Stranger Things: "Chapter Seven: The Bite"
July 4, 2019 2:20 PM - Season 3, Episode 7 - Subscribe

With time running out - and an assassin close behind - Hopper's crew races back to Hawkins, where El and the kids are preparing for war.
posted by Fizz (31 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh man. Robin's coming out to Steve was handled pretty well. <3
posted by rather be jorting at 5:59 PM on July 4 [15 favorites]


Sometimes friendship is sliding yourself along a gross bathroom floor to have a heart-to-heart with your buddy where she comes out to you
posted by rather be jorting at 6:00 PM on July 4 [16 favorites]


.

:(
posted by rather be jorting at 6:10 PM on July 4


Ok I'll stop commenting before I finish watching the ep but god, that scene with all the mirrors and neon lights looks so fucking cool.
posted by rather be jorting at 6:12 PM on July 4


Kudos to Brett Gelman's Russian. It is really good.

There was a cute untranslated joke in this one too. When they are in the car and he's yelling and Joyce and Hopper to have sex, then Alexei asks him to translate, he makes a "there is no sex in the Soviet Union" joke. The captions didn't really translate it properly. But it played well in my household.
posted by k8t at 12:52 AM on July 5 [11 favorites]


I was wondering about Brett Gelman's Russian, and whether he's fluent enough or just studied super hard for this season - either way, I was impressed. (I don't know Russian myself, but have heard many phone conversations my Russian friend had with his mother over the years, so I could tell Gelman had some Americanized pronunciation, but couldn't really tell how well he was speaking overall.)

Gelman in general has impressed me so much this season, especially once I realized he was douchey Martin from Fleabag and that he had the range to go well beyond the initial impressions I had of his character. Murray's rapport with Alexei was so good - funny and touching and heartbreaking by the end. He even did the Woody Woodpecker laugh! :(
posted by rather be jorting at 3:21 PM on July 5 [2 favorites]


AAA! The moment where Lucas says "It's like John Carpenter's The Thing -- the original is a classic, no doubt about it. But the remake... sweeter, bolder, better."

He might as well be staring straight into the camera and winking. And maybe holding a voodoo doll of Steven Spielberg which he forces to watch Netflix.
posted by wildblueyonder at 7:54 PM on July 5 [9 favorites]


Sometimes friendship is sliding yourself along a gross bathroom floor to have a heart-to-heart with your buddy where she comes out to you

This was a genuinely good little physical moment in a show that is otherwise devoid.
posted by fleacircus at 3:21 PM on July 6 [5 favorites]


"It's like John Carpenter's The Thing -- the original is a classic, no doubt about it. But the remake... sweeter, bolder, better."

I know he's talking about The Thing being a remake of Thing From Another World, but Lucas' feelings toward New Coke mirror mine about the 2011 remake.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:12 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


The New Coke line wigged me out. So blatant! So gratuitous!

Polygon wrote a piece about the New Coke product placement where I get that the line was another "hey look this is set in 1985" moment, but eh, it fell flat for me.

Vox has a more in-depth take on the show's relationship with various brands that I find interesting, too.
posted by rather be jorting at 11:23 AM on July 7 [4 favorites]


I'm glad that the conversation between Robin and Steve in the bathroom was so sweet. I love that Steve's growth as a human being has continued.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 4:38 PM on July 7 [6 favorites]


I am also much impressed with Gelman’s Russian. Mine is rusty as hell, so I trust other mefites in their assessment of its fluency, but he is a fearless and talented actor if he picked that up just for this role.

A couple of perfect eighties touches: the synth soundtrack in the house of mirrors is fantastic and took me back to watching The Lost Boys, and I liked that one of the other movies playing at the cineplex was Fletch, which had a prominent role for Richard Libertini: absolutely the actor Murray Gelman is channeling.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:03 PM on July 7 [3 favorites]


There were so many great things about that Robin-Steve scene, but among the less obvious ones is that Steve's emotional journey was in no way nullified by Robin not being interested. He went from hitting on every girl who came into Scoops Ahoy to recognizing that there's something deeper and more meaningful with someone he actually has a connection with, to taking the risk and baring that to her, and getting the return of a much more vulnerable truth from her, and then shifts to being the friend she needs without missing much of a beat.

It would have been so easy to make his arc be all about seeing the girl in front of him who he's become friends with, and then they get together. Going this direction was so, so much better and cemented Steve and Robin both as some of the series' best characters.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:32 PM on July 7 [25 favorites]


absolutely the actor Murray Gelman is channeling.

Ack. Brett Gelman. Performer and role melded together for a minute there.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:15 PM on July 7


Dear Netflix: I am seven episodes into the third season. I am never going to want to skip the intro.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 7:33 PM on July 7 [21 favorites]


Also Max continues to be the best. She has intimate knowledge of first aid from being a skateboarder!
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 7:59 PM on July 7 [8 favorites]


Ok I'll stop commenting before I finish watching the ep but god, that scene with all the mirrors and neon lights looks so fucking cool.

It worked really well in Enter the Dragon, why not steal from the best?

I loved the scene with Robin and Steve, though his acceptance of her is (sadly) wildly anachronistic for the 1985 Midwest.

The New Coke scene broke the fourth wall so hard it shattered heretofore unknown sixth, seventh, and eighth walls. You can see the scribbled "brand synergy" doodle in the script coming off the page.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:59 PM on July 7 [8 favorites]


I loved the scene with Robin and Steve, though his acceptance of her is (sadly) wildly anachronistic for the 1985 Midwest.

