‘Stranger Things’ season 1, episode 3 review: Do the lamps have answers for Joyce?

Stranger Things Winona RyderLast time on “Stranger Things” we watched Joyce go back inside her house even though she saw a monster coming out of her wall. She thinks that she has an opportunity to talk to Will through the electrical currents running through her house, and it’s possible she may be right. Is anyone going to believe her if she makes it out of her house alive? It’s going to be a tough sell, but now that Barbara is also missing, people might start to listen.

As it turns out, the monster in Joyce’s house didn’t kill her and instead she’s been up all night in Will’s room talking to every single lamp in the house. Jonathan is the first person she tells her story to and of course he doesn’t believe it. Instead of listening to her son’s advice, Joyce pulls all of her Christmas lights and hangs them all over her house, but she’s no longer telling people that she can talk to Will through the lamps. Her Christmas lights idea works and she is able to have a short conversation with Will, learning that he’s alive, but he’s not safe. When she realizes that “yes” and “no” answers won’t tell her where Will is, she paints a Ouija board on her wall. When she asks where he is, he tells her that he’s “right here”, but before she can get any real answers he tells her to run as the monster crawls out of the wall.

So where did Barbara end up? It looks like she’s in an underworld where everything is the same as the living world, but cloaked in darkness and fear. After Nancy’s night with Steve, she notices that Barbara isn’t in school the next day. When Jonathan’s pictures from the night before are exposed, Nancy takes the ones of Barbara hoping there will be a clue as to where she is. She finds Barbara’s car left on the side of the road near Steve’s house and realizes something is very wrong, so she goes home to get help from her mom.

When the search party for Will finds a link to him and the nearby laboratory, Hopper heads over to look around. After seeing that they have cameras around the perimeter, he asks to see the tapes for the night Will went missing. They show him the tapes and there’s nothing on them, but Hopper notices that there’s also no rain on the tapes and there should be. He starts to dig into past newspaper articles about the Hawkins Laboratory and finds that it’s linked to other missing children. He finds a picture of Dr. Brenner standing with a bunch of children in hospital gowns, the same one he found a piece of at the pipe by the laboratory.

Watching the body get pulled out of the lake was heartbreaking, but even though it looks like it could be Will, we haven’t seen his face, so we are holding out hope. One thing that was very interesting to learn is that Eleven has killed people before with her mind, and it made Dr. Brenner even more interested in her, knowing they could use her as a weapon. We are now completely invested in this show and all the characters in it. Episode grade: A-

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