We know that Eleven is the key to everything in Stranger Things. In “E Pluribus Unum,” she kind of becomes a god. We’re here for it and we’ve got the recap!
“E Pluribus Unum” was written by Curtis Gwinn (Narcos) and directed by Uta Briesewitz (Jessica Jones). It’s a good example of using a story to data drop a ton of exposition on the audience late in a season. At the heart of this Stranger Things episode is Mike’s (Finn Wolfhard) heart. It beats for Eleven (Millie Bobbie Brown). And no matter how irritating and clingy it may appear to everyone else, when El is at her most vulnerable, she reaches for Mike. But first, there’s that Voltron Demogorgon/Demodog hybrid that’s trying to kill Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton).
Excuse me! You lost one of your leg bones!
Nancy runs away from the demodog that formed in front of her eyes at the end of “The Flayed.” She gets to a fire exit which is blocked. I get that floor of the hospital is under construction, but that would make a halfway decent safety inspector make sure the fire exits were clear. Nancy shoulders her way out of the weak plot device and down stairs. She locks herself in a room, but the demodog turns into sludge, pours itself through air vents in the door, and reforms. Gross. Also, cool!
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Jonathan limps after her. In the room, the demodog kicks Nancy across the room and against a wall. It mounts her, roars, and prepares to flay her. Jonathan gets a gas tank. One wack at the window. Small crack. Another wack at the window. Maybe another crack. Not much. This isn’t working. Nancy is going to get flayed.
No she’s not. The door blows off the hinges. Eleven and the rest of The Party are on the scene. El throws the demodog left, right, on the ceiling, and to the floor. It still roars. El blasts the demodog out of the window and on to the pavement in front of the hospital. It turns into sludge again and slinks into the sewer, shedding some bigger bones that didn’t fit through the manhole grate. Where is it going?
Back at Maury’s (Brett Gelman) lair, Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Hopper (David Harbour) interrogate Dr. Alexi (Alec Utgoff) with the help of some Burger King and a strawberry Slushee. The product placement in Stranger Things 3 has been one of the most constant features of the season. Jopper learns that the Russians have tried to reopen The Gate multiple times, but location plays a key role.STRANGER THINGS — Credit: Netflix
Since it is apparently common knowledge in the clandestine science community that The Gate was opened in Hawkins, the Russians went West. The Gate is still closed, but it’s healing from the season two finale. In other words, it’s vulnerable. Hopper pledges to get Dr. Alexi to the Russian Gate. Dr. Alexi laughs because the bunker is invulnerable.
This triggers Joyce’s nerves. Jopper make a couple of calls to an emergency number left by Dr. Owens (Paul Reiser). They alert him to the Russian infiltration and beg for back up. They’ll need it. Mayor Kline (Cary Elwes) is rousted from basking in the set up for his Hawkins 4th of July Fair by Terminator Grigori (Andrey Ivchenko). He slaps him around and orders the mayor to find Hopper in 24 hours or else.
Mrs. Clickity Clack
Steve (Joe Kerry) and Robin (Maya Hawke) are interrogated by Ozerov (Misha Kuznetsov). He believes that Steve is lying when he says he works for Scoops Ahoy. According to Steve, he was just looking for a lost shipment and ended up at the Russian Gate. Ozerov doesn’t believe it. Steve is beaten unconscious.
Meanwhile, Dustin (Gaten Matarrazo) and Erica (Priah Ferguson) plan to get out of the Russian bunker and get help. First, Dustin enlightens Erica. She is a math genius, a political junkie, and a My Little Pony fan. Since My Little Pony uses tropes like maidens in peril and castles, this is the confirming cherry on the top of a certain truth: Erica is a nerd. She doesn’t believe that and has issues coming to grips with her brother Lucas’ (Caleb McLaughlin) role in the past two season’s events. She also doesn’t like Dustin’s plan. Erica wants to rescue Steven and Robin now.Stranger Things — Credit: Netflix
Now tied together, Steve and Robin talk. We get more confirmation that Steve was a doosh in high school. He kind of still retains some of that cad-like attitude when he tells Robin that he wished he paid attention to her in high school. She could have helped him pass classes. Gross, Steve. When they are about to be tortured by Ozerov and company, Dustin and Erica bust in and save the day. Erica rules.
Eleven the Mighty
Eleven finds Billy (Dacre Montgomery) in the astral plane. She spends an immense amount of time blindfolded. It scares Mike. He doesn’t think it’s safe. Max (Sadie Sink), Nancy, and even Will (Noah Schnapp) argue that Eleven is her own young woman. She’s not Mike’s pet. He needs to learn to back off. They really score shot after shot on him until he finally lets go. Mike declares that he can’t loose El again because he’s in love with her. That shuts everyone up. Lucas just smiles.
El comes out for a break. The group tell her that they’re having a family argument, which immediately makes El feel like she’s not part of the family. She goes back to the astral plane with The Party surrounding her. She finds Billy. Long story short: Billy is a natural predator. We saw that in season two. And now we see memories from his childhood. Billy’s dad was abusive and beat his mom. She left and that abandonment is suggested to set Billy on his path to be the perfect henchman for the Mind Flayer. He’s got mommy issues. His daddy sucked. Ugh. Powerful ugh.
When El finds the steelworks, she tries to disengage. She can’t. She cries out for Mike. But Billy tells her that he can’t hear her. Billy tells El that everything that’s happening is because of her. It’s for her. She created The Gate. Now, the Mind Flayer wants to stay. They want to destroy her. They want to destroy her friends. And then, they want to destroy everything. El pushes Billy away and gets out of the astral plane and clutches Mike.
In the real world, Billy says, “It’s time.” All of the flayed, including Heather (Francesca Reale), Mrs. Driscoll (Peggy Miley), and quite a few children are called to the steelworks One by one, they die and disintegrate into sludge which is absorbed by the corporeal Mind Flayer, who breaks free of the steelworks. Uh Oh.
Are you enjoying Stranger Things 3? Do you like the amount of gore in “E Pluribus Unum?” Let’s discuss in the comments!