Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 1 Review - Chapter One: MadMax

The first episode in Season 2, MadMax, re-introduces us to the main cast a year after the events of Season 1. While at first everything seems to be going well for most if not all of the folks in the town of Hawkins, we quickly find out that the happiness is merely a facade to what’s really going on in each one of them.

Surprisingly, we start the season in unfamiliar grounds. A robbery takes place and the police are in pursuit of the robbers. The getaway driver reveals she has powers that can change the perception of her targets. She uses this to get away from the police. She also reveals that she has a tattoo with the number 008. Shocking? Definitely. Back in Hawkins, Mike, Will, Dustin, and Lucas are in the arcade and Dustin soon finds out that his arcade records have been beaten by an individual nicknamed “MadMax”. This irks him and wants to find out who this certain Max is. Will starts to have a vision of the Upside Down and sees an ominous, evil vision. Back in school, Will is pulled out and we find out that he is being treated at the Hawkins Laboratory due to said visions. Those visions seem to be downplayed by the Doctors but obviously, it has more dangerous implications than Will and his family bargained for. Nancy and Steve are still a thing but it looks like there’s more tension than love as both try to hide what happened to Barbara from her parents. On Sheriff Hopper's, he is dealing with a farm attack that "poisoned" a farmer’s crop of pumpkins just the day before Halloween. We all know that's highly unlikely.

Overall, “MadMax” was an okay episode. Nothing spectacular really happens. Unfortunately, this is an obvious stepping stone to where the new season is moving towards to and it is severely limiting at this point. While it successfully sets the initial groundwork to make audiences intrigued with a new mystery, there’s few and far between explanations to actually leave you feeling satisfied. What we loved though is how it was able to concentrate on the deeper conflicts each character is going through one year after the events in the first season. May it be Will’s visions, Mike missing Eleven, Joyce’s struggles, Nancy’s guilt, it is obvious that it’s never easy moving on from such a traumatic episode in their lives.

Rating: 4 reels

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