Stranger Things: Chapter 5: The Nina Project
May 28, 2022 11:51 AM - Season 4, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Owens takes El to Nevada, where she's forced to confront her past, while the Hawkins kids comb a crumbling house for clues. Vecna claims another victim.
posted by oh yeah! (13 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sorry for not adding some plot points in the 'more inside' -- I know most people probably plowed through the season already, so, I want to hurry up and get through so we have all the episode threads posted so the earlier thread doesn't turn into finale discussion by proxy.

Hopper's reveal about his daughter's illness being a result of his Agent Orange exposure was, oof, how much more misery can be heaped on Hopper? And I'm looking forward to seeing how on Earth he and Joyce & Murray will manage to get out of Russia. Spy stuff, or will El get strong enough to find and teleport them herself?

Onward to the next episode, please someone else post if you get through first.
posted by oh yeah! at 12:01 PM on May 28, 2022 [2 favorites]

So yeah, I'm hoping that including Brenner in Project Nina is the biggest heel-turn we're going to get from Owens, and here you could see that he was of two minds about doing that at all and sees it as his personal duty to protect El in those circumstances, but Jayyyysus, there's gotta be a better way to prepare her for that then springing it on her once she's down in your decommissioned missile silo.

No idea how Mike plans for them to find Suzie based on "Salt Lake City" and a teenager's first name, but willing to let that slide if it gets us to Suzie. But, like, Mike was the guy who couldn't find his own girlfriend in a roller rink, so realistically I don't trust his investigative skills that much.

I'm curious whether the grandfather clock imagery is working for folks. I like the processed "gong" sound that truly does feel like hope draining away, but seeing the clock itself doesn't do much for me (though it was pretty damn cool embedded in the wall at Hawkins High, I'll give them that.) Still, investigating the Creel House was cool and a lot of fun. I'm glad the show really set up the threat of Vecna before taking us in there, though, because it's hard to make a dusty old house seem truly scary when you've got Steve and Robin around.

"Lovers' Lake" is a location they've been mentioning in passing since at least Season 2, so I applaud the Duffers on their restraint in waiting until we were in this season - drawing on the "older teens" horror films of the era, to use the "lake at night" setting, and for doing something new with it. Goodbye, Patrick. We knew ye even less than Chrissy or Fred, and you were part of Jason's shitty crusade, but you seemed decent anyway.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:25 PM on May 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

I was 16 in 1986, and hip-deep in Cold War anxiety.

The fact that the Nina Project was based in a decommissioned missile silo really bugged me because my inner 16-year-old was screaming "there is NO FUCKING WAY they would have decommissioned that thing". 1986 was a full year before "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall", and that silo would have been one of who knows how many active silos that would have been ready and waiting to fly towards Russia.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:39 AM on May 29, 2022 [11 favorites]

The decommissioned missile silo isn't historically inaccurate for 1986. Missile technology advanced quickly and new missiles needed new launch facilities and control centers. Soviet ICBM and warhead capability advanced quickly as well, so the design of silos evolved with the threat. By 1986 there would be close to a hundred decommissioned Titan-I and Titan-II silos, but the concrete entryway in the show was cribbed from the design of the Atlas-F missile silo (pics 1, 2, 3), this was the first ICBM to be capable of being silo-launched. There were 72 of these built before the program was retired in 1965, so no shortage of decommissioned missile silos to use for a top secret lab.
posted by peeedro at 10:35 PM on May 31, 2022 [17 favorites]

This episode is directed by Hungarian filmmaker Nimród Antal (Kontroll, Vacancy). He's underrated. Nice to see him helm something high profile.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:11 PM on June 1, 2022

Apologies if I missed it but do they explain why it is called NINA?
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 3:20 AM on June 2, 2022

I_Love_Bananas: It's named NINA after the Opera by Dalayrac, about a young woman who suppresses the memory of her lover's death. Dr. Brenner discusses it, but it's easy to miss that the name is the context for what he's talking about.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:56 AM on June 2, 2022 [1 favorite]

Wondering if they'll go full "Altered States" and we'll get Eleven slamming into walls and fuzzing in and out as she makes her way down a hallway.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:51 AM on June 4, 2022

They've already had some Altered States references in previous seasons. I actually got a co-worker to watch the movie after I mentioned it in a discussion about Season 1 and he called it "cheesy".
posted by octothorpe at 6:33 AM on June 4, 2022

OR! They could go with a variation of "Altered States" and have them all fall into some kind of rotoscoping dream vision, like the A-Ha video for "Take On Me" (1986 is about the right time for that...)
posted by rmd1023 at 1:48 PM on June 4, 2022

I'm willing to suspend a lot of disbelief for this show, but Joyce and Murray surviving that crash is really pushing it. Assuming they survived...
posted by COD at 7:22 PM on June 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'm kinda over Joyce and Murray's wacky hijinx.
posted by miss-lapin at 6:51 AM on June 8, 2022 [4 favorites]

If I wasn't concerned about missing important exposition, I'd fast forward thru every minute of Joyce/Murray/Yuri. We're calling it Three Stooges here.
posted by donnagirl at 6:37 PM on July 3, 2022 [3 favorites]

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