Review: Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 9 “Chapter Nine: The Gate”

Similarly to the ending of Season 1, I have major issues with how the show constructed this cliff-hanger and how it views its audience. The ending is extremely derivative, predictable and ultimately not even exciting, as the face-less villain, while threatening in concept and in regard to its scope, seems to meander in the background. It is the same feeling that Season 1 ended with, with normalcy reinstated but the enemy still lurking, and in that sense nothing feels accomplished or developed. What level of respect do the Duffer Brother’s have for the audience intellect or expectations, or was the quest to create atmosphere and tease more important? While the relationships that grew along the way were nice, as was the episode’s insistence that it be the kids that take charge, with the adults assisting, a great thematic touch, not a lot else has been resolved. It is these narrative struggles and anti-climatic conclusions that make it difficult to connect or invest in such shows, as what is the purpose? Technically, however, the episode is stunning, with brilliant visual effects, cinematography and direction is creating an intensity and urgency to each character’s actions. It would just benefit from that same urgency in its approach to narrative and mythology.. 6.4/10


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