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Kermie Loves Elmo
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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
I just finished it. I'm glad I stuck with it as the first episode really turned me off almost to the point of not watching any more episodes.

I do still think the basketball team vengeance thing was unnecessary and didn't add a thing to the story. If it wasn't there it would have made zero difference.

Why aren't these kids suffering from massive PTSD every moment of every day? I guess that would not be much of a show, then. :)

Anyway, i really enjoyed it overall. I feel bad for Steve because he feels like better choice.
 

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Excellent.
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I do still think the basketball team vengeance thing was unnecessary and didn't add a thing to the story. If it wasn't there it would have made zero difference.
I just finished it as well. Too late for a long post, which I hope to get to tomorrow. But I wanted to respond to this. I had saved episode nine for this evening, and in doing some leisure surfing today I browsed by ew.com to see if any interesting entertainment news had happened over the weekend. Their top headline announced an interview with Sadie Sink on what she called the "heartbreaking" season ender. I thought sure that had spoiled that Max died.

During the day I made my peace with that possibility; it helps if this show has stakes, and killing off one of the best characters in the ensemble is high stakes indeed. But as the episode played out, and it appeared Max's death might have been more or less directly caused (I mean, directly other than Henry, of course), by the vengeful jock, I was furious in the moment. The vengeful jock storyline might the worst thing the show has ever done. If it had been in there more or less so Max could die, I might have been done. Fortunately, that was a feint and Max isn't dead*, and the jock got burned in half. But I was beside myself there for a couple of minutes.

*I assume ST5 will bring Max's mind back from oblivion, although it'll be a bummer if it doesn't happen until late and we don't get much of Sadie Sink next season.

ETA: Here's the EW interview with Sink:

'Stranger Things' MVP Sadie Sink on 'heartbreaking' season 4 ending
 

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randomize
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And does every movie and show that takes place in high school now have to trot out the same old tropes - the cliques with the nerds, the jocks, the beautiful snobby girls. The scene where pretty much the entire school surrounds El and is laughing and taunting her was ridiculous, people don't behave like that en masse. It was also very unpleasant to watch.
Keep in mind that this show takes place in the 80s. So while they might have been a bit overdone, those cliques very much existing during those times.
 

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Keep in mind that this show takes place in the 80s. So while they might have been a bit overdone, those cliques very much existing during those times.
I was just going to say that. The cliques you see in this show, which are the cliche cliques from Fast Times At Ridgemont High. And we also had "Cowboy" which was where all the red necks (strung together TCF *'s it out btw) hung out, chewed tobacco, and talked monster trucks.
 

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Give 'em Hell, Devils
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62,327 Posts
I had some issues with the military invading Nina and just gunning down other Americans soldiers. And then the helicopter sniper outright murdering Papa. We're supposed to look at Sullivan as a bad guy and otherwise not think too hard about stuff like that, I guess, but I don't think it plays well.
My main thought on this scene is that the helicopter sniper radios down and says they've spotted El and asks if he can take the shot. Sullivan says to take it. Then there's a good 4-5 minutes with the sniper trying to kill El, then El making the helicopter crash, then the van shows up and everyone hugs and reminisces, then Papa undoes the collar and El goes over and has her final moment with him, then everyone piles in the van and drives away. And ONLY THEN do Sullivan and the rest of the soldiers come out to see what's going on. If the whole point of storming the NINA compound was to find El, and if the chopper said they'd spotted her and were given permission to kill her, why did Sullivan take so long to come out and see how things played out? That was really stupid and seemed like one of those situations where they suspend time for all the rest of the secondary characters so the main characters can have a poignant moment. But . . .
I wonder if Papa's death was intended to be poignant. The way it was shot and scored suggested the Duffers wanted us to feel something -- or maybe, something other than happiness -- at his death. I did not. I was quite glad that when he asked Eleven for absolution at the end, she refused to give it to him.
I agree that they seemed to have some kind of reverence for Papa, when in fact he was always a villain and his death should not have been treated as some kind of heartbreaking thing. El called him a monster, and that's what he was.
Yes, the vengeful jock plot line was very much needed.
Wondering if this was supposed to say "unnecessary." Otherwise, it seems you're agreeing with nobody else, and if so, I'm curious to hear your thoughts on why that plot line was needed. I feel like they could have completely cut out the jocks and the "Hellfire is a satanic cult" bits and it wouldn't have lessened the story one bit. In fact, it may have made it even better, since once Jason saw his buddy get lifted up out of the lake and killed in the same way Chrissy was, and saw that it couldn't have been Eddie that did it, the rest of his scenes where he's still pissed at Eddie for no reason just made him look really stubborn and stupid and constantly took me out of the show.
 

