On Tuesday, July 9, 2019th, I watched Stranger Things’ “Chapter Four: The Sauna Test” on Netflix. This episode follows the assault, by the Russian thug Grigori, on Chief Hopper. As well, we see police brutality, interrogation, and torture in this segment. Also, it’s this installment sees the continuation of Max’s and Eleven’s sleepover. Further, Nancy and Jonathan get fired from their Hawkins Post jobs. Finally, Dustin, Robin, Steve, and Erica break into a secret room at the Starcourt mall. It’s a pretty good chapter to watch of season 3 of Stranger Things.
After a few minutes into this episode, we return to Chief Hopper’s ambush. Joyce askes a recently conscious Hopper, “Did you recognize him? The thug! He’s got to be governemt, right?”
With that, Chief Hopper concludes his attacker isn’t government. Hopper explains to Joyce, saying, “Yeah, but if he’s government, what’s he doing? What’s he doing slinking around? Why is he running? Why didn’t we find anything down there?”
Nevertheless, Joyce Byers suggest a search on the attacker’s plates, which she jotted down at the last minute. Joyce tells Chief Hopper to do a search: “Lets ask him. His license plate…Can’t you run a search or something.”
Because instant police databases weren’t created until the late 1990s, Hopper can’t do a search. Hopper replies to Joyce, “I just think you have to lower your expectations. I mean this is a state government agency. It’s going to take weeks before they find a match, if we’re lucky. And what are the odds this guy registers a car in his own name.” Finding the identity of Chief Hopper’s attacker will take some time.
Meanwhile, at a sleepover, we learn Max likes to read. She has lots of Skateboard magazines. Plus, she has Wonder Woman and Green Lantern comics. The magazines she reads are laid out on the floor of her bedroom in one scene.
As “Chapter four: The Suana Test” continues, the audience may notice lots of crochet in this episode. For example, Chief Hopper has a crochet blanket on his couch. Also, Mike, too, sports a crotchet blanket on his basement couch. That being said, people did a lot of knitting in the 1980s.
While back at the Hawkins Post in this segment, Nancy and Jonathan get fired by Tom Holloway, editor in chief of the Hawkins Post. Here’s his rationale for doing it, “Nancy. Jonathan. I worked at the paper for twenty-five years. Now we are a small town paper, but we have something the big paper’s don’t have: trust. And trust of our community… You’re fired!”
At this point, Tom informs Nancy and Jonathan about Mrs. Driscol’s medical condition.
“Mrs. Driscol is a paranoid schizophrenic. You didn’t know that, did you? Now, disease carrying rats. The second coming of the plague. Does this sound credible to you? Or, perhaps, does this sound more like delusions of a very sick old lady? Her family is serious. So serious, in fact, they threatened litigation.”
Elsewhere, an irate Chief Hopper goes to the town hall to confront Mayor Kline.
“Do you remember when I caught you passed out in the hide-a-way with all that powder all over your nose? Do you remember when my boys found you and Candace going at it like a couple of bunnies in the back of your cadillac? Do you remember that? Does your wife remember that?”
In a game of tit for tat, Mayor Kline begins to dish dirt on Hopper, too. The Mayor says: “Ok, those pills you used to swallow like candy. I can’t recall, did you have a prescription for those? Or how bout drinking on duty. Yeah, we have some real fun stories about that. One call to Tom at the Post and you’re done buddy. Gone.” Hopper is a pill popping, drunk cop.
There is police brutality in this chapter of Stranger Things. With a punch, Chief Hopper breaks the Mayor’s nose. So much for due process.
To add insult to brutality, Chief Hopper interrogates the Mayor. The Mayor tells Hopper: “They own the mall. They want to expand eastward Hawkins. They needed some property. Some land. Some people didn’t want to sell, so I leaned on them. That’s all, I swear, that’s all.”
Additionally, Chief Hopper uses torture to get answers from the Mayor. While pleading with Hopper to spare the rest of his finger, the Mayor breaks down and tells Hopper everything, saying, “Be cool. I don’t know his name, I swear. He gives me things, money, presents, gifts.”
After the intense beating, the Mayor tells Hopper about the Russian who kicked Chief Hopper’s ass. He spills the beans, saying, “He works for Starcourt.”
