(I have now finished watching this whole season, but I won’t say anything to spoil it for those who haven’t, eXXXcept that it is awesome!!!! 🙂 Here’s Mr. Andrew Peters’s slightly more detailed take on Chapter 5…Thanks, my friendly fiend!! 😉 xoxo)
Alright, a lot has happened on Stranger Things. Lots of emotions and especially a lot of twists and turns and some things need to be answered. Not right away, of course. That would spoil all the fun, but halfway through the series and things are getting pretty intense, most specifically with Will’s situation. We know at this point he’s alive in that other world and it almost seems like they can reach him, but how? The fifth chapter, The Flea and the Acrobat, slows things down just a bit to let us catch our breath and to further delve into important things that will shape the outcome of the series.
Last time we saw Hopper, he was pulling a B&E at Hawkins Lab and being the wiley ex-big town cop that he was, he manages to get past some guards with a little brute force and cunning and does some exploring. He finds the portal or the nest, whatever you want to call it, to the other world, but before he can investigate any further, he’s knocked out by masked men only to wake up at his place, which looks like he needs to hire a maid. He immediately begins checking in the mirror for puncture marks from a needle and starts tearing his place apart. This possibly hints at Hopper’s past, suggesting that maybe he was something more than a cop at some point. His paranoia pays off as he finds his place is bugged, but his place isn’t the only one that’s being listened closely to. Dr. Brenner has a crew of people listening to places all over town, like the school. Looks like the radio was bugged, so the boys conversation with Will was recorded and they now know El is with them. I foresee an E.T. type moment in the future.
Using their D&D knowledge – something I love that they keep tying into the science behind the show – they realize Will is on a mirrored side of our world. It’s the exact same except that it’s a dark world that breeds evil. The question is, how to travel there and who would know how to do a certain thing? Theoretically, of course. How about good ol’ Mr. Clarke? Their science teacher who clearly loves the subject he teaches and even let the boys use the ham radio. We haven’t seen much of him in a while, but now it’s time for a visit. The boys question Mr. Clarke about how they would travel to such a world and he explains in a very nerdy way that gets your inner-nerd gasming, but in order to do so, a gate would have to exist… Hmm, seems like that town might have a few of those, but where to find it? Back in the basement, Dustin steps out from the limelight and notices that something is disrupting the compasses as they aren’t pointing towards North, but to something with a much greater pull. That has to be the gate! I had a genuine proud moment, not only because nerds once again overcame something with science, but because the show, with as many characters as it has, let’s each one step forward and do something unique and it was good to see Dustin be of a big use. They hop on their bikes and look for this gate, but Lucas realizes that El has been manipulating the compasses out of fear of refinding the gate. This causes Mike to get in a tussle with his buddy, bringing El to aid him in the duel and throws Lucas back with her mind powers. Oof, bad call, El.
Time to break the tension of the kids and see what our junior detectives, Jonathan and Nancy, are up to. The two meet up after Will’s funeral and it seems like Nancy has been doing some homework. Showing Jonathan on a map of all the places the creature has attacked, the two realize they are relatively close and decide to go on a hunt. Turns out, they aren’t the only ones hunting as they come across a dying deer. Jonathan, having obtained a goddamn .357 Magnum, is about to mercy kill the poor thing when suddenly it’s dragged off quickly by the creature. I had to say, I saw this moment coming, but I still jumped. I’m also not a fan of deers as they destroy my garden, but I don’t want to see a creature suffer, even though it’s a fake deer. Deciding to track it down, Nancy stumbles upon a familiar looking gooey, womb-like looking thingy in a tree.
Joyce kinda isn’t given much to do this chapter, but given everything else going on, it’s understandable. We see Lonnie, Will and Jonathan’s father and who hasn’t had really anything to do in the show so far, trying to move himself back into the home. I have to wonder with everything going on if the show even has room for another side plot or if he’s going to play a more substantial role. Well, looks like he only wanted to move in to get some kind of money for having a dead kid, which Joyce thinks is rather sleazy, mostly because it is. She powers up to over 9000 and gives that bum the boot, so… is that it? That side plot may have been dumped quick. Anyway, the Hopinator (that’s Hopper) shows up to tell Nancy about his recent revelation regarding Will’s body.
The chapter ends with El, all sad and making you sad because she’s sad, having a flashback about “the bath.” In an attempt to spy those cursed Ruskies (no offense to any Russian readers if we have any, but hey, it was the Cold War) and see what they are up to. The bath is kinda like that tube Luke Skywalker is submerged in wearing that diaper to heal after his battle with the wompa on Hoth, except it’s all metal. Ok, so it’s just a giant metal tube filled with water. Upon reaching what seems to be a very important general in the Russian Army, El hears the howl and snarls of the beasts and this makes Dr. Brenner all the more curious. What I’m curious about is what agency the good doctor works for and why they decided to stop focusing on spying on the Russian’s and focusing on the creatures. Perhaps as a weapon?
Seems like everyone has made some kind of discovery, but there is a rift happening between our group of favorite kids. It makes me feel somber knowing they are fighting and I want to see them resolve their issues and what fate lies for Nancy after discovering a gate? What do Nancy and Hopper plan on doing now that they know something particular about the body? Oh Stranger Things, I guess I’ll have to keep watching!