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Stranger Things 2 Ep. 4: “Will the Wise”

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!

On the previous episode of “Stranger Things 2” Will’s mother Joyce (played by Winona Ryder) found out that her boy was now being haunted for lack of a better term by a huge, tentacled, VHS-tape ruining shadow creature from the Upside Down. And this new episode “Will the Wise” begins with Ryder driving her Pinto right up to the high school in an attempt to find little Willy as fast as possible.

Turns out Will is still standing in the exact same place we left him – out in the middle of the school’s soccer field. His eyes are closed tight and while nothing other than that seems to be wrong with the boy on the surface, in wispy black flashes we see the shadow monster is really rushing into every available orifice the boy has.

We cut to credits and then rejoin the gang as Joyce leads Will off to interrogate him (lovingly) at the kitchen table. Joyce repeatedly asks Will to explain what happened but all he can do is cry and say that he felt the entity enter him, and now he can feel it inside of him. The sexual subtext of this scene made me a bit uncomfortable.

Let’s just move on shall we.

StrangerThings2 - Stranger Things 2 Ep. 4: "Will the Wise"

Speaking of uncomfortable, we then see Eleven walking back to her cabin in the woods she shares with Hopper only to find the daddy-lawman waiting outside for her, smoking in the shadows like the human equivalate of a windowless van. Eleven thinks nothing of this however and barges right inside like she didn’t do a single thing wrong. Typical.

That is when the telekinetic shite hits the fan.

Hopper tells her she’s grounded and rips the cables out from the TV (which if you remember is her only way to mind-spy on Mike). This causes Eleven to throw a preteen fit of epic proportions. Being that she possesses the powers of Michael Ironside from Scanners (to say the least) this makes for the most badass preteen fit I’ve ever seen on TV.

Don’t know about you.

While all that badassery is going down in the woods, within the township of Hawkins, Dustin feeds Dart more Three Musketeers bars, Will starts to act possessed as f*ck, and Nancy and Jonathan plan to sneak off and make ou– take down the energy plant on the hill with a trip to the local park.

All jokes aside, Nancy and Jonathan’s trip to the park was deliciously sinister in the best ways. Like the best parts of paranoid-thrillers such as the 70’s remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Nancy and Jonathan cannot tell who among the park’s patrons might be out to do them harm. No matter how harmless they may appear.

Eventually, it ends up that more than a few of the park’s guest were really there for some kidnapping. And this leads to by far the best scene Nancy has had all season thus far. And Jonathan’s best scene, perhaps, ever.

Love shite like this.

StrangerThings2Nancy - Stranger Things 2 Ep. 4: "Will the Wise"

Moving on, Max’s douche older brother aka Red Power Ranger With a Mullet beats Steve at basketball and taunts him in the showers (okay…), and Hopper joins Joyce in asking poor Will to explain the unexplainable. Over and over. Eventually, Joyce remembers Will has a proclivity for drawing so she asks him to express his visions and feelings that way. Leading to the little guy filling their entire house with drawings of… rivers?

Is that what those are, rivers? *Shrugs

Elsewhere in Hawkins, Eleven finds a hidden door in the floor of the cabin and we all pray Henretta isn’t still down there in the fruit cellar. Luckily for Eleven, this is just where Hopper keeps important documents (because, sure, why not) and Eleven finds out where her birth mother lives. Bet you anything she just sits on this new info and continues cleaning up the cabin from her telekinetic fit last night. Yeah, I bet Eleven stays put for sure. She’s such a good girl.

As Eleven is no doubt crawling out the nearest window, Nancy and Jonathan are being held captive by that popped-collared d*ck from Aliens at the energy plant of the hill. Paul Reiser’s Dr. Owen leads the teens to the bowels of the plant and shows them first-hand that he keeps his secrets secret – by killing them with fire.

Nancy and Jonathan get the point.

Yeah, right.

Turns out Nancy had a tape recorder on her the whole time. I guess none of those plentiful guards this facility employs must be comfortable checking a teen girl’s purse. And I totally get that. Genius plan, Nancy.

StrangerThings2Billy - Stranger Things 2 Ep. 4: "Will the Wise"

While that’s going down, Lucas and Max get into a fight and Max’s older brother Billy does everything in his power to get the audience to cheer for his eventually beat down at the hands of one or ALL of the other main characters. Basically, at this point, I don’t care who delivers Billy his own ass foot-fist style, but someone needs to do it.

And soon.

Here’s hoping Dustin sends Dart after his T-Bird drivin’, wrist-snatchin’ ass.

Oh, and speaking of Dustin’s totally obvious at this point baby Demegorgan pet Dart, the episode wraps up by showing us that Son of Cloverfield has gone and eaten Dustin’s adorable, orange and fat cat to absolute death. Bold move, Duffer Bros.

Finally, Hopper gets tired of arresting rotten pumpkins and decides to be a bit more proactive. So he digs a hole. And then falls into the son of a bitch. And then finds that he is now trapped in an underground tunnel system that – like Joyce’s new boyfriend Bob – looks strangely like it came right out of the movie The Goonies.

Credits roll.

Again, all jokes aside, I liked this episode. While the slow pacing is starting to wear on me a bit here and there, I really couldn’t care less how much the sci-fi plot elements do – or don’t – get developed. I’m all-in for the characters and this was yet another episode that knew best to stick close with those we enjoy the most.

Not a bad way to spend 45 minutes.

Check back with us tomorrow for our recap/review of “Stranger Things 2” Ep. 5 – “Dig Dug”

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Written by Mike Sprague

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