Stranger Things: S03.E02. “Chapter Two: The Mall Rats”

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Stranger Things Poster
Stranger Things Poster. Image Credit: IMDb.com

In the Upside-Down…

Screen Capture: Dacre Montgomery as Billy Hargrove in the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Two: The Mall Rats”
Screen Capture: Dacre Montgomery as Billy Hargrove in the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Two: The Mall Rats”

Does Stranger Things have your attention? The second instalment of the season picks up not long after Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery) was dragged into the mill. Even though Billy manages to escape the mill after being attacked by a supernatural creature, the lifeguard somehow ends up in the Upside-Down. Not long after arriving in the Upside Down, Billy is found by a group of humanoid creatures. One of the creatures is a duplicate of Billy.

Later, Billy finds himself struggling to maintain a grip on reality. Nightmares during his lifeguard duty, influenced by a strange voice, keep Billy connected to his Upside-Down doppelganger. Manipulated by the Upside-Down doppelganger, Billy abducts Heather (Francesca Reale) and takes her to the mill so that she can become possessed by the entity.

Not What Joyce Advised…

Screen Capture: David Harbour as Jim Hopper in the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Two: The Mall Rats.” With her back to the camera, playing Joyce Byers, is Winona Ryder.
Screen Capture: David Harbour as Jim Hopper in the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Two: The Mall Rats.” With her back to the camera, playing Joyce Byers, is Winona Ryder.

Jim Hopper (David Harbour), even though Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) give the police chief advice on how to proceed with Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard), did not exactly have the talk she was hoping he’d have with the teenagers. The police chief tries to put a stop to the relationship between Eleven has with Mike. Mike is afraid of Hopper. Who wouldn’t be? He’s not exactly the Jolly Green Giant. Was the Jolly Green Giant a thing in the 1980s?

Screen Capture: Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler in the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Two: The Mall Rats”
Screen Capture: Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler in the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Two: The Mall Rats”

Because of his fear of Hopper, Mike decides to stay away from the Hopper residence. Later in the episode, Eleven and Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink) are shopping at the mall, they run into Mike, Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) and Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin). Will and Lucas are helping Mike shop for a gift for Eleven. A confrontation between Eleven and Mike leads to the teenage couple breaking up. Little does Eleven know at the time of her break-up with Mike that Hopper engineered the entire thing.

Budding Journalist…

Screen Capture: Natalia Dyer and Charlie Heaton as Nancy Wheeler and Jonathan Byers, respectively, in the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Two: The Mall Rats.”
Screen Capture: Natalia Dyer and Charlie Heaton as Nancy Wheeler and Jonathan Byers, respectively, in the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Two: The Mall Rats.”

Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) has become tired of being treated like the tea-girl at the local newspaper. With Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton), Nancy follows up on a lead about strangely-behaving rats. According to Ms Driscoll, rats around town have begun to behave as if they are rabid. When the budding journalists investigate further, the rat they find suddenly implodes into an amorphous organic mass. In the confusion, the rat consequently escapes.

Screen Capture: Taken from the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Two: The Mall Rats”
Screen Capture: Taken from the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Two: The Mall Rats”

Despite specifically saying it’s not a date, Hopper clearly invites Joyce on a date. Joyce misses her non-date date with the police chief because she becomes embroiled in a mystery revolving around demagnetised magnets. Magnets at both her home and the store in which she works have somehow become demagnetised. Because she was not able to resolve the issue on her own, Joyce enlists the assistance of Mr Clarke (Randy Havens). Mr Clarke, the school science teacher, suggests the phenomenon might be a result of electromagnetic effect.

Lost in Translation…

Screen Capture: Taken from the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Two: The Mall Rats”
Screen Capture: Taken from the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Two: The Mall Rats”

Not being familiar with Russian or how to translate Russian into English, Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo) seeks out Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) at the mall’s “Scoops Ahoy!” to assist him. With it having all the appearance of the blind leading the blind, Robin (Maya Hawke) assists with the translation. Interestingly, while the message is in Russian, the trio her a familiar sound which brings them to believe the message did not originate in Russia but somewhere in or around Hawkings. Dustin, Steve and Robin can hear the song “Daisy Bell” in the background.