Stranger Things 2 recap- Chapter Five: Dig Dug

Credit: Stranger Things - Netflix
Credit: Stranger Things - Netflix /

Bob helps crack the code, Nancy and Jonathan make a power move, and Eleven goes home.

We begin at the Byers home where Joyce is trying to get a hold of Hopper (again). Will is in his bedroom with Mike explaining what the monster feels like. Will believes that the monster is all over Hawkins, and it’s in him. Mike, ever the optimist tries to convince Will that this is a good thing because Will is like a super spy and this is how they will defeat the shadow monster.

Hopper is underground in the maze of tentacles and goo. As he fights his way through the tunnels, he provokes the monster and the goo is sprayed in his face. Hopper falls to the ground and loses consciousness. Will bolts awake from a nightmare and feels that Hopper is in danger; he notifies Joyce that it feels like Hopper is going to die.

Nancy and Jonathan arrive at a motel and are looking to check into a room. The tension between the two is palpable, and Nancy remarks that this all feels like déjà vu; they seem to only be close when it feels like the world is about to end. Nancy breaks the tension by comparing scars with Jonathan from last season’s attempts to get the monster to appear. Nancy asks Jonathan why he disappeared after everything that happened last season, and Jonathan lamely explains that Will needed him and throws Steve’s name in for good measure. Nancy admits she waited for Jonathan, and Jonathan volleys back she only waited for a month. The tension is broken by Nancy turning around and going to sleep.

Hopper wakes up and begins coughing up black goo. He pulls himself to his feet, makes his way towards the exit, and finds the tunnel has been blocked by tentacles. Trapped and without an escape plan, Hopper improvised a torch by wrapping his jacket around a piece of root and setting it on fire. Hopper uses the heat to damage the tentacles trapping him underground and tries his best to dig his way out.

Lucas decides the only way to fix his friendship with Max is to tell her the truth. Lucas gets the arcade manager to help him lure Max into the private break room area by declaring her favorite game “out of order.” Max must agree that she accepts the risk, and only then will Lucas tell her everything that happened last year. Max accepts.

Dustin fakes a phone call while his mother looks on. When he gets off the phone, Dustin tells his mother that the cat was spotted in another part of town. After sending his mother off in search of the beloved cat, Dustin sets a food trap for D’art and then suits up. D’art follows the trail of lunch meat, but before entering the basement, he pauses and notices Dustin spying on him. Dustin runs towards D’art, attacks him with a hockey stick, and kicks him down the basement steps. D’art is now isolated in the basement, and Dustin is frantically trying to get a hold of Lucas, Mike, or Will with no success. Lucas’ sister, Erica, picks up the walkie-talkie and tells Dusting to “shut up.” Foul-mouthed Dustin will not be deterred, and heads out.

Eleven hitches a ride with a truck driver and arrives at the Ives’ residence. Eleven knocks on the door, but her mother’s sister sends her away thinking she’s trying to sell thin mints or religion. Eleven uses her powers to unlock the door and demands to see her mother. Terry’s sister sits Eleven down and asks her where she’s been. Eleven is not forthcoming on details, but also isn’t willing to leave. When her aunt offers her a place to stay, Eleven accepts. The flickering lights in the house catch Eleven’s attention, and she realizes that her comatose mother is trying to communicate with her.

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Jonathan and Nancy arrive at a rundown looking garage. They buzz the buzzer to get in, and after looking in the direction of the surveillance camera, they are given access inside. It turns out Jonathan and Nancy are there to visit the journalist who is dedicated to finding out what happened to Barb. Jonathan and Nancy present the recording they have of the Hawkins Lab scientist admitting everything that went wrong last year. The journalist isn’t stunned or surprised, but rather than jumping for joy, he is cautious; this news needs to be watered down and presented to the public in a scary, but familiar, way to prompt action.

Once Lucas has finished telling Max the whole story, Max laughs it off and acts aloof. Lucas is stunned that Max wouldn’t believe him, and Max responds that she didn’t want to be told a story, she wanted to be part of the group. Lucas swears everything he told her is the truth, and Max eventually realizes that Lucas isn’t kidding. The horn honks, alerting Max to her ride waiting outside. Max asks Lucas not to follow her outside, again peaking our interest: who is that long-haired fella who drives Max around?

Will is drawing where he believes Hopper is, and Joyce sees that Bob has arrived with games for a “sick” Will. Joyce won’t let Bob in the door, and initially sends him away, but then she decides to ask him for help. At first, Bob is concerned that Joyce is feeding into Will’s unhealthy nightmares, but then he believes the drawings posted everywhere are part of a game. Bob quickly realizes that Will isn’t just drawing a monster, but a map, and it’s a map of Hawkins. Like an algebra equation, Joyce tasks Bob with finding “x,” which will lead them to Hopper.

Dustin arrives at Mike’s house and finds out he’s not there. After dropping some colorful language, he storms off just as Steve arrives with roses for Nancy (Why?! She couldn’t say she loves you, dude!). Dustin gets in Steve’s car and tells him what they need to do is more important than any relationship issues Steve is trying to hash out; Steve goes with Dustin.

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Eleven attempts to connect with her comatose mother. In the empty space, where she psychically meets with people, Eleven’s mother shows her the chain of events that led to her birth. Eleven sees her papa, the chaos surrounding her mother’s painful labor and C-section, her mother’s depression in the years that followed, and her attempts at getting Eleven back; going so far as shooting a guard. Eleven breaks from the connection stunned.

The tentacles of the monster have slithered its way all over Hopper, and he is trapped. Bob, Joyce, Will, and Mike are in the car trying to find the exact spot on the map. Something inside Will tells Bob and Joyce to make a right. They find Hopper’s SUV, and Joyce begins stabbing the tentacles in the ground with a shovel. When a hole is clear enough for her to drop in, Joyce goes underground. Bob follows Joyce and asks repeatedly what is going on. Joyce follows Hopper’s trail of cigarettes and finds him. Joyce and Bob cut away at the tentacles and find a man in a Hazmat suit as the three try to make their way out. The man in the Hazmat suit tells them to leave as he begins setting fire to everything underground. Above ground, there are more people in Hazmat suits setting the field on fire. Will begins screaming and writing on the ground; he feels what the monster is feeling.