Stranger Things - Season 4 part II (episodes 8-9) [SPOILERS for 1-7]

Dave

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Here are my thoughts on the first 7 episodes, for anyone else who's got that far:

There's still no hint of an explanation for how Hopper ended up in Russia. It might not be any coincidence that I found his strand the weakest in the show. It also made poor use of Murray and Joyce, who I'd enjoyed in previous seasons. I also can't really see how Hopper's storyline is going to feed into the rest of it. Based on this, I'd much rather he'd died at the end of S3.

The storyline linking "Vecna", No 1, Jane and Victor Creel was masterfully done, I thought, and saved the season so far.

I could have done without yet another story about bullying and yet another one about townspeople getting into a moral panic and hunting down innocent people. (And where did that lead? By the end of E7, nowhere interesting.)

Ridiculous in E6 how everyone turned into a championship freediver and became immune to cold.

I like how it turned out that the Upside Down is a "snapshot" at a particular point in time (when Jane opened the gate). I've often wondered, given that it contains cars, what happened when people drove those cars in the real world. Now I have an explanation, which always pleases me.

BUT how come the Upside Down was literally upside down at the gate in the caravan in E7, but nowhere else? (Such as when Hopper and Joyce go through in S1?)

The chief military guy's rationale for his actions, that Jane is somehow responsible for the latest events in Hawkins even though she's in California, just feels really weak.

Overall: I think it was worth watching but there was some very dubious plotting/rationale here which reduced buy-in. S1 and S2 were worth watching again, but I don't think this will be.
 
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Well, I just finished all seven episodes. Overall I thought it was about on par with previous couple of seasons, and worth a watch if you liked those. I really enjoyed Eddie as a new character.

Hopper weren't limping
Yea I found that very distracting. He just had his foot smashed and broken. But had zero problem walking on it or even jumping off that hut and landing on his foot.

Also, something that irked me:

The ice skating bullying scene felt ridiculous. Noone had a problem with traumitizing this poor girl, they all found it hilarious, even the DJ helped orchastrate her humiliation. They all felt like badly written caricature villains. Was that believable for anyone?
 
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The ice skating bullying scene felt ridiculous. Noone had a problem with traumitizing this poor girl, they all found it hilarious, even the DJ helped orchastrate her humiliation. They all felt like badly written caricature villains. Was that believable for anyone?
No, that whole thing was really crudely done, and I'm also not sure what the point of it was except to provide a thematic link with the bullying 11 undergoes in the lab. But that's a lot of effort for little reward.
 
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I've seen all 7 episodes now, and agree with the comments above. I was expecting that there would be more explanation of those things too, which as it doesn't appear to be coming, makes for
some very dubious plotting/rationale
The ending of season 3 was such a good ending with everything tied up neatly. I'm still feeling that all these 7 episodes have done is unravel that ending in a very clumsy way, without taking us very far anywhere else. It has all just been a set up for these final 2 episodes (which people who have watched them have said are fantastic - but admittedly, they were Netflix executives, so they would say that, wouldn't they?)
 
The ending of season 3 was such a good ending with everything tied up neatly.
Except the whole Russian thing, in terms of saying how the Soviets had got interested in gate tech in the first place (did they have a spy at Hawkins lab?) and how they managed to build the base under the mall without anyone knowing. I was prepared to give the makers a pass on the basis that the season was a riff on 80s cold war paranoia, but S4 isn't that, so it stands out more (to me, anyway).

It has all just been a set up for these final 2 episodes (which people who have watched them have said are fantastic - but admittedly, they were Netflix executives, so they would say that, wouldn't they?)
I was impressed enough by E7 to hope they might be right. ST has tended to stick the endings in the past, unlike some series that build up threads they can't resolve.
 
BUT how come the Upside Down was literally upside down at the gate in the caravan in E7, but nowhere else? (Such as when Hopper and Joyce go through in S1?)
The difference here was that the portal was in a horizontal plane. Before it was always a wall. The portal at the bottom of the lake was also a upside down event.
What was remarkable though was that in the caravan the portal was 2 meters up in the ceiling. Likewise in the Upside Down. Which seemed weird. Given that scenario, a portal could be anywhere.
The chief military guy's rationale for his actions, that Jane is somehow responsible for the latest events in Hawkins even though she's in California, just feels really weak.
The whole military sub-plot felt extraneous to me. Unnecessary and, seeing how the reasoned and acted, unbelievable. So far it added nothing to the plot.
 
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The Kate Bush cassette is selling for ridiculous amounts on eBay. I thought I had it but I checked and I only have the (scratched to hell) CD.

Anyway, I've just finished the final ep of part one. I cannot stand that Argyle character. I hope to god he stays with that Eden girl and doesn't show up in part two. Jonathan, too, is a waste of space.

Love Steve, if anything happens to him I'll rage. Best character by far. I do love his and Dustin's relationship (and his and Robin's).

Why did number one wait so long before he started murdering people again* and why only teens this time seeing as he killed his mother previously? Also, why does number eight have entirely different powers to everyone else? Sort of feels like this was a mistake.

The CGI Eleven weirds me out a bit.

Oh, and how the FRICK did Papa survive being eaten by the Demogorgon??!!

*I get cos he was in the facility but he's been six years in the Upside Down, right? Or have I got that wrong?
 
Love Steve, if anything happens to him I'll rage. Best character by far. I do love his and Dustin's relationship (and his and Robin's).
Completely agree.

