‘Stranger Things’ season 1, episode 2 review: Is Eleven the key to finding Will?

On the premiere episode of “Stranger Things” we were introduced to Lucas, Dustin and Michael as they went on a quest to find their missing friend Will. All we know about Will at this point is that he saw what looked like a monster from a nearby lab right before vanishing into thin air. While out looking for Will, the group met a young girl named Eleven, who is running from the people from the same lab. Can she help them find Will?

The boys bring Eleven back to Mike’s house and try to figure out who she is and what to do with her. They are going to have her sleep in Mike’s basement for the night, see if his mom can help them with her in the morning and then continue their quest to find Will. The next morning Mike asks Eleven to talk to his mom, but she explains that bad people are after her so he skips the day off school to spend some time learning about her. He finds out that she may have some information about Will and that she has telekinesis. Mike, Dustin and Lucas seem to be fairly okay with Eleven having what they call “superpowers”, and want to work with her when she tells them that she knows that Will is hiding from monsters. Unfortunately, that’s all the information she’s offered up at this point.

After Joyce got a call from who she thinks is Will, Hopper is trying to help figure out who it was, but he is not the only one listening in on Joyce’s call… so are the people from the lab. While she’s out of the house, men in hazmat suits from the lab come to her house and find strange purple ooze in the shed where Will went missing. Later that night, (after getting a new phone since her old phone was fried by electrical currents), she gets another call from Will and this time he calls out to her right before this phone gets fried. When the lights in her house start flickering and music starts playing in Will’s room, she feels that he is trying to communicate with her through electricity… that is until she sees a monster start to come out through a wall and she runs from the house screaming. When she is about to drive away, the music starts playing again from the house with the same flickering light she thought might be Will, so she gathers her courage and goes back in. Normally we are frustrated with people going into a house where they know there are monsters or things trying to kill them, but with her son trying to communicate with her, this is one of the first times that this really made some sense to us. It may be her only shot to get information about where Will actually is and isn’t that worth risking her life for?

We saw another person go missing on this episode, so now we are also missing Nancy’s friend Barbara. After Nancy ditched Barbara to go make out with her boyfriend, Barbara found herself alone at the pool when the monster snatched her up. Will’s brother, Jonathan, was there in the bushes (being a creeper) snapping pictures, so we wonder if it’s possible that he got one of this monster?

This episode really amped up the creep factor to remind us that this isn’t just the tale of a missing child. There are a lot of different supernatural elements at play here and we like the way they are playing with electricity as a way of communication. It’s going to make things very difficult for someone like Joyce who knows what she saw, but sound crazy to repeat the story to anyone. We are interested to see who is going to be the first person to believe her… maybe Hopper? Episode grade: B

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