BETH NETHERCOTT relates the white-knuckle ride of ‘Papa’ - Part One of the thrilling Stranger Things climax
The wait was over…Volume Two was released on 1st July. Did anyone set their alarm clocks for 8am? Since Volume One there had been tons of hype and speculation about the two episode climax. The Duffer brothers confirmed there will be multiple deaths. A wild trailer set expectations exceedingly high!
Nancy dodged the bone crunching
The last time Nancy was on our screens, Vecna entered her mind revealing his real identity! Vecna visualises what Hawkins would look like if he succeeded - more creatures would attack Hawkins meaning total devastation to the town. He demands her to tell Eleven. Yet it left me wondering why he didn’t kill her.
Cleverly, Max figures out that the grandfather clock always chimes four times. Putting two and two together she deduces that four chimes are the four deaths resulting in the town falling. The talented writers place answers in plain sight, yet nobody realises until it's obviously pointed out!
Max believes she can easily lure Vecna back, meaning his physical state is in a trance, allowing the others to kill him in the Upside Down. Max is convinced she can escape Vecna by finding a happy memory and hiding there. Is that really going to work? Is this too good to be true if they pull it off? Isn’t it too obvious if she dies? But at the same time how can she survive again? Max is a fan favourite so there’s no doubt we are all nervous for her. Her character still has the strength to fight by believing in herself – that’s definitely a positive message for the fans.
Since my Volume One reviews, I have discovered their ship name… Lumax! How did I not know that before? The pair share a moment when Lucas asks if he is in the happy memory Max will think about when hiding from Vecna. The writers have progressed their relationship more maturely by going at the right pace. Their connection builds stronger every time on screen, and fans seem to want them to be together more than ever. Of course, this includes me!
The comedic value is appropriately toned down compared to Volume One as the severity of the situation is at its MAX! And time is running out…. although one scene did stand out with the California crew.
The writers continue to introduce new loveable characters, especially Argyle, who has made a huge comedic impact. Without him we wouldn’t have been laughing as much.
Argyle is high as a kite by commenting that “Nina is a small woman, and she is hard to see in the desert.” Argyle talks absolute nonsense and lightens the mood. Despite being hilariously high, he is the one to find a huge clue! It’s comical as it makes the much clearer-minded others who have found nothing, look ridiculous. He shouts, “my dudes” and directs them to the tyre tracks, essential in finding Eleven!
Will reveals his Mona Lisa
Stranger Things built up a lot of mystery around Will’s painting… and to be honest it was a bit of an anti-climax.
In revealing his painting to Mike, Will tells him that he was instructed to do so by Eleven. But the viewers know this is not true. Remember in Episode One Eleven says “Will is painting, maybe it’s for a girl.” Is this someone Mike? It’s clear that Will misses spending time with his friends, but it appears to run deeper.
Will comforts Mike by reassuring him that Eleven needs him, although we can’t help but think he is talking about himself! A one liner from Will - “Without heart, we all fall apart” -may be cheesy and clichéd, but Will isn’t wrong. Throughout Stranger Things everyone must come together to succeed. In reiterating the power of friendships and relationships Will ends the conversation by hiding his tears. When the camera cuts to Jonathan looking in the rear-view mirror at Will – maybe he has always been aware of what’s going on with his brother. Overall, the scene was emotional because the actor Noah Schnapp played Will’s vulnerability well. He is a likeable character and there’s still so much we don’t know about him – intriguing!
Bye bye Papa
Some of the best scenes have been the exchanges between Dr Brenner and Eleven. Eleven has uncovered what’s happening in Hawkins and is aware that Max is in danger. She wants to go back to help her friends, but Brenner tries to stop her, believing that Eleven isn’t ready and is underestimating what Vecna is capable of. Brenner warns Eleven that Vecna takes everything out of his victims - their memories, abilities, and physical body – that’s terrifying!
Later, the facility is under attack by Sullivan and his army because they want to kill Eleven.On carrying Eleven out of the building, Brenner is shot multiple times from a helicopter and falls to the ground. In nerve-racking moment Eleven uses her powers to blow up the helicopter in an immense explosion!
Volume Two has met all my expectations. One explosive death and one intense episode to go… a roller-coaster of emotions awaits. Get the tissues ready.
Written by Beth Nethercott