This is a full spoiler review for the second episode and everything prior of Stranger Things: Season 3. Check back for more Stranger Things 3 coverage throughout the week.
Nancy and Jonathan follow a lead, Steve and Robin sign on to a secret mission, and Max and Eleven go shopping. A rattled Billy has troubling visions.
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, Jake Busey, Cary Elwes, Randy Havens, Priah Ferguson
Directors: Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer
Writers: Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer
Okay, so Billy is going to be feeding the monster that’s growing stronger with each meal and building its strength in Hawkins? See: dickhead. Ultimately ‘The Mall Rats’ has a lot of cause and effect of me feeling bad for some parties, and not for others.
I guess I should feel somewhat bad for Billy, but in case it isn’t super obvious, I don’t. I do wonder how many more people he’s going to kidnap and feed this monster though, and for them, I do feel quite bad.
Talking about feeling bad, sad reacts only for Mike this episode. My dude got super played by Jim and I’m not feeling for it at all. In the premiere episode, I was getting super into Jim stepping up to the Dad plate and taking Joyce’s tips and tricks onboard, but when he sits down to discuss how he feels with Eleven and Mike, he just can’t handle Mike’s subtle jabs. So when he goes out and gives Mike a stern talk on his drive home and causes Mike to lie to Eleven, which eventually leads to her “dumping his ass”, I ain’t feeling too bad when he’s left all alone and drunk at a restaurant by himself.
The silver lining within Jim’s mighty terrible plan was it lead to Eleven and Max teaming up for a mall trip together. It’s the first we’ve got to see Millie Bobby Brown and Sadie Sink just play off one another and have fun together; it’s even the first time Eleven has got to have fun at the mall, and it’s standout stuff from the episode. Sometimes the show kinda makes you forgot Eleven still has so much to learn about the real-world, and scenes like this are always great to fill that childhood/normal life she misses out on.
When Joyce ditches her dinner plans with Jim to go learn about magnets I was happy to see Jim get what-was-coming with that one, but also Joyce back to her rather inquisitive nature. She’s a smart cookie that one, and with all the weird stuff that’s happened in Hawkins over the years I’m glad to see magnets falling off stuff wasn’t going to fly-by-her.
The dream team of Dustin and Steve get reunited this episode as well and, of course, it’s great. Gaten Matarazzo and Steve Harrington play off each other so well. Maya Hawke is now thrown into the duo as Robin now and she fits in perfectly, so I’m going this now trio will stick together for most of the season.
Much like the first episode, I felt Nancy and Jonathan’s stuff was the least interesting. I know they’re hot on the trailer of finding the monster, probably getting wrangled up by Billy, but so far they’re not as compelling as they were the past two seasons. Although, I really want Nancy to come out on top her and show those horrible guys working at the paper how dumb they are.
I am wondering as the story moves forward if the ‘evil Russian scientists’ stuff will not feel very bland, but I suppose it couldn’t be worse than ‘dumb American scientists mess stuff up again.’
‘The Mall Rats‘ Air Date: 04/07/2019
Stranger Things 3 is currently available to stream on Netflix