.
posted by rikschell at 3:08 PM on July 4 [1 favorite]


The post-rat pulling a T-1000 was one of the creepiest images in this series to date.

El and Max hanging out was the big draw here, followed by Joyce and Mr. Clarke

Hopper is falling down a bad hole here. And for Sci-Fi fans, apparently none of these kids have seen 2001: A Space Odyssey (not recognizing "Daisy" until the Indiana Flyer plays it.)
posted by Navelgazer at 7:20 PM on July 4 [9 favorites]


Oh! And they showed the Hot Dog on a Stick girls in the mall montage, which is a nice silly reference.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:21 PM on July 4


El and Max being BFFs this season almost makes up for the artificial conflict they had in season two.

Also Mr Clarke gets a great intro with the garage door opening while “My Balogna” is playing.

Drink every time Will asks if they can just play D & D instead.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 12:08 AM on July 5 [14 favorites]


I love El’s style (to the point that I looked for her playsuit in adult woman sizes), but she’s going to cringe at it when she sees pictures of herself in 20 years.
posted by pxe2000 at 2:20 AM on July 5 [4 favorites]


I almost misted up when I saw a Waldenbooks in the background. Bounced around quite a bit between there, B Dalton's, and the used bookstore that had like 10 copies of every Gor book ever written and also sold comics.
posted by jquinby at 6:34 AM on July 5 [14 favorites]


> pxe2000: I love El’s style (to the point that I looked for her playsuit in adult woman sizes), but she’s going to cringe at it when she sees pictures of herself in 20 years.

It's at Target, but mostly sold out. My daughter's is on the way (she ordered within 10 minutes of it appearing on-screen).
posted by Rock Steady at 6:42 AM on July 5 [12 favorites]


I loved that Mr. Clarke was specifically listening to "My Bologna" rather than "My Sharona". That's such a midwestern science teacher nerd thing to do.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:12 AM on July 5 [32 favorites]


I like Robin. She's droll, but it works.

"How many children are you friends with?"
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:27 AM on July 5 [23 favorites]


I thought "My Sharona" sounded different during that scene! That's perfect.
posted by rather be jorting at 1:35 PM on July 5


I love El’s style (to the point that I looked for her playsuit in adult woman sizes), but she’s going to cringe at it when she sees pictures of herself in 20 years.

True but in about 15 years after that it will be in style again.
posted by asteria at 3:14 PM on July 5 [2 favorites]


That playsuit totally exists in adult woman sizes and I am fairly certain Comrade Doll bought one.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:07 PM on July 5


Joyce busting out the library books on electromagnetic principles! That woman is a doer.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 8:46 PM on July 5 [17 favorites]


The beginning of the episode was a disappointment for me: learning that not only had Billy and his skeevy facial hair survived, but now there were dozens of him.

This was closely followed by the jarring moment of El calling Mike on his home phone and demanding, “Where are you?” which was not a question a caller could sensibly ask of someone in the pre-cell phone era.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:18 PM on July 5 [5 favorites]


> "... which was not a question a caller could sensibly ask of someone in the pre-cell phone era."

It was a thing, though, even though it made no sense. It was a common enough thing that George Carlin made a joke about it in the landline-only era. He riffed about how it made no sense that you would call someone who was late to a meeting with you and the first thing you'd ask was "WHERE ARE YOU?", and then it equally made no sense that the answer would inevitably be "I'M ON MY WAY!"
posted by kyrademon at 1:39 AM on July 6 [15 favorites]


One anachronism: in the 1980's when shopping at the mall, you actually had to pay for things.
posted by ShooBoo at 9:54 AM on July 6 [10 favorites]


"Where are you?" is a fairly thinly-veiled way of saying "why are you not here right now?" I remember that quite clearly from the landline-only-except-for-big-city-business-types era.

Also, one reference that I kept waiting for is for someone to tell Billy, stumbling around the pool sweating buckets and seeming to need a fix, to "just say no."
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:14 AM on July 7 [8 favorites]


Joyce busting out the library books on electromagnetic principles! That woman is a doer.

I’m hoping that a theme (at least a sub-theme) of this season is “Watch out when Joyce and Nancy get bored/curious.”
posted by EvaDestruction at 3:32 PM on July 7 [4 favorites]


Season 4: Joyce and Nancy open a private detective agency. Nothing supernatural happens.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:43 PM on July 7 [17 favorites]


And for Sci-Fi fans, apparently none of these kids have seen 2001: A Space Odyssey (not recognizing "Daisy" until the Indiana Flyer plays it.)