I completely disagree with this. I was 15 in 1985, in central Indiana. I had classmates and friends who weren't out to their parents but who were out to their friends, and we were very accepting. Now, were there groups who wouldn't have been? Sure. The jocks, the cheerleaders, the popular kids. The ones who were accepting were the drama kids, the band kids.

So while Steve had been one of the popular kids in high school, we've seen his growth. I totally believed him and didn't find this part false at all.
posted by cooker girl at 9:05 AM on July 8 [14 favorites]


Yeah, someone on Reddit pointed out that Steve even threw around a homophobic slur when Jonathan confronted him in the first season, but with the character growth he experienced over the course of season 2 it actually felt pretty authentic that he would accept Robin in that moment.
posted by tobascodagama at 10:43 AM on July 8 [5 favorites]


OMG, "The Stuff" actually had a theatrical release? I thought that was some straight to Beta (ugh, VHS) crap... (ugh, "hidden gem")
posted by jkaczor at 3:34 PM on July 8 [6 favorites]


Repping for Indiana again. I was twelve in 1985 and had gay friends in my circle - most not out to their families yet but a couple that were. The few people who were homophobic assholes are still dickheads now.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 3:54 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]


I was convinced the subplot for Scoops was going to end up like The Stuff, and I had a giggle at that marquee.
posted by pxe2000 at 5:45 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


Yeah, Steve's growth has been one of the most consistent and well-drawn arcs in the series (maybe the single best one.) Like, he has two big total asshole moments in Season 1, which are nearly unforgivable (breaking Jonathan's camera; spraypainting the marquee with the Nancy slut-shaming shit) but he makes legitimate contrition about both (going back to wash off the spray-paint, buying Jonathan a new camera) and in doing so makes a clear break from his dickhead popular friends.

By the time we're in Season 3 he's basically a different dude with this old life as a big part of how people still see him, and in particular they see him as fallen from grace. But there's something key, I think, that we see in how he reacts to being rejected over and over at Scoops Ahoy - he doesn't do what Xander harris would do, salvaging his pride by talking shit about whoever just turned him down. He knows it's all about his own failures and doesn't have any spite at all about it.

So when he opens his heart to Robin and she comes out to him (after the painfully true and tragic line about how if he really knew her he wouldn't like her) the Steve we know now wouldn't plausibly respond with anger or slurs or anything of the kind. If anything, he understands it as, at last, a rejection from a true friend that's not about how much he sucks, but about something else entirely, and that his friend needs some support in that moment.

That his support comes in the form of validating her by ragging on her crush is just that much more perfect, of course.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:20 PM on July 8 [12 favorites]


> "Murray Gelman ... Ack. Brett Gelman."

It's an honest mistake.
posted by kyrademon at 2:12 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]


Glad that people had better memories than I have of that time. 1985 was two years after Eddie Murphy's Delerious was released, and that tape circulated through school for years. It's also the first year the Reagan administration said the word AIDS, though they were openly laughing at victims during press conferences for three years by that point.

This show has always been "1980s nostalgia filtered through 20XX sensibilities" but some bits stick out to me more than others. I loved the moment, it rang somewhat optimistic to me.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 7:14 PM on July 9 [3 favorites]


AIDS hysteria hit Indiana big time in fall 1985 when Ryan White was battling it out with the school system to go back to school.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 7:39 PM on July 9 [3 favorites]


Not to totally derail, but 1985 was the year Rock Hudson died of AIDS. I remember that being a huge deal because he was the first celebrity death openly connected to AIDS instead of euphemistic terms like "died from complications related to a long term illness."
posted by miss-lapin at 6:34 AM on July 10 [3 favorites]


Yeah, with Robin coming out, I think it's less likely Will will. But I'm glad that the writers have recognized that this show resonates with all sorts of people who were told we were weirdos (and worse slurs) when we were kids.

It's hard to write a good redemption arc. Steve Harrington and Prince Zuko are a couple of my favorites, because the dislike you feel for them at the start is completely reasonable, and even by the end, as much as you love them you can be unsure they deserved a second chance. But for those of us born and raised into positions that made us objectively jerks, it's comforting to think that maybe there is a way out and we're not fated to always be jerks.

Hopper's arc is a lot bumpier and while his history makes him sympathetic, his choices don't make him a very good example.
posted by rikschell at 6:18 PM on July 10 [3 favorites]


Sneaking around the mall's back corridors (and into the movie theater specifically) in the first episode pays off nicely here. Related to that, I like how much of the action in this season fulfills the sorts of imaginary adventures that kids would set in the places they spend the summer. Looting the fireworks display in the supermarket; sliding down the escalators in the mall; being chased through the carnival fun-house...

The monster is an interesting combination of Dune, Tremors, Alien, and more.
posted by mbrubeck at 4:46 PM on July 13 [1 favorite]


Rock Hudson may have been the first mainstream celebrity to die of AIDS, but Klaus Nomi was the first superstar we lost. As a gay kid who came up in Reagan’s hatey-eighties, I find ST continually fails to properly represent the real eighties, where every screen character (and actual people) said “fag” constantly and our protagonists were happy rapists, because the real eighties fucking sucked. This parallel universe eighties is something better, and I don’t mind the revisionism one bit. I have zero nostalgia for the eighties, but ST lets me smile over the few things that weren’t atrocities.
posted by sonascope at 9:36 PM on July 13 [5 favorites]


The bit where Mike was stumbling trying not to say "love" to El up through Dustin and Mike's radio conversation somehow was the most successful 80s pastiche of the whole show. The music, dialogue, sound effects, editing, everything, just randomly came together perfectly to do what this show was built to do in that one scene that wasn't even remotely pivotal.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:48 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


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