Stranger Things 2 Ep. 5 - "Dig Dug" - Dread Central
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Stranger Things 2 Ep. 5 – “Dig Dug”

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Welcome back to Dread Central’s daily recap/reviews of the second season of Netflix and The Duffer Brothers’ “Stranger Things”. You can find our recap/review of the previous episode right HERE. Now let’s get to it!

The previous episode of “Stranger Things 2” ended with good old sheriff Hopper digging a hole in a pumpkin patch and then falling right the hell into it. This new episode “Dig Dug” begins with Hopper stuck in this new labyrinth of blue underground tunnels and getting spit on by weird Upside Down plants.

The hole Hopper fell through then covers itself up above him, leaving Hopper super screwed.

Cue awesome synth opening credits.

One of the (stranger) things we’d like to point out at the top of this article is that this episode is the first of two directed by Andrew Stanton (Finding f*king Nemo). Just a cool note in our eyes.


Back to the actual episode, we begin with Nancy and Jonathan getting a hotel room for the night so they can fuc– plan the next stage of their tape-recorder attack on the big bads in the energy planet on the hill.

Nancy and Jonathan sit in separate beds, like this way the Dick Van Dyke show, and talk about girlie things such as feelings and whatnot. In fact, the conversation gets so “girlie” that when Nancy quietly asks Edward Furlong’s clone “What happened to us?” I dry cried like Mike’s little blonde sister that the series has seemingly forgotten existed.

Elsewhere, Will Byers springs up from his bed after having just experienced a nightmare, and I fully expected him to scream out, “Kiss her, Jonathan!” but instead he says Hopper is going to die or some shite (fat chance) and then rush off to draw more pictures. Cut to Hopper alone in the tunnels not worried at all that sentient cave-vines are out to do him harm. The man even smokes while he’s down there. Trust me, don’t worry about Hopper. He’ll be fine.

Next, we meet Lucas’ family, who are already much more lovable and interesting than Lucas as evident by even this quick scene. Lucas’ adorably bitchy little sister smoothers waffles with syrup (her and Eleven will really get along when they meet, huh?) and Lucas’ dad gives his son the funniest dad-look I’ve seen outside of this meme.

We then join Dustin as he orchestrates an elaborate ruse to convince his mother that their orange and fat cat just ran away from home and wasn’t, you know, eaten to death by his pet Lovecraft monster.

Speaking of Dart and Dustin, we are then treated to what we have no issue calling the best scene that has ever been presented in this Netflix original series. Here Dustin dons all the hockey pads he can find and slaps down a trail of Bologna slices in an attempt to lure Dart in the backyard and slapshot him into the cellar.

In fact, Dustin running through the house dressed like Goldberg from The Mighty Ducks, spouting an endless repetition of the “s” word is our favorite thing we’ve seen on TV this year. Yes, even better than Agent Dale Cooper’s return to “Twin Peaks”. Well, maybe not. But it’s close.

Now, being that the show’s writers know they have just created pure television nirvana with the Dustin vs Dart scene, they only felt that it was fair to then hit us with a prolonged scene featuring Eleven.

In this scene, our curly-haired hitchhiker shockingly switches things up and spends the scene holding her hand up to things and bleeding from the nose. This character’s going places I can feel it. Maybe we’ll get her holding up TWO hands and bleeding from BOTH nostrils by the end of the season. Finger-crossed.

All jokes aside, Eleven finds her birth mother and goes for a visit. The chick from A Horrible Way to Die and Alien: Covenant doesn’t want to let Eleven in because the child might be dangerous (or a Girl Scout). So Eleven mind-opens the door (bleeding slightly from one nostril) thus making the chick who got yoked by piano wire in You’re Next reason the little kid is harmless and should be welcomed into her home – with her invalid mother – with open arms.

Meanwhile, Nancy and Jonathan head out to the middle of nowhere to meet up with everyone’s new favorite character Murray Bauman played with whip-smart comic timing by Brett Gelman. We seriously love this guy. And is it just us or does he remind you of a character that would be on The Simpsons? Not sure why.

Murray takes the teens inside his conspiracy theory lair and shows them his massive “What the sh*t happened to Barb” board. Nancy and Jonathan then let him know they are about to blow his mind and we cut away to Mad Max showing up at the arcade. Turns out her favorite game “Dig Dug” (natch) has crapped out. Sucks. But being that Max and Lucas had a fight the last episode we realize that this has all been an elaborate ruse – now on Lucas’ part – to get Max alone.

Once in the backroom of the arcade, Lucas tells Max everything. The whole shebang. And guess what? Beverly Marsh 2.0 doesn’t believe a word of it. Way to go, Lucas. Mike would have sold the sh*t out of that story and had Max crafting spiked bats out of arcade games within minutes. Where is Mike by the way? Oh, yeah, the drawings.

Mike and Joyce put together the final pieces of Will crayon-map and now know where Hopper is! Kinda. Actually, the map makes no sense to them and so they have to wait for good old Samwise boyfriend to show up and decipher the puzzle. Which he does! Duh. Because we all know how much Mikey Walsh loves a good treasure map.

With Dart now locked up in the family cellar, Dustin goes on the hunt for his buddies. Any one of them will do. Turns out he can’t find a single one of them so in what is possibly the greatest set up since Freddy met Jason, it seems Dustin and Steve Harrington will be pulling buddy cop duty from here on out. Bring it on.

Meanwhile, Eleven realizes her catatonic mother wants to speak to her, so she mind-travels into that pitch black nothingness and confronts her. Turns out momma Eleven got pregnant and then Pvt. Joker from Full Metal Jacket stole her baby. Mamma Eleven then goes on a shooting spree at her local sinister energy plant on the hill and gets her entire personality electroshocked out the back of her head.

In short, Eleven’s mamma is a badass. Like Pam Grier in the 70s badass. Let’s see that spin-off.

We then cut back to Nancy and Jonathan at Murray’s house of crazy where they finish telling him everything. The whole shebang. And being that it’s Nancy’s adorable-ass that tells the tale, not Lucas, Murray believes every word, unlike Max. I smell a team up coming our way. And possibly the world’s creepy three-way. We’ll see.

The episode then wraps up with Joyce, Mike, Samwise and Will going to the pumpkin patch of doom and rescuing Hopper from a bunch of vines. The government goons then show up like they were scheduled and proceed to burn the whole tentacle mess to the ground with blowtorches. But that doesn’t go so well.

Turns out Will is super connected to these vines (and thus to all the other Upside Down entities, right?) and starts convulsing like Linda Blair from the second half of The Exorcist. I see where this is going…

We then cut to credits on what just might be our favorite episode of “Stranger Things” thus far. The episode was funny as hell, fast-paced (relatively) and gave us our first true introduction to Brett Gelman’s sure to be classic character, Murray Bauman. What more could you ask for?

Needless to say, we’re excited as hell about the next episode “The Spy”. Not only are we set to get more Andrew Stanton-directed awesomeness, but this episode left us with the promise of Steve Harrington and Dustin Henderson becoming the new Riggs and Murtaugh of Hawkins.

We cannot wait.

Check back with us tomorrow for our recap/review of “Stranger Things 2” Ep. 6 – “The Spy”

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