I'm about the age the kids would have been in the early 80s, and I didn't see 2001 until I was older. But I would have recognized "Daisy" anyway.
posted by Foosnark at 7:59 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


While we're commenting on period hair authenticity,

WHERE ARE THE BRASSY SUN-IN HIGHLIGHTS
posted by roger ackroyd at 10:50 PM on July 7 [12 favorites]


It doesn't seem to occur to the kids that maybe Russians have heard that song too.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 10:33 AM on July 8 [4 favorites]


Speaking of periodicity, two things noticeably absent for me:

1. No one's watching MTV? Maybe there's no CATV in Hawkins.
2. Not one of these nerds has a computer at home yet? No Atari ST, Commodores, TRS-80s, etc to be seen anywhere? None of them are hanging around BBS's yet?

Otherwise the nostalgia nerve that this show touches runs really deep for me. I grew up in Atlanta in the 80s, and since that's where they shoot, the houses and neighborhoods look exactly like my childhood, and track precisely with my memories. As I tell my kids, I would have been about the same age as the characters, maybe just a little bit older. I also impressed them for about 30 seconds when I told them I had shopped at the Starcourt mall stand-in and pointed out a print that I bought there which still hangs on our wall.
posted by jquinby at 12:28 PM on July 8 [8 favorites]


...in fact my parents and in-laws live in those neighborhoods to this day. We were visiting a couple of Christmases ago and I drove around slowly through the neighborhoods playing old Tangerine Dream tracks. Kids thought that was pretty cool too.
posted by jquinby at 1:07 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


Not one of these nerds has a computer at home yet? No Atari ST, Commodores, TRS-80s, etc to be seen anywhere? None of them are hanging around BBS's yet?

Computers were an expensive thing to buy for a kid at the time. It was probably Christmas 1985 when I got my C64, and 1986 when I got the 1541 disk drive instead of just cassette. I didn't have a modem until 90 or 91 or so, when I got on GEnie with what was probably my second PC.
posted by Foosnark at 5:31 AM on July 9 [5 favorites]


I guess. Atlanta had a pretty big BBS scene in the mid-80s and I was in and out of most of the Commodore boards at a screaming 300 baud. I had to dial the phone manually, then physically move the headphone connector wire to the modem.
posted by jquinby at 6:49 AM on July 9


Yeah, I am surprised that Dustin didn't have a computer since he seems to have loads of other nerd tech...also he just got home from nerd camp.

The Wheelers would also be in the running to have a computer since Mr Wheeler apparently makes six figures and Mike has an entire damn basement to hide girls in in and hang out with his friends.

Mid-80s Indiana life: my brother started at Purdue in 1986 and got his first computer in 1987 with a personal loan. We were much closer to living a Byers' lifestyle than the other families on this show.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 8:20 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]


I can't remember if it was this episode or 3.1, but we see a movie poster for John Carpenter's The Thing hanging in the background of Mike's basement. Pink slime and doppelgangers ahoy!

More folks were talking about it in the 3.1 thread, but the continued crappy gender stuff (especially Hopper) is rough. This season feels increasingly like parody rather than homage, winking harder and harder and with many, many on the nose music licensing gimmicks (e.g. Eleven's "I dump your ass" with an ice cream cone underscored by "Cold as Ice"). Navelgazer does a great job of sketching out character change from s2, but I find myself not buying it. It feels like repeats of previous arcs rather than real growth.
posted by HeroZero at 8:28 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]




This bit from the "red room" link made me laugh:
Are you age-shaming me? No, but this never happened in my day. When I watched someone on TV using a quill, I didn’t go on the internet and write: “What is the purpose of the information feather?”
posted by rather be jorting at 12:29 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


If the internet had existed at the time, you'd better fucking believe the author would have been asking it about the purpose of the information feather.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:39 PM on July 29 [3 favorites]


That’s crazy. I just asked my almost 11 year old what that red room in stranger things was and she said “ummmm it’s a darkroom? You have to use it to get pictures, right?” We both really like the “information feather”.
posted by artychoke at 9:36 PM on August 7


« Older Stranger Things: "Chapter One:...   |  Stranger Things: "Chapter Thre... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments

poster