BETH NETHERCOTT plunges deeper into the watery world of Stranger Things with Chapter Six: The Dive, and can hardly hold her breath!
As before, this article naturally contains spoilers for Stranger Things S4 Ep6... You have been warned!
From One to Eleven
Immersed in an isolation tank, the quest for Eleven to reclaim her powers involves revisiting her past. A key memory is a seemingly innocent conversation with a sympathetic sounding Brenner aide who claims that Eleven reminds him of One, the first of the superpowered kids. Eleven has been convinced by ‘papa’ Brenner that One does not exist. The stranger tries to jog Eleven’s memory of a mysterious woman (Eleven’s mother), who came to visit, calling her “Jane”. How successful is her companion in convincing Eleven that her papa was lying about her mother’s death? The seeds of doubt have been sown…….
There is a disturbing scene where Eleven is attacked by some of the other superpowered “numbers”, drawing parallels with the bullying in California. Millie Bobby Brown’s acting is top notch in these scenes.
A more mature Lucas?
On their way to Skull Rock to meet Eddie, Lucas and Max discuss Vecna. Lucas surmises that everyone who Vecna targets is haunted by something. Another maturity moment for Lucas is when he apologises to Max for keeping his distance. Max is conciliatory explaining that she “disappeared”. Now taking responsibility for his actions, Lucas insists that he did not look hard enough but “I see you now.” Max is slow to open up completely, but there are strong hints she’s liking this grown-up version of Lucas.
No Hobbits in Hawkins!
If Lord of the Rings is not your thing, you can be forgiven for being confused by Eddie’s references to Tolkien’s classic tome. Dustin has figured out there may be another gate to Vecna’s world. As Eddie is a wanted man, wrongly believed to be a murderer, he has nothing to lose. The Shire (Hawkins) is burning and to Mordor (the gate) we shall go. It’s the finer details, such as Steve asking for a second time - “what’s Mordor?” – that makes these characters so lovable.
Dustin’s magnetic personality
Dustin literally has a light bulb moment about how the compass isn’t working because the electromagnetic field is strong. He says unless there’s a huge magnet then there’s probably another gate. A genius! They are getting closer to Vecna but there’s a long way to go!
The older guys in the group (Steve, Nancy, Robin, and Eddie) hunt for the gate in a boat on the lake, leaving an annoyed Dustin to wait on the sidelines. He is, however, pleased with his “Watergate” joke, even if no one else finds it funny!
Super swimmer Steve
Suspecting they have found the gate at the bottom of the lake, Steve begins - without hesitation - to strip down to his pants. Nancy’s flustered reaction confirms our suspicions that she still holds a torch. In increasing superhero mode, he promptly jumps in, reminding everyone he was the Hawkins high school swim captain. He re-emerges to inform the others he has found the ‘gate’. As he is dragged back down by something sinister, Nancy whips off her shoes and follows Steve in a brave rescue attempt, a further hint and the reignition of old flames? Robin follows them and after much hesitation and the exclamation “this is so stupid!”, Eddie joins the swimmers. Now we know why the episode is called “The Dive”!
Suzie, do you copy?
The California team need Suzie’s help to crack the code to find Eleven. There’s a comical love at first sight scene for Argyle and Suzie’s sister, Eden... cue more classic one-liners from Argyle: “Eden, like the garden?” Suzie saves the day by uncovering that Eleven is in Nevada! The epic journey continues.
Hopper and the feast
Hopper and his Russian cellmates [still no relation…] are rewarded with a feast…so they think, but Hopper can see through the deception. A Russian prisoner explains that once a week men like them fight a monster from out of this world... literally. As it happens, Hopper knows how to kill it but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy! Sharing his knowledge with Enzo that the monster doesn’t like fire, their relationship softens and Hopper lets out a rare laugh. There’s no way we aren’t going to see a thrilling Hopper fightback!
Murray better hurry
After surviving the plane crash, Murray and Joyce tie up Yuri and plug him for information about the location of the prison. The smart duo threaten Yuri with being bear food if he does not cooperate, and so he agrees to collaborate in their plan to pretend to give the Russians Joyce and Murray. The catch is Murray and Yuri will swap identities and Yuri will have to pretend to be the American prisoner. Murray speaks Russian and can do a good Yuri impression. What could possibly go wrong!
One more episode left before the break. I can’t breaaaatttthhhhh!
Written by Beth Nethercott