Stranger Things Season 4 Episode 2 Review: Chapter Two: Vecna’s Curse

Spoilers

Will everyone survive Vecna’s reign of terror?

Stranger Things Season 4 Episode 2 lifted the lid on the mystery as the body count increased.

Fred and Nancy teaming up to embark on a mission to the crime scene was never going to end well, and this show’s knack for not killing off characters of note earmarked him for death from the get-go.

A Disheveled Hopper - Stranger Things

I appreciate the way Nancy’s tenacity helps her chase stories.

She had a rough go of it on Stranger Things Season 3. Hopefully, whatever story she manages to spin from the killings in Hawkins on Stranger Things Season 4 gets her the notoriety she deserves.

Nancy and Robin - Stranger Things

That being said, Nancy knows things go bump in the night in Hawkins, so making her way to the crime scene without her closest allies was a bad move. Call it an oversight, but these things tend to bite you.

Fred’s death was well-executed and chilling. He was an enigma because we had only just met him. How were we to know whether he went out of his way to cause that crash?

The best part of his death is that it revealed that Vecna is targeting people with some form of guilt, which could put many of our beloved characters in peril.

I can’t even begin to imagine how Max feels about all of this.

Reefer Rick Files - Stranger Things Season 4 Episode 2

Misery seems to follow her everywhere, and a teenager murdered in the manner Chrissy was, right across from her home, is something.

The trickier aspect of this is that Max knew there was something amiss in the area that night. Nightmares, lights flickering, and people rushing away from their home in the dead of night is never a good thing … not when you have the Upside Down so close by.

Eleven: I want you to say sorry to me, and I want you to tell my boyfriend that it was just a joke and that we are really friends.
Angela: Or what? You gonna hurt us with your mean stare again? Sorry you can’t cry to teacher today. You’ll just have to cry to your daddy instead. Oh, wait. Can’t do that either.

The video store served as an excellent setting to get Robin, Steve, Dustin, and Max working together. Stranger Things excels when the characters team up, with each season offering something different than its predecessor.

Robin’s badass way of finding Reefer Rick’s location was fun. She’s intelligent, resourceful and will be crucial to keeping everyone safe on Stranger Things Season 4.

At High School - Stranger Things Season 4 Episode 2

Eddie hiding in the boat was easy to figure out, but Dustin telling him about the Upside Down gave him a little bit of hope that his name could be cleared.

Eddie’s storyline is being handled far different from what I expected, and it’s somewhat refreshing.

The teenagers know there’s a high chance he’s innocent based on previous experiences with the supernatural forces of Hawkins, but the Tigers look dead set on painting the Hellfire club as this group of satanic worshippers.

Jason was understandably crushed learning of Chrissy’s death, but he was looking for someone to blame from the get-go… even if the manner of the death didn’t support Eddie carrying out the deed.

Lucas at Practice - Stranger Things Season 4 Episode 2

Jason’s pursuit of the Hellfire club is nothing more than a coping mechanism. He needs someone to blame, and if telling himself the Hellfire Club are villains, it’s better for him than sitting by and waiting for the truth to come out.

I like the emotional conflict this brings Lucas because he understood things were changing on Stranger Things Season 4 Episode 1 when Dustin and Mike opted to go to the club instead of watching the game.

Mike: Hey, hey, turn it off.
DJ: Sorry. I can’t hear you, dude.
Mike: I said turn it off. If you say so.

My concern is that Lucas might ultimately side with the Tigers, depending on how the rest of this arc plays out. Lucas knows about the town’s dark history, so he probably agrees with his former friends that Eddie is innocent.

Mike’s arrival in California represented quite the shift in Eleven’s reality. Eleven desperately wanted her boyfriend to believe she had this perfect lifestyle, and the cracks would always appear before long.

Third Wheel - Stranger Things Season 4 Episode 2

Angela had already proven to be a piece of work, so of course she and her denim-clad friends would cause even more upset for Eleven. They’re bullies, through and through, and they know they’re hurting Eleven.

It gives them satisfaction.

All right, everyone. This next song is dedicated to Jane, the local snitch.

DJ

The way they taunted Eleven on the rink was harrowing. They wanted to make a statement, and the way everyone joined in was despicable.

It was inevitable Eleven would lash out, but I didn’t expect her breaking point to be Angela commenting on her dead father.

Rink-O-Mania Drama - Stranger Things Season 4 Episode 2

After the first eight minutes of Stranger Things Season 4 Episode 1, the series is definitely laying the groundwork for a villainous Eleven, and I might just be here for it.

The problem with Eleven whacking Angela with the skate is that it will have far-reaching ramifications.

Eleven wants this perfect school year, but she’s never going to get it with this group of people. Now, people in the school will be petrified of her, and there’s no telling what the law will do about the incident.

The only thing that might keep Eleven off the hook is that Joyce will probably be halfway to Alaska when any consequences pop up.

Eddie Munson - Stranger Things Season 4 Episode 1

We already knew Hopper was alive, but the things he’s gone through in the time he’s been missing have been harsh.

Joyce had been desperate to move on, so it was apparent she would hold on to any glimmer of hope that she was alive.

Will: Hey, Mike. How you doing?
Mike: Yeah, good, man. Great. Uh, what’s that?
Will: Um, it’s nothing. Just this painting I’ve been working on.
Mike: Cool.
Argyle: That’s a rad shirt, man. Ocean Pacific?
Jonathan: Oh, hey, Mike. This is, uh, my friend Argyle.
Mike: Oh. Hey.
Argyle: Oh no, no, no. No, it’s a shitty knockoff. Yeah.

The series is moving in an exciting direction, telling us the plot details on a need-to-know basis and keeping things moving along swimmingly.

What are your thoughts on Vecna so far?

Making a Face - Stranger Things Season 4 Episode 1

Did you predict Fred would die?

What are your thoughts on Eleven’s decision?

Hit the comments below.

Stranger Things Season 4 is now streaming on Netflix.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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