This is a full spoiler review for the seventh episode and everything prior of Stranger Things: Season 3. Check back for more Stranger Things 3 coverage throughout the week.
With time running out – and an assassin close behind – Hopper’s crew races back to Hawkins, where El and the kids are preparing for war.
Cast: Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Kerry, Dacre Montgomery, Maya Hawke, Cara Buono, Cary Elwes, Priah Ferguson, Brett Gelmain, Alex Utgoff, Joe Chrest, Andrey Ivchenko
Directors: Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer
Writers: Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer
I’m very happy with the several things played out in the penultimate episode of Stranger Things 3, titled “Chapter Seven: The Bite” and one such thing I’m not particularly happy about is said bite, but I’ll get to that.
We have to give a moment to Alexei who not only was super-scientist it seems but was able to win a rigged carnival game, and that might even be a high skill-cap than other-dimension science. Alec Utgoff was an absolute charm in this role, and one of my favourite things from this season for sure. I was super-bummed to see him get shot by the Russian Terminator, but it did make sense that he would go down like that.
David Harbour showed his action-chops a bit more clearly in this episode with his fight scene in the carnival. I liked how they do make him feel real strong too as he throws that Russian guy across the room. I feel a rematch with the Russian Terminator is coming up in the finale, but that won’t be as easy a fight for him.
I appreciated the way Murray calls out their sexual tension for what it may be and clearly says that Jim reminds Joyce of a bad relationship, which is most likely what they’d have if they entered one. Sure they may have some sexual chemistry, but I’m hoping they don’t end the season with it going any further than that, Joyce deserves better. Especially after kicking Mayor Kline’s ass.
A relationship I was fully open to was Robin and Steve. I like both characters, and the previous episode seemed to play with the possibility of things heading that way. They didn’t, and I love it even more. In the best scene of the episode, Steve delivers this rather sweet opening of his feelings, but the way Robin reacts and tells Steve she’s actually a lesbian, is played beautifully by Maya Hawke. She seems scared Steve will hate her, turn on her, or look at her in a different way and when Steve just takes a moment and then comes back with jokes and the two of them begin laughing — I loved it so much. Robin is an interesting character and hasn’t fallen into any deep gay stereotypes, and having her come out and be support straight away by the guy who was just saying he liked her is the kind of positive messaging I want to see on my TV. Joe Keery and Maya Hawke over the last two episodes have proven to be a real highlight this season, especially Hawke who is new to the show. I’m really hoping she sticks around into the next season.
Seeing the giant Mind Flayer tearing down the forest on its way to El’s house really showed how much further this show’s budget how gone this season. It looks terrifyingly like something out of a Resident Evil game, especially as it attacked all of them inside the house. Of course, El getting bitten wasn’t ever going to be good, even if it was simply a deep wound, but it was never going to be just that. Has the Mind Flayer really infested her with that small bite though? That’s what I’m wondering. And to be honest, as the episode closed on El in pain about her leg, I did wonder if this show would ever go as far as to do something like have them remove the infected part? Is that TOO horror for Stranger Things? I’m not even sure.
We have nearly everyone together heading into the season finale and I can’t believe there are only eight episodes to this season. There seems like there is so much to solve, so much to go over, and so much that could happen. Even less world-ending things like Mike getting to actually tell El he loves her is on my mind here. This season has been super-strong so far though, with this episode setting up a potentially fantastic finale.
‘The Bite‘ Air Date: 04/07/2019
Stranger Things 3 is currently available to stream on Netflix