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Stranger Things, “Chapter Three: The Pollywog”, Recap!

Jonathan Jondee here at the Hawkins Public Library,

STRANGER THINGS – “Chapter Three: The Pollywog” – Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix.

Dustin’s house, he returns home in his Ghostbusters costume, his mother, Claudia (played by Catherine Curtin this season) asks about his night. “Dusty” seems shaken by what he saw last episode. Something shakes his ghost trap and the cat hisses at it. He says he rigged a motor in it and they both laugh. Dustin enters his room angry at what is in the box for not staying silent. He empties the trap into his turtle tank. Out plops a tadpole thing that hid in his trash can. Dustin dumps out his Halloween candy to feed his new pet. He turns off the heat lamp and the lil’ beastie feeds on the chocolate candy. Dustin checks the wrapper, a Three Musketeers, and dubs it D’Artagnan. He is asleep when D’Artagnan begins to grow; Dustin may not know that it shouldn’t be fed after midnight! One, I like that one of the kids is very literate and clever, and two, Dustin’s obsession with his pet is unusual considering he should know what comes out of the Upside Down.

The snowy forest, flashback, Eleven watches Sheriff Hopper place a box. He walks away, hears a noise, then turns to find Eleven. Morning, Hopper tries to wake up Eleven, she is still angry at him for breaking his promise to return on time. All seems to be forgiven as both of them tuck into a triple decker Eggo topped with candy. Hopper sees the chord and knows that Eleven visited Mike. He says that she will see him soon, but it is too dangerous now. Eleven knows he’s lying, she’s counted the days, and wants to know specifics. She lashes out with her powers knocking the dishes on him. Eleven goes to her room slamming the door with her power. It’s teenage rebellion! Joyce has her family scrambling to look for her keys and Bob has found them. He also offers to take Will to school in the Bobmobile, LOL! The new characters are really fitting in this season.

STRANGER THINGS – “Chapter Three: The Pollywog” – Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix.

Dustin rides his bike to the public library looking for books on reptiles. The librarian says he already reached his limit. Dustin explains he’s on a “curiosity voyage” with books as his paddles, great dialogue! The librarian is still firm, so he pulls the old, “What is that?” before running off with his paddles! On the car trip to school, Bob asks if Will was bothered by a nightmare, then brings up Mr. Baldo (I keep hearing Mr. Bilbo). Bob says that Mr. Baldo was a clown at a fair that surprised him in Pennywise voice that spooked him. He explained that he had nightmares until instead of running, he stood up to the clown. At school, Max talks to Lucas about why Will is called “zombie boy.” Lucas explained they had a funeral for Will, Max doesn’t like the joke, and he says not to ask Will about what happened. Bob drops off Will at school. Mr. Clarke’s lesson is on Phineas Gage, a construction worker, who suffered an iron rod that went into his head! He explains that it changed his personality and Max stares at Will. Dustin bursts in and apologizes. He whispers to the others to meet at the AV Club. I’m getting Gremlins (1984) vibes!

At the police station, Hopper is going over the spread of the rot, the deputies called off the search because of the night’s darkness. Hopper suddenly sees a single point on the map central to all of the rot locations. He leaves with the map. Eleven is restless and looks at the door with several locks. Flashback, Hopper enters the cabin with Eleven, it looks abandoned with cobwebs. He tells her it is her new home. Hopper pulls out a Jim Croce record, “You Don’t Mess Around with Jim”, to play as they clean up the cabin. He is also helping Eleven learn Morse code and sets up a trip wire. His rules to keep her protected are broken by Eleven in the current day. She leaves the cabin and heads out into the woods. Steve is playing basketball, but another kid playing shirtless, jerk, has the moves on him. Then, he sees Nancy who is angry at him because she overslept and missed first period. She doesn’t remember too much about the party. He gets angry at her saying that Jonathan took her home and repeats her words. He asks Nancy if she loves him; silence. Steve’s teammate wants I’m back in the game and he leaves Nancy. Steve lost his place with this season, but I hope he figures in somehow.

The AV Club, Dustin opens his ghost trap to show the others D’Artagnan, whom he nicknames Dart. He passes Dart around to the group, but they don’t like his sliminess. Dustin shows them his reptile book to identify the non-aquatic pollywog, but they are in India and South America. I think it’s a larval stage of the tentacled Old One that Will has seen. It doesn’t like bright light, kinda like a Mogwai. Dustin is excited that he may have found a new species. Will flashes back to vomiting a slimy thing in the sink just like the pollywog! Joyce is working when Bob arrives with baloney sandwiches. Bob tells her his video camera was banged up and he saw on the tape that Will was being bullied by some kids. Sean Astin is simply charming in this role. At the lab, Hopper explains that the rot spread from the lab, but Owens dismisses it. Hopper says the deal is that they don’t let anything out into the town, for his help keeping things quiet. All of the secrets are out now, Eleven leaving the cabin, Will’s struggle with the Upside Down, and of course Dustin’s Upside Down pet!

Four Walkie Talkies out of Five!


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