Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ Season 3 Episode 4 lunged straight into the many mysteries that seem to be unfolding in Hawkins at the same time, and Episode 5 masterfully shows the unfurling of the same, with our protagonists getting a little closer to the truth, eventually.
With so many parallel stories, it was inevitable that the Duffer brothers would make the narratives intersect at some point in order to make for a more cohesive ending. What pleases us most about this, is the fact that we see all our main characters begin to come together and take a stand against an alien force, be it the Russians, or the creatures from Upside Down. Titled ‘The Flayed’, this episode focuses mostly on the greatest of horrors, that comes from the monster from the Upside Down, that the Hawkins group have dubbed the Mind Flayer.
Episode 5 picks up pretty much where the previous episode had left off. We see our Starcourt squad hurtling downwards in an elevator while attempting to investigate the Russian involvement in the newly built mall. Hopper and Joyce are shown to be hot on the trace of the assailant and to find out why Joyce’s magnets keep on falling. Meanwhile, two of our storylines intersect, when Nancy realizes her diseased rats are related to the Upside Down and immediately calls Jonathan to check on Will’s safety.
Meanwhile, the kids realize they will need some more help, but El confirms that Hopper is on his own adventure, and headed to ‘Ill-annoy’ (Illinois). Dustin too seems unavailable, and rightly so, because he is trapped in the secret Russian elevator. Anyhow, with no one to turn to, our Hawkins gang shoulders the responsibility to stop this monster, and this time, they realize that purging the monster is not enough, they have to kill it, else it will just find another host. With this comes the realization that the only person who can perhaps do that is El.
Around this time Nancy and Jonathan join in and the gang together decides that need to track the monster to its location to stop it. This leads them to the hospital to Mrs. Driscoll, the crazy rat lady, and they are in for a nasty surprise. Speaking of nasty surprises, Hopper and Joyce have their fair share, when they track the assailant’s hideout and begin to scratch the surface of the same mystery that our Starcourt Squad is handling when they find a secret passageway to underground tunnels where Russians are hard at work. Hopper tangles with the assailant from the lab again, and now that we get a closer look at him, he looks like a Russian version of the Terminator.