This episode is interesting. First, the federal government law enforcement agencies are monitoring state and local police. Not only this, 80s video stores and a bit of historical revisionism are at work in this episode. As well, the whole 80s Dungeons and Dragons satanic thing is explored. Finally, 1980s breaches of privacy are examined too. I hope you like this airing.
To start, this episode sounds like the 1980s Tales From The Darkside.
“There is another world beneath Hawkins. Sometimes it bleeds into ours,” reveals Dustin who sounds like the TV show.
Moving on, we learn federal law enforcement agencies are monitoring state and local police forces in Hawkins. The feds have agents listening to all phone calls coming in and going out of Hawkins in one scene. (The feds have this power under the Commerce Clause and Necessary and Proper Clause) That being said, It appears things haven’t changed much since the 80s with the NSA and the Verizon scandal.
Meanwhile, Robin and Steve now work in a video rental store. If you remember, video rental stores were big in the 80’s; however, today, you can just download the latest digital movie to watch on your device or just stream it from some online service.
We see Mike and Eleven acting weird in this episode. This weirdness is revealed when they treat the Mexican guy, Argyle, weird. Later, we learn the couple is fighting and taking it out on everyone.
On to more serious business in this broadcast. To start, there is some historical revisionism going on in this episode. First, we learn Robin is gay. And her gayness seems all ok and accepted. However, in the 80’s, people beat up gay people for being gay. Being gay was not as acceptable as Stranger Things 4 makes it out to be; hence, Stranger Things 4’s attempt to rewrite history to fit their narrative/current standards fails, if you lived through this time and know better.
One thing this episode got right was the KGB. These guys tortured people. Everything was thought to be ok with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and no more KGB, but we learn torture still goes on these days with the FSB and the Jehovah Witnesses.
Vecna’s Curse sees the Hellfire Club treated as a cult. If you remember, during the 80s, the news media did stories about Dungeons and Dragons being linked to Satanism. This episode makes use of that in Vecna’s Curse.
In fact, Time magazine did a story about Dungeons and Dragons in the mid 1970s before the game became famous. The Time story was called The Occult Revival. The story had to do with the game and the religious right-prolly the moral majority had something to do with it.
Anyways, the episode touches on the Time article story. In one scene, a football captain goes after a local D and D playing head banger: “They confuse fantasy and reality and innocent people die.” The football jocks need an excuse to beat up a head banger.
Steve had a good scene in this segment. He talked about the US Constitution. But nobody cared about the Constitution in the 1980s, so his scene seemed really weird in a hunted house.
One thing I liked about this episode: it touched on breaches of privacy in the 80s. In one scene, Robin, Steve, and Dustin view the personal data of customers at a local video rental store. Though this thing still goes on today, at least the producers brought it to light.
Overall, this was an ok broadcast. It touched on lots of things from the 80s. The part about D and D and satanism being linked was interesting, because that really happened in the 80s. And the historical revisionism was a surprise for me. I liked this episode.