Stranger Things has cranked up the tension and suspense with a thrilling episode about a dark wizard that may be calling Hawkins home.
This recap of Netflix’s Stranger Things season 4, episode 2, “Vecna’s Curse,” contains spoilers.
Stranger Things season 4, episode 2 recap
Hey, Duffer Brothers, it’s not cool for friends to lie to friends. But in this case, I’ll make an exception. In the worst kept secret in the world, Hopper is shown running for his life before Joyce pushes those two buttons at the end of season three and jumps. When the smoke clears, and the rubble has stopped moving, the camera pans in on that face with the greatest mustache since Magnum P.I. (Tom Selleck, kids). Then, his eyes open.
As Hopper tries to find a way out of the testing chamber, he comes across a few Russian soldiers who survived the blast. They take him and torture poor Hopper, forcing him to tell them who his partner, the woman, actually was. A Russian officer admires Hopper’s toughness, so he sends him to Russian hell, I’m guessing the prison at the end of the third season, to beat that right out of him.
Have no fear, Stranger Things fans. Murray is on the case. He comes out with his equipment and reads the ransom letter Joyce was sent inside that doll. There was more to the letter than seen in the last episode. “Hop is alive. He looks ford to date. Pleaz to make a reservation call 741-52,” and “Open 12-day P.E.T.T. no government, please. King regards, Enzo.” Joyce thinks Hopper is alive, but Murray says it could be the KGB. There is only one way to find out, so they call the number and speak with Enzo. He wants $40,000 to bring Hopper back to them, but they have to travel to Alaska with the money to do it.
Now, I never want to advocate for violence, but at some point, Mike and Will need to get their heads out of their a*s, grow a pair, and stand up for our girl, El. She meets Mike at the airport, along with Will and Jonathan. Will and Mike have an incredibly awkward hug, and El begins to tell Mike about all the friends she has. El wants to take her boyfriend to get a burrito and to the roller rink, which she does with her friends. Now, only Will knows the truth. El is just embarrassed.
Of course, they skate and have a good time when Angela and her awful friends show up. They call El a snitch before they skate up to their table. Angela grabs El by the hand and gets her to skate around for a few until she stops and places her in the center of the rink. Suddenly, many girls skate around her and chant, “Snitch,” while some blonde tool plays the song “Wipe Out” as the facility’s disc jockey. Not to mention, another guy tapes the entire thing.
Mike lamely attempts to stop the song from continuing. When he looks back, these kids perform an uninspired Carrie, and a kid throws a milkshake in El’s face, and she falls on her back, wiping out. No worries, though, right? Mike and Will can now jump in and defend their friend. Sadly, he runs up calling El’s name, and she runs away while the kids get away with it.
Then we have the whole Chrissy’s dead body thing. Eddie’s uncle finds the mangled body and calls the cops. Powell (Rob Morgan) has taken over the Hawkins police force and arrives at the scene. Max sees the body through the maze of blue uniforms and runs over to Dustin’s to tell him she saw Eddie going into the home with her last night, and Eddie ran out minutes later, looking scared.
Nancy and Fred head out to the trailer park to do some investigating. A couple of interesting developments happen. For one, we find Fred has a hallucination and a secret. He was in a car accident last summer, and the car he hit killed an entire family. Later, when Nancy interviews the uncle, his nephew may look dangerous, but he says that Eddie is not a killer. Getting to the point, he tells Nancy that he thinks it is a killer named Victor Creel. He is still alive and the boogeyman may have escaped from the state’s mental hospital. He killed several people back in the day and took his victim’s eyes.
While he is telling Nancy this chilling tale, Fred is off in the woods hallucinating a clock lying on the ground. As the chime goes off, a dead family appears, all in black, staring at him. A girl starts to point at him, but the hand grows into a gigantic skeleton limb and appendage. Fred runs off into the woods, scared for his life.
El hides in the manager’s office at the roller rink and has a flashback, which we saw in the season premiere, with Brenner asking her what she has done. El leaves the office and finds Angela. She demands she apologize and tell Mike that they were joking and are friends. Of course, Angela manages to find a new level of awfulness. She tells El that it’s too bad she can’t cry to her teacher today. She will have to tell her Daddy instead, but she can’t do that either. El can’t use her powers anymore, we still don’t know why, but she grabs a skate and swings it right into Angela’s face. Her nose is broken, and it’s a hideous injury that fits her personality.
Dustin, Max, Robin, and Steve find Eddie hiding at the drug dealer’s house. They convince him that they believe his story, as he repeats what we saw in the first episode. As they figure out what he saw, maybe Vecna, an evil, demonic, dark wizard, is casting spells and putting Chrissy in a trance with his titular curse. We now see Fred run through the woods and reach an interstate highway as they discuss. He is now in a daze and sees the car he hit Upside Down last summer and burning flames. He can hear people screaming, and as he approaches, a man begins to crawl out.
Fred back peddles in fear; he falls into a large, deep grave next to a corpse. As he stands up, he sees the same demon that disfigured Chrissy. We now know this has to be the spell caster the group spoke of, and Fred, frightened, asks him what does he want?
“I want you to join me.”
Vecna grabs his head, and we now see Fred in the middle of the street, eyes rapidly moving, in a trance, and he starts to levitate. Hanging in the air in the middle of that Indiana interstate highway, all his limbs are snapping in unspeakable ways. His jaw is broken, and his eyes sink into his skull like quicksand traps. The cherry on top? Vecna slams him into the grey and yellow asphalt, and I imagine they will need a giant-sized pancake spatula to clean him off that road.
The final scene shows that dark figure with these dangerous roots found underground that the military tried to burn up, at least a half dozen attached to its back. The detach and the camera pulls back. We now see this happening in the Upside Down, and the demonic figure is in an attic of a house performing his bone-crunching spells.
What did you think of Netflix’s Stranger Things season 4, episode 2? Let us know in the comments below!