Stranger Things, Season 1, Chapter 3, “Holly, Jolly”

Netflix's Stranger Things Season 1 Epiosode 3 Joyce

[Image via Netflix]

Welcome to the recap of Episode 3 (entitled “Holly, Jolly”) of Season 1 of Stranger Things. Here’s what went down.

This episode of Stranger Things is bought to you by regrets and bad decisions. While Nancy (Natalia Dyer) is losing her virginity, her best friend Barb (Shannon Purser) is losing something else: her life. But, in classic horror movie style, she nearly manages to claw her way out of the pool before getting chomped on again. Nancy then spends the rest of the episode regretting her life choices (i.e. Steve) and trying to track down Barb without alerting her mother to the fact her daughter is missing. Needless to say, by the end of the episode Nancy has not only fallen in the woods fleeing the monster with the big hands but spilled her guts about Barb being missing to her own mother.

Netflix's Stranger Things Season 1 Epiosode 3 Barb in the pool

What happens when you don’t take your own good advice to leave the party early [image via Netflix]

As for Steve (Joe Keery), he gets to show off just how much of a jock arsehole he can really be by exposing Jonathan’s (Charlie Heaton) creepy photos (which is totally a fair call) and breaking Jonathan’s camera (totally not a fair call). At least Nancy has the decency to look disgusted at Steven while she pockets some of Jonathan’s photos. Hmmm… wonder why she took those photos anyway?

When Jonathan isn’t having to deal with the arseholes at school, he is having to deal with his crazy mother at home. Joyce (Winona Ryder) is completely convinced Will (Noah Schnapp) is just chillin’ at home inside the lights. To prove her point, she makes a massive Ouija board using Christmas lights, her lounge room wall and some black paint. Because when you are Joyce level of crazy, there is no going back. But at least it works and Will starts sending him mum messages.

Stranger Things S01E03 gif I just farted

[Image via Netflix/gif]

Well, maybe not that message, but he does tell his mum that he is alive, but he isn’t safe. He then tells his mother she better run. So run she does…

But, before we find out where she runs to (or from what), let’s check out a few more things in Episode 3 of Stranger Things. Like what the Goonies group are up to. Besides having to do pesky things like going to school and getting picked on by bullies, Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) are getting Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) to meet them at the power lines and causing her to have all sorts of flashbacks that reveal she was really good at crushing coke cans and not so good at crushing cats. What the flashbacks show the audience though is that Eleven has been through a whole heap of shit and is probably suffering pretty badly from a case of Stockholm Syndrome. Plus, if her “papa” has just insisted she get locked in a room because she didn’t kill a cat using her mind, and you are one of the men tasked with getting her into that room, you should probably think about changing jobs because Eleven may not like hurting cats but she will fuck the guards up until they are dead. Besides the flashbacks, the main purpose of meeting up with Eleven after school is over for the day is so she can lead them to where Will is. Once again, more on that later…

Netflix's Stranger Things Season 1 Epiosode 3 Eleven and the coke can

Nice work on that product placement there Coke [Image via Netflix]

Meanwhile, Hopper (David Harbour) and Officer Powell (Rob Morgan) are digging up all they can about the not-secret secret lab after they were given a tour of the premises which included a guy telling them there was nothing to see here and showing them some footage of the night Will went missing. Except that footage shows a dry night. When Will went missing, it was raining heavily. So, we can now officially say hello to government conspiracy theories. And Hopper is all over that, checking out microfiche and finding all the clues just like you would in the present day and had the internet to do all the hard work for you, except this is the 80s and microfiching is nothing like googling. Interesting to note though is the fact this is not the first time a child has gone missing in relation to the not-secret secret lab. Apparently a girl also went missing…

But then there is no more time for sleuthing because a call has come in. Apparently a body has been found at the quarry. See, I told you that was foreshadowing in Episode 2 of Stranger Things 😉 So, just as the boys are getting pissy at Eleven for leading them to Will’s house rather than where Will is (except she is totally right, Will IS there, just not where they can see him) and Joyce is running from whatever it is Will told her to run from, the cops drive past and the boys decide to follow because nothing ever good comes from police sirens.

Netflix's Stranger Things Season 1

[Image via Netflix]

Hopper is at the quarry and hoping to high heaven that it’s not Will they are pulling out of the water. Except it is totally Will and the boys are devastated and Joyce in nearly run down by Jonathan and they are scared and sad and they haven’t even been told the bad news yet. And then there’s me, just staring at the screen with my what the fuck face on wondering how Stranger Things lulled me into a false sense of 80s goofball horror that always ends well and then slapped me up the side of the head with a dead Will right at the end there.

80’s Rip-Off-O-Meter

Each week I will post all the times I saw a reference to an 80’s movie. I am sure I have missed a pile of them though, so feel free to let me know if you spot any others!

  • So when Karen goes to visit Joyce with the sympathy casserole and before Joyce goes full Ouija board, her daughter, Holly (Anniston and Tinsley Price), is channeling Drew Barrymore’s character from E.T. more strongly than in previous episodes of Stranger Things. She not only has the cutesy overalls and pigtails, but when Will uses the Christmas lights to get her attention, she wanders down to Will room like there is nothing to fear. Of course, she should be fearing that thing trying to bust out of the wall at her and her mother’s denial that her daughter saw anything.
  • Hopper seems to have stolen Indiana Jones’ hat. maybe he is hoping for a miracle?
Netflix's Stranger Things Season 1 Epiosode 3 Holly Jolly Hopper in a hat

[Image via Netflix]

  • While not really a movie reference, a hat’s off to Stranger Things for showing He-Man on the TV Eleven is looking at. Considering a brand new He-Man episode was aired recently at San Diego Comic-Con, this is a happy coincidence.

What did you think of the Episode 3 of Netflix’s Stranger Things? Let us know by commenting below!

It is expected Netflix will renew Stranger Things for a second season, however this has not yet been confirmed.

[Image via Netflix]


5 thoughts on “Stranger Things, Season 1, Chapter 3, “Holly, Jolly”

  1. Pingback: Stranger Things, Season 1, Chapter 3, “Holly, Jolly” | Rachel Tsoumbakos

  2. Pingback: Stranger Things, Season 1, Chapter 4, “The Body” | The Snarking Dead TV Recaps

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