' Stranger Things' by yuan Ian
This is the second part of my string of writing about Stranger Things. Will I be writing about only two episodes at a time? Yes. So there will be four different parts to this? No. There will be five. I will write my whole season one review after finishing up episodes 7&8. Why wouldn't I want to bunch together episodes 7&8 with my whole season 1 review? Well, hopefully, there should be enough to write about and cover to keep them separate. Last note before I start with the episodes, I am going to write this assuming you watched episodes 1&2 already.
We start episode three, “Holly, Jolly”, off with a close up of Barbara coughing up water. From what we were shown at the end of the last episode, we know that this is water from the pool at Steve Harrington's house. First thing you notice? How filthy everything is. As the camera pans out to a different viewpoint, we realize where we are. This episode opens with the flip side of the board. This is the alternate reality. Just so I can keep things simple, I'll name this world, “The Dark Dungeon”. You know, based on how El explained where Will is.
Realising that she shouldn't be here, Barbara calls out for Nancy. Looking around frantically. This is where we get our first actual look at the creature. It grumbles at and terrifies Barb. Frantically trying to escape, she runs for the only escape from a pool. Climbing her way out and almost escaping, the Dungeon Crawler (my name for the creature) gets a hold of her. Gripping the railing tightly and screaming for help, she gets dragged into the pool.
Jonathan wakes up in bed. Hearing his mom from her room, he makes his way over there. Listening to what she's saying, Jonathan can tell Joyce hasn't been sleeping and is losing her mind. His mother calling for Will to communicate through the lights. Jonathan has to do his best to calm her and keep a level head. Leaving her to be home alone as he has to attend school.
Before school starts for Mike, Lucas, and Dustin, they have a meeting in the basement. Mike's basement. The only one we are aware of at this point. They are showing the objects they have brought for their after school plan, Hunt the Demogorgon. This is needed for making sure they have everything needed. With Lucas bringing army memorabilia from Nam and Dustin filling his backpack with snacks. Questioning Dustin's choice for only food items, he declares, “Why do we even need weapons anyway? We have Her.” With school time approaching fast Mike tells El where and when to meet them.
Now we get to see Chief Hopper and the other officers pull up to the Government Facility. They are doing a great job for their search of Will. Hopper knows what he needs to do as an investigator. He may not know exactly what he will find in this building, but knows he needs to search the premises for any and all clues leading to where Will has gone. After gaining access to said facility, he is taken to two places. Where the other end of the pipe is and the security room to review the recordings taken on the nights in question. Upon finding there is nothing majorly peculiar in the footage, they take their leave. Despite the other police being satisfied with what they saw, Hopper isn't. Not that he saw anything in the footage, but the lack thereof. Pointing out to other officers, “Did you see any rain on that tape?”
For reasons, I am going to summarize the rest using jot notes. You will see why after I finish. I hope you will enjoy it.
Yes. I know. I just summarized the rest of episode 3 and the entirety of episode 4 using jot notes. I am aware I skipped scenes and important things. If anyone reading this has not watched at least episode 4, I truly hope I didn't spoil too much of what happens. I will.now begin my utter gushing of the brilliance and beauty of these masterpieces in television.
When making a viewable production, you try to not have hiccups and wasted tape. There are times you will be watching something and think, “Is this shot important?” Filmmakers will do their best to never have any of these happen. That is something they generally try to avoid. That is something that is avoided in Stranger Things.
There are small details that are very important and play a very big role. The one true example, and most obvious one, is the radio. In episode one we are first introduced to it. Thinking only that it might be used to give us more character background for The Boys. Instead it becomes a very useful tool for progressing the story and keeping us interested. When they first give off the idea of using a larger receiver, I thought to myself, “The radio from episode one.” How cool was that? Amazingly so. I am sure there will be more surprises in the other episodes and I am excited to watch them.
For sheer beauty of the film, I want to bring your attention to the scene where Joyce walks into the garage to retrieve the ax. This is at the beginning of episode 4. What's so important about this scene? Why do you find it to be “beautiful”? This isn't just a scene showing her grabbing the ax. It's a representation of the character herself. Where she is in her emotional and physical state. We view Joyce as a silhouette. We don't “see” her. We see what she doesn't do. Hovering over her sons door but never knocking. How powerful. Needing something there to try to keep her slightly sane and feel down to earth again. Knowing Jonathan would be there for her but knowing he won't believe her. She understands how crazy she must sound so she needs something to hold on to. What beautiful cinematography.
Lastly, I will come back and tell you why I started just using the Jot Notes. This story is told to us viewers so perfectly. As part of the audience we are only to know so much. So it keeps us in the dark, but still in just the right amount of light. We know what the writers want us to. Only enough to keep us wanting more. With our ever so powerful, yet powerless omnipresent view of this story, we observe all the main party's guess and figure out what's happening. Just as we are. We get to learn more alongside the characters. The reason I stopped doing the full overview of the episode is to point out who our main party's are.
As these groups learn and grow, so do we. We all get to the same point together. Despite us thinking we know more than the others you must ask yourself, “Do I really? Am I 100% sure that what I “know” is more than that of what the characters do?” These questions is what makes this great. It's a journey of fantastic discover. Writing and storytelling to this accord is what makes Stranger Things stand out above other stories. After every episode, we want to continue watching the next one. We want to know what happens next. We want to reach the end of an amazing story.
I hope you have found this interesting. Thank you so much for reading.