Stranger Things, Season 1, Chapter 2, “The Weirdo On Maple Street”

Netflix's Stranger Things Season 1 Episode 2 Eleven points at Will

[Image via Netflix]

Welcome to the recap of Episode 2 (entitled “The Weirdo on Maple Street”) of Season 1 of Stranger Things. Here’s what went down.

So Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) knows nothing of this thing called “modesty” and poor Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) can’t believe his luck. The other boys discuss the problem that is Eleven once Mike (Finn Wolfhard) sends her into a room to get changed and the audience finds out she doesn’t like confined spaces at all. Mike is the lucky one who gets to keep Eleven over night but they devise a plan where they will get her to knock on Mike’s front door in the morning, therefore putting an adult in charge and absolving them of everything.

Except Mike gets attached. When Mike is showing Eleven around the house the next day and Eleven comes across a photo of Will which she identifies immediately, Mike nearly craps in his pants. But before he can, his mum arrives home unexpectedly and poor Eleven has to suck it up and hide in a closet. The flashback of the not-secret secret lab doing mean things to her is not unexpected.

And, then when the rest of the gang turn up after school, Eleven flat out refuses to go ahead with their plan because, as she explains, the authorities will do this to her:

Netflix's Stranger Things Season 1 Episode 2 Eleven pretends to shoot herself

[Image via Netflix]

When Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) keeps complaining, Eleven uses her powers to slam the door shut– literally and figuratively. And so a friendship pact is born.

Joyce (Winona Ryder) is smoking up a storm freaking the fuck out with organizational worry rather than think about Will (Noah Schnapp) in earnest. Hopper (David Harbour) turns up, the police have been searching all night. Joyce tells him about the phone weirdness. The good cop blames the weather and prank callers rather than the supernatural. Joyce is unimpressed, laying a low blow about Hopper’s dead daughter. Not cool Joyce, not cool.

But, she has a point, something weird is going on, especially when the audience can see the government listening in on everyone’s phone calls. Then they don their trusty Hazmats and check out Joyce’s shed. Where they promptly find the remnants of the wall sludge monster.

Meanwhile, in the high school storyline that seems completely irrelevant, Steve’s (Joe Keery) parents are out of town and that means one thing — pool party! Barb (Shannon Purser) is the usual moral compass even though Nancy’s virginity is throwing caution to the wind. In the midst of all this, the group manages to pick on Jonathan who is putting up posters of Will around the school and an announcement is made stating a special meeting will be held at the school ON THE SAME NIGHT as Steve’s party and an alibi is born.

Netflix's Stranger Things Season 1 Episode 2 High School teens judging

Yeah, we totally stood around like this in the 80’s, cool as fuck [Image via Netflix]

And now it’s time for the weekly Will flashback. This time Jonathan and Will are listening to The Clash and Jonathan is letting Will know it’s okay to think their father is a douche. Then, when Will visits the aforementioned douche, we discover he is an even bigger douche in person. Needless to say, Will isn’t there.

Poor Joyce has finally gotten her shit together enough to approach her boss about a cash advance. Turns out Joyce is a douche-magnet and her boss really makes her work hard to get the advance and a new phone.

Netflix's Stranger Things Season 1 Episode 2 Joyce has the worst boss ever

Joyce suggests her boss wait until the 00’s and try out for ‘Undercover Boss’
[Image via Netflix]

Which Joyce promptly blows up after Will calls her again. After this call the house goes nuts. Lights flash and music starts up in Will’s room. Joyce goes to check it out. While the power is being weird, it seems Will isn’t there. Until the motherfucking wall starts moving! Looks like poor Will is stuck in there somehow but Joyce isn’t thinking along those lines and gets the hell out of the house. But returns promptly after leaving. Because that’s what happens in horror movies; if the car starts easily, the owner will be a fucktard.

So, you know how the story is going along nicely, laying out the groundwork and and then some character says something that has absolutely nothing to do with anything and you just know it’s foreshadowing? Yeah, that happens. Apparently there’s a really big water-filled quarry that is really dangerous to jump into in Hawkins.

Netflix's Stranger Things Season 1 Episode 2 Hopper looking out over the quarry

“I’m not sure what we’re doing here, but surely it’s for … reasons.”
[Image via Netflix]

After the quarry, Benny’s (Chris Sullivan) body is found and besides them thinking it’s an obvious suicide, one of the patrons mentions a small “boy” being in the dinner previously. So, of course, they think it’s Will.

Now, about that pool party. For starters, Steve’s house in on the edge of the forest, which is about as ominous as three boys riding bikes through the rain. Nancy and Barb arrive and it’s totally a Valley Girl vibe except Steve is no Nicholas Cage. But, just when Nancy is getting drunk and Barb is not approving, Jonathan decides to take a trip to the woods and take photos of the place where Will went missing. Hearing screams that turn out to be just drunken fun, Jonathan decides to paparazzi the shit out the party because he obviously has a thing for Nancy. And being a creep. It’s lucky he does though, because while Nancy is upstairs handing in her V card, Barb is getting taken by some monster. Except Jonathan missed the whole thing because this is not 2016 and cameras have to have their film changed manually. However, I am pretty sure the photos will come in handy at some point because … foreshadowing.

Netflix's Stranger Things Season 1 Episode 2 Barb sitting at the pool

Because even in 1983 hiding in the bushes is still the wrong thing to do. [image via Netflix]

80’s Rip-Off-O-Meter

Each week I will post all the times I saw a reference to an 80’s movie. I am sure I have missed a pile of them though, so feel free to let me know if you spot any others!

  • The title is a reference to the Twilight Zone episode, “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street.” The solidification of the electricity being involved is also a nod to this episode
  • Jonathan being creepy and taking voyeuristic photos of Nancy and Barb lends itself nicely to Body Double.
  • Eleven’s nose bleeds can be probably linked to more than one 80’s movie, but the one I thought of was The Firestarter
  • Someone — or something — trapped inside the walls of a house I have seen before, can’t recall the movie though, so someone please fill me in!
  • More Hazmat suits, which means more E.T.-love in this episode of Stranger Things. Eleven’s introduction to the amazing world of 80’s decor is also reminiscent of E.T.
  • Barb’s bleeding finger dripping into the pool at the end of Episode 2 of Stranger Things was reminiscent of Jaws
  • Oh, and my kids think the town square outside Joyce’s work looks just like the one in Back to the Future.

What did you think of the Episode 2 of Netflix’s Stranger Things? Let us know by commenting below!

It is expected Netflix will renew Stranger Things for a second season, however this has not yet been confirmed.

[Image via Netflix]

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10 thoughts on “Stranger Things, Season 1, Chapter 2, “The Weirdo On Maple Street”

  1. Pingback: Stranger Things, Season 1, Chapter 2, “The Weirdo On Maple Street” | Rachel Tsoumbakos

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  3. Pingback: Stranger Things, Season 1, Chapter 6, “The Monster” | The Snarking Dead TV Recaps

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