In Stranger Things 1’s “Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly,” here’s a few things I noticed in this second go around. First, Chief Hopper doesn’t know what’s going on in his town; specifically, what’s going on in Hawkins Laboratory. Second, Mike, Will, and Lucas discuss superheroes like in the Uncanny X-Men. Third, we learn the CIA is conducting secret experiments on the American public, which really happened in the United States during the 1960s-70s. These are just some storylines that slipped my mind on first watching this episode of Stranger Things.
In the episode, the police make fun of the Hawkins laboratory even though strange things are happening at that laboratory. One deputy tells Chief Hopper, saying, “There she is. Emerald city,” as another deputy adds, “I heard they make space weapons in there. Yeah, like Reagan wars. I guess we are going to blow the Russkies to smeathereens.”
Also, in this segment, Joyce buys some outdoor lights to put up in her house. Joyce looks at Donald, her boss, saying: “Just ring me up, Donald.” She rushes home and puts up the lights throughout the inside of her house.
It’s “Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” where we learn Chief Hopper doesn’t know what’s happening in his town. Politely, Chief Hopper asks a Hawkins Laboratory official, saying, “Don’t mind me asking, what are you guys doing here? Staying one step ahead of the Russians? Who’s in charge here?” As a result of Will’s disappearance, Chief Hopper only bother’s to try and find out what’s going on at the laboratory.
However, all information is on a need to know basis at the Hawkins laboratory. A lab employee explains to Chief Hopper: “You’re asking the wrong guy.”
Moreover, Chief Hopper knows the lab officials are lying to him. Hopper looks at the laboratory and tells his deputies, saying,”I don’t know, but they’re lying.” However, he remains quiet.
Meantime, the Stranger Things kids discuss superheroes in this broadcast. Dustin replies to Will and Lucas: “So do you think Eleven was born with her powers like the X-Men? Or do you think she acquired them like Green Lantern?” Lucas replies, demanding, “She’s not a superhero! She is a weirdo.” Finally, Mike adds, yelling, “What does that matter? The X-Men are weirdos.”
It’s this episode where the laboratory gets Eleven to torture a cat. However, she’s reluctant because she doesn’t have the heart. Nevertheless, she ends up killing bad guards when they drag her into a holding cell at the laboratory. As this scene ends, Papa is proud that Eleven killed the guards.
Interestingly, “Chapter Two: Holly, Jolly” makes reference to the CIA’s secret real life LSD experiments carried out on an unsuspecting American public during 1960s and 1970s.
“I don’t know chief. This lady Terry Ives sounds like a real nut to me. Her kid was taken for LSD mind control experiments. She has been discredited. Her claim was thrown out.”
Notably, this episode hints at the fact that law enforcement was aware of these secret LSD government experiments on American citizens.
“Take a look at this Dr. Martin Brenner. Brenner, he runs Hawkins lab. You don’t find that interesting? No, this isn’t hippie crap. This is CIA sanctioned research. Come on, look at that. Hospital gowns. All of them. Now that piece of fabric that teacher found by the pipe sure looked like a hospital gown to me, huh. Am I wrong? Come on man. work with me here. I am not saying there is some grand conspiracy here. I am saying maybe something happened. Maybe Will was in the wrong place at the wrong time. And he saw something he shouldn’t of.”
In summary, this airing had a few interesting ideas, which I missed when I first watched it. For example, I missed the part about the secret CIA LSD programs like Mkultra and the Midnight Climax Operation. Also, I missed the part about Chief Hopper’s ignorance of what goes on in his town. As well, I didn’t see the part of where Eleven tortures the cat on the first go around. After watching this episode for a second time, I recommend you watch this one again because you probably missed some of this stuff like I did.