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Excellent.
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Wondering if this was supposed to say "unnecessary." Otherwise, it seems you're agreeing with nobody else, and if so, I'm curious to hear your thoughts on why that plot line was needed. I feel like they could have completely cut out the jocks and the "Hellfire is a satanic cult" bits and it wouldn't have lessened the story one bit. In fact, it may have made it even better, since once Jason saw his buddy get lifted up out of the lake and killed in the same way Chrissy was, and saw that it couldn't have been Eddie that did it, the rest of his scenes where he's still pissed at Eddie for no reason just made him look really stubborn and stupid and constantly took me out of the show.
I think he was being sarcastic.

I agree that having the jocks see their buddy killed was a misstep inside a misstep. It's one thing if you believe people are in a Satanic cult and are the ones harming other people ritualistically as part of their practice. It's quite another if you actually see "Satanic" phenomena. Are you actually going to blame the people at that point, like, oh OK, demons are actually real, who knew, but I'm still mad at you for summoning them? Or is your entire worldview going to be completely blown? Eddie saw Chrissy die and could barely function afterwards. Jason saw his friend die the same way and... blamed Eddie? No way.
 

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I am Groot!
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I think it is totally and completely believable that seeing his friend die in a supernatural way in close proximity to Eddie after already believing Eddie is the leader of a satanic cult would entirely affirm your belief that Eddie is responsible.
Especially if you're a few beers short of a six-pack, as most of those jocks seemed to be...
 

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Excellent.
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I just finished it as well. Too late for a long post, which I hope to get to tomorrow.
Don't know if it will be long. but here are my other thoughts on the final two episodes/four hours/

I hate to lead with a criticism, as though my net opinion is negative. It's not. But's closer to neutral than I would like -- I'm a fan of this show -- because this was just too long. This isn't a complaint about the runtime per se, but what the show did with it. The last episode should have felt propulsive, and parts of it were, but the momentum kept being interrupted by long stretches of other things. As Alan Sepinwall wrote, for example, did we really need a redemption arc for the peanut butter smuggler? The pacing issues and overstuffing of the finale are emblematic of the season as a whole. As much as I appreciate Netflix for spending the money, and the Duffers and cast and crew putting in the work, this season and finale would have been more if it had been less. I found myself tapping the scrubber several times during episode nine and thinking, "I can't believe there are still ninety minutes left!" I should not be thinking about how long a finale is during the finale.

I am also somewhat disappointed that the show hasn't evolved much in the story it is telling. Every season: life is normal, something weird happens, it's the Upside Down!, the kids and Eleven band together to save the world. There was a lot that seemed new here that really wasn't; it was just dressed up in new locations and side quests and other distractions that contributed to the season being high calorie and lower in nutrition. I think the fundamental repetition isn't really an issue, because it's such a pleasure to watch this cast work together, but tighter storytelling would have made the potential problem fade int the background if all the extra stuff hadn't made me really think about the central story being told.

And: was it actually scary? Think back to season one. That season featured a single demogorgon and that one single thing filled the entire season with danger and suspense. Now demogorgons seem kind of like angry dogs. Sure, we and the characters are all now demogorgon veterans and so won't think of them the same way, but how often did this season really seem to feature danger?

