Stranger Things 2, episode 4 review: Will the Wise

Credit: Stranger Things - Netflix
Credit: Stranger Things - Netflix /
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Our review for Stranger Things 2, episode 4 “Will the Wise” and our grade for the episode. Did the episode live up to the hype?

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The Shadow Monster has swallowed up Will and left him with the worst episode he’s had so far. This is the second in as many days and it’s no wonder they intensified since Dustin brought Dart into the inner circle. Joyce tells Will she’s not going to let anything bad happen to him, but she knows in her heart of hearts she can’t stop this thing that she now believes is very much real and not a vision like Dr. Owen tried to make her and Will believe. Lending further credence to that belief is Will has a severe low body temperature and when Will draws him a warm bath, he is terrified, says it’s too warm and tells his mom that “he likes it cold.” The “he” referring to the monster that enveloped his being.

Joyce has Will draw what it is he can’t say. Will grabs his Crayola box of 64 crayons and starts scribbling like crazy. It’s all a part of a larger puzzle that Joyce and Hopper put together. Will is drawing vines and leads Hopper to start digging for the truth. Literally, he goes back to the pumpkin patch and starts digging until he hits what we think is a portal to the Upside Down. It’s about to get real.

*****

Hopper is also finding that playing dad to Eleven is harder than he would have imagined. He tries to ground her and take away the TV and Eggos after she left the safe house. She throws a temper tantrum like other pre-teens would in this scenario, but you know, with special powers. They’re both very angry at each other as the circumstances from this arrangement are getting to the both of them. When Eleven is cleaning up the mess she made, she finds some files from Hawkins Lab that Hopper stored underneath the floorboards. The files contain information about Terry Ives, Eleven’s mother who we saw in season 1 living in a catatonic state and telling stories about Dr. Brenner and Hawkins and how they took her daughter Jane (Eleven) from her.

Rainbow, three to the right, four to the left, 415. This is what Terry is saying to herself when Eleven, using her powers, visits her in the dark, empty realm. She calls her momma and touches her hand before she vanishes and turns to smoke. This was a heartbreaking moment and I hope we get more of these. I think we’ll see a real-life reunion with Eleven and her mom at some point this season or next.

*****

Dr. Owen brings Nancy and Jonathan to Hawkins Lab where he shows them first-hand why it’s so important that they keep what they know about Barb’s death and Will’s disappearance a secret. Dr. Owen shows them the door to the Upside Down and how they’re trying to stop it from spreading. They can’t outright erase it so they have to take measures to prevent it from getting worse. Nancy and Jonathan had a secret recording of Dr. Owen confessing that the people who are responsible for the “mistakes that were made” about Barb and Will are all gone. They’re going to burn that lab to the ground, Nancy tells Jonathan.

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The biggest reveal of the episode is with Dart. When Dustin gets home from school he takes the curtain off his cage and finds the glass shattered and a slime left behind. The trail across his room reveals the ugly truth. The pollywog that Dustin loves is feasting on the family’s cat. Even worse, it’s growing into a Demogorgon and opens up his mouth/head like the monster from season 1 did. If only Dustin let Mike kill this slug when they had the chance.

A-. . Stranger Things. S2E4. Will the Wise

This was the best episode of the season and the relationship with Eleven and her mom is the prevailing reason. I want to see the two reunite and I want more truth to come to the surface. Pun intended because the creature that’s haunting Will is growing stronger underground and when it comes to the surface all hell is about to break loose in Hawkins.