TV reviews

Stranger Things 2×04 – ‘Will the Wise’ – Review

This article contains spoilers

Eleven has had enough, Dart is hungry and Will draws, a lot.

After taking boring Bob’s (Sean Astin) advice and facing the shadow monster head on, Will (Noah Schapp) took a face full of evil and now seems to be sharing his body with the thing from the Upside Down. Like any good creepy kid, pale faced Will is uttering a multitude of weird things such as “he likes it cold”. Shudder. Give Joyce (Winona Ryder) her due, instead of carting the kid off to the weirdos at the lab, she attempts to help her son, with help from Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and encourages him to draw what he cannot explain. Leading Hopper (David Harbour) to guess he’s looking at vines before taking off.

Speaking of Hopper, everything between him and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) has gone tits up, and after she smashes up the cabin using her telekinetic powers like Carrie having a strop. In trying to get access back to the television she uncovers the basement, and in it, her mother, or rather, her mother’s file. As Eleven reads about her mother, the tortured Terri Ives (Aimee Mullins) she begins to cry. Both her and Terry have been robbed of anything remotely resembling a normal life and it is too much for Eleven.

Mews the cat was not my original pick to fall victim to Dart, that honor went to the Yurtle the Turtle. But Mews bites the dust. When Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) returns home from school he finds Dart’s cage busted open from the inside and a slime skin left behind, Dustin soon finds his hell pet behind the chair, chowing down on Mews. As if that was not bad enough, the thing opens its mouth revealing a demagorgon like maw.

The double hook that ended the episode; Dart’s dinner and Hopper’s dive under Hawkins, revealing a labyrinth on vines and camera work that spells out for the viewer that the Upside Down has now infected underneath the town, saved an episode from being mediocre. Not much happened here, and while television shows cannot be all action all the time, the ending really was the saving grace here.

Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton)  get a tour of Hawkin’s lab and the spiel (the same one we can assume Hopper got) about keeping the town safe. But they are having none of it and the Spy Kids reveal they have taped the entire conversation with Dr. Owens (Paul Reiser) admitting their part in the death of Barb. What they do with this information is saved for a future episode, but at least #JusticeForBarb seems to be going somewhere.

‘Will the Wise’ lacks a lot in terms of action and moving the story forward, but there are some great character moments here, especially for Eleven. Hopper is positioning himself for a real hero moment (please dont die) and Dustin is always a delight, Matarazzo’s increased screen time this season is very much welcome.

Stranger Things Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix. Let us know what you think of the season.

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