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    • The second to last episode. I felt like it was a bit of a mixed bag, with some weird pacing throughout the episode. Some moments were really intense, others were more laid back or humorous. It's a small blip for me in an otherwise very significant episode in the season. Here's my episode six discussion for those who missed it. Now on to the penultimate discussion.

      The bite

      The Mind Flayer isn't hiding anymore. He's out for blood and he's coming for El and the kids. They put up a good defence in Hopper's cabin (I love how Nancy is now the default sharpshooter in the group), but ultimately El got bitten and you have to wonder if she'll survive the final episode. Was the bite meant to infect El, to turn her into another of the Flayer's minions? Will the Mind Flayer be able to control El? That would be crazy.

      Side note, another nice cinematic frame was El finding Dustin while sitting in front of a freezer full of Eggos. Loved it.

      Reunited with Dustin

      There have been three main discoveries this season - the Russians, the gate, and the Mind Flayer. El and the gang knew about the Mind Flayer, but didn't really know about the gate until Dustin contacted them on the radio, and they knew nothing about the Russians. The mall rats (Steve etc) knew about the Russians and the gate, but didn't know the Mind Flayer was back. Now that they're all reunited, everyone will finally be on the same page. Except the adults who as always, are a few steps behind the kids.

      I was kinda hoping El would have a big superhero entrance where she jumps down from the upper level to take out the Russians, but with a bad leg I guess that would've been a bad idea. It was funny how despite going through so much, the main group are just meeting Robin, who's mind must be blown with all she's seen so far. Erica is only just meeting El, and are we ever going to meet Suzie? If Dustin never tried to contact her he wouldn't have intercepted the Russian transmission. I feel like she deserves some credit here.

      And btw, stoned Steve and Robin were amazing. I guess they won't be hooking up after all seeing as how Robin is batting for the other team. Poor Steve.

      The love doctor at it again

      Murray's tirade on Joyce and Hopper was brilliant. I told you he would bring them together 🤣 Well, it hasn't happened yet, but after that the two of them surely must be thinking about it, right? They did hold hands on that amusement park ride.

      Hopper was a beast in the fun house. I noticed how there would be a lion's roar whenever he attacked or entered the frame. Excellent editing. Joyce even got in some physical action as well, punching the mayor before giving him a kick in the jewels. He and Hopper really would be good together 🤣

      Oh, RIP Alexei. Poor guy just wanted a taste of the American dream.

      On to the finale!

    • Poor Alexei! His American Dreams were about to come true, only to be dashed short by the assassins lurking throughout the Fourth of July carnival in this episode.

      I did think the product placement vibe was strong in this episode. Not that Lucas wasn't delivering it with conviction in the supermarket - he was! But the Coca-Cola presence through the episode was not subtle.

      Also, I was trying to find out if fireworks were sold at grocery stores at the time?

      I guess it varies by state, according to this article. Not sure if the 1980s and being an independent grocery store in Hawkins were also factors.