Saturday, September 2, 2017

What I’m Watching: Stranger Things (Season Finale)

Stranger Things: Season 1, Episode 8 “Chapter 8: The Upside Down” (B+)

I’m not sure I was in the right mindframe for the end of this season since I’m scrambling to watch other Emmy-nominated fare, mainly of shows that aren’t on my regular roster. I can understand that this episode would have been extremely exciting for those binge-watching the show, and instead I had about a week or so between these two hours, as usual. In line with the way things usually work, the penultimate installment of the season was the best, though this finale worked pretty well too, as Joyce and Hopper donned suits to go and find Will. It makes complete sense that David Harbour would choose this as his Emmy submission since Hopper talked his way out of a sticky situation and then flashed back to a moment of devastating loss in his own life before triumphantly saving the day by helping to bring Will back when it seemed that he might be truly gone. Nancy and Jonathan were completely gung-ho about their plan, and then Steve showed up to prove that he’s not a terrible guy, and that he’s even braver than anyone would have expected. Eleven’s reaction to Mike planting a kiss on her after he expressed disgust at being called her brother was priceless, and she went out with a bang, taking out everyone who was pointing guns at them, before passing out. It did seem like the slingshot managed to pin the demogorgon against the wall, but of course it was Eleven again, who said goodbye and then disappeared, hopefully to be seen again in season two. Will’s back, at least, which is a good thing, and I guess everything worked out okay, save for the fact that he had a frightening flash to the upside down. It’s true that I probably should have watched this show when it first began, but I contend that, like many other series, its pilot wasn’t as strong as its later episodes. I look forward to season two, premiering in less than two months.

Season grade: B+
Season MVP: Finn Wolfhard as Mike, Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin, and Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven

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