So this episode starts with Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) needing Mike (Finn Wolfhard) to tell her she’s pretty and Mike saying all the right things to get a kiss out of her. Well, almost. Because Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) arrives and reminds them there are more important things to worry about like Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) warning them via walkie talkie that the bad men are coming and the fact there is now a suspicious generic white van outside Mike’s house. After Mike deduces his mum is not getting any home maintenance, they blow that joint, telling Mrs. Wheeler they are leaving the country, you know, if anyone asks…
But they haven’t left in time because they had to talk about whether they were really in danger first, so ensues a good old car chase. Except it is vans pursuing bikes and thanks to Eleven and her supernatural abilities, this happens:This gives them enough time to escape to the old junk yard where they can meet up with Lucas and apologise all over the place.
Meanwhile, Hopper (David Harbour) and Joyce (Winona Ryder) have arrived back at the cop shop to sort out the mess that is Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) punching a police officer and having a trunk full of bear traps. Hopper does the “I’ll deal with this” thing and gets Jonathan off by himself so everyone can get up to speed on how much they all know about the same things. Just when things are getting sorted, the pissy pants bully turns up with his mum, spouting crap about how Eleven did magic to make pissy pants Troy (Peyton Wich)… erm… piss his pants. The only purpose this conversation serves is to let Hopper and Joyce know that Will’s friends seem to be in on all the shit going down.Luckily Jonathan has an old walkie talkie just lying around, and Nancy (Natalia Dyer) uses it to try and contact her brother, Mike. The boys think it is complete horseshit and Nancy is being forced by Dr. Brenner (Matthew Modine) to find out where they are hiding so they don’t say a word. Which means Hopper has to get on the line and tell the boys to cut the crap, he knows they are with Eleven and if they tell him where they are, he can help protect them. So they finally speak up.
Except it seems — to the kids, at least — that Hopper went full Lando because while they are waiting for Hopper to pick them up, Dr. Brenner’s mob turn up. Right before they get onto the bus though, Hopper turns up and goes all punchy on them. They are safe for now.Over at the Wheeler’s the not-secret secret lab mob are going over the house with a fine-toothed comb and interrogating Mike’s parents. Mike’s dad is just as clueless as always, “Honey, we have to trust these guys, they’re the government, they’d never lie to us. Plus, we’d totally know if Mike had a girl in his room.” Um, about that Mr. Wheeler… At least Mike’s mum seems somewhat skeptical and asks what Eleven has done to cause such a stir. She gets the classic “that’s classified” answer from Brenner’s group. Now all the people that know about Eleven and the not-secret secret lab are finally all in the same room and on the same page as each other. This means they can finally try to contact Will (Noah Schnapp) with Eleven’s help. Oh, and Barb (Shannon Purser), we should totally look for her too. Remember Barb? At least Nancy does. Now begins the epic “let’s make a sensory deprivation tank” section of Episode 7 of Stranger Things. And can I just say, how awesome is Mr. Clarke (Randall P. Havens)? Not many teachers would give up a chance at a scare and pash session with their girlfriend to explain — without asking why — how to make a sensory deprivation tank. And so a tank is made, and Eleven gets in it. Joyce reassures Eleven that she will be by her side the whole time and if there is something in the Upside Down that scares her, she can always pull out and no one will be pissed off. Are you listening Dr. Brenner? That’s how you be a parent.
The lights flicker, which means Eleven in now in the Upside Down, and, low and behold, the first thing she comes across is this:Does that answer your question Nancy?
But then Eleven comes across Will in an Upside Down version of Castle Byers. It seems he is using this as a protective fortress against the monster. Will looks like shit and if they don’t hurry, chances are he will be spitting out slugs just like Barb before long.Eleven gets out of the tank and Joyce is all mother hen to her. Once again, Dr. Brenner, are you seeing this? A plan is hatched and Joyce and Hopper decide to go break into the not-secret secret lab. While they are doing this — and getting busted red-handed — Nancy is telling Jonathan how shit the plan is and that they need to break into the cop shop and get back those bear traps and fix what the grown ups are fucking up. But what of Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) in Episode 7 of Stranger Things? Well, after he got beaten up by Jonathan, it seems he has eaten some humble pie and is trying to fix his ways because he does actually seem to like Nancy. So, damn you Duffer brothers for making me give a shit for Steve! *shakes fist*
Episode 7 of Stranger Things ends with the monster breaking into the Upside Down version of Castle Byers. Can Will survive? Only by tuning into the Season 1 finale will reveal all!
Each week I will post all the times I saw a reference in Stranger Things 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!
- When the kids get on their bikes and evade the vans, it is like every 80’s flick involving kids ever.
- Speaking of the kids escaping, when they ducked through the backyard, it was totally a nod to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
- When Hopper rescued the boys from the abandoned bus they were hiding in, there was a very definite Indiana Jones vibe to the whole scene.
- Another nod to a classic 80s movie, as Geek.com points out, is the fact the chairs in the Wheeler’s house perfectly match the chairs seen in Poltergeist.
- Just another 80s teen movie:
[Image via Netflix]