OK, enough criticisms. For all that, I did like the season. But now I have to make that the subject of a different post, probably tomorrow.
 

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Kermie Loves Elmo
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Discussion Starter · #72 ·
I think he was being sarcastic.

I agree that having the jocks see their buddy killed was a misstep inside a misstep. It's one thing if you believe people are in a Satanic cult and are the ones harming other people ritualistically as part of their practice. It's quite another if you actually see "Satanic" phenomena. Are you actually going to blame the people at that point, like, oh OK, demons are actually real, who knew, but I'm still mad at you for summoning them? Or is your entire worldview going to be completely blown? Eddie saw Chrissy die and could barely function afterwards. Jason saw his friend die the same way and... blamed Eddie? No way.
Their whole story was just filler and not needed. They could have done a million different things to stop Lucas from saving Max and it would have resulted in a tighter story.
 

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Meh.
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Papa's death reminded me of scenes in comedies when you think someone is dead but they suddenly pop up and exclaim "Not dead yet!" and continue talking. I'm glad that El didn't forgive him.

They could have skipped the entire Russian subplot. It was relatively meaningless and added very little to the story. About the only people who were probably happy with those scenes were the actors who got paid for them. Breaking the cast into three separate, non-interacting groups and having Eleven on her own for most of this season was not a good idea.

Having a teenager threaten another teenager with a gun was not a good thing. The 35 year old looking high school jock and his entire vengeful subplot was another chunk of the season that should have been left on the editing floor.

I wasn't a fan of Eddie but at least he died a hero's death. A dumb hero's death but still, a hero's death.

I'm mad at Eleven for needing a pep talk from Mike to Hulk up before saving Max.

Hopefully, the Duffer Brothers learned that bigger isn't necessarily better. They should have created a more streamlined, cohesive story. I give the season 2.5 stars out of a possible 4.

I rewatched the first four episodes of season 1 last night. The kids were much more charming and fun when they were little. I must have blanked out the cussing from my memories of that season. I thought the more adult talk was something they introduced this current season to show the kids growing up as teenagers but no, they were cussing in season one.
 

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Auteur
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The reason for the jock storyline was to give a reason as to why Lucas couldn't save Max. It's a long setup, but without it, Lucas could have just put the headphones on Max and saved her. There needed to be a barrier to that, thus the jock storyline.

To be honest, I had forgotten about the jocks until that one showed up and chased Erica. For the entire last two episodes Max kept listening to her Walkman and I thought the peril would be in it running out of juice when it was needed the most. But they tied up the jock storyline nicely.
 

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I am Groot!
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The reason for the jock storyline was to give a reason as to why Lucas couldn't save Max. It's a long setup, but without it, Lucas could have just put the headphones on Max and saved her. There needed to be a barrier to that, thus the jock storyline.

To be honest, I had forgotten about the jocks until that one showed up and chased Erica. For the entire last two episodes Max kept listening to her Walkman and I thought the peril would be in it running out of juice when it was needed the most. But they tied up the jock storyline nicely.
I agree that it had a payoff...but I don't think it was worth it. It would have been relatively easy to come up with a different obstacle to saving Max.
 

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Auteur
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They clearly padded the story with so much jock just for that peril-inducing moment. But if you consider all they way the story could be condensed, there would just be one episode, really.
 

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Meh.
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One thing I really disliked about this entire season was the boys' wigs. I know they wanted the boys to have late 80s-ish hairstyles but their hair stylists couldn't comb the young male actors' actual hair into a believable 80s style? Mike's, Eddie's and Pizza Dude's wigs looked ridiculous and were so obviously wig-ish to distraction.
 

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Give 'em Hell, Devils
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I think it is totally and completely believable that seeing his friend die in a supernatural way in close proximity to Eddie after already believing Eddie is the leader of a satanic cult would entirely affirm your belief that Eddie is responsible.
Except that if Eddie had that power, and Jock Dude was trying to kill him, why wouldn't he just use that power against Jock Dude to protect himself?
 
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