As Nance and Dustin lead investigative teams, familiar faces come to El’s rescue after the events of the last episode.


Aired (Netflix) 5/27/2022
Director(s) Shawn Levy
Writer(s) Caitlin Schneiderhan
Introduced This Episode
Ms. Kelley Regina Ting Chen
Patrick Myles Truitt
Lt. Colonel Jack Sullivan Sherman Augustus

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

“Chapter Three: The Monster and the Super Hero” Summary

A grade 2 concussion – that is what El caused, and she doesn’t necessarily feel bad about it, which makes the cops raise a bunch of red flags. However, El isn’t sad or scared about being arrested. Rather, she is sad and scared that Mike doesn’t love her. She fears he sees her as a monster, and he counters by noting he sees her as a superhero, but without powers, she can’t be who he envisions.

However, with the investigation of Fred and Chrissy’s bodies raising all kinds of eyebrows, it leads Lt. Colonel Jack Sullivan to visit the familiar face of Sam Owens. The government seems to think El has a hand in the horrific death of two teens, but Sam does not. In fact, he intercepts El being delivered to a juvenile facility, and she willingly goes with him when he reveals he might be able to get her powers back and make them stronger. A combo needed for Vecna, who has apparently been around since the 50s (!) is only getting stronger.

Now, as for Joyce and Murray, since you’d assume a parent or guardian would have been contacted about El? Yeah, that doesn’t happen. Joyce and Murray are on their way to Alaska and spend most of the episode on a plane. So, despite how Jonathan, Will, and Mike try to get a hold of her, she is oblivious and focused solely on Hopper. Someone who is prepping for them to show up and has someone break a part of his ankle so that he can get his chain off and prep for the escape. Something Enzo makes very clear, Hopper has a short window for.

Which brings us to Hawkins. Jason and his crew are on a full hunt for Eddie, and Lucas tries to give them the runaround whenever possible and protect his friends. However, his mixed loyalty is repeatedly tested. An issue Dustin hasn’t time to address since he is Eddie’s biggest defender, and with Nancy being brought into the fold, there are now a lot of moving parts.

Nancy and Robin look into Victor Creel, who took the fall for Vecna killing his family in the 50s. Meanwhile, Steve, Dustin, and Max visit Ms. Kelley’s home with hopes of getting information on Chrissy. However, what ultimately happens is Max stealing the keys to her office since Ms. Kelley honors people’s privacy, and they go through everyone’s files and notice a pattern. One which reveals that while we see and would assume Patrick, a member of Jason’s group, is the next target, it is actually Max.

Things To Note

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Where are Erica and Vickie? Do we have time for them in this season?
  2. If Vecna has been around since the 50s, why is it just coming about now?
  3. What’s with Vecna and grandfather clocks?
  4. How is Sam supposed to get El her powers back and make her more powerful?

What Could Happen Next

  1. Lucas being forced to choose between Eddie and Jason
  2. Jonathan, Mike, and Will finding themselves facing off with Angela’s people over El – maybe
  3. El having to face her trauma in an environment that reminds her of her childhood
  4. Eddie getting caught
  5. Robin having to come out to Nancy

Review

Highlights

Dustin and Nancy’s Investigation

The heart of “Stranger Things” is strange things happening, featuring demons and fantasy creatures. Dustin and Nancy’s investigations are the main storylines dealing with what is one of the main hooks of the show. Dustin is investigating past and potentially next victims, with Max on Vecna’s agenda. Nance is looking into Vecna’s only victim, who wasn’t killed.

The combo is wonderful and leaves room open for Robin to be closeted and having to hint around to Nancy, who may still have feelings for Steve, that she and Steve are platonic. Also, it makes Lucas’ balancing act all the more important for keeping Jason away from Dustin means one less person who can potentially get killed or impede what he is trying to do. Never mind, keeping someone from gaining leverage over them which could lead to Steve going down for what Vecna did.

This, right now, is what is keeping the show going.

El’s Emotional Arc

But let’s not discount what El is going through. From the beginning, El wanted to be loved, know what that is, and be loved for who she is, beyond how useful she can be with her powers. From what it seemed, Mike kept in contact, but he didn’t verbalize or write, he loved El, and she noticed. Making it seem that Mike’s feelings faded with her not having powers and not physically being in Hawkins.

Which you can understand, with someone used to conditional love and feeling of purpose, losing the one person who made you feel secure after your father figure died is a lot. Add in El should be at the point of experiencing puberty too? Also, she is being bullied and has no way to defend herself without going to an extreme since that is the pseudo-norm for her?

In a way, you can say Sam giving her the offer to get her powers back, maybe even be stronger, but it being risky, is what El needs. Not just to have a purpose but maybe to have something to dedicate herself to, which may hurt physically, but at least not emotionally.

On The Fence

Those Left Behind (The Stories Of Those Who Aren’t Currently Involved, Or On A Crash Course, To Vecna)

While Mike, Will, Joyce, Murray, and Hopper are essential parts of the show, their storylines are separate from what is the main storyline. Because of this, the characters lack a certain something. Jonathan is still aimless, a big brother there to babysit and who has far more of a right to complain about it than Steve. Will just exists at this point. Mike is playing the role of the girl who waits for the hero to return, and as for the Hopper storyline?

Don’t get me wrong, I get it. Hopper was a champion for El and a major piece of the fight for the show thus far. But the Russian scenes, never mind Joyce and Murray getting tangled into that? I don’t know if we should blame pacing or what, but I just need them to speed up Hopper’s rescue because it feels like his imprisonment is being dragged out and adding little to a show which is due to end.

Stranger Things Directory

Network(s) Netflix
Created or Developed By The Duffer Brothers
First Aired 7/15/2016

Character Guide

Not Created

Season Reviews

Not Created

Title Card - Stranger Things Season 4 Episode 3 “Chapter Three The Monster and the Super Hero”
Stranger Things: Season 4/ Episode 3 “Chapter Three: The Monster and the Super Hero” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
Overall
The split really pushes you to question whether we care about the characters or only care about them when their lives are threatened by some otherworldly being?
Dustin and Nancy's Investigation
85
El's Emotional Arc
83
Those Left Behind (The Stories Of Those Who Aren't Currently Involved, Or On A Crash Course, To Vecna)
73
Community Rating1 Vote
82
Highlights
Dustin and Nancy's Investigation
El's Emotional Arc
Disputable
Those Left Behind (The Stories Of Those Who Aren't Currently Involved, Or On A Crash Course, To Vecna)
80


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Avatar of Amari

I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and have aimed to be that friend who loves watching various forms of media and talking about it. So, from bias, strong opinions, and a perspective you may not have thought about, you'll find that in our reviews.

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