All the Fun of the Fair…
The penultimate episode of Stranger Things’ third season begins with people having fun at the Fun Fair. While it’s a nice beginning, the people responsible for creating the series clearly to ramp up the horror content in some way. In contrast to the closing scene of the previous episode, this scene is positively jubilant. There is nothing horrific in sight.
From the way Mayor Larry Kline (Cary Elwes) addresses the crowd at the event, it looks like he’s gearing up for a re-election campaign. He certainly knows how to keep his base happy. It’s the Fourth of July and the Wheelers: Ted (Joe Chrest), Karen (Cara Buono) and their youngest daughter have the best vantage point to view the fireworks. Because something seriously evil is approaching the fairground from the trees, the family might have the safest seats at the fairground. While the fireworks at the event might be big, something bigger is coming their way.
Something Wicked This Way Comes…
Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) tells her friends the Mindflayer is building something specific to combat her. Once it has destroyed Eleven, it plans to kill all Eleven’s friends and then move on to everyone else. The plan, reminiscent of the movie The Satanic Rites of Dracula, will see the human race as we know it gone.
Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer), disturbed by what she can hear in the distance, draws her friends’ attention to the sound. While Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton) says “it’s just the fireworks,” there is something sinister beneath that sound. Hasn’t Jonathon learned to not question Nancy? Does he not remember how wrong he was the last time he didn’t believe her? He should seriously consider following Nancy’s lead.
Seconds later, Will Byers’ (Noah Schnapp) ‘spidey-sense’ is activated by something approaching. Will says, “He knows we’re here.” When the gang goes outside to investigate, Eleven immediately sees a large creature approaching them. While it is a significant distance from them, it is large enough for everyone to see.
Under the Mall…
Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo), Steve Harrington (Joe Keery), Robin (Maya Hawke) and Erica Sinclair (Priah Ferguson) have stolen an electric operated vehicle to transport themselves to the elevator. Steve and Robin are still under the influence of the truth drug Doctor Zharkov (Arthur Darbinyan) injected them with to get them to honestly answer questions.
As the quartet exit the building, they find themselves confronted by Russian soldiers. Consequently, they re-enter the building. Later, when the quartet enters the movie theater, the first instalment of the Back to the Future trilogy is playing. There is a scene on the theater screen clearly showing Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Dr Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd). It’s the part of the movie where Brown gets excited about the time machine reaching 88 miles per hour. It’s the scene just before the terrorists show up looking for their nuclear material.
Later, when Dustin returns to the movie theater, he finds Steve and Robin are no longer in their seats. Erica is given one job to do and she decides to focus on the movie rather than keep an eye on the two teenagers.
Robin tries to explain the premise of Back to the Future to Steve, but he simply doesn’t get it. The drug they were injected with is seriously messing with their minds. It messes with their minds so much that it makes them physically ill.
When Steve finally gets around to telling Robin how he feels about her, Robin lets her work colleague in on something she has been wanting to tell him for a while. Robin reveals to Steve she’s a lesbian. Steve took the news better than I expected.
Eleven and the group arm themselves in preparation for the oncoming evil. Will senses the creature. It’s close. A gigantic tentacle breaches the house. Eleven fends off an attack by two tentacles before the fourth tentacle grabs one of her legs. Eleven somehow finds the power to rip the creatures head apart with her mind.
Later, in looking for a place to hide, Eleven and the team break into Joyce’s store. They take from the shelves everything they need to tend to Eleven’s wounds.
Evidently, neither Will nor Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin) has spent any real time grocery shopping because they do not seem to understand the layout of a grocery store. Just because one eats cereal from bowls, it does not mean bowls are located on the same aisle as cereal boxes.
Typical for teenagers of their age, for the period in which this series is set, Will and Lucas immediately become distracted by the fireworks display. They seem to have completely forgotten about getting the bowl Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink) needs.
Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard) and Eleven have a brief moment to themselves where Mike tells her how he really feels. But before Mike can get to the point, Dustin can be heard on the walkie-talkie. The battery has died on Dustin’s walkie-talkie. Because Eleven is unable to use her powers to check on Dustin, the group journeys to the mall.
When Eleven collapses in front of the children, we find her wound pulsing with a strange growth.
Jim Hopper (David Harbour), Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder), Dr Alexei (Alec Utgoff) and Murray Bauman (Brett Gelman) are on their way back to town. The machine requires two keys to shut it down. Jim correctly observes it’s the two-man-rule. Two keys like a nuclear launch. The keys are in a vault. The vault can only be accessed with Planck’s constant. Planck’s constant, according to Murray, is a famous number. For people that aren’t mathematics nerds, Murray is referencing 6.62607004 × 10-34 m2 kg / s.
At the Fun Fair…
When Jim and Joyce arrive at the fun fair, it does not take the mayor long to spot them. Being the corrupt official he is, Klein immediately alerts the Russians to Jim’s location.
Later, Grigori (Andrey Ivchenko) finds Alexei (Alec Utgoff) at the fun fair. With a compressor attached to his weapon, Grigori shoots Alexei. By the time Murray returns to Alexei with Joyce, the Russian scientist is dead. The Russians will not be content with only shooting Alexei. They also want Jim.
When Joyce sees the mayor, she wastes no time telling him how she feels. She punches him in the face and follows that punch up with a swift kick to his royal jewels.