Even though I just started watching Stranger Things 3, the episode of “Chapter Two: The Mall Rats” had some interesting ideas. Here’s a few of those ideas : Billy Hargrove, a mysterious group, rotary phones, a possible sherrif election, an ambitious Mayor, Atari, and possible police chief driving drunk. These story ideas stood out to me in this episode of season 3 of Stranger Things.
To start, it’s “Chapter Two: The Mall Rats” in which Billy Hargrove is confronted by a mysterious group of faceless people. This group seems to behind the electronic voice and messsage in Stranger Things 3 trailer. Moreover, this anonymous group seems to be some kind of monster, too. During the episode, this group possesses Billy Hargrove, which he can’t understand why.
Once upon a time, everyone had a rotary phone, which were clunky as hell. And Mike, Eleven, and Karen used a rotary phone everyday- kind of like we use Facebook or Twitter everyday now. That being said, they used their phones to fight and spy on each other. Indeed, the 80s were a strange time to live in.
During “Chapter Two: The Mall Rats,” it seems Chief Hopper could lose his position in the next election if he’s not careful. One of Chief’s deputies cautions him, “If you want to keep your job, you better get your ass to town hall.” In the US, sheriffs are elected .
However, that being said, if elected, Chief Hopper can subsribe to his own theory of the Constitution. Basically, he’ll be able to do whatever he wants including not enforcing federal laws. He’ll only answer to the people of his state.
Meantime, it’s this episode, we meet Larry Kline, the Mayor of Hawkins, who has an economic plan for the town.
“My fanclub, as you call them. Now you know why they are out there, don’t you? They lost their jobs to the mall and blame me for helping make that happen. Now you go ask anyone else in this town, they all love the mall. It’s helped their economy grow. Brought new jobs. Just some incredible new stores, which is why they all stopped shopping at their mom and pops. Now thats not me, Jim. Ah ah, that’s just good ole fashioned American capitalism.”
Throughout this episode, the Mayor wants to ban town hall protests. At this time, it would of been possible to ban protests. But that wouldn’t last for long since lawsuits involving time, place, and manner of political protests were coming down the pipe.
However, not everyone is on the side of the Mayor with political protests: Henry, a local Hawkins citizen, doesn’t believe the Mayor exercised his powers in a “proper” fashion. While he’s being hauled away for protesting, he tells Chief Hopper, “He[Kline] raised my property taxes, Jim. Forced me off my land. Nothing is proper about what that man did to us.” According this local citizen, the Mayor may of went beyond his powers.
Nevertheless, “Chapter Two: The Mall Rats” casts unions in a bad light. Unions are behind the protest at the Hawkins town hall. However, this was the 80s, and it was a time of President Ronald Reagan.
Today, it can be said, unions are the good guys. Now, they fund major Republicans or Democrat candidates for office with PACs and Super PACs. Due to cases Supreme Court cases like Citizen’s United v. FEC and Buckley v. Valeo, unions have come a long way.
In regards to political protests, Chief Hopper believes in the First Amendment. He gives his opinion when talking with the Mayor, saying, “Larry, I just think they are execising their good ole fashioned right to prostest,” says jim hopper. The Chief believes in the First Amendment right to petition the government.
Specifically, Chief Jim Hopper believes in due process. Chief Hopper tells an upset Mayor hater, “You can protest all you want, Henry. You just have to go through the proper channels first.” Although the Chief believes in the right to due process, he believes in minimal due process; perhaps, even just procedure.
On a side note, in “Chapter Two: The Mall Rats,” it’s revealed Lucas and Mike are Atari fans. Max explains this fact to Eleven, saying, “I guarantee you. Him and Lucas are playing Atari right now.” This fact comes out when Eleven and Mike are having a spat.
Finally, at the end of this show, we learn the Chief Hopper likes to abuse his power as police chief. While in a local restuarant, a local waiter protests the Chief leaving drunk, saying, “My name is not Enzo… I am afraid no alcohol is allowed off the premises.” However, Chief Hopper replies, “I just lost my appetite, so here you go. Keep the change. I can do anything I want. I am chief of police.” Apparently, it looks like the Chief could be driving drunk.
On the whole, “Chapter Two: The Mall Rats” was informative from a political angle; as well, it looked at some 80s ideas. That being said, we continue to see the rise of the mall and it’s impact on Hawkins politics. Plus, we see the mall’s impact on the communtiy itself and it’s citizens. Although the rotary phones and Atari were cool, this episode delved deeper into the political scene of the 80s in small town America.