We left poor, sweet Will Byers writhing around on the ground as soldiers attempted to burn the demogorgon into submission, and things aren’t looking too good for the lad in episode six. With three episodes left, things are hotting up (pun intended) for the entire gang, and The Spy is another strong episode of this solid second season.
Will is clearly more linked to the monster than anyone realised and, despite the repeated pleading from Joyce for someone to help him, this show has never been too trusting of authority. The establishment in this world is represented by ineffective doctors and duplicitous scientists – Hopper is the exception in this town, not the rule. They at least accept that Will’s connection to the thoughts and feelings of the demogorgon aren’t just a symptom of residual trauma, which is a start.
Of course, that means that they’re perfectly okay with killing Will if it means eliminating the creature, and that decision is kept as far away from Joyce as possible.
Meanwhile, while the Byers, Bob and Mike are camped out at Hawkins Lab, a few different pair-ups make this a standout episode for romance, comedy and action. The first is Dustin and Steve, complete with the return of the latter’s nail bat, as they search for an all-grown-up Dart.
How does Dusty know that it’s not just a lizard? Because he opened his face and ate his cat.
With this revelation, Steve offers up some love and hair advice for his young friend, and I can only guess what Dusty would look like with some Farrah Fawcett product in those curls. Sadly, it appears that the relationship pearls of wisdom will have to wait a few years for a new target, as it’s clear to everyone but Dustin that Max will end up with Lucas.
That’s good, because Lucas seems to actually be interested in being her friend rather than pursuing her because she’s the only girl in their group. The scene on top of the school bus is a sweet bit of character development for Max – even if she seemed like her secret was darker – and allows for Lucas to establish an actual character outside of being the member of the group with the least to do.
The entirety of the episode’s final action sequence is excellent, with the show ironically benefitting from the same budgetary restrictions that caused 80s movies to keep their monster sightings to a minimum. Dart is not alone, and now has a whole pack of baby demogorgons as backup.
On the other show in which Nancy is the star, she and Jonathan have finally stopped doing their will they/won’t they dance and given into the inevitable. Murray is right, when you’re young, hot and have shared in some real trauma (and are on a TV show), the question isn’t if, but when.
If you couldn’t tell, I’m not hugely interested in the love triangle drama – you can get that anywhere and Stranger Things has always been more interesting when it focus on the kids. But good for Jonathan.
Eleven wasn’t in this episode, but we’re aware of the internet’s opinion of episode seven. Read our thoughts on the hour here.