That being said, Chief Hopper kidnaps the Mayor. He drags the Mayor to the Mayor’s house in order to retrieve some legal documents, saying, “Do you keep records of these purchases? These land purchases? The records? Where are they?” I thought it strange how the chief of police doesn’t know where the county records department is located.
At the Mayor’s home, the Mayor schools Chief Hopper on the Russian property interests. He tells Hopper: “Land deeds. Transfer, and property.” Chief Hopper looks bewildered.
At this point, It should be noted that the Mayor takes bribes. Furthermore, he violated the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution for taking gifts and payments from a foreign governement while in office.
Back at the Hawkins Post, Nancy realizes Tom may be on drugs. Nancy says, “It’s bullshit. So according to Tom, Driscol’s just a schizophrenic? That rat is just a rat, and it’s all what? So big coincidence? You know what I think? I think Tom is on drugs! Did you see him? He was sweating like crazy and his palms were clammy! He looked awful!”
During this episde, Jonathan schools Nancy about the realities of being from the wrong side of the tracks.
“I don’t live in a two-story house on Maple Street. My dad doesn’t earn six figures. Hell, he isn’t even around. Mortgage. College, tuition, you know there are real things Nancy! Things you don’t care about. Only because you don’t have to. You want everything handed to you on a silver platter. I mean, we were interns, Nancy. Interns! What did you expect? You would make star reporter in a month? Crack the big case?”
Nonetheless, Nancy doesn’t care. She tells Jonathan, “Here comes the Oliver Twist routine…I didn’t realize I lived in a bubble!”
Furthermore, Nancy doesn’t care about losing an intern job because she feels humiliated. Nancy tells Jonathan, saying, “Is that what that was? That was humiliating. Humiliating.”
Finally, Jonathan tells Nancy to wake up. Jonathan says to Nancy,”Yeah, the real world sucks. Deal with it like the rest of us.”
Meanwhile, back at the Starcourts mall, the Stranger Things kids have a plan. Robin says, “It is fascinating what twenty bucks will get you at the county recorder’s office. Starcourt mall. The complete blueprints.”
Surprisingly, Erica, the eight-year-old child, schools Robin, Dustin, and Steve on capitalism.
“Do you know what captialism is? It means this is a free market system, which means people get paid for their services depending on how valuable their contributions are. And it seems to me, my ability to fit into that little vent is very, very valuable to you all. So if you want my help, this USS Butterscotch better be the first of many. And I am talking free ice cream for life!”
With that, the Stranger Things kids need Erica. A deal is made for Erica to climb through a vent to open up a room. As Erica enters the vent, these are her last words: “Child endangerment!”
Towards the end of the episode, Nancy’s mom, Karen Wheeler, gives here encouragement to continue her dream of becoming a news reporter.
“That you stood up for yourself. That you stood up to those shitheads. Yes, those shitheads. And if you believe in this story. Look at me, Nancy. Finish it. And go an sell it to the Indianapolis Star or whatever. Can you imagine their faces when they read a story about their own town in a big paper like that? So why not. Why not?”
On a side note, El uses her mental mind powers to battle Billy, which looks like a scene straight out of the 80s movie Scanners. First, the Stranger Things kids trick Billy into going into a sauna. Next, when he’s inside, El uses her powers to keep him in the sauna. Finally, Billy is locked in the sauna.
As well, another scene will bring back images of the 80s crack drug epidemic: the scene where Max talks to Billy while he’s locked in a sauna. She tells Billy, saying, “I want to help you. You just have to talk to us.” At this point, Billy really looks like he’s going through withdrawal as if locked up in some asylum cell.
At the end of this episode, there a collective evil group looking at the Mind Flayer, the dimensional monster released in season 1 of Stranger Things. While the group stares at the Mind Flayer, Heather tells a sitting, bruised Billy Hargrove: “She could of killed me. But not us. Not us.” This scene reminds me of the number of the beast; that is, an evil world wide network of devil followers who control the world.
To summarize, “Chapter Two: The Suana Test” was great. You see lots of actions like fights with the police chief and the Mayor. Also, Nancy and Jonathan got fired. Plus, Dustin, Robin, Steve, and Erica found some secret room to an underground place in the the Starcourt mall. Finally, El used her powers to beat Billy in a fight. This chapter had action, excitement, and drama.