‘Stranger Things’ season 1, episode 5 review: What did Hopper learn at Hawkins Laboratory?

Stranger ThingsWith Hopper figuring out that Will isn’t really dead on the last episode of “Stranger Things” we saw him breaking into Hawkins Laboratory to get real answers since everyone seems to be lying to him. Is he going to find out the truth or will he turn up dead… or worse?

This episode starts off with Hopper right in the thick of things. He’s broken into the lab and is snooping around looking for answers. He finds the elevator to where the experiments with the “other side” are happening and even though he sees pretty much everything, he still doesn’t understand it. Before he can really figure anything out, men in hazmat suits come in and subdue him. We were honestly expecting to never see Hopper again, but he wakes up at home on his couch. Does he think it’s all a dream? Nope, he tears his house apart looking for listening devices or cameras from Hawkins lab, and he finally finds one.

Since seeing Will in the wall, he hasn’t spoken to Joyce again and she tells Lonnie that she can’t feel him anymore. Jonathan comes home to talk to Joyce about what he knows, but before he can Lonnie stops him saying that they have to just get through the funeral and then move on. When Joyce realizes that Lonnie is really there to make a claim against the quarry for being negligent in their son’s death for a pay day she throws him out. Hopper comes over to Joyce’s place and tells her everything he’s learned. Finally, these two are on the same page.

Mike starts to put the pieces together, suggesting that Will is at his house, but he’s just on the “other side” (a dark reflection of the real world) and finally someone seems to be on the right path. After talking to their teacher, they learn that they can maybe create a hole to this parallel universe if they can create enough energy to open it, but that it would need a strong magnetic field. When they get back to Mike’s house they ask Eleven if she knows where the gateway to the other dimension is, but she says doesn’t. While they are talking, Dustin notices that all of their compasses are being pulled in the wrong direction, giving the boys pause about what their teacher said about a strong magnetic field disrupting things. They follow the compass North in hopes that it will lead them to the gateway. When they realize that they have been walking in a giant circle all day, Lucas calls out Eleven for using her powers to stop them from finding the gate… and it’s true. After breaking up a fight between Mike and Lucas by using her powers (and accidentally hurting Lucas), she takes off.

Jonathan and Nancy decide to go back to the woods where she saw the monster to see if they can find it and kill it. While in the woods at night looking for clues, they get separated and Nancy finds a doorway to the “other side”. She crawls through and see the monster, but before she can get out, the doorway behind her starts to close up. Is she stuck there forever now?

This was one heck of a cliffhanger!  We were hoping to see more of Jonathan and Nancy uncovering the truth together, but having her on the “other side” makes things so much more interesting. Now we just have to see if she is going to be able to find Barbara and Will over there and if together they will find a way out of this other dimension. Really nice creep factor in this episode, in fact we felt a chill go down our spine when the door way started to close up! Episode grade: B

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