Stranger Things: Season 2/ Episode 2 “Trick or Treat, Freak” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 2 Trick or Treat, Freak - Title Card

As Will confides in Mike, and Nancy gets tired of everyone acting like Barbara isn’t gone, something is afoot with the local plant life.


Previous Recap: Episode 1 “MADMAX”

Director(s) The Duffer Brothers
Writer(s) The Duffer Brothers
Characters Introduced
Erica Priah Ferguson
Mrs. Sinclair Karen Ceesay
Billy Dacre Montgomery
Samantha Shea Jones

How Eleven & Hopper Met Up: Eleven

Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 2 Trick or Treat, Freak - Eleven

From what we see, Eleven didn’t stay in the Upside Down that long after, assumingly, defeating the Demogorgon. In fact, she was out within an hour or less and back in our world. However, as she trekked back to Mike’s it became clear that going back there wouldn’t be safe. Now, as for whether she thought about the other boy’s houses? Who knows? She hasn’t been in them nor did she get that close to them so maybe that wasn’t an option.

So, instead, she would just hunt, steal, and feed in the woods. Until she discovered the food Hopper left and we are left to assume, sooner or later, Hopper caught her taking food. Thus leading to their current relationship of a father/ daughter dynamic. A second chance for both to experience the feeling. Even if Hopper, due to his work, can’t keep his promises. Which, to a certain degree, is fine for Eleven. It gives her time to try and reach out to Mike.

It’s Like Everyone Forgotten: Nancy, Steve, Jonathan

Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 2 Trick or Treat, Freak - Eleven

After Nancy sees someone who looks just like Barbara, from the back, it amplifies the guilt of thinking she allowed Barbara to die and the fact she has to act like everything is normal. Something Steve doesn’t get and that makes him part of the problem. For he just wants to be normal and that term is foreign now to Nancy. How can you be normal after all she saw, did, going to the Upside Down and Barbara being gone?

Yet, she tries to be normal. At Tina’s party she drinks, gets drunk even, and gets to make a fool of herself. Leading to Jonathan, despite meeting this possible love interest Samantha, taking her home and putting her to bed. Really pushing the idea, with Jonathan having gone through more with Nancy, she may slip up and kiss Jonathan. I’m not saying it is going to happen in episode 3 but it is definitely on the horizon.

Welcome To The Party: Max, Lucas, Dustin, Will, Mike, Billy

Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 2 Trick or Treat, Freak - Mike and Will

Lucas and Dustin, despite their awkwardness, finally talk to Max and surprisingly get her to join their group. As for how? Well, maybe because Billy, Max’s brother, doesn’t make for good company. He blames her for them having to leave California and while it isn’t clear what the reason is, being that there are, thus far, no signs of parents, who is to say they, or just Max, aren’t additional numbered experiments?

But that is just a paranoid theory. What is fact though is Will has become a flea, if you remember the acrobat and flea analogy Mr. Clarke gave, that can’t control going to the Upside down. A place in which that giant living shadow, he thinks, is coming after him. Something he conveys to Will for, while Dustin and Lucas chase after Max, Mike is the main one available. Plus, he gets it.

For with him thinking he can hear or see Eleven, who gets to see him, he thinks he is going crazy. A feeling Will understands completely.

Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments

  • Lucas has a little sister named Erica and we get to actually hear his mother, Mrs. Sinclair, talk!
  • Jonathan isn’t fond of Bob and we learn Bob is thinking about moving to a Radio Shack in Maine. An idea he offers Joyce, with the kids, of course, to come along for.
  • 6 Farms now are dealing with the disease which are killing crops.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 2 Trick or Treat, Freak - Samantha
Shea Jones
  1. So, can we count on Samantha to be Jonathan’s love interest or nah?
  2. What exactly did Max do where her and Billy used to live?

Highlights

I Want To Know What Love Is!

It is clear between Hopper, who clearly had a thing for Joyce back in the day; Jonathan with Samantha, maybe Nancy; Eleven and Mike; alongside Dustin, Lucas, and Max, love is in the air. Well, crushes and infatuations maybe. All of which come off compelling in their own unique way.

For Hopper and Joyce, since they knew each other since high school, you have to wonder what happened, or didn’t, that led to them not being together in their present day? For there is this awkward moment when you almost are led to believe they are going to kiss but then they stop. Could some residual feelings be there?

Then with Eleven and Mike, as noted in the last season, we’re coming upon all the kids hitting puberty and while I doubt Stranger Things will go in a Big Mouth direction of handling the topic, I do believe the kids’ feelings may go beyond the basics. Again, not to say they are trying to round basis but I do think we should at least expect Dustin or Lucas to develop a Mike and Eleven type of relationship with Max. Then, in terms of Eleven and Mike? I see a crossroad. Either they are going to reunite and maybe go to the winter dance they didn’t get to in season 1 or Max ends up liking Mike and that throws a monkey wrench into the whole friendship.

Leaving Jonathan. I am 60% sure Nancy is going to cheat on Steve with Jonathan either physically or emotionally. As for whether Jon reciprocates? I don’t know. Samantha seems right up his alley and though we saw them chat for a few minutes, there was some chemistry there. Not enough to say, “I SHIP IT!” but enough where you want to see where that could go.

A Second Chance

Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 2 Trick or Treat, Freak - Hopper and Eleven

Though we don’t see much of the two interacting, to me anyway, you have to love the normalcy Hopper is trying to bring Eleven. On one hand, it is a second chance for him to raise a daughter and protect her. Like, actually get to stop bad things from happening which are in his control. Then for Eleven, she is getting real-world experience with being raised by a poppa. To the point if she called him that by the end of the season TEARS!

But what I really want to see is Hopper taking Eleven, nee Jane, to see Terry.

On The Fence

So, About These Crops


With the residue we see on the trees, it is clear that we shouldn’t just write off what is happening to the pumpkins. However, I gotta admit, it is hard to care when none of the farmers come off that interesting and we have Hopper and his men investigating. For while I adore Hopper, when he isn’t kicking ass, he can be a bit of a bore. So imagine him doing actual police work, with Stranger Things’ version of Bevis and Butthead (not the best comparison but the first thing which came to mind).

How Would You Rate This?

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About Amari Sali 2987 Articles
New Jersey native Amari Sali takes the approach of more so being a media advisor than a critic to sort of fill in the gap left between casual fans of media and those who review productions for a living. Thus being open about bias while still giving enough insight, often with spoilers, to present whether something is worth seeing, buying, renting, streaming, or checking out at all.

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