Why did number one wait so long before he started murdering people again* and why only teens this time seeing as he killed his mother previously?
I suppose it could have taken him six years to develop his powers in his new form, or find a way to project from the UD into reality. (And maybe the barrier between the two was weakened because of events in S1-S3.) But as for the teens-only murders, it's probably just riffing on a certain kind of film, like S3 was (cold war paranoia) and it doesn't pay to prod it too closely.
 
I cannot stand that Argyle character.
I disliked him a lot aswell. I couldn't quite put my finger on why. Do you know why you didn't like him?
I thought Eddie was a great new character though. I instantly liked him and begun cheering for his safety.
 
Not sure exactly! Just seems a bit stupid and pointless... like, they could've just made Jonathan a stronger character. I feel like they don't need another random character tagging along.

I do like Eddie too.
 
It has all just been a set up for these final 2 episodes (which people who have watched them have said are fantastic - but admittedly, they were Netflix executives, so they would say that, wouldn't they?)
I will never trust anything a Netflix executive says ever again.

Admittedly I've only seen the first of the last two episodes, but E8 was more in need of a severe edit than anything I've watched in my life. Periods of frustrated weeping were interspersed with desperate cries of "GET ON WITH IT!!!" at the screen. And it's only going to get worse, because no way is there enough story left in the set-up for the 2.5 hours of E9 I have yet to sit through. Ugh.
 
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"What have you done?" Papa growled after 11 had cast No 1 to other dimension. It is so easy to blame the wrong person, when you have no idea what really happened, but then again it's not really that far for the 11 to go mental and produce the same exactly result as what No 1 did when he cleared the DoE underground facility.

Why is that Papa didn't act on his anger after 11 fell on the floor?

Eight years later, in the secret underground facility, he was doing everything for saving El as she drifted back to the reality. I just can't say he was doing it out of love, but it was self-interest on saving the only subject he'd left from his previous studies. It also surprised me that the doctor's didn't cheer, when she demonstrated her power straight after she got up from the medical table.

In their shoes, I would have whooped and clapped hands, but the doctors looked more like they were in a shock. Afterwards, Papa showed that he'd learned nothing, especially not on the bedside manner, as he was spilling out his beliefs on Vecna's invasion.

He could not stop El from leaving the facility, which curiously is located outside the Nellis AFB in the Nevada desert. Aliens and psychics. What is about that place? And just like with the ET's, Papa couldn't let El to go. He did everything, even put her into a chemical come, to try to turn the girl's head. What a monster.

When after a little while the Major's men assaulted the underground facility I was cheering for them to come to rescue, even though Papa for once told the truth about El being the main mark. Why is that Major so bloodthirsty?

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Nancy's dilemma, the boarding that shouldn't be there, even if it's made on classical American style. I just can't believe it. But I do get that she's in the worst possible place, and there's not much else she could have done, when it's Vecna's dimension. But why is that the general needed to reveal his plans like a two penny villain? Why he needed to send a message to 11?

He could have easily done the worst and turned Nancy to one of those grotesque corpses, and the kids could not have done nothing to stop it from happening. Instead, he revealed that plan on splitting the Hawking's in two with his dimensional tear.

The bigger surprise came with Nancy's explanation and with the revelation about the four gates, that should have already happened, but the Scooby gang stopped it. I really liked that El snooped their battle planning and the facts that the kids had no idea on how to fight the Army of the Darkness. After all, none of them are Ash or have his ability to cope with the demonic forces and put them down. Only Eleven can do that. But it didn't stop them from making the plan and accepting that Max victimizes herself by ditching Kate Bush.

I loved that they still got an idea to get guns and gear, and to do that they nicked an RV straight out of the trailer park.

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Back in the Gulag, things weren't really improving. At least the two got to see each other, and I loved that Joyce confessed her love and told the Sheriff that he's, "the hero of Hawking's," Maybe because he'd been, "gone for eight months," and they'd buried him already.

The interesting bit is that the guard at the outside couldn't handle the beast, even though four of them emptied their AK's at point-blank range. The bullets did absolutely nothing and the most certainly didn't stop the monster, from tearing them to pieces, even though at the same time they'd another one strapped on a trolley at Gulag's basement. With its chest cut open.

Did the guards miss all those shots, because Hopper was able to put down the wounded one with one round in the head? 7.62 Makarov doesn't have more omph than the AK round. It physically isn't possible. And then there's the fact that all the gunners were aiming, before they lose.

The bigger surprise was with the gallery of monsters that Hopper found out next. To my eyes, the Soviets had been on the case for a long while, and in the heart of the lab they'd the most terrifying monster that we'd seen so far. The way it looked reminded me of Lovecraft's Soggoths, as they too don't really have a shape, but they do have tentacles.

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The lost boys, Mike especially. I get that they're on a rescue adventure, but the feelings Mike are putting out aren't really correlating with what we are seeing. Instead they make me feel that Mike doesn't really know about his sexuality and what he felt towards El weren't real. Instead he got the fussy feelings and that led him to misjudge about what he really likes.

At least they find El in the desert and took her with them to after Dr Brenner died. Not going to miss him.

Note even though they claimed this one to be longer than the previous ones, it's the third-longest episode after chapters 7 and 9.
 
Why is that Major so bloodthirsty?

Unless something is revealed in E9, I'm guessing it's just "so the plot can happen". Honestly, they'd have done better to eliminate that whole strand from the story (plus the Soviet one). It was beyond ludicrous that they left no guard up top except a sniper in a helicopter, who could have done nothing if three of the staff had tried to escape by running in different directions in zigzags. And why did it take so long for Sullivan and his men to get back to the surface? I know it's petty to pick holes like this, but it just shows how uninvolving I found the episode
 
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