Friday, July 1, 2022

Stranger Things: Episode 34

34. The Piggyback
Team Hawkins groups up to fulfill their coordinated attack on Vecna: Dustin and Eddie camp at his trailer park in the Upside Down and set a trap cum distraction for Vecna’s bats while Nancy, Steve, and Robin head to the Creel mansion. Lucas and Erica accompany Max to the Creel mansion in Hawkins to bait Vecna but are ambushed by Jason as Max begins her trance. Team Russia returns to prison to help the kids remotely by hurting the Upside Down monsters there. Team California goes to one of Argyle’s pizza place branches where they come up with a makeshift saltwater tub so El can access Max’s mind and face off with Vecna from afar. 001 and 011 engage in their psychic duel, the former dominating the latter. Eleven only recovers as Max’s limbs begin to twist. Max evades death but falls into a coma. Nancy, Steve, and Robin manage to injure Vecna’s body but he escapes, nonetheless. The portals crack and the dam bursts open, turning Hawkins into ground zero. Everyone enjoys a short reunion in Hawkins sans Eddie, who dies a hero in the field.

Sorry, but who mentioned 5 deaths again? I only counted 2. Ok, online reports say that Jason the idiot died which I somehow missed so I had to rewatch the episode. True enough, the moron gets sliced in half during the earthquake. That’s 3, and all of them are support characters. This is the problem when the writers won’t kill off any of the main characters. Don’t get me wrong, we love them too, but knowing that none of them will EVER die does not do plot development any favors. It doesn’t up the stakes. In the end, it's all hype no substance. Having said that, the episode ends in a cliffhanger. The two hour and a half runtime for a single episode is unheard of, except maybe for Sense8’s ending. At this point it just feels self-indulgent considering the Duffer brothers just balk once again anyway. The next season will be the last, apparently, and I hope they get to deliver when that time comes. Otherwise, it just cheapens the viewing experience. But hey, at least Jason died. Maybe they can kill Angela in the S5 opening salvo to placate us.

"You're right. You and I, we are different. And Papa did hurt me. But he was no monster. He was just a man. An ordinary, mediocre man. That is why he sought greatness in others. In you. And me. But in the end, he could not control us. He could not shape us. He could not change us. Do you not see, Eleven? He did not make me into this. You did. At first, I believed you had sent me to my death. To purgatory. But I was wrong. I was somewhere new. I became an explorer. An explorer of a realm unspoiled by mankind. I saw so many things. And one day, I found the most extraordinary thing of all. Something that would change everything. I saw a means to realize my potential. To transcend my human form. To become the predator I was always born to be." –Vecna

<<Episode 33                Episode 35>>

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