Since Nancy (Natalia Dyer) did the classic horror move of doing dumb things when there is no one around, she is now stuck in the Upside Down and hiding from the monster there. Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) can hear her calling out, but they can’t find each other until Jonathan manages to find the tree she climbed into.Nancy sees his flashlight from the Upside Down and makes a run for it, scaring the shit out of Jonathan as she reaches out of the tree and tries to grab him. Once Jonathan gets over his fright he helps her out of the tree.Nancy and Jonathan rush home to Nancy’s house where Nancy insists he stay over because she can’t sleep on account of doing dumb things and nearly getting eaten by a monster. So, when Steve (Joe Keery) shimmies up the drainpipe to visit Nancy, he finds Jonathan with his arm around her instead. You so know where this is headed, don’t you? Especially since Nancy asks Jonathan to stay the night on account of scary things.
The next morning, Jonathan has gotten some sleep but Nancy hasn’t, which means she has managed to work out the monster is attracted to the smell of blood, that’s why Barb (Shannon Purser) was targeted, and that’s why they found the entrance to the Upside Down, thanks to the injured deer. So they do what any sensible teen in an 80’s horror flick would do: go shopping for weapons to kill that fucker! While they stock up on bear traps and other useful killing things, it gives Steve and his mates enough time to paint slut-shaming comments about Nancy up on the movie theatre sign. I’m assuming in broad daylight. Yet, no one saw. However, put Steve and Jonathan into a fight over Nancy and the cops appear within ten seconds of the first punch. As a result of this, Jonathan gets arrested. Steven and his group make a run for it though and evade arrest.Meanwhile, Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Hopper (David Harbour) have put their heads together and worked out that the kid with the shaved head that was seen at Benny’s might have been a girl. Like the girl that a certain Terry Ives (Aimee Mullins) claims was abducted as a baby. This means just one thing: road trip!
Except, when they get to Terry’s it turns out she is catatonic. Her sister explains that Terry okayed some pretty out-their experiments twelve years ago in exchange for the psychedelic drugs attached to the experimentation. Turns out the not-secret secret lab was using drugs to try and expand the mind. The problem was that no one knew Terry was pregnant at the time. Terry’s sister also breaks the news that while Terry believes her daughter is still alive, she actually lost her baby in the third trimester. Hopper and Joyce totally don’t fall for this because it is classic government conspiracy theory tactics to steal a baby and then keep experimenting on the child while telling the mother the baby was dead.While all this is going on, Mike (Finn Wolfhard) is feeling bad about the argument he had with Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) in Episode 5 of Stranger Things. Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) is busy trying to patch shit up between Mike and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) as well. After Mike agrees to shake hands with Lucas and make up, Lucas flat out refuses and heads off on his own to find Will (Noah Schnapp). This leads him to the not-secret secret lab where he sees plenty of vans and activity there.
Eleven, meanwhile is suffering from PTSD pretty hard in Episode 6 of Stranger Things. She keeps flashing back to her time at the not-secret secret lab, remembering all the horrible shit Dr. Brenner (Matthew Modine) made her do, like ripping a hole in the side of the goddamned Upside Down. When she is not having flashbacks she is stealing Eggos from the local supermarket. Thanks to this, when Dustin and Mike finally decide to go and find Eleven, they work out she must be close by the supermarket on account of all the blown out windows and police cars.But, before Mike and Dustin can track her down, the bullies show up and Pee-Pants Troy (Peyton Wich) is threatening Dustin with a knife and telling Mike to jump in the lake. Except by lake he means quarry and we all know what Hopper said about jumping into the quarry back in Episode 2 of Stranger Things. But Mike jumps anyway rather than have Pee-Pants cut out Dustin’s remaining teeth. Luckily, Eleven is there to save the day! She uses her mind to catch Mike and put him back up next to Dustin. She then proceeds to knock down one bully and break Pee-Pants’s arm before telling them to run the fuck away. Once they are gone she faints. When Eleven comes to, she apologises to the group for creating the tear in the Upside Down and for, literally, being the monster. Mike says not to worry, she saved his life, so it’s all okay. They they decide to go home.
Which is not a good thing as, remember the vans Lucas saw back at the not-secret secret lab? Turns out they are tracking the boys and a generic random guy calls in and says he has located the boys, so they are moving in. Luckily, Lucas has seen this though, but can he somehow let the group know they are being pursued before trouble arrives? Only by tuning into Episode 7 of Stranger Things will reveal all 😉
Each week I will post all the times I saw a reference in Stranger Things 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!
- To me, most of Episode 6 of Stranger Things involving Nancy and Jonathan felt like a classic horror movie. A very specific horror movie: A Nightmare on Elm Street. There was a lot of Nancy in her room with Jonathan and then this weird sort of Upside Down version of the movie where they were trying to sleep in order to forget the monster they saw rather than trying to stay awake and avoid the monster in their dreams.
- E.T. seems to be brought up in every episode of Stranger Things. This week it is thanks to Eleven’s obsession with Eggo.
- As Geek.com points out, while the title of this episode is “The Monster” and refers to the monster in the Upside Down (or, alternatively, Eleven), another classic 80’s monster makes an appearance when Nancy is looking through a book. That monster is Jaws:
- Geek.com also points out that when Lucas readies himself to find Will, it looks a lot like Lucas is channeling Sylvester Stallone in First Blood when he ties on his camo bandanna. However, to me, it was more like when one of the Frog brothers (Corey Feldman) from The Lost Boys tied on his red bandanna as he prepared to search and destroy vampires. I tried to find the video clip of Corey Feldman doing this, but the best I could come up with was in this trailer for The Lost Boys 3 — a movie I didn’t even know existed until now.
[Image via Netflix]