That was an intriguing episode to say the least. Almost everybody is playing detective, carrying out their own little investigations around town. I watched the episode about 24 hours ago, so my recollection of events might be a little vague. If you haven't read my discussion for episode one you can find it here. If you have read it, let's move on to episode two!
Several of the characters have grouped up and taken on their own little mysteries which contributed to the intrigue early on in the season. Steve and Dustin, with a lot of help from their new friend, Robin, translated an intercepted Russian transmission, which seems like it didn't even originate from Russia at all. Were the Russians at the start of episode one in Hawkins the whole time? If not, is there another portal somewhere else?
Nancy (Drew) also started down her own investigative path, taking the nickname the jerks at the office gave her to heart. Those exploding rats are gruesome, and now we know that they aren't just exploding, they're giving birth to what looked like baby demogorgons!
It's not just the kids who are exploring these strange events. Joyce discovered some weird magnetic disturbances and showed some incredible initiative to learn about magnetism on her own, before seeking help from Mr. Clarke, the kids' science teacher.
As usual, everyone seems to be doing their own things and I suspect they won't realise all these events are connected until maybe episode 5 or 6, which can be quite frustrating.
"I dump your ass!"
I had hoped that Eleven and Max would bond together as the only two girls in the group, and bond they did. Eleven is like an entirely new character in season three, and her development has been fun to watch. From her complaining to Max about Mike, to them going on a shopping trip, to El dumping Mike with the kind of sass we've never seen from her before. It was fun to see this side of El, but I also am looking forward to seeing her kick ass once the Mind Flayer makes his move. Speaking of.
The Mind Flayer is here!
While the Mind Flayer was previously restricted to the Upside Down, followed by Will's body in season two, it seems like he may be physically manifesting in season three! We caught a glimpse of his physical form towards the end, and it looks like Billy has been tasked with recruiting an army for the Shadow Monster. If the Mind Flayer really does manage to build an army, this season is going to be incredible!
On to episode three!