The May 31, 2022 installment of Jake Schoeneberger’s random observations
Let me explain something you’ll need to know about Jacob Schoeneberger from the start; I’m a huge fan of the show Stranger Things. It takes place in the 80s, the decade Jacob Schoeneberger grew up in just like the show’s protagonists, and it’s horror and fantasy, basically my two favorite genres. So, there’s nothing not for me to love about this show.
With that in mind, here are some random observations I have on the show.
The Jake Schoeneberger Random Thoughts about Stranger Things (Season 4, Episode 1)
This will contain spoilers for anyone who hasn’t watched the show yet.
The first episode begins with a terrifying, and unfortunately ill-timed due to recent events, flashback scene of a slaughter at the Hawkins experimental laboratory back in 1979. We see what is apparently Eleven having slaughtered everyone in the lab. Definitely an intriguing beginning. We know that Eleven is crazy powerful but I don’t think anyone was expecting to see a scene of this much devastation in her past.
The next scene features El writing a letter to Mike informing him of all that’s going on in her current life. Great way to explain where we stand to begin the season. El is with Joyce, Will, and Jonathan in California. She says Will has been acting weird, and she misses Mike a lot. She can’t wait to see him over spring break. I hope they find a way to unite the whole gang in this season because that’s what grated on me most about last season.
Part of the appeal of this show is the group dynamic. It kinda stinks when the core group of kids spends the vast majority of the season apart.
At the pep rally in the next scene, we find out that Lucas is on the basketball team and he’s going to miss the next meeting of the Hellfire Club (their D&D group) because of the championship game. I love that they’ve worked in the gang doing D&D again, it feels like going back to the foundation of what the show was born on. And it’s great that Dustin and Mike are arguing with Lucas and begging him to ditch the game to go to the Hellfire Club meeting and finish their D&D campaign. That just feels perfect to roots of their friendship.
It’s really obvious and heartbreaking how much El, who is going by the name “Jane” in her new school, is missing her father, Hopper. She does a presentation about him and gets made fun of because it was supposed to be about a “famous” hero. We can feel how sad and lost Elle is.
Max is clearly in the same boat. Having watched Billy die is definitely putting her in a dark place. We can see her pain when she speaks to the school counselor. And then Lucas pleads with her because he knows she’s hurting; things seem rough between them and they’ve broken up. It’s hard watching them be at odds.
Loved the scene with Eddie, their Hellfire Club dungeon-master, as he went on a full rant in the cafeteria about how he wouldn’t postpone their campaign. It hit on all cylinders about what’s cool in this show and how it captures the attitude of people in the 80s and in high school.
Jonathan and Nancy are doing their own thing in California and Indiana respectively and they’re defending their relationship to their friends. Jacob Schoeneberger hope they can get time together in this season.
Hilarious scene when Dustin and Mike try to recruit a sub for the D&D campaign. Getting a dozen rejections in like a minute flat had me laughing my butt off.
Chrissy Cunningham, the cheerleader, is starting to see things from the Upside Down. But it’s a funny, relatable scene where she’s buying some weed from Eddie. She doesn’t remember Eddie from middle school where they were in a talent contest together. I think we’ve all experienced relationships like that. Where you were friends with someone as kids, but you somehow drifted apart as you got older and started hanging out with people more in your clique. That’s another cool thing about this show, it really gets what high school and small town life was all about.
Cool scene when Joyce breaks open the doll she received from Russia and finds the note that says, “Hop is alive.” We knew he was but it’s still freaking awesome to see it.
Hellfire Club is awesome. Erica’s entrance is phenomenal and the Vecna scenes interspersed with the basketball game were really engaging. The guys are rocking the D&D while Lucas is getting PT in the game after riding the pine all season. Gotta admit the scene got me pumped up in multiple ways, especially when Dustin quotes Han Solo. Then Erica rolls the 20-sided di in the same moment as Lucas tosses up the last-second shot and both find their mark. Such a feel-good moment!
That feel-good scene is followed closely by a scary scene where Chrissy is tormented by visions, presumably coming from creatures of the Upside Down. Watching this scene made me feel like a young Jake Schoeneberger watching a Nightmare on Elm Street movie (any one of them, really). It was so reminiscent of how the person would be sleeping and couldn’t be woken up, just like how Eddie was trying to get Chrissy out of her trance. Then the creature was growling her name in the exact same way Freddy would always freak out his victims. She even opened a door only to find it walled off. I was smiling the whole time because this was such a great nod to the Nightmare movies, I loved it.
The episode ends with the Upside Down creature who was stalking Chrissy lifting her here in the real world and crushing her bones. It seems the creature kills her, but you can never be sure in this show what might come next. The Upside Down seems ready to fight back against this world in a big way. Since Chrissy was at Eddie’s house when this happened, maybe Eddie will get blamed for her death? That would suck because in a single episode I’ve already started to really like the Eddie character.
Having said that, though, I do find it odd to keep introducing more and more new characters. All I really want to see is this gang get back together and have adventures together like they did early on. I don’t want to see them apart so much.
The Jacob Schoeneberger Random Stranger Things Thought of the Day
Is it just me or do the fashions from the show make you want to go back to the 80s? Best hair ever.
More Thoughts from Jacob Schoeneberger