When last we left the party, we were wondering what was in Dustin’s trashcan and we find out right away this week: It’s a pollywog ( another word for tadpole.). Well, it’s not really a pollywog, it’s more like a “living booger”, except it’s not that either. Will quickly remembers it’s the thing that he vomit-birthed into the world at the end of season 1. That can’t be good. But Dustin disagrees and absolutely loves the thing, presumably because they both love nougat. Nougat is pretty good, but I don’t know if it would cause me to keep an interdimensional reptile under my hat.
The party’s torn about what what do with Dart (the pollywog’s name, short for D’artagnan) and their secret. Should they tell the adults (Mr. Clark, btw, is pretty calm for a teacher who just watched one of his students freak out. But, hey, kids will be kids, right?)? Should they kill it? After half-assed attempts at both, the little monster escapes through the school.
While they search for it, this gives Max and Mike a chance to be alone in the gym. Max continually serves as the audience throughout the series so far. She’s there so we can be reminded of what happened last season. Will died and we had a funeral for him and everything, remember? Oh yeah, thanks for reminding me Lucas. A pollywog is another name for tadpole. A tadpole is the larval stage of a toad. Oh, now I get it. Thanks Dustin. But in this episode, her role expands slightly: Now she’s around to make Eleven jealous. While Max is auditioning to be patched into the party as the Zoomer, (I have to agree with Mike on this one – that does sound kinda lame), Eleven just happens to walk by and, with a nod of her head, she sends Zoomer Max tumbling to the ground. Evidently, Eleven is a much higher level mage than Max is a Zoomer.
Eleven has finally left the confines of the cabin in the woods, breaking all three of the “Don’t’-Be-Stupid” rules. And, if Gremlins taught us anything, it’s that we don’t break the rules. In flashbacks, we see how Eleven and Hopper ended up together in the cabin with Eleven finding the box of Eggos and Hopper in the snow. Hopper brings Eleven to the cabin and we see them start to build their relationship. There’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it box of “Sara” items that Hopper quickly puts away, reminding us that Eleven is now Hopper’s surrogate daughter. Hopper puts on the Jim Croce classic, “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim”, which could be his theme song. You don’t mess around with Jim Hopper, whether it’s fighting monsters, keeping Hawkins safe, cleaning, or performing some sweet dance moves.
While Eleven and Hopper had shared some good times, they now seem to be getting on each other’s nerves, but after 326 days on house arrest for Eleven, this could happen to anyone. Hopper has moved from father figure to “liar.” Eleven leaves the first chance she gets and heads to the school, but not before freaking out a mother and her young child by using her powers to make a swingset go crazy.
Meanwhile, we learn that Billy and Max are NOT brother and sister. Well, then, what exactly are they? We also see that Billy is still kicking Steve’s ass. Not only is Billy the new keg king, but he’s got some awesome moves on the court that totally shows up Harrington and his sweaty friends.
Steve’s having a hard time all around. Not only is he getting schooled on the court, but his girlfriend Nancy doesn’t even remember telling him that he’s bullshit or going home with “other boyfriend”, Jonathan. She won’t even tell him she loves him. That is bullshit, Steve.
Nancy, apparently tired of the bullshit, hatches a plan with Jonathan to finally tell Barb’s parents what really happened, but why does she have to call them? The whole conversation is being tapped by secret lab bad guys. Nancy sets up a meet in the park with Mrs. Holland at 9:00 a.m., but something tells me it’s not going to go well…
Joyce and Bob share another sweet moment as Bob brings Joyce lunch and admits that he likes her because she “punches back.” Shockingly (to no one), Bob says he had a lot of problems with bullies in the past, but Joyce stands up for herself. She’s one tough mama bear that’s for sure, and Bob is a really sweet guy. He really cares about Joyce and her family. At least I hope he does. Don’t turn out to be some dirtbag lab-spy, Bob Newby!
Nice Guy Bob even helps Will get to school with a ride in the Bobmobile. Bob’s heart is in the right place when he tells Will to stand his ground. When the nightmares come, Bob says, just tell them to go away. It’s good advice for normal nightmares, but these aren’t normal. Will bravely stands up to the Shadow Monster and pays the price. The monster enters through Will’s mouth, nose and ears in a tornado of darkness. Oh shit – is Will going back to the Upside-Down? For good?
Some quick thoughts:
- While Zoomer is weak, Max could definitely be the fighter of the group, even though Lucas is the ranger and Mike is the paladin. She’s tough. If not the fighter, she could be the thief for sure. She’s got some sweet lockpicking skills.
- Phineas Gage, or The American Crowbar Case, is always fun when he shows up. One of neurosciences earliest patients, Gage took a 43 inch tamping iron straight through his brain, altering his personality for the rest of his days.
- I’m glad my library didn’t have the five books rule. Like Dustin, I also am on a curiosity voyage and need my paddles!
- Mr. Baldo sounds friggin’ creepy. Good on you, Bob Newby, for standing up to him! Maybe you’re tougher than I give you credit for.
- If Will does have True Sight, that’s a pretty awesome power. It makes him one heck of